The Beavers were formed in 1989 to perform a farewell gig to two friends (Tim Freeman and Sandra Hamilton), who were emigrating to Canada, hence the name of the band. In fact, originally, the band was known as ‘The Mounted Beavers’ giving a reference to not only the indigenous Beaver but also the iconic Canadian Mounted Police – The Mounties! So we could have shortened it to The Mounties but the general consensus was that The Beavers was a better name!
That first ever performance was such a success that long time friends Graham Blackwell (vocals) and Tim Eastwood (guitar and vocals) decided to continue with the venture. The line up varied down the years, with Graham and Tim the constant members of the band, but the popularity of the band endured; gigs were performed to hundreds of ecstatic punters at Woodford, whilst outdoor gigs in Marple drew numbers running into the thousands. After a sabbatical period, the current line up was put together in 1999. Joining Tim and Graham were Mark Brennan (guitar), Jack Street (bass and vocals), Nick Berry (drums) and Adrian Lord (keyboards). Different line up, same success; The Beavers have played countless gigs over the last few years, from sweaty pub gigs to hundreds at Woodford Memorial Hall and The Foyer Café Bar to outdoor gigs supporting Suzie Quatro. They have played the annual summer ball for Stockport Rugby Club, supporting 80’s soul singer Ruby Turner, in front of a 900 strong, mesmerised audience. The band has also performed at many weddings and birthday parties, as well as corporate functions. Their gigs at Woodford Memorial Hall in January are approaching legendary status these days!
The enduring appeal of The Beavers is the vast cross section of music they perform. Good old rockers by the likes of AC/DC, David Bowie, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy and Aerosmith sit comfortably alongside contempories such as U2, Coldplay, Simple Minds and The Kaiser Chiefs. The recent gigs have seen The Beavers stretch their set list to include numbers by Tubeway Army, The Kinks, Peter Gabriel, The Who, Morrissey, Toto, The Rolling Stones and Prince.
In late 2018 Graham decided that 30 years of Beavering was enough and sadly decided to hang up his microphone. We would like to thank Billy Riley for taking on the mantle and standing in as our lead vocalist for the past half dozen or so gigs.
Astonishingly and thankfully, after a 3 year leave of absence, Graham has returned to the fold and The Beavers are once again as one with the classic line-up of Adrian, Graham, Jack, Mark, Nick and Tim.
Absolutely tons of pics from the archives here
Billy Riley (vocals), John Moulds (bass), Robin Phillips (keys and vocals), Alan Brown (keys), Bob Kemp (guitar and vocals), Howard Cawthorne (drums), Joel Perry (guitar and vocals), Tim Scott (guitar), Tim Woodward (guitar).