Byelaws Feature (More
Photo Gallery -
Band Lineups -
- Audio samples -
Where Are They Now?
The first mention of the Byelaws
we can find is them playing at a ballroom called the Rink on Aungier
Street in Dublin in August, 1967. A few months later, Pat Egan
mentioned them in his column in Spotlight as a new pop band
that although he thought they weren't very good, had become quite
popular very quickly in the city.
The original line-up was: Maurice
Walsh (vocals), Jimmy Conway (guitar), Paul Holohan (bass) and Aidan
Scannell (drums). Like all the beat groups around Dublin at the
time, Pat gave them plenty of mentions in his column over the next
few months which were mostly devoted to the band's rapidly growing
popularity, especially with girls, and the personality of their lead
singer (as opposed to their musical abilities).
July, 1968, lead singer Maurice Walsh, who was hugely popular with
the band's fans, left and joined another Dublin beat group, the
Purple Pussycat, although this would only last a short while as
two weeks later he joined Joe Dolan and the Drifters, one of
the top showbands in the country. He was replaced by Pat Morris and
the band continued to grow their reputation as one of the top pop
bands on the Dublin club scene. Back in those days, groups in Dublin
tended to be categorised as either pop or progressive (rock).
In November, 1969, lead singer Pat
was off the road for a few weeks as he was suffering from
tonsillitis. He was replaced temporarily by Jimmy's younger brother
who was singing with a group called Strange Days at the time.
In October, 1970, it was announced
that Maxi, Dick, and Twink (the girl trio who had been singing folk
songs) were forming a band called Aquarius which would featured the
girls as well as musicians Paul Duffy, Ray McDonald and Jay Malone.
We are not sure whether this band actually played any gigs and
shortly after that, it was reported that the girls would be
undertaking a tour of America with the Byelaws as their backing
In December, 1970 the band went to
America on a tour with Maxi, Dick and Twink playing under the name
Toybox. Said singer Twink in 1971, "Maxi, Dick and Twink and the
Byelaws was a mouthful and sounded like a circus was in town."
The band headed off to the States and Canada and played for several
months before trouble started brewing.
In May, 1971, after only five
months, it was reported that Maxi,-Dick and Twink had split up with
Maxi and Dick staying in Canada while Twink returned to Ireland with
the band to play as Twink and the Byelaws. They hit the road
in mid01971 and were soon playing gigs across the country.
Twink takes up the story from a
1972 article about her in the Irish Evening Herald newspaper. "When
I came back to Ireland with the Byelaws I realised that things
weren't not going to work out. We were essentially a beat group and
thought there were quite a few clubs in town we couldn't stay in
She continued, "When we ventured
down the country to the dancehalls, I felt the crowd didn't like us.
In the country they preferred showbands with a mixed bag of music,
especially country and western. The boys became dissatisfied and
talked of returning to Canada because there was a lot of money to be
Fortunately for Twink, at the same
time, Brendan Bowyer and Tom Dunphy had left the Royal Showband to
form the Big Eight. They approached Twink, and boyfriend Jimmy
Conway to join the band after seeing them play at the Embankment in
Dublin. At that point we are pretty sure the band broke up.
As an interesting aside, Twink and
Jimmy would leave the Big 8 to join the new Paddy Cole Superband
(who also split from the Big 8) in July, 1974. The male lead singer
with the new band would be ex-Byelaw, Pat Morris. A year later in
August 1975, Jimmy would once again rejoin the Big 8 and relocate to
More to come.....
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