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Rockingscots is a website dedicated to Scottish beat groups of the '60s and  early '70s. Visit the Rockingscots homepage for more groups or to e-mail us.

Ayrshire Bands of the '60s and early 70s

The Seven Sinners

 The first band from Ayr to make it onto TV in the 60's


 Robin Gilmour, Janice McClure, Robbie Murray, Joe Walker, David McCroskie, Billy Smith is behind the camera!

All info supplied by Robin Gilmour.

Origins of the Sinners 
The Sinners sprang  from the Joe Duffy Band - one of the first rock bands in Scotland along with The Ricky Barnes All Stars.  The Joe Duffy line-up was Joe Duffy on piano with a mike stuck inside  it - he wrecked a few in the halls around Scotland; Davy McCroskie from Mossblown on lead guitar and Bill Smith on sax and clarinet from Dalmellington; drummer unknown at present; Wilma Telford vocals; her brother on bass and a young Tommy Truesdale, vocals. There was a  rhythm guitarist as well. McCroskie and Smith were 16 and 17 respectively -
all the rockers started at an early age!


A live shot from the same Castle Douglas gig as the posed pic above

The Seven Sinners formed in 1961 and the first line up was: 

Billy Gregg - drums (Dalmellington) only played the first 2 gigs.  Billy (the Rev) Smith - sax, clarinet, vocal.and harmonies (Dalmellington.).
David (Billy Fury) McCroskie - lead guitar, vocal (Mossblown).   Joe (Hooky)Walker - rhythm guitar & lead vocal (Mossblown).
Robin (Big Gill) Gilmour - bass guitar, lead vocal and harmonies (Ayr).  16 year old Janice (the Doll) McClure - lead vocal (Ayr).
Davy Wilson was the 7th Sinner (Mossblown).  Davy supplied the minibus, drove the band to all gigs since nobody in the band could drive or had transport. He handled all the bookings the fees etc. No Davy - no Seven Sinners.)  Played town halls in Castle Douglas, Newton Stewart, Stranraer, Portpatrick, plus clubs in Dumfries, Sanquar, Kirkconnel, Cumnock, Dalmellington, Lockerbie, Patna, Drongan etc - 3 gigs per week on average. When Billy Gregg dropped out because he did not like the travelling,
16 year old Robbie Murray (Ayr) took over on drums and vocals.


Robin on stage at Castle Douglas with new Fender Jazz bass - one of the first in the UK

Seven Sinners line up MkIII from 62/63.  Brian Jones was added to the group on rhythm guitar.  He also doubled on bass when Robin Gilmour sang lead vocal.  Joe Walker was the male lead vocalist also playing rhythm guitar when Brian doubled on bass guitar. 

Mark V 1964 line-up: Brian Love (Kilmarnock) joined from the Al Rae Band as replacement for Brian Jones

One of the highlights of the band's career was their appearance in March 1964 on an STV show called 'One Night Stand'.  The groups on the show were 'The Seven Sinners, 'The Golden Crusaders (Bathgate) and and English lot called the Zephers (cars again). It was compared by Pete Murray and each band did two numbers linked by Pete giving a short history on each band.


Prestwick Town Hall - 17 year old Dorothy Cleary From Greenock had replaced Janice on vocals.


1964 - The band play at the world pipe band championships. Billed in the national news papers as 'Macbeat verses Macblaw'. 
After playing their own numbers in the open air they were joined by the Ayr pipe band, whose pipe major was David McCroskie's dad,
 for the final number - a feeling never to be forgotten according to Robin.

Look at the advert - the biggest pipe band championships in the world and how do you get a ticket - from a shop or an agency? 
 No, you get the bus to Holmston and knock on this bloke's door - and how much are they?  No idea, so you can't write and enclose a postal order (the old way of doing things).
You can't even phone to find out. Easy for TMcC though who lived round the corner.
Note the typo - repeated 'Ayr' instead of 'The'.

Jimmy Saville's report on the 'Daily Record's Macbeat' final in September 1964 where he was one of the judges.
Thank heavens we never came up with that as this website's name.

Early 1964 - Seven Sinners win the area final. 
Note the runners up - the Atlantic Rollers.  Now with just a little alteration to that name............. 

1965 - An  open air gig in a Friday night at Boydfield Gardens by Prestwick Cross.
 Drums - Harry Thow (Prestwick);  Keyboards & vocals - Billy Milligan (Maidens);  Lead guitar - Davie McCroskie; Bass - Robin Gilmour


Two great new pics below from Robin Gilmour that came to light in 2015


The band lark about for a publicity photo.


A very youthful looking Brian Jones with his Burns 6 string.
Brian later formed Midnight Express and played in other top Ayrshire bands in the '60s & '70s.

Billy and Robin eventually left the Seven Sinners to form 'The Third Dimension with Brian Lumsden on drums,
 female singers -15 year old Janis McNamee (Ayr) and 16 year old Karen Armstrong (Ayr) playing.soul and tamla Motown.

Seven Sinners-ish

A further contribution from bass player Robin Gilmour about a jazzy one night stand.

A cutting form Ayrshire Post  9 May 1969 above.  The story goes - Robin Gilmour, Jimmy Cosker and Brian Lumsden were the resident band in Ayr Labour Club from 1966-1969 playing cabaret on  Friday & Sat nights plus Sunday afternoons and evenings with Robin on bass and lead vocals.  Anyway, Robin:  "We decide to go in for this jazz competition and team up for a one off with Sam Stellard and Jan Black the resident vocalists with the Bobby Jones ballroom big band. We had one  rehearsal then were the first band to go on stage - did the set then headed to the lounge bar as you do.  Two hours later the door opens and a voice  says - 'You jammy bastards.'   We went back on stage to play a couple a numbers and get presented with the shield.  What a load of *** we must have played but everyone was probably pissed by then.  Not all though because people still stop us in the street to say what a great night it was. Such is life." 

Colin Jamieson - 'Great to see pics.of Sam Stellard & Jan. I left the Corsairs for a stint and played with the Bobbie Jones big band. Sam & Jan were the the singers. I think they eventually got married. Sam was a great singer withoot the ego and big heed tae go along wae it. Jimmy Cosker played in the Band Show days when I started, what a fantastic player. What a come down it must have been for him after playing with Brian Low on drums then, ending up with some plooky faced wee bastard wae half a drumkit and a bedside cabinet as a drum stool - no wonder Andy Currie senior wanted to sack me after the first night.  Jimmy went on to become musical director for the Ayr Gaeity.'           

And here is some more info on Robin Gilmore's activities in the '70s     

The Robin Gilmour Duo:
.73-75. Robin Gilmour (ex 7 sinners) from Ayr - bass & lead vocals; Neil Mulgrew from Cumnock - lead guitar. Played the Plough Inn, Ayr 3 night per week, Darlington Lounge, The Tupp, Cumnock, The Vaults Kilbirnie, RAF base at Stranraer and all the usual working mens' clubs from Glasgow to Dumfries playing covers - top 20, Thin Lizzy, Status Quo etc.  Pic below.



Lookin' Good & Going Strong - Robin Gilmour's latest duo - 'JUSTUS' - live in Ayr 2015
Robin, left on bass and his cousin Jim McNamee on 12 string guitar - playing hits from the sixties and early seventys plus requests. 

  
Robin Gilmour Jan 1st 2016