Sk'boo Band Feature (by Colum
Photo Gallery -
Band Lineups -
- Audio samples -
Where Are They Now?
Involved in popular music in Belfast since a
child popular musician (5) in 1948.
Have done “pub” bus excursion entertainment in the early 1950’s,
the Maritime Hotel in 1958 in amateur variety shows and did
summer evening “pop” bus runs to Bangor County Down at this time
In 1958 I had to restart my music career from scratch and by
1962 played bass guitar in various guitar bands in Belfast.
In 1964 I played in the post-Van Morrison and Geordie Sproule
Manhattan showband 1964-65.
I then continued playing in various rock bands in Belfast and at
various venues and also in the resident band in the Stella Maris
seamens’ mission in Belfast 1967—68.
In 1969 I was asked to help form a substantial and stable rock
band in Belfast that did not claim continuity with break-ups of
Them, and agreeing on a name after the colloquialism “skiboo” (Sk’boo)
of Harland and Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast in this way this
achieved the separate stance apart from Them and Van Morrison.
When left with the remants of Sk’boo, myself (bass guitar) and
Ricky McCutcheon (drums) and with our manager able to suggest
Gary Moore to us, thus to continue on the road as Sk’boo, Ricky
and I agreed that as we couldn’t re-run the first successful
start to Sk’boo’s career momentum again we should seem more
prudent if we simply left off.
A week or so after the demise of Sk’boo the lead guitarist of
the Green Angels showband from Ballymena called round to me to
see could I do bass for the Ballymena band. This I played in
until I went to Australia in 1970.
My most memorable and rewarding experience in my musical career
was surviving being almost killed in a band transport smash up
just past the Mull of Kintyre somewhere along the Antrim Coast
Road on the way home to Belfast after a dance gig in Cushendun
on the night the Americans landed on the moon.
This is actually a contribution of a little
bit of info about myself, since you have already generously
listed me and any kind of publicity is good publicity--Colum
Connolly originally of Sk'boo Belfast. Though the band or
writing nom de plume I use is Colm Connolly and not so much as a
disguise or not much of a disguise, as that I got fed up with
people mistaking my signature as "Colin" or worse, it could be
I only became responsive again quite recently
as regards the whole rock scene/showband scene in the island of
Ireland generally back in the late 1950s and 1960s. This was due
to my children's pressure as caused by their confusion as to
what the 1960s were really like. I told them that rock stars got
booted out of places then and not invited into ritzy restaurants
to dine of caviar at all. In the gents public toilets in
Belfast, the care-takers threated to call the police and that
"We don't want people like you in here".
The "missing" bit about myself is that after
Sk'boo disbanded with Jim Armstrong and Kenny McDowell (lovely
lads towards myself, and we oft would have deep discussions
about how things were up in the like of Cullybacky in Mid-County
Antrim) got an offer from a Chicago outfit, myself (bass) and
RIcky McCutcheon (drums) felt JIm and Kenny's departure was too
much of a throw to continue Sk'boo in image, Rock presentation
and and trying to write Sk'boo's West Coast-like Rock material
on the run--it took time. You just didn't close your eyes and
think of a jingle. But I suppose, maybe we should have because
our manager Gerry Giffin told us that Gary Moore would come
Anyway, Gary went on down to Dublin after
Ricky and I in Belfast decided just to leave Sk'boo shelved ,
and Gary then took on the job of lead guitar with Skid Row, down
there. Our loss was Skid Row's gain as they say. But just after
we (Sk'boo) got back from London and a farewell concert in
Wolverhampton and I was sitting feeling sorry for myself at
home one night a few weeks later, Sean Devlin ex-of the Seasons
showband from Andersonstown, West Belfast called round and said
that Denis Osbourne ex-Seasons also and bass in the Green
Angels, Gerry McClean's outfit from Ballymena, was leaving and I
should take the job.
So after Sk'boo late June-early July 1969, I
went to the Green Angels with Gerry McClean, Roy Addinell and
There is a bit of a postscript to all of this
by another member of the Green Angles at this time, Seamus
McConnell from Derry in his stories of the Derry music scene
From Aces to Angels chapters
"Big TIme At Last" and "End Of The Line". Heaps of other info on
musos travelling to Germany on dance circuit gigs in the 1960s.
Thanks for keeping my name alive in the scene
back there! I hope any little bit of info I happen to provide
here may be helpful to you.
More to come.....
click on thumbnails for full image