A rock n’ roll band has reformed under a new name eight months after the death of their legendary musician.

Tony Cooper, from Baxenden, was part of the iconic Soundcasters group and performed with the likes of Status Quo, Ike and Tina Turner, The Hollies and Van Morrison.

The former Accrington Grammar School pupil was an original member of the band, first formed in 1964, and helped relaunch it with new members in 2011.

The grandfather-of-two suffered unexpected heart problems at home in the early hours of December 24 last year and died less than an hour later, aged 68.

Following his death the Soundcasters stopped performing and Tony’s ‘devastated’ brother Phil Cooper left the group.

Gerry Cullen, who previously performed with the band, said they have now reformed with two new members under the name Trickster.

The newly reformed band Trickster
(Image: Photo by Reg at The Garth Dawson Studio)

He told LancsLive: “The band going back to the 1960s was really Tony Cooper’s and it wouldn’t seem right with Tony not being with us any more to carry on. 

“The lads felt perhaps a fresh start was needed, to do something different and to honour his memory more than anything. It was a nice gesture I thought that the band dies with Tony.

“Phil didn’t want to carry on without Tony so we waited until he made his mind up and put the band back together again.”

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Gerry, who is lead singer of Trickster, will be joined by Soundcasters stalwarts Keith Howorth (drums) and Trevor Gardner (lead guitar) and new members Nick Cornall (keyboard) and Fran Daly (bass).

They will perform their first gig at Oswaldtwistle Social Club on Saturday, August 17, from 9pm.

The venue was the last place the Soundcasters played at before Tony’s death.

Tony Cooper

Gerry, who lives in Greenmount near Bury, said: “We want to honour his memory.

“The poor lad has gone, there’s nothing we can do about it and it’s very unfortunate.

“These are experienced, dyed in the wool musicians and want to play. We are at the stage in our lives where we are not going to be like Mick Jagger playing at 76 and still prancing around the world.

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“We love playing, I love entertaining and pleasing people, and the band feel the same way. Due respect to Phil, he didn’t want to carry on without Tony but the lads did.

“All these lads have played for years and years professionally.

“We are not doing mainly 1960s music like the Soundcasters did, we will be doing more modern songs.”

Peter Crook, chairman of Oswaldtwistle Social Club, said they are looking forward to welcoming the new band to the club.

He said: “It would be great to get as many people along to help them as they start again.”

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