I don't know much about this band's long history which stretches back to late 60s. Formed in Belfast in 1968 as Morning Dew which quickly became Richmond Hill when they found a band in Ballymena using the same name. The name has no geographical significance in Belfast - it was chosen at random from a packet of Player's cigarettes. They were a blues band in the early days, playing clubs and dances in the Belfast area.
Peter Cochrane joined the band in 1969 when Terry Holland left but the band folded and was then revived by Johnny Gregg and Peter Cochrane with three new members. The civil strife known as The Troubles that erupted in Belfast during 1969/70 inevitably had an effect on the live music scene. In August '69, Richmond Hill found their newly organised rehearsal space at the old Maritime venue had been commandeered by the army. The first chapter in the band's story was at an end.
The band was actively gigging again in the Belfast area in 1973. This lineup included Brian McCaffrey (guitar), and George Killough (bass). One way or another, the band remained active through the seventies but I have very little information about this period. Terry Corr has been in touch and tells me he became lead singer in 1975 when Johnny Gregg left and he stayed with the band until 1979. He confirmed that they often played under other names. Jigolo was one named used by the band for a set of ambitious pop covers which was very popular. Jigolo was basically the cash cow for Richmond Hill which helped fund buying equipment, developing their own more interesting and experimental original material, and playing less profitable gigs. Alan Black replaced Ricky Abbott on keyboards and was himself in turn replaced by Gordon Thompson by 1979. Eddie McKee replaced George Kilough by 1979. Terry Corr then left for Thought Before Talk and Johnny Gregg returned as front man.
This may be just the tip of the iceberg of a much more involved story, as the band played under various names throughout the 70's and 80's. To be continued.
In 1981, Richmond Hill entered the Northern Ireland heat of the Battle of the Bands Competition which was eventually won by The Nerves. The band recorded their sole LP the same year, in May/June 1981 at Mud Wallace's Homestead Studios. Only 500 copies were pressed but it's still just about findable. It's well-played new wave influenced rock, competent and well executed, covering a mixture of styles that fall within the broad outline of new wave. Some good tracks, some filler. As far as I know there are no single releases, which is surprising. There was some coverage of the band in NME at that time (if anyone can send me a scan - please do).
Peter Cochrane currently plays in The Illegals.
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