1967 THROUGH MAY 1968

This section includes articles and interviews specifically about Timebox from various publications.  Articles are reproduced faithfully, with only obvious typos changed. 


Ollie, Kevan, Geoff, Clive, and Chris


Note to the reader:

Some of information in these articles is not entirely factual.  According to Barry Monks' liner notes for the 1998 CD release "The Deram Anthology", Laurie Jay's (Timebox manager) partner Laurie Boost fed the press with some interesting stories to get the band's name in the papers.  Tours of the States, Italy, and the USSR never happened.  Nor were they ever to record a live album.  John Halsey spoke about the subject in this excerpt from his 1992 interview for the Ptolemaic Terrascope magazine: 

John:  Laurie Jay employed the services of a publicist, Max Clifford, and he used to make things up to get us press coverage.  

Elaine (John's wife): I remember your Dad phoning up saying, "I didn’t know Johnny was going to Russia!"

John: Yeah, and we’d been caught up in the French student riots. Then he had us doing a "live album". The Club Noreik was owned by Laurie Jay’s partner, Laurie Boost. It was a bingo hall. We used to rehearse there when it was closed. It was just crap to get us in the papers. 

UNTITLED (presumably from a Southport publication, circa February-March, 1967) *

A LONDON-BASED beat group, The Time Box, composed entirely of Southport youths were featured on B.B.C.'s Saturday Club on Saturday.  Also featured was their latest recording, "I'll Always Love You," which a leading local record dealer said yesterday was "selling quite well."

The boys, Kevan Foggerty, Peter Halsall, Chris Holmes, Clive Griffiths, and Geoffrey Dean, left Southport in October, 1966, for London in the hope of finding bookings but it took them three months before they made their first breakthrough.

Despite a couple of setbacks, they made quite rapid progress and played at most of the leading clubs in London.

They also backed singer Tommy Quickly of the Brian Epstein stable and went on a tour with the chart-topping group, The Small Faces.

November last year provided the biggest booster for the group when they got a five-year recording contract with John Schroder at Pye records.

The group hopes to be visiting Southport shortly.  At the moment they are living in Tottenham where they have rented a five-bedroom house.

Nitpicking:  Kevan's surname is Fogarty, not Foggerty, and it's Jeff Dean rather than Geoff.

CAUGHT IN THE ACT  (from Melody Maker, date unknown, circa August of 1967) *

Beginning of article not available...

The collaboration with the Time Box was a good way of selling the band to a Marquee audience, although in the event it was hardly necessary, but musically all the action came from singer Mike Patto, of whom I can only record that he was an absolute gas. On "Let The Good Times Roll" and "Work Song" he really moved things along, whilst on "Lil Darlin’" he out-Georgied Fame with no bother at all; a better voice, and better ears. Earlier, Time Box’s vibist Peter Halsall had an excellent work-out on the MJQ feature "Sketch," and altogether they proved that they must surely be one of the most musical pop groups on the scene. – Christopher Bird.

     (from Record Mirror, October 21, 1967)

When it comes to musicianship, as opposed to glamour, some of the new groups don’t really rate. Chug-chug and bang-bang and that’s about it. But I’ve a feeling that the Timebox, five most personable blokes, WILL be hailed for their musical abilities.

In Peter Halsall they have a very good vibes player (he is also strong on guitar, piano, drums and sitar)… and the gentler sound of vibes gives them something extra – and you can hear that extra on their Deram debut "Don’t Make Promises".

Originally there were just three in the group – all art students at Southport. Peter and bassist Clive Griffith, and pianist-organist Chris Holmes. Peter explains: "We all wanted to paint and in our spare time played music, but if you don’t go into commercial art, the life of a painter can be a very hard one..."

They later added Mike Patto, former vocalist with the London Youth Jazz Orchestra. Last to join was drummer John Halsey, who auditioned for them in a London club. After his test piece, he slumped off home, expecting to hear no more. "The kit I had to play on had every head broken and apart from that I was shaking with nerves." Next day he had a frantic phone call asking him to play with the group that night.

They record now with Michael Aldred, who laid on a selection of their versatility at a champers reception. They arranged from the Tim Hardin debut disc title to a slice of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Ask the boys what they basically play and they say: "Something of everything — the important thing is that the audience and ourselves enjoy it."

Odd thing is that the Tottenham Hotspur players have formed a fan-club for the Timebox. They heard them playing at the Playboy Club and asked if they would join them on their Cup-celebrating EP "The Spurs Go Marching On." To help the disc’s kick-off this week, the Spurs players presented the boys with a football bearing good-luck messages.


Watch the Timebox – they could happen very big. They had a weekly stint at the Marquee for ten weeks and they did so well at the Windsor Jazz Festival that they were inundated with offers to work abroad. Result: They’re in Cannes on November 2 for a weekend, then to Germany for TV and then to America early next year.

P.J. [Peter Jones]

Note:  The photo of Timebox receiving the football comes from a separate, unknown source.  Kindly provided by John Halsey.

TIMEBOX (from Fabulous #208, circa October, 1967) *

Two years ago five boys from a Southport Art College formed Time Box.

Time Box release this month what they hope will be their passport to the charts. It’s called Don't Make Promises. The group have had a strange career. They are in such demand in London clubs that they only have two days off a month. Fans demand that they have resident spots at many clubs, including London's Marquee. But their records until now have got nowhere.

Chris Holmes, the group’s organist, is twenty-two, from Southport, and now lives in Earls Court, London. He is 5 ft. 10 in. tall, has white hair and green eyes. He is a jazz enthusiast.

Clive Griffiths, bass guitarist, shares a flat with Chris. He is twenty-two, from Southport, 6 ft. tall, has dark hair and eyes. Like Chris he listens to jazz

Another Southport guy is Peter Halsall (above) who plays vibes, guitar, bass, drums, sitar, piano and violin. He is seventeen, has brown hair and eyes and is 5 ft. 10 in. tall. The thing he likes to do most is just sit in his Paddington home and play his instruments.

Mike Patto is twenty-four, and is the group’s singer. He lives in Camden Town, London, is 6 ft. tall, brown hair and eyes, and used to be vocalist with the London Youth Jazz Orchestra. Before he joined Time Box this year he was a Bo Street Runner.

The fifth member is John Halsey, the twenty-two year old drummer. He lives in Finchley, London, is 5 ft. 4 in. tall and has brown hair and eyes.

You can write to the boys: c/o Laurie Jay, 52 Bounces Road, Edmonton, London, N.9

UNTITLED (source unknown, October, 1967) *

DECCA EXECUTIVES seen with new Deram group the TimeBox whose first record ‘Don’t Make Promises’ is released on Friday. From left to right (back row) are Andrew Cronin, sales department, producer of the record, Michael Aldred, Decca’s promotion chief Selwyn Turnbull, publicity manager Maurice Roach and Decca sales manager Colin Borland.

     (from Melody Maker, March 2, 1968)

IT’S DOUBTFUL if the public at large have heard of the Time Box. "’Ere, ain’t they them geezers wot gallop about the London Underground wearing kilts and British Army uniforms, as a result of a time warp" one can almost hear the masses jabbering into their beakers of cocoa. No, the Time Box have no connection with Dr. Who or the Tardis. Nor does the title infer that they play dated music that should be boxed up and placed six feet under. 

The Time Box are one of the best discotheque and club groups currently gassing the public – in the nicest possible way. Their lead singer is veteran groupy Mike Patto, ex-Bo Street Runners and London Youth Jazz Orchestra. He joined Time Box last October, with John Halsey on drums. The rest of the line up is Clive Griffiths (bass guitar), Peter Halsall (vibes and guitar) and Chris Holmes (organ). They have a swinging sound.

Other bands featured in this article:  Family, The Nice, and Eyes Of Blue.

TIME BOX DATES (from Melody Maker, March 2, 1968)

THE Time Box play London's Marquee on March 19 and take over residency at the club on Saturdays from April 6.

On March 26 and 27, at a West End venue yet to be finalised, they will play a show with the 24-piece London Schools Jazz Orchestra.

The Time Box go to France on March 8 for nine days' club work and return on May 10 for three days.

TIME BOX TOUR   (from Melody Maker, March 9, 1968) *

Time Box fly to America on June 2 for a college tour and a couple of TV dates.

The group's first single, yet to be recorded, will be released on April 19.  They start work on an LP on March 25.

On June 26 the group goes to Italy for four days, for TV and a concert in Milan.

     (Excerpt from The Raver column from Melody Maker, May 18, 1968)

The Entente wasn't too Cordiale when the Time Box flew to Paris last weekend for club, TV and radio dates.

On Saturday morning they were on their way to the TV studios when they ran into a student demonstration.  Understandably thinking that the students quarrel was with the French establishment rather than visiting pop groups, they weren't too alarmed when forced to stop their van.


The students then punch-up the group, overturned the van and did £1,500 worth of damage to their equipment – smashing amplifiers and completely destroying a set of vibes.

The Time Box were pleased to see the French law arrive on the scene – until they found themselves nicked.  It took most of the weekend in custody to get things sorted out.  But they had to stay on an extra day to do the postponed TV show – and still have to replace all the equipment and iron the dents out of their van.

IF I ONLY HAD TIME BOX  (from Disc, May 25, 1968)

THE "IN" CLUBS of London are a hard testing ground for even the best of the country's new talent.

Amid the clatter of Scotch glasses and Coke bottles, and the hub-bub of all the latest pop gossip, the poor musicians fighting hard on stage for an audience are usually the losers, and they leave saddened by the apparent apathy of the capital's pop followers.


But once in a while comes a group for whom the chatter stops...and would you believe, applause?

Such a group is the Time Box, five ultra-talented lads from Southport and London, who have managed to find the common denominator between pop and jazz and create their own distinctive brand of music.

Spokesman is vocalist Mike Patto, former singer with the London Jazz Orchestra and subject of Patto's People, a man for whom business must be straight!


"The musicianship in the Time Box is very very good.  They all play well, and in a wide variety of styles.

"They" are Peter Halsall on excellent vibes and lead guitar; Chris Holmes on organ; Clive Griffiths on bass guitar and John Halsey on Drums.  A strange mixture, you may think, but it is the presence of vibes that makes the music of the Time Box so unique and exciting.

"As they are all such good musicians," says Mike, "there's never any trouble about us not playing on our records" -- and a new single is coming in the next month -- "In fact the straighter this business becomes, the better we shall be.


"We know how hard it is for new groups to succeed, so we deliberately tried to find a new sound to make us sound different from everyone else.  Of course, the music we play gives us enormous pleasure, and we've never been really brought down, even when the audiences were a bit blase."

Time Box repertoire varies from out and out soul music, through driving instrumentals to Modern Jazz Quartet and Nina Simone, and every number is performed with utter perfection.

"We spend a heck of a lot of time rehearsing," says Mike, "but it pays off.  I can't stand sloppy playing."

Outside London's "In" clubs the group concentrates mainly on universities and colleges and have plans for an American trip in June.

"But whatever we play on stage, we know the only way into the charts right now is with a commercial song -- which we're working on at the moment."

However commercial, the result will be good -- and that's not just an empty-headed assumption, as anyone who has seen the Time Box will know.

Loves & Hates of Mike Patto (of The Timebox) (source unknown, circa 1968)

* article kindly provided by John Halsey

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