Bay City Rollers: Original Rollers' singer Nobby Clark to perform band's hits and forgotten songs live for first time in 50 years

Nearly 50 years after he last sang them, Nobby Clark, founding member and original frontman of the Bay City Rollers, is to revisit his time with the iconic Edinburgh band that became a global phenomenon in two rare, live performances.

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Now 71, Gordon 'Nobby' Clark was the voice of the Rollers for a decade. Throughout the Sixties and early-Seventies he sang lead vocals on songs like Bye Bye Baby, Keep On Dancing, We Can Make Music, Manana, Remember and the band’s breakthrough single, Saturday Night, which reached No 1 in the US charts and won them their first appearance on Top of the Pops.

Now the singer is set to revisit his early legacy in two special dinner shows at Dine Restaurant, Cambridge Street, on Monday April 18 and Tuesday April 19.

Original Bay City Rollers singer and founding member Nobby Clark

Fans attending ​Nobby Clark: The Forgotten Songs of the Bay City Rollers, which goes on sale at noon on Friday, March 25, will​ have a rare opportunity to hear ​songs that were never released ​along with Roller's early​ hits,​ sung by their original performer.

The evening, which includes a three-course meal at the restaurant owned by award-winning restaurateur Paul Brennan and Michelin starred chef Stuart Muir, will see the Edinburgh musician mingle with diners before ​performing a 90 minute show, which will also feature songs from his extensive back catalogue​ ​and ​a ​Q&A session​.

“I’m excited about these gigs,” says Nobby, “I haven't really sung these songs since leaving the band in 1973. In all that time I think I've done a performance of Remember and a couple of performances of a slightly different version of Keep On Dancing. That’s it. So it’ll be a first doing Manana and all those other songs again.”

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​Nobby ​quit​ the Rollers’ aged 24 to pursue a solo career, releasing the singles, Steady Love and Shake It Down before composing film scores and producing the now iconic Billy McKenzie of The Associates.​ ​

With many million international record sales to his credit, although he has continue​d​ to perform Nobby has eschewed singing songs from his days as a Roller, until now.

He reflects, “I​’ve ​avoided ​doing that​ for many reasons. It just didn't​ ​sit well with me and I kept putting it off, but recently I've added one or two Rollers’ ​songs ​to my set and found I enjoyed singing them again. ​​I​ rediscovered them and that led me to revisit songs we did that never got released​, a couple ​of which ​I'll do in this show.​”​

Nobby met brothers Alan and Derek Longmuir when they were all pupils at Tynecastle High, together the formed a fledgling school band that would in time become the Bay City Rollers.

Early promotional picture of the Bay City Rollers with Nobby Clarke fourth from the left

“I was 15 when we got together. We became professional when we all finished our apprenticeships and went on the road,” he recalls, adding, that even then Rollermania was a thing.

“Rollermania was already there in a big way. We’d built up a massive following, especially in Scotland, that's how the London record companies heard about us,” he explains.

“We had some very good songs and were actually very experimental back then, in total in control of the stuff we did live. We really wanted to improve and even had the likes of Davy Paton and Billy Lyall in the band before they went on to form Pilot.”

He adds, “Bye Bye Baby was a big live song for us too, years before it was released as a single… all the fans thought we had written that because it was unknown in this country at the time. They didn't know it had already been a hit in the US for Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. We even included some Bob Dylan songs in our sets.

Founding member and original voice of the Bay City Rollers Nobby Clark in his home studio

"Musically we were at our height at that time, it was entirely different to the later approach when the emphasis was on image and not on the live music.

He adds, “I'm absolutely excited about these gigs. I've always said the good stuff happened in the early days, it was an amazing adventure and these evenings will be a celebration of how the Bay City Rollers got to that point, and laid the foundations for what came after.”

Tickets to see Nobby Clark are available from noon, March 25, at www.dineedinburgh.co.uk/events-page-new

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