It was one of the hottest nights of the year on 25 July when James Royal returned to perform at Ealing’s historic Red Room for the first time since 1967.
Fifty-two years on, Royal’s scorching set showed he was still in excellent voice as he ran through a programme of R&B and rock ‘n’ roll standards with a band which included two other 1960s Ealing Club veterans Terry Marshall on sax and Nick Simper on bass.
Marshall was an Ealing Club regular with the Soul Messengers; Simper played on Wednesdays with the Delta 5. Fronting Jimmy Royal & The Hawks, James had a residency at the Club’s Thursday night twist sessions.
His 2019 backing band also included Strawbs drummer and Part of The Union co-writer Richard Ford.
James moved to Brisbane, Australia in 1984 after a career as a singer with record releases on the Decca, Parlophone, CBS, Carnaby, and Philips labels.
Now known as the Red Room, the basement premises opposite Ealing Broadway operated as the Ealing Cub which from March 1962 was the UK’s first R&B venue notable as the place where the members of the Rolling Stones first met and played together and The Who played some of their earliest gigs.