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End of an era for Norwich band

PUBLISHED: 15:44 11 January 2011

The Kritptones playing an Evening News Golden Years gig at the UEA

The Kritptones playing an Evening News Golden Years gig at the UEA

Archant © 2009

Popular rockers The Kriptones play their last ever gig in Norwich on Saturday night. Derek James plays tribute to them.

One of the most popular of the original rock ‘n’ roll bands in Norwich and one of the first to reform for the Golden Years will be playing their last public gig on Saturday night.

The Kriptones front man, Alan Cunningham, has recently recovered from a major operation to repair an artery in his neck and feels lucky to be alive.

“I don’t think I can carry on any longer, so we are going to call it a day. It is a shame, but we’ve had some good times and a lot of fun,” said Alan, now 72, who lives at Sprowston.

They will be playing together for the last time at Arkwrights, off Hall Road, Norwich, on Saturday (January 15).

The Kriptones played around Norfolk in the late 1950s and early 60s. They packed it in during 1966 and then reformed 30 years later for the Evening News Golden Years gigs – and never looked back.

“We’ve had a fantastic time and picked up quite a loyal following over the past 15 years,” said Alan, a former Norman School boy who spent his life working at Laurence Scott & Electromotors in the city.

Alan, along with David Cooper, Chris Read, Trevor Lincoln and Martin Mahoney, had been loving regular gigs across the region until Alan was taken ill.

“I kept losing my sight. I couldn’t see properly. Eventually I went to hospital. They thought I might have had some little strokes. They operated straight away and said I was a lucky chap,” explained Alan.

“Arkwrights on Saturday will be our last gig. We love playing there. It’s got a great atmosphere and we are looking forward to seeing a lot of old friends,” he said.

Alan still loves belting out the old Chuck Berry and Eddie Crochran hits – just the way he did back in the early 1960s with The Cavaliers at Pinebanks in Thorpe.

He was there with Albert and John Watling, David Cooper and Eric Burroughs. Then the Cavaliers turned into The Kriptones and did the rounds in a battered old van driven by Eric. They looked the part in their matching trousers and blazers.

When they packed up in 1966 the line-up was David Cooper, Chris Read, Roger (Charlie) Mayes, Eric Burroughs and Alan.

“We never thought we would play again, but when the Golden Years came along it seemed the time was right and we have had a ball,” said Alan.

The Kriptones have always had a reputation for playing roof-rattling classic rock ‘n’ roll from the early days and they will be greatly missed.


If you want to see one of the original Norfolk rock ‘n’ roll bands in action for the last time then head for Arkwrights, turn opposite the The Kings Arms on Hall Road, Norwich, this Saturday, January 15, at 7.30pm.

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