Life 'n' Soul 

Thanks to Andrew McCann, Colin Brock and Stuart Charles for info and pics

Line Up 

  • Stuart Charles - Vocals
  • John Brennan - Bass/Vocals
  • Clem Lee - Drums
  • Andrew McCann - Lead Guitar/Piano/Vocals
  • Colin Brock - Rhythm Guitar/Vocals


Fronted by Stuart Charles, the five piece Drifters-style soul group quickly moved from Top of the Town style gigs to packed audiences for their top of the bill gigs at the New Century Hall - via a couple of wins on Opportunity Knocks and backing from Kennedy Street Artistes.

Major national tour with Herd and Sweden's Ola and the Janglers in the days when four or five bands would tour the large cinema's of the UK.

After the initial live-act success and the failure of their UK cover of "Ode to Billy Joe", Stuart left (joining Rumble Fat Band).

"Andy was the first to leave the band and we continued with the addition of Martin Sleater on bass and Phil Judge on lead guitar whilst John took lead vocals. Clem left very soon after this line up and we got Dave Webb ex St Louis Union on drums for a while, then I became disenchanted and left, mainly through lack of work.

This new band then became "Penthouse" and eventually turned into "Paper Dolls and Guys" with John, Martin and Phil and I'm not sure who was on drums."

Colin Brock 


Decca - Ode to Billy Jo /Peacefully Asleep

Decca - Here Comes Yesterday Again /Dear Paul


"Peacefully Asleep" - B side of the Life 'n' Soul version of "Ode to Billie Joe" is a much sought after collectors piece. It is often seen on compilation albums (Rubble series).

Where are they now?

Stuart lived in Denmark for many years, where he recorded.

"I had a cd out 10 years ago with Mega Records here in Copenhagen. It was sold out two times in those years. Providing we make enough noise to this Danish record we may get the cd re-released.

Checkout Stuart's current music/downloads at and search for STUART FORSTER 

John joined the Ivy League and lives in Liverpool. 

Andrew (now Andru Cann) emigrated to U.S.A. and continues composing/recording and performing.

At the time of writing this page, Andru has his musical comedy "ALBERT AND ALICE - A Love Story From The Lower East Side" opening in the USA.

"New, Off Off Broadway Musical Comedy in The East Village. ALBERT AND ALICE, a Love Story From The Lower East Side, based on the real life experiences of the author/composer, Andrew McCann"

Latest news (June 2010)

Andru has recently appeared in the movie of his musical - Albert and Alice.

Colin worked with a band in Cheshire for the last couple of years called "Boathouse" - has moved to Torquay.

Visit his website and hear his latest music

Clem - Sadly, drummer Clem, passed away in mid Dec 2004.


We toured Sweden, Germany, Portugal, and our "Big" tour of England was on the same bill as the Kinks, Herd (Peter Frampton), Tremeloes, Gary Walker (Walker Brothers).

We opened up for "Nice"(ELP), The Who, Marc Bolan, Joe Cocker, Edwin Starr. Plus many bands on the Manchester Beat site such as The Mindbenders, Wayne Fontana, and St Louis Union. The single "Ode to Billy Joe" reached #17 in the Top Twenty.

Andrew McCann 

As a founder member and lead vocalist of the band I was saddened, like all those that had the pleasure of knowing and working along side Clem, to hear of his passing. He was a great drummer and show man. It was always a great pleasure to watch him as I did from the wings before I was brought on stage by John, Colin and Andy - grooving and dancing to the Clem Lee Packers beat.

On behalf of John Brennan (bass guitar/vocals), Colin Brock (rhythm guitar/vocals", Andy McCann (lead guitar), Sooty (piano/ vocals) and personal friend and roady Phil Moore, our managers Mike Sachs, Steve Frieze, Danny Betesh, Kennedy Street Enterprises and Dave Eager, Pete Doyle (CIS New Century Hall), Kevin Lane, Majestic, etc, etc.

"To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die and memory is one gift of god that death cannot destroy."

And bless all those many many fans that turned out over many years to see us all.

Stuart Charles

My memories are as the Social Sec of AEI Apprentices in the early sixties and booking the group as the main supporting act to the Who. I remember being blown away by your opening rendition of Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band at I think the Cumberland Suite of Belle Vue?

Wallis Kidd

I was in Manc band The Focal Points and saw Life 'n' Soul many times - an excellent soul band.  I remember backing them at New Century Hall and my guitar strap broke and bust my guitar neck. Stuart laughed himself silly.

The good news was I bought myself my first Fender to replace it.

We were also one of support bands at the Who gig at Belle Vue and saw two great bands that night. Stuart looked equal to Daltry on the front man stakes.

Sad to hear about Clem - he gave me his patent stage shoes at one gig.

Great days to be a young Manc - great clubs. great bands - including The Rumble Fat Band, The Exits and Mobile Unit.

John Edwards

I remember playing the Sands Casino Blackpool in 1969 with my band Grooveyard as support to Life n' Soul. They were amazing.

Monday night was the best night of the week at the Sands and many of the best Manchester bands would come over to headline, Factotems, and the Cymerons were others including Second City Sound and The Remo Four (with the now departed Tony Ashton) from other parts of the country.

But Life n'Soul stood out as so good among the best. 

Keith Beardmore

Colin was at school with my brother and spent many happy hours at our home, the two of them playing guitar and singing, particularly Everly Brothers classics and skiffle! They did make a record "Bye Bye Love" and the B side was a song they penned themselves.

I remember him sending postcards and letters from Germany when they were touring. 

Jean Murphy

I remember Andrew when he was in the 'Sugar Beats' at St Rapheals School youth club - he was my first boyfriend!! The music was excellent in that era and this site has brought back fond memories! I was in New York with my daughters last year, if we had known Andrew was living there we would have come and watched you perform. 

Kath Higson - 13/11/10

Does any members of Life & Soul have any pictures of the follow on group PENTHOUSE and any details on the group?

I went to watch Life & Soul in the North East. John Brennan was the singer. I was the replacement singer for the new band, Martin the bass player had recruited me. 

I am trying to find out if it was PENTHOUSE I joined and if there are any pictures of the group,and if poss make contact with any of the members, my name is Robert Tonge.

Rob Tonge - 12/6/11

When Life & Soul finally packed in, I joined a band set up by the then LIFE & SOUL bass player, Martin Sleator from Prestwich. JOHN BRENNAN towards the end had taken over as lead vocal role. This new band had a lead guitarist called Garth, and not the Life & Soul guitarist, Phil Judge. We had lots of publicity photo's done ,and had would you believe black satin suits made for the band.

Gig wise the only two I remember are the Yew Tree in Wythenshawe and Batley Variety, with Bernard Manning on the bill.

I can't remember the name of the band, or any of the other members - I'd love to know both and see the photo's we had taken, put them on manchesterbeat and make contact with the members of the band.

Thats the first thing I need help with,the second is sort of related,when the band folded, Garth got a residency at Leigh Casino and contacted me and got me the job as lead vocal. This ended one sat morning in April 1972 when there was a fire at the Casino.

Again I'd love to hear from Garth and any of the other musicians in the band. I've noticed that Stuart Bunyan and Joe Carroll have said that when their band folded, they went to Leigh Casino.

Was that when I was there, late 1971/early 1972? I'd love to hear from them if they were, or if not, from who was there. Any photo's greatly appreciated.

Rob Black - 12/6/11

Message for Mike Gillett: Mike when the Life 'n' Soul split, I joined a band I can't remember the name of, as vocalist. The band was formed by their ex-bass bass player at that time, Martin Sleator from Prestwich, and a lead guitarist called Garth.

I believe you knew Martin well and wondered if you know the name of this band and anything about it. I don't think it was Penthouse. I think Martin joined that band after we had split up, can you help?

Rob Tonge - 11/8/11

I remember as a young lad , going to Joey's as we called it - St Joseph's Catholic school Salford. Saturday night Life n Soul. Stuart Charles made me feel really grown up with brilliant music. Also the brilliant Ode to Billy Jo.

Thank you boys.

Ken Wright - 14/11/13
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