Original line up

Joe Cochrane - vocals
Dave Sweet - bass
Joe James - drums
Chick McSherry - Guitar

A few years later Chic left and was replaced by

Ian Harris - Guitar
Jim McClelland - Guitar

 


 

In 1976 a bunch of friends from Hamilton and Viewpark in Uddingston got together to form Red Ellis, Chic McSherry (guitar) Joe Cochrane (vocals) David Sweet (bass) and 14 year old Joe James (drums)  (Later on Ian Harris and Jim McClelland took over from Chick McSherry on guitar) , their key musical influences were among others Led Zepplin, Bad Company, Deep Purple and Jmmi Hendrix.
The band originally rehearsed in the changing hut of the local football team Thorniewood United and their first gig was at The Holy Cross School in Hamilton 1977 moving on to do a few shows in Glasgow university that same year.
Joe Cochrane got on well with Henry Gorman and the band played a lot of gigs in partnership with The Henry Gorman Band in places such as The Victorian Carriage (Greenock) Davie Jones Locker (Gourock) The Queens Hall (Dunoon), the Navy bases in Dunoon and Edzel in Aberdeen and the Royal Hotel in Wick.
Locally the band built up a decent following playing in The Tower and The Salmon Leap in East Kilbride and The Dial Inn in Glasgow.
In 1980 they opened the second day of The Loch Lomond Rock Concert, other bands that played that day were The Henry Gorman Band, Ian Gillan, Denny Laine, Saxon, Lindesfarne, Wilde Horses, Wishbone Ash and Krokus.
In 1981 Red Ellis played a low key UK tour opening for Thin Lizzy relishing the chance to play on the same stage as Phil Lynott, who they claimed “Lynott was everything you hoped he would be”
That same year they also toured with another rock hero Frankie Miller.

They recorded a single in 1980 (Pretty Polly / Urban Life) with Henry Gorman as producer with some technical help from Duncan Cameron from the Glasgow band Sneaky Pete (Duncan later went on to set up Riverside Studios with his Brothers)

As a band Red Ellis were tight, well rehearsed, loud and able, with an innate and insatiable drive to “just get up there and do it"  they had a modesty and enthusiasm you rarely see in young bands now days who walk with a swagger just because they rehearse once a week but hardly ever play live, Red Ellis worked hard travellng the length and breadth of the country from Wishaw to Wick plying their trade and having the time of their lives, this is eloquently summed up by Red Ellis drummer Joe James.

“ I didn't think we were particularly talented writers, nor did we feel we understood that it was the music business, record deals, albums and stuff, we were just a wee bunch of mates who through having a lot of practice and rehearsing could put on a bit of a show. We could make quite a racket with just bass, drums and one guitar. Chick was a really talented guitar player, wee Joe was a good lookin fella, he looked like a rock star on stage he acted the part as well he would not have looked out of place fronting Free, Bad Company or Rainbow.
Davie (Sweet) the bass player and I became a really tight rhythm section and I could count to 4 and then count to 4 again so I suppose I could drum a bit.
As we got into playing then so did the folk who would come along to watch, I think the early gigs in Laurencekirk helped us to cut our teeth and we were comfortable getting up and doing our thing towards the end, I guess we must have been pretty good to watch.
I don't recall that the band ended in an enormous flash of light, bust up or fall out, we just dropped everyone off after a gig one night and that was kind of it ".

Red Ellis
Davie Wilkie (Roadie)
John Halcrow and Davie Wilkie
Ian Harris
Loch Lomond 1980
Joe Cochrane, Loch Lomond 1980
Original giutarist Chick McSherry

Red Ellis mention the the book "The Great Scots Musicology"

Joe James
Joe C  in "Rock God" mode with Dave Sweet in the background
Coming soon on the "Interviews" section an interview with Joe Cochrane.
Special thanks to Joe James, Joe Cochrane and Jim McClelland for the info on the Red Ellis page.
Jim McClelland
Above...Red Ellis playing at The Dial Inn

Red Ellis
Captain Tripps Tour – Summer ˜82
 
May
19th May, Dial Inn, Glasgow
20th May, Stand Club, Hamilton
21st May, Ayr Pavilion
22nd May, The Golf Tavern, Leven
22nd May, Lanark Town Hall
23rd May, Rothes Arms, Glenrothes
25th May, Chequers Nightclub, Falkirk
26th May, Dial Inn, Glasgow
27th May, Inverness Ice Rink, Inverness
28th May, The Golf Club Invergordon
29th May, Rosebank Hotel, Wick
30th May, Forss Naval Base, Thurso
31st May, Golspie Youth Centre
 
June
2nd June, Ballanard Hotel, Dundee
3rd June, The Venue, Aberdeen
4th June, The EM Club, Dunoon
5th June, The EM Club, Dunoon
6th June, Kaimpark Hotel, Bathgate
7th June, The Tamdhu, Bannockburn
9th June, The Dial Inn, Glasgow
10th June, Whitdale Hotel, Whitburn
11th June, RAF Base, Edzell
12th June, Cunzie Nuke, Kinghorn.

If you look at the Tour dates, Red Ellis were a hard working band playing at times two gigs in the same day and these were decent Venues! good band venues like The Ayr Pavilion and The Dial Inn.