Colin Pryce-Jones, Shades and Rapiers
Colin Pryce-Jones

For over twenty years now, I have been a fan of Colin Pryce-Jones, a legendary guitarist from Cornwall (UK), who, as Rob Bradford puts it, is only second to Hank B. Marvin and he's right. I have seen Colin perform on stage dozens of times with his Shades and his Rapiers. Each and every concert always was the best of perfection. Besides that, he has always been a kind gentleman and very friendly with his fans. I have met him on several occassions and in 1987, at a concert in Beringe, Holland, I introduced him to my (then 3 year old) son whom I also named Colin. We now write 1999 and I have before me the new solo CD of Colin Pryce-Jones. It's a little different, Colin is a born again Christian and on this CD he definitly wants to spread the word to the rest of the world. The way he does that is very classy and in perfect balance with his rock 'n' roll background. Again, a great addition to my Rapiers collection. To give you an idea of who Colin is and what others think of his music I have gathered a few snippets for you from several Shades and Rapiers releases. Just read on, and you will agree with me that every rock 'n' roll fan is also a Rapiers fan!

The BlackCat, 1999

The Rockin' Shades, Live At Caister (SRT, 1979)
Everybody loves a hero and the world of rock 'n' roll has just recently adopted four new candidates for that title. They are known as Shades. But what quality is it that bestows this bandwith such accolades.. I will tell you. Colin, Spike, Alan & Mike, who go to make up Shades, have fashioned a near-perfect mould of rock 'n' roll, clichéd though it sounds, 'something for everybody'. They are neither only rockabilly, nostalgia or oldie-but-goodie. They are all three, plus a bit more. Their personal touch is added to these various hybrids and what we get is this hard-driving, easy-pleasing Shades trademark of good rock 'n' roll music. It's been quite a year for these four guys from Cornwall. There's been hit single success in Europe, a guest appearance in 'Blue Suede Shoes', the movie that was filmed at the Caister Rock 'n' Roll Festival, and of course their presitigious inclusion in the recent ATV series of "Oh! Boy". The hard work is certainly starting to pay off. The standard that Shades have set in the surprisingly short time that they have been on the scene, has given effective encouragement to the many new & upcoming bands that are ever-mushrooming onto the rock 'n' roll circuit. Not only in the sharp way in which they deliver their songs though, but equally important, in the slick, professional presentation that they achieve that is so much a part of a successful stage performance.

Very few bands can handle rock 'n' roll ‘standards safely and inevitable comparisons with the originals belittle any prospective cover versions but somehow Shades seem to make material like "Say Mama" and "Bony Moroni" sound as if it had been intended for them in the first place. That's why the boys are heroes, because they can generate that same magic that those early rock 'n' roll classics had captured and most important of all, it's a whole new generation of rock 'n' roll fans that are able to go along and witness Shades delivering the goods. It's heartwarming to think that with bands like Shades around there's gonna be lots and lots of good rock 'n' roll for a long time to come yet.

Stuart Colman, 1979

EP Live At Caister Ace Of Shades

Shades, Ace Of Shades (Magnum Force, 1981)
Only very occasionally an act comes to public attention by the high standard of its live performances. Such an act is Shades, one of the newer, traditional Rock 'n' Roll bands. They have won over live audiences from Scotland to Cornwall, where, as it happens, they come from. Record success in Europe and a prestigious series of appearances in Jack Good's "OH BOY!" television shows have resulted in Shades becoming one of the largest crowd drawing Rock 'n' Roll outfits in the country today.

Magnum Force Records are justly proud of these recordings as they illustrate perfectly the full and diverse range of the bands' talent, from their own brand of instrumental number to pounding rockers like "Hi Ho Silver". If your taste is to Do Wop, that too is here by way of "Georgina", a number penned and totally performed, save for the drums, by the bands' very own Spike Hooper. Rockabilly diehards will love the Don Gibson original "Sweet Sweet Girl To Me" and horror freaks will zombie around to "Dinner With Drac." And by the way, don't miss an opportunity to see Shades live. You certainly will not be disappointed.

Nigel Molden, 1981

The Return Of The Rapiers (Fury, 1991)
The current line up of the Rapiers is Colin Pryce-Jones, lead guitarist, vocalist and founder member of the group, Dave Lawes, rhythm guitarist and vocalist who has been with Colin from the outset, Brad Dallaston, bass guitarist and John Tuck, drummer. As for their music The Rapiers champion Beat, Rock and Instrumentals from the pre-Merseybeat era, when those particular genres had reached their collective zenith. As Colin says, "Over the years we've tried to put together an act which is based on memories of the Fentones, the Shadows and early sixties bands like the Gladiators and Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, rather than stylising purely on the Shadows. The band really relates to a period between '59 and '63." The Rapiers also specialise in other respects. They perform numbers which have long since lapsed into obscurity. They don't merely concentrate on big hits. There were many fine recordings issued during 1959-1963 which were either minor hits or chart failures. In this respect, The Rapiers are unearthing a veritable treasure trove of long lost classics and re-presenting them to a new audience.

Rob Bradford, 1991

The Rapiers, Back To The Point (Fury 1994)
Thanks to a great idea by Dell Richardson of Fury Records, The Rapiers' early recordings are now available on CD. The first LP 'Straight To The Point' (Off Beat Records, 1985) has long been deleated and the master tapes lost, but thanks to dilligent storage by Mike Westergaard, who engineered the album, the original multitracks have come to light and have been remixed. Whilst sorting through the tapes in the studio, I was delighted to come across some early unreleased recordings. Three of these, "Make It up", "So What" and "It's Gonna Take Magic" are included on this CD. Also included is the original frantic version of "It's Been Nice" thought at the time to be far too fast for the LP - listen out for Roger's comment at the end! Another voice that can be heard on the count into "So What" is that of drummer Keith Newton, whom I was very proud to have as a member of The Rapiers for a short time. Very sadly, Keith died suddenly in December 1989. and we lost a very good friend and a great musician. As well as the first LP and the three unreleased numbers we have also added seven tracks from our EP collection which are now featured in Record Collector's Rare Records Price Guide. Over the years there have been several changes On a personal note I would sincerely like to thank Roger Cover, Bob Burgos, Dave Lawes, Terry Earl, Keith Newton, John Tuck, Brad Dallaston and Neil Ainsby for their loyalty, commitment and dedication to the music we all love. I have had some of the best times with these people, and probably some of the worse, but the memories wil stay with me forever. So here's to the future of The Rapiers.

Colin Pryce-Jones, 1994

CD Back To The Point CD/EP Return Of The Rapiers

Colin Pryce-Jones, Guitar Heaven (Fury 1999)
For nigh on thirty or so years now, Colin Pryce-Jones has been travelling the length and breadth of Britain, plying his musical trade as guitarist extraordinaire. It's a gruelling, unglamorous lifestyle, but Colin's commitment to it is second to none. He is a perfectionist where music is concerned. Colin is also a born again Christian. On his travel, he encounters many people connected with the music business as well as innumerable music lovers. Colin's not overtly evangelical. It's the way that he lives his life, treats fans and addresses audiences that sets the example. If people want to discuss God and religion as well as music, then that's fine by Colin. This will embarrass him acutely (because he is a genuinely modest man who makes light of his undoubted talent), but I'm going to say it anyway, Colin is a much respected, admired and cherished person in the world of guitar instrumental music. In the eyes of many people, he is second only to the legendary Hank B. Marvin of The Shadows.

Rob Bradford, 1999

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