A ROCK and roll band who are still performing 65 years after forming are looking for a venue in the Woking area to stage a charity gig to support people in Ukraine.

Dave and the Strangers were a popular local band in the 1960s, after getting together at the St Mary’s Church youth club in Woodham in 1957.

A News & Mail report of one of their earliest gigs helped to publicise them and get them more appearances. Now aged in their mid to late 70s, the part-time musicians are still playing occasional gigs and have recorded two CDs.

Singer Dave Harris, lead guitarist Martin Thompson and bass guitarist Ian Sams knew each other from their time at Woking County Grammar School for Boys. They were joined by Les Green on rhythm guitar and vocals and drummer Des Cowper.

Dave lived in Woodham, Martin in Maybury, Ian in New Haw and Des and Les near each other in Horsell.

Dave told the News & Mail that the five teenagers were brought together by a shared love of the new sounds coming in from the USA. They started playing the music of stars such as Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Gene Vincent.

The band began by playing at the church youth club and at fundraising shows for a charity for children with learning difficulties run by Les’s parents.

“We used to play for five to 12 guineas between the five of us and earned around £500, roughly £8,000 to £10,500 today, per year,” said Dave.

A News & Mail report of a dance at Pyrford Village Hall 60 years ago, held by the Pyrford Arbor Youth Club, read: “Over 250 bottles of soft drinks and a vast quantity of food restored flagging energy during the non-stop evening, which included contests for jiving and the twist carried out to the music of Dave and the Strangers, who were given a standing ovation at the conclusion of the dance.”

In 2015, the News & Mail’s Cardinal Tales column on our sports pages mentioned the band playing at the Club Butaca in Old Woking.

Nowadays, Dave said the band have had more time to get together since they all retired more than 10 years ago. Chris is 79, Dave and Les are 78, Des is 77, and Ian 76.

They haven’t played in Woking for some years and would like to return to their origins by doing a benefit gig in the area, this time for charities that are supporting Ukrainians during the war with Russia.

Dave said there was one possible town centre venue but that might not be ready for some time.

“We just need a venue,” he added. “If someone has one we could use, please contact me.”

He can be contacted by email at [email protected].