Tuesday, 29 November 2016


'The Original Battersea Heroes were a popular high energy dance band in Sydney and Melbourne that had many members pass through its ranks. It was founded around 1963 as a jug band by Martin James, Dennis Burke, Graham Bennett and Terry Darmody. The band had many rotations of guitarists including Chuck Quinton, Roger Blake, Graham Bennett, Lindsay Hewson (John's brother), Neville Drury, Gavec Nicholson, Bob McGowan, Tony Burkys & Mick Diggles. When Martin James left, Darmody became lead vocalist. Ross J Waters added some real musical class when he joined the band on fiddle.

The band move towards perfecting 'good-time' rock'n'roll (their heroes were the Loving Spoonful, Band, Dylan & 50s rockers & folk roots & jazz musicians). Later on Bob Dames (ex Purple Hearts) joined on bass for a time, as did Peter Knox & Terry Wilson (ex Slime Men, Wasted Daze, Magnetics) with Barry X on drums. In the last gasp of the Heroes, Lee 'Fred' Cass - drums & Mick Diggles joined and soldiered on before disbanding in 1970. The band released one album recorded on the Violets Holiday imprint. The lineup for that recording was Terry Darmody, Denis Burke, Tony Burkys, Bob McGowan and Peter Nehill with guest musicians Col Nolan & Tony Buchanan.


Martin James (banjo, 6 & 12 string guitars, lead vocal, harmonica & kazoo), 
Peter Nehill (washboard,tea chest bass, bass guitar). Chuck Quinton (guitar), 
Roger Blake (guitar) , Graham Bennett (guitar), Lindsay Hewson (guitar), Neville Drury (guitar) , Gavec Nicholson (guitar), Bob McGowan (guitar) , Tony Burkys (guitar), Mick Diggles (guitar) 
Dennis Burke (washboard), Terry Darmody (vocals/drums), Ross J Waters (fiddle), Peter Miller (bass), Bob Dames (bass), Barry X (drums)




  1. Good to see a reference to The Slime Men. I often wonder whatever happened to Terry Wilson and John Collins. I went to uni with them and was a member of the band for the notorious (read 'banned') performance on'New Faces', circa 1970.

  2. The Slime Men was really a prototype punk band. Quite original. I didn't know John Collins well, but the last I saw him he had become overweight and had developed some mental health problems. Still smiling and laughing though. I heard he had died. This would have been back in the 70's I think. Angie, Angela Giblin, who sang with the band went on to train as an Opera singer. She had a successful career as a mezzo-soprano in Germany, and later taught at the ANU. She lives in Canberra. She might know more about John Collins. Geoff Gordon