What do you get if you cross three civil servants and an aircraft engineer? A pretty good band that’s what!
Kieran Heaney, Paul Earnshaw, Simon Green and John Lonsdale have been gigging in different groups for the last two decades and more.
But 12 months ago they came together to form The Cobras and have had more success than even they themselves would have predicted.
“We’re all a bit older than we used to be when we first started making music but it doesn’t mean we’re any less passionate about what we do and I think the audiences who have seen us can vouch for that,” said Simon, 44, who drums and sings backing vocals.
“The only difference now is that our egos are a bit smaller and we tend to have less hissy-fits, less storming out of the rehearsal room. We must have matured a bit.”
All the lads in The Cobras are Blackpool born and bred and all have plenty of experience of gigging.
Lead singer Paul was frontman for Sinister Footwear, Kieran was in Crackhouse, while Simon and Paul met at St Mary’s high school and formed their first band - The Lyric Suite - at the age of 13.
“We reached the final of the Gazette’s Rock Quest contest a few years later and played at the Jaggy Thistle in South Shore,” Simon added. “Unfortunately we didn’t win but the band was really good.
“We had a 12 inch single, though it did bugger all in terms of success, and a few times we came close to signing for record labels but something always seemed to go wrong at the last minute.”
The Cobras was launched 12 months ago, initially for a one-off gig.
“The other three lads are all civil servants and they were asked to play at an in-house do in Norcross. They needed a drummer, asked me, and we’ve gone from there,” added Simon, an aircraft engineer based on Queensway Industrial Estate in St Annes.
“You get to a point in life where you know you’re not going to make it as a big music star but there’s no reason not to carry on being in a band and enjoying it.
“Plus we all had loads of equipment lying around our houses - electric guitars, amps - all gathering dust and it seemed a shame not to do something with it!”
The band have two sets, to suit whichever venue they are playing. One is made up or original self-penned songs, the other is covers.
“We probably prefer doing the covers - we’ll leave the original stuff to the youngsters,” added Simon.
As long as they like anything pre-1979 that is, for that’s what The Cobras specialise in. Their set list is made up of tunes from the likes of The Who, The Kinks, The Small Faces and they must be doing something right for their gigs have been pretty packed out so far.
When they played The Blue Room last month with Lizzy and The Banshees, the Banshees were so impressed they sent an email a few days later asking The Cobras to support them at a gig in Scotland.
Other gigs coming up soon include the Blue Room on June 29, Stanley Park bandstand on June 8 and Blackpool Cricket Club in August. Visit their Facebook page or search The Cobras on YouTube to find out more.