Formed by brothers Paul and Nigel Griggs, The Cortinas went through various line-ups before changing name to Octopus in November 1968.

Lead guitarist Paul Griggs had started out with Bobby Hale & The Halestones in June 1962.

He left this band in June 1963 to form Shelayne & The Cortinas with:

Pat Heley (lead vocals)

Paul Griggs (lead guitar/vocals)

Barry Banks (rhythm guitar)

Nigel Griggs (bass/vocals)

Roger Cook (drums)

The band debuted in September 1963 but Heley and Banks, who were a couple, left in November and rhythm guitarist Paul Crowland joined in January 1964.

Paul Griggs assuming lead vocals and they became simply The Cortinas.

22 February 1964 – Cavendish Hall, Hatfield, Hertfordshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

22 March 1964 – The Hilltop, Hatfield, Hertfordshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

18 June 1964 – Breaks Youth Club, Hatfield, Hertfordshire with Tony Rivers & The Castaways (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

27 June 1964 – ‘Beat Competition’, Westminster Lodge, St Albans, Hertfordshire with The Trekkas and The King Bees (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

19 July 1964 – Hermitage Ballroom, Hitchin, Herts with Johnny Milton & The Condors (Hertfordshire Express)

22 August 1964 – Hermitage Ballroom, Hitchin, Herts with Mark Douglas & The Prowlers (Hertfordshire Express)

11 October 1964 – The Hilltop, Hatfield, Hertfordshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

19 December 1964 – Hermitage Ballroom, Hitchin, Hertfordshire with Steve Marriot’s Moments (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician) Hertforshire Express lists this as The Stormsville Shakers

1965

30 January 1965 – The Hop, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

1 February 1965 – The Hop, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire with Tony Rivers & The Castaways (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

12-13 February 1965 – Battersea College, London with Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

Paul Crowland announced he was leaving on 11 March but stayed until replacement Cliff Franklyn had rehearsed sufficiently to take over.

29 March 1965 – Hermitage Ballroom, Hitchin, Hertfordshire with Screaming Lord Sutch (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

12 April 1965 – The Hop, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire with Tony Rivers & The Castaways (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician) This was Cliff Franklyn’s debut show

2 May 1965 – Melody Maker Beat Competition Heat, Wimbledon Palais, Wimbledon, southwest London (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

15 May 1965 – Porchester Hall, Bayswater, west London with Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

12 June 1965 – Hermitage Ballroom, Hitchin, Hertfordshire with The Five Sons of Adam (Hertfordshire Express)

15 August 1965 – Melody Maker Beat Competition Final, Wimbledon Palais, Wimbledon, south west London with St Louis Union, The Tudors, The Carolines and others (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

28 August 1965 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts with The Paramounts (Steve Ingless book: The Day Before Yesterday)

25 September 1965 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts with Dave Curtiss & The Tremors (Steve Ingless book: The Day Before Yesterday)

6 November 1965 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts with Force Five (Steve Ingless book: The Day Before Yesterday)

1966

29 January 1966 – California Ballroom, Dunstable, Bedfordshire with Chris Andrews and The Roscoe Brown Combination (website: www.california-ballroom.info/gigs/)

Cliff Franklyn announced he was leaving on 3 February 1966. Mick King took his place as rhythm guitarist.

12 March 1966 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts with Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch (Steve Ingless book: The Day Before Yesterday) This was Mick King’s debut show

18 April 1966 – Barn Cellar, St Albans, Hertfordshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

30 May 1966 – Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge with Desmonde Mode (Cambridge News)

11-12 June 1966 – Supreme Ballroom, Ramsgate, Kent (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

13 June 1966 – Supreme Ballroom, Ramsgate, Kent with The Alan Price Set (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

21 June 1966 – Sandridge Youth Club, near St Albans, Hertfordshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

Roger Cook announced he was leaving but agreed to stay until replacement Dave Cooper (ex-Op Scene) was ready to take over.

22 July 1966 – Bees Club, Brentford FC, west London (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician) This was Dave Cooper’s debut show

Mick King announced he was leaving in mid-August to join The Trespassers. Paul Griggs’ friends, guitarists Alan Shacklock (from Harlem Shuffle) and Mick Taylor (ex-Juniors) agreed to fill in until a replacement was found.

23 October 1966 – California Ballroom, Dunstable, Bedfordshire with Billy Fury and The Gamblers (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

2 November 1966 – Hemel Hempstead Pavilion, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire with Cream (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

Rick Williams from The In-Sect took over on rhythm guitar, joining in late November.

17 December 1966 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts with Billy Fury & The Gamblers (Steve Ingless book: The Day Before Yesterday)

24 December 1966 – Woodhall Community Centre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire with The Creepers (http://www.coda-uk.co.uk/60’s_music_scene.htm)

1967

21 January 1967 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts with The Easybeats (Steve Ingless book: The Day Before Yesterday)

14 February 1967 – Woodhall Community Centre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire with Creepers (see website above)

Dave Cooper announced he was departing on 12 March but stayed on until late May.

1 April 1967 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts with The Action (Steve Ingless book: The Day Before Yesterday)

Gary (Nigel) Whinyates from Birkenhead auditioned in mid-April.

19 April 1967 – Stevenage Mecca, Locarno, Stevenage, Hertfordshire (http://www.coda-uk.co.uk/60’s_music_scene.htm)

16 May 1967 – Sandridge Youth Club, Herts (Welwyn & Hatfield Advertiser)

24 May 1967 – Stevenage Mecca, Locarno, Stevenage, Hertfordshire with The Move (see website above) This was Dave Cooper’s final gig

13 June 1967 – Sandridge Youth Club, Herts (Welwyn & Hatfield Advertiser)

18 August 1967 – Woodhall Community Centre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

8 September 1967 – Woodhall Community Centre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire (see website above)

29 September 1967 – Woodhall Community Centre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire (see website above)

20 October 1967 – Square One, Cricketers Inn, Westcliff, Essex with Zoot Money & Dantalion’s Chariot (Southend Standard)

23 October 1967 – Whisky A Go Go, Wardour Street, Soho, London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

27 October 1967 – Woodhall Community Centre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire (see website above)

4 November 1967 – St Birinus Youth Club, St Birinus School, Didcot, Oxfordshire with The Crawdadds (Didcot Advertiser)

11 November 1967 – Nags Head, Motown Club, Wollaston, Northamptonshire (Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph)

24 November 1967 – Woodhall Community Centre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire (see website above)

10 December 1967 – Whisky A Go Go, Wardour Street, Soho, central London (Melody Maker) The band’s debut at the club

15 December 1967 – Andromeda, Colchester, Essex (Essex County Standard)

22 December 1967 – Old West End, Rushden, Northamptonshire (Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph)

23 December 1967 – Woodhall Community Centre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire (see website above)

26 December 1967 – Whisky A Go Go, Wardour Street, Soho, central London (Melody Maker)

31 December 1967 – Breaks Youth Club, Hatfield, Hertfordshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

1968

21 January 1968 – Whisky A Go Go, Wardour Street, Soho, central London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

24 January 1968 – Pink Flamingo, Wardour Street, Soho, central London with The Alan Clark Soul Show and Canal St Philarmonic (Melody Maker)

4 February 1968 – Breaks Youth Club, Hatfield, Hertfordshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

13 February 1968 – Sandridge Youth Club, Herts (Welwyn & Hatfield Advertiser)

14 February 1968 – Woodhall Community Centre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire with Herbal Remedy (Welwyn Times)

15 February 1968 – Penny Farthing, Leicester (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

16 February 1968 – Cooks Ferry Inn, Edmonton north London (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician) This was their club debut

24 February 1968 – Blue Ball Hotel, Risley, Derby (Derby Evening Telegraph)

2 March 1968 – Sandridge Youth Club, Herts (Welwyn & Hatfield Advertiser)

12 March 1968 – Sandridge Youth Club, Herts (Welwyn & Hatfield Advertiser)

21 March 1968 – Whisky A Go Go, Wardour Street, Soho, central London (Melody Maker)

22 March 1968 – St Albans Hall, St Albans, Hertfordshire with The Nashville Teens and West Coast Consortium (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician/Welwyn and Hatfield Advertiser) Debut at the venue

23 March 1968 – Borough Assembly Hall, Aylesbury, Bucks with The Rocky Rivers Record Show (http://aylesburymusictown.co.uk/)

28 March 1968 – Whisky A Go Go, Wardour Street, Soho, central London (Melody Maker)

7 April 1968 – Chesterfield Club, Castle Bromwich, West Midlands (Express & Star)

13 April 1968 – Luton Boys Club, Luton, Bedfordshire with The Links (Luton News)

15 April 1968 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts with King George and Co (Steve Ingless book: The Day Before Yesterday)

16 April 1968 – Sandridge Youth Club, Herts (Welwyn & Hatfield Advertiser)

18 April 1968 – Whisky A Go Go, Wardour Street, Soho, central London (Melody Maker)

20 April 1968 – Marquee, Wardour Street, Soho, central London with Timebox (Tony Bacon’s book: London Live)

23 April 1968 – Penny Farthing, Leicester (Leicester Mercury)

26 April 1968 – Cooks Ferry Inn, Edmonton, north London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

27 April 1968 – Starlight Ballroom, Boston Gliderdrome, Boston, Lincolnshire with Tony Bishop’s Rock and Soul and Fanny Flicker’s Show (Lincolnshire Standard)

28 April 1968 – Whisky A Go Go, Wardour Street, Soho, central London (Melody Maker)

7 May 1968 – Sandridge Youth Club, Herts (Welwyn & Hatfield Advertiser)

11 May 1968 – Gig in Grantham, Lincolnshire with Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

12 May 1968 – Whisky A Go Go, Wardour Street, Soho, central London (Melody Maker)

23 May 1968 – Penny Farthing, Leicester (Leicester Mercury)

24 May 1968 – Sherwood Room, Nottingham (Derby Evening Telegraph)

26 May 1968 – Blue Ball Hotel, Risley, Derby (Derby Evening Telegraph)

31 May 1968 – Cooks Ferry Inn, Edmonton, north London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

2 June 1968 – Whisky A Go Go, Wardour Street, Soho, central London (Melody Maker)

7 June 1968 – Bracknell Sports Centre, Bracknell, Berkshire with O’Hara’s Playboys, The Barrier, The Crawdads and Freehold (Melody Maker)

8 June 1968 – St Albans City Hall, St Albans, Hertfordshire with O’Hara’s Playboys, The Barrier, The Crawdads and Freehold (Melody Maker)

9 June 1968 – Gig in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire with O’Hara’s Playboys, The Barrier, The Crawdads and Freehold (Melody Maker)

10 June 1968 – Marquee, Wardour Street, Soho, central London with The Nite People (Tony Bacon’s book: London Live)

12 June 1968 – King’s Lynn College, King’s Lynn, Norfolk with O’Hara’s Playboys, The Barrier, The Crawdads and Freehold (Melody Maker)

14 June 1968 – Bracknell Sports Centre, Bracknell, Berkshire with O’Hara’s Playboys, The Barrier, The Crawdads and Freehold (Melody Maker)

15 June 1968 – Sandridge Youth Club, Herts (Welwyn & Hatfield Advertiser)

15 June 1968 – St Albans City Hall, St Albans, Hertfordshire with O’Hara’s Playboys, The Barrier, The Crawdads and Freehold (Melody Maker)

16 June 1968 – Bedford Checkpoint, Bedford, Bedfordshire with O’Hara’s Playboys, The Barrier, The Crawdads and Freehold (Melody Maker)

17 June 1968 – St Albans City Hall, St Albans, Hertfordshire with O’Hara’s Playboys, The Barrier, The Crawdads and Freehold (Melody Maker)

18 June 1968 – Gig in Wellingborough, Northants with O’Hara’s Playboys, The Barrier, The Crawdads and Freehold (Melody Maker)

23 June 1968 – Marquee, Wardour Street, Soho, central London (Tony Bacon’s book: London Live)

30 June 1968 – Playboy Club, Park Lane, central London (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

10 July 1968 – Rampton Psychiatric Hospital, Nottinghamshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

12 July 1968 – 76 Club, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire (http://www.76club.org.uk/gigs.html)

13 July 1968 – Starlight Room, Boston, Lincolnshire with The Paberback Edition (Nottingham Evening Post)

23 July 1968 – Marquee, Wardour Street, Soho, central London with Tony Rivers & The Castaways (Paul Griggs’ diary)

24 July 1968 – Blaises, Imperial Hotel, Queen’s Gate, west London (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician) This was a 1am show so the band arrived on 23 July

29 July 1968 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts (Steve Ingless book: The Day Before Yesterday)

10 August 1968 – White Tiles, Swindon, Wiltshire (Swindon Evening Advertiser)

11 August 1968 – Whisky A Go Go, Wardour Street, Soho, central London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

12 August 1968 – Dreamland Ballroom, Margate, Kent with The Delroy Williams Show (East Kent Times & Mail)

18 August 1968 – Cat-Balou, Grantham, Lincolnshire (Grantham Journal)

19 August 1968 – Marquee, Wardour Street, Soho, central London with Nite People (Tony Bacon’s book: London Live)

24 August 1968 – High Wycombe Town Hall, High Wycombe, Bucks (Bucks Free Press)

24 August 1968 – The Barn Ballroom, Little Bardfield Hall, Little Bardfield, Essex (Steve Ingless book: The Day Before Yesterday)

2 September 1968 – Ford Cortina Day, Mallory Park, Race Track, Leicester (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

6 September 1968 – Woodhall Community Centre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire with Herbal Remedy (http://www.coda-uk.co.uk/60’s_music_scene.htm)

7 September 1968 – Marquee, Wardour Street, Soho, central London with Spice (Tony Bacon’s book: London Live)

8 September 1968 – Whisky A Go Go, Wardour Street, Soho, central London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

13 September 1968 – Cooks Ferry Inn, Edmonton,north London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

16 September 1968 – Dunstable Civic Hall, Dunstable, Bedforshire with Sly & The Family Stone (who didn’t turn up) (Luton News)

27 September 1968 – Cooks Ferry Inn, Edmonton, north London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

6 October 1968 – Whisky A Go Go, Wardour Street, Soho, central London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

12 October 1968 – High Wycombe Town Hall, High Wycombe, Bucks (Bucks Free Press)

25 October 1968 – Cooks Ferry Inn, Edmonton, north London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

6 November 1968 – St Albans City Hall, St Albans, Hertfordshire with Status Quo and Nerve (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician/Welwyn and Hatfield Advertiser)

9 November 1968 – Marquee, Wardour Street, Soho, central London with Dream Police (Tony Bacon’s book: London Live)

10 November 1968 – Whisky A Go Go, Wardour Street, Soho, central London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

15 November 1968 – Nottingham University, Nottingham with Marmalade and The Nashville Teens (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

23 November 1968 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts (Steve Ingless book: The Day Before Yesterday)

Octopus’ select gigs:

21 November 1968 – Baldock Workingmen’s Club, Baldock, Hertfordshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician) Debut as Octopus

30 November 1968 – Marquee, Wardour Street, Soho, central London with Dream Police (Tony Bacon’s book: London Live)

18 December 1968 – Gig in Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

20 December 1968 – Cooks Ferry Inn, Edmonton, north London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

21 December 1968 – RAF Benson, Oxfordshire with Plastic Penny (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

29 December 1968 – Whisky A Go Go, Wardour Street, Soho, central London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

31 December 1968 – Gig in Dunstable, Bedfordshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

1969

1 January 1969 – Marquee, Wardour Street, Soho, central London with Yes (Tony Bacon’s book: London Live)

4-5 January 1969 – Stella Ballroom, Mount Merion, Republic of Ireland (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

18 January 1969 – Marquee, Wardour Street, Soho, central London with Spice (Tony Bacon’s book: London Live)

8 February 1969 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts (Steve Ingless book: The Day Before Yesterday)

12 February 1969 – Marquee, Wardour Street, Soho, central London with Yes (Tony Bacon’s book: London Live)

15 February 1969 – Marquee, Wardour Street, Soho, central London with Spice (Tony Bacon’s book: London Live)

16 February 1969 – Adelphi, Slough, Berkshire (Windsor, Slough & Eton Express)

6-7 April 1969 (check) – Stella Ballroom, Mount Merion, Republic of Ireland (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

12 April 1969 – Marquee, Wardour Street, Soho, central London with Procession (Tony Bacon’s book: London Live)

4 May 1969 – Tiffany’s, central London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

Gary Whinyates announced he was leaving on 22 May but stayed until late July.

8 June 1969 – Tiffany’s, central London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

28 June 1969 – Marquee, Wardour Street, Soho, central London with Procession (Tony Bacon’s book: London Live)

20 July 1969 – Shire Green Working Men’s Club, Sheffield, South Yorkshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

21 July 1969 – Black Swan, Sheffield, South Yorkshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician) This was Nigel Whinyates’ final show

Brian Glascock joined on drums at this point

19 August 1969 – Lyceum, Strand, central London (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

29 August 1969 – St Albans City Hall, St Albans, Hertfordshire with Desmond Dekker (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician) This was the band’s final gig at this venue

14 September 1969 – Tiffany’s, central London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

27 November 1969 – Baldock Working Men’s Club, Baldock, Hertfordshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

24 December 1969 – Cooks Ferry Inn, Edmonton, north London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

31 December 1969 – Mansfield Palais, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire (Paul Griggs’ book: Diary of a Musician)

1970

31 May 1970 – Tiffany’s, central London (Paul Griggs’ diary)

After this gig, Rick Williams and Brian Glascock both left, the latter joining Toe Fat.

In early July, John Cook from The Mixed Bag joined on keyboards and Malcolm Green came in on drums. The new line-up debuted on 17 July 1970.

Brian Glascock briefly replaced Malcolm Green in early 1971 before Tim Reeves from The Fox took over in late April. However, Octopus split in mid-January 1972.

Paul Griggs’ book (noted above) provided a wealth of information on the comings and goings and is definitely worth purchasing.

Beatsway

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Publisher: Nick Warburton