In 2014 the band was devastated when Paul Boskett died suddenly following a heart attack in London. It was a hammer blow and has raised questions about the future
of the group. There are some commitments to be fulfilled and there will be a Paul tribute show as the group's 15th anniversary. It is likely that the anniversary show will also be a farewell performance. The Papa Bears without Paul is very hard to contemplate
but we will go out in style and make it a night to remember.
The Bears came into being in the autumn of 1999, as with so many enterprises it was meant to be a one-off performance. The true originator
of the band is in fact Sarah Davies. Sarah told a friend whose daughter was raising money to go on a school project in South America that husband Ron would get a band together to do a fundraiser. Unable to resist the challenge Ron made calls to various people
with whom he had played over the years. Keith Brightmore (guitar/vocals), Paul Boskett (bass) and Mike Chapman (guitar/vocals) were band mates from former days, and with the addition of Allan Lowe (guitar) and his son Chris (keyboards) the foundation was laid.
Sarah was then charged with organising some back-up singers and the Padminis were created. The Pads featured Sarah, daugher Jenny, Helen Birchenough (who also played sax) and Jenny Mahon (who also
played a bit of bass). The first perfomance was at Sandbach High School in October 1999 and almost immediately a further date in Derby materialised but this featured just the quartet of Davies (drums/vocals), Brightmore, Boskett and Chapman.
Various gigs followed, in July 2001 the group, by now featuring Martin Harisson on saxophone and with Rob Glassonbury on keyboards (the Lowes having concluded that coming from West Bromwich was too much on a regular basis),
topped the bill at Crewe Lyceum. Mike Chapman moved on and Bob Burgess stepped in for a while before Dave Francis arrived on the scene.
Over the next few years, as well as doing their own performances,
the band branched into providing members for the pit bands of various shows, Gang Shows, Variety Shows and regularly playing for Congleton Youth Theatres's musicals such as Copacabana, Summer Holiday, Little Shop of Horrors, Disco Inferno and
the original Strangeways.
By 2005 Dave Francis had joined the group through the theatre jobs. He had been in the Summer Holiday band and everyone hit it off straight away. Rob Glassonbury's 'retirement' in
2006 led to Richard Tadman being approached after Paul Boskett, Dave Francis and Ron Davies had played for Summer Holiday.
Over the years we have made a point of inviting young players to join us
on stage during our annual birthday party. Amongst the photographs you will see some of these young people as well guest appearances by pals like as Graham Bellinger.