Fifties rock ‘n’ roll is a real family affair for the Colemans

PUBLISHED: 16:46 07 June 2012

Class of '58 will be at the Jiving at the Lodge in Upminster

Class of '58 will be at the Jiving at the Lodge in Upminster


»The family that plays together, stays together. That’s the unofficial motto of the Coleman family, otherwise known as the fifties rock ‘n’ roll band Class of ’58.

The four piece band – mum Chris, dad Howie and sons Johnny and David – play the West Lodge, Corbets Tey Road, Upminster, on Thursday, June 21.

The family have been performing professionally for 10 years and yet drummer Johnny is only 19 and keyboards player David is 17.

Chris, who sings and plays bass, says: “Not only were we playing all over the country before the boys went to senior school, we even backed US rock ‘n’ roll star Charlie Gracie on a series of national tours.”

The Class of ’58 was formed in 1986, but the line-up was constantly changing until 2002, with the exception of Howie, on lead guitar, and Chris.

Johnny had his first small drumkit when he was six, and did his first paying gig three months later on his seventh birthday! At just eight, he joined the band permanently in 2002.

Chris added: “While this was going on, younger brother David was itching to join the band because he could see us all rockin’ and wanted to be part of it.

Although he really wanted to play the piano his fingers were too small, so he had to wait to join the band full-time when he was seven with his little legs dangling off the piano stool, standing on a chair next to dad to sing!”

Since then, the band has gone from strength to strength, to become one of the most well-travelled bands on the rock ‘n’ roll circuit today, playing standards, harmony vocals and rockabilly.

Chris admits: “Travelling all over the country and fitting in schooling was a real juggling act at certain times.

“They missed none of their education but had experiences lads of their age seldom have the opportunity to enjoy.”

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