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Caithness rock band reunite after 35 years to play in America


By Gordon Calder

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A CAITHNESS rock band, which broke up 35 years ago, is getting back together and playing at two venues on the west coast of America.

Fast Forward were formed in Wick in the mid-1980s and featured Lee Nightingale on guitar, Kevin Henderson on bass, Fiona Sutherland on vocals, Gordon Mitchell on guitar and Glen Campbell on drums. The line-up underwent a couple of changes but they performed in Caithness and elsewhere in the north for around two years before going their separate ways.

They continued to play music and were still part of the local band scene but work saw them move to different parts of the UK and the world.

Fast Forward in the 1980s. They are from left to right: Lee Nightingale, Glen Campbell, Fiona Sutherland, Kevin Henderson and Gordon Mitchell.
Fast Forward in the 1980s. They are from left to right: Lee Nightingale, Glen Campbell, Fiona Sutherland, Kevin Henderson and Gordon Mitchell.

Lee worked on nuclear submarines with the Royal Navy at Faslane but moved to San Diego – his wife's home town – in America in 2011. Kevin was a uranium scientist at Dounreay but now works for the United Nations in Vienna in Austria while Glen moved to Durham around 16 years ago. He worked as a radio presenter for over 30 years.

"We just lost touch through circumstances, nothing else," said Glen. But just out of the blue Lee contacted him last year and said he was thinking about getting the band back together. Originally, it was hoped they could play at the Assembly Rooms in Wick with other groups from that time and call the event the Rosebank Reunion but it never happened due to the coronavirus pandemic.

So, Lee suggested trying to get a couple of gigs in San Diego and having a reunion there. Fiona and Gordon could not go due to work commitments so the band will do the American gigs as a four-piece with Lee, Kevin, Glen and vocalist, Catherine Clark (Cee Cee) who stays in San Diego. She just joined the band in March.

"We are doing it for a bit of fun but there have been difficulties with rehearsals as we all live in different parts of the world," said Glen. The band had to overcome some technical issues and time differences to practice online.

For the American venues, they will be playing music by Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Gary Moore, Joan Jett, Heart, Pat Benatar and the Black Crows. "It will still be a rock set but a little bluesier," said Glen.

The band which will play in America are from left to right: Glen Campbell, Lee Nightingale, Kevin Henderson and Catherine Clark (Cee Cee).
The band which will play in America are from left to right: Glen Campbell, Lee Nightingale, Kevin Henderson and Catherine Clark (Cee Cee).

He and Kevin land in Los Angeles on Wednesday, September 21 and the band has its first proper rehearsal the following day in a rented studio.

"We have a couple of radio interviews in the afternoon. Our reunion has caused a bit of a stir as the band is travelling from all over the world to play in San Diego, so lots of people have been asking about it and where they can see us," said Glen.

On Friday (Sept 23) they play their first gig in San Diego at an open-air venue and the following night are performing at a private function in the city.

"It is good to get back together after 35 years but the enormity of it all has only begun to sink in over the past couple of weeks. We will be live streaming both gigs to our Facebook page and hope people who remember us playing all these years ago will watch the show," said Glen who said the link is: www.facebook.com/groups/ff5.0uk/

"I was hoping for a rest after that but Lee has organised for us to go and see Iron Maiden in Mexico on the

Sunday and my flight leaves Los Angeles airport at lunchtime on Monday, so there will be no sightseeing for me."

Asked if this will be a one-off reunion, Glen, said: "No." The band plans to do some more bookings and intends to perform again in Caithness.

"We will definitely be coming to Wick," he added.


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