Ghost Story.
The Pheltham Phantoms Rock Family Tree.

Was there life before the Phantoms? To find out, click on the name of a
highlighted Phantom (below) to reveal his/her murky rock'n'roll past.

The Pheltham Phantoms #1 June to September 2000.
Works band formed only 2 weeks before their debut gig. Rehearsals were hastily arranged in the roof of Hotine Building resulting in early suggestions of ‘The Service Elevators’ & ‘Plant Room’ for the name of the group. The band eventually arrived at their now familiar name when founder member, John Skittles revealed that he had always wanted to be in a band called the ‘Phantoms’. Played support to the now defunct ‘Slobberdogs’ at ‘The Marquee’ (no, not that one!), on June 28th.
Mark
Gibson

(vocals)
John
Skittles

(bass)
Simon
White

(guitar)
Brian
Spencer

(guitar/vocals)
Alun
Westoll

(drums/vocals)
Colin
Hills

(knobs)

The first lineup after their first gig (minus the camera shy 'knobs'!



The Pheltham Phantoms #2
September to December 2000.
After wowing the fans at the last gig, and with Jon Novice now onboard, the band were invited back to headline their second gig at Littleton Lake on Dec 8th. Rehearsals were moved to the ‘Generator Room’ after complaints about the noise saw them kicked out of the roof.
Mark
Gibson
(vocals)
John
Skittles
(bass)
Simon
White
(guitar)
Brian
Spencer
(guitar/vox)
Alun
Westoll
(drums/vox)
Colin
Hills
(knobs)
Jon
Novice

(keyboards)
  left due to other commitments          


The Pheltham Phantoms #3
December 2000 to December 2002.
John Skittles quits the group after finding the pressures of playing for four different bands at once too much to bear. After a long search, Paul Castle comes through in 'pop idol' esque style after foolishly admitting he used to play the bass once! The numbers were further swelled when Helen Thrower was invited to add a bit of glamour to the line up. Returned to ‘The Marquee’ for their third gig on June 29th 2001 followed by a sell out appearance back at ‘The Lake’ on Dec 7th in front of an ever-increasing audience. Little did we know, great things were to follow in 2002. The year started off with the band and entourage back at the familiar 'Marquee' prior to the biggest date in the bands history, signing on to duke it out with the crème de la crème of the Civil Service Music scene at the inaugural Battle of the Bands competition. This took place over a September weekend (21st/22nd) at the world famous music venue of the Haven Holiday Park, Porthmadog, North Wales. The Phantoms were in unprecedented form, thrilling the masses at the 'Bonga Wonga Beach Club' on Saturday before delivering a show stopping set in the cavernous 'Caesars Nightclub' the following evening. Seeing off all opposition in a fiercely fought competition, the band were crowned 'Best Band in the Civil Service' at an emotional awards ceremony infront of a crowd of 1200 feverish northern holidaymakers. A triumphant homecoming  ensued with mass audiences flocking to gigs at the girls 40th party on 25th October & the CSSC Charity Fundraiser at Victoria, London, on 11th November. Rounding off their most successful year to date, the Phantoms packed the Feltham Community Centre at Xmas (6th Dec) for yet another barnstorming show. After having the same line up for two years, and with the bands star in the ascendance, Colin Hills then made the shock decision to leave his post as the groups technical wizard when the ever increasing pressures of knob twiddling became too much to bear. 'Knobs' was universally recognised as the 'George Martin' of the group and his departure was a sad day for the band and fans alike.
Mark
Gibson
(vocals)
Paul
Castle

(bass/vox)
Simon
White
(guitar)
Brian
Spencer
(guitar/vox)
Alun
Westoll
(drums/vox)
Colin
Hills
(knobs)
Jon
Novice
(keys)
Helen
Thrower

(vocals)
          left due to pressures of knob twiddling    

The third lineup posing by the wall of Hotine (again minus the camera shy 'knobs' and also Jon who couldn't be bothered to drive down from Brampton just for a photo shoot!)

A couple of very rare shots of the full 8 piece lineup.


               
The Pheltham Phantoms #4
December 2002 to April 2004.
After a period of reflection, the Phantoms reunited in the summer of 2003 to play their first gig of the year (13th June) at... yes, you've guessed it, the 'Marquee'. Following a slightly jaded performance, many critics questioned whether the band still had the hunger to stay at the top. Stung by this, the group embarked on their most ambitious project to date... a multi-stadium tour of the most prestigious venues (within 15 minutes drive of Feltham and available at short notice!) 
With news of the tour greeted with near hysteria from Phantom Phans everywhere, the band went on to deliver the goods to packed houses at
the Red Lion, Twickenham (on 23rd Aug) and the legendary Grey Horse in Kingston (on 21st Sept). Another top year for the band was then capped off with our usual appearance at the Feltham Community Centre on 5th Dec. And so, onto 2004...
Expectations were high as the band prepared to defend their title at the CSSC Battle of the Bands competition in the Isle of Weight on the 21st & 22nd February. With the Phants well rehearsed and confident of 'pulling it off', little did we know that the shit was about to hit the fan, so starting a sorry chain of events. The competition was cancelled at the last minute (due to nobody wanting to freeze to death in the Isle of Weight in February!) and the following gig at the Hand & Spear Pub, Weybridge (arranged to replace the IOW cancellation) was itself cancelled after intervention from the Environmental Health Officer due to concerns over sound proofing (The Phantoms, too loud for Weybridge!) So, were we ever to play a gig this year? Well, yes as it turns out. The problems at the Hand & Spear have been resolved and the eagerly awaited debut appearance of 2004 is imminent. But there's more sad news to come. Helen's love of Jazz and fading tolerance of 'cheesy covers' has led her to quit Phantom World for pastures new. Where now for the new line-up? Kingston, probably...
Mark
Gibson
(vocals)
Paul
Castle
(bass/vox)
Simon
White
(guitar)
Brian
Spencer
(guitar/vox)
Alun
Westoll
(drums/vox)
Jon
Novice
(keys)
Helen
Thrower
(vocals)
left to pursue Jazz stardom!
       
 

Jon at last graces us with his presence and the Hotine shot is recreated.


 Happy Phantoms!

               
The Pheltham Phantoms #5
May 2004 to December 2007.
So, like a Phenonix from the flames, the new look Phantom 'Boy Band' was unveiled in the 'Cock Pit' on 12th May 04 and so beckoned the golden age of the Phantoms. The next 3½ years saw the band mature into a crack unit playing a total of 21 gigs to an ever increasing audience the length & breadth of the country. After a few early gigs at the Fighting Cocks (3 to be exact) the band went on to establish a successful residency at rival Kingston venue The Grey Horse building up a loyal following. As well as the numerous pub gigs this period saw the Phants play a string of private parties both locally & further afield (RAF Brampton in Cambridgeshire & the CSSC Games at Loughborough University to name but two). 3 foolish Phans even asked us to play at their weddings! In Cambridge, Louisa’s fist dance as a married woman was to the sound of the Phantoms rendition of U2’s ‘One’. Then at a swanky venue in The Strand, Central London the happy couple first danced accompanied by Brian singing ‘Fix You’ by Coldplay. Then our furthest road trip to date saw the band travel to Grange Over Sands in Cumbria to play at the wedding of Phantom Roadie Richard with the evening’s highlight being a storming version of ‘Stockport Dagger’! Although there is a lot more pressure in playing a wedding gig & not wanting to ruin the best day of people’s lives, all of these events turned out to be phantastic! You can’t beat a drunken wedding crowd! If only we could afford to dish out free champagne at pub gigs! But all good things come to an end. On the crest of the wave after making our 9th triumphant appearance at our phavourite venue the Phantoms ever popular bass player was forced to call time due to the impending arrival of his first child. In Spinal Tap it’s drummers, with the Phantom’s it’s bass players we seem to have difficulty hanging onto!
Mark
Gibson
(vocals)
Paul
Castle
(bass/vox)
Simon
White
(guitar)
Brian
Spencer
(guitar/vox)
Alun
Westoll
(drums/vox)
Jon
Novice
(keys)
  left to have babies!        

               
The Pheltham Phantoms #
6
January 2008 to December 2008.
The next 12 months turned out to be a trying year for the band due to numerous enforced line up changes. We only managed to play a pitiful 4 gigs which never featured the same line up twice! The first gig at the Grey Horse in June starred Nov (ex keyboard wizard) promoted to bass duties. Then just before our next appearance in Sept, two band members were forced to make unexpected visits to the ER leaving only 3 remaining Phantoms to save the day. But Bri, Al & Nov (Phant Lite™) turned out equal to the task & with a little help from Gav & Kev, another legendary evening was written in the Phantom history books! A few weeks later saw the temporary return (or so we thought at the time!) of Paul on bass for a memorable & surreal private party to our most eclectic crowd to date! Finally back at the Grey Horse in Kingston in December it was Brian’s turn to fall by the wayside so reducing the Phantoms to a foursome! Last minute line up changes were seemingly becoming a nasty habit! A turbulent year in Phant camp!
Mark
Gibson
(vocals/keys)
Simon
White
(guitar)
Brian
Spencer
(guitar/vox)
Alun
Westoll
(drums/vox)
Jon
Novice
(bass/vox)
  left to build a house & something to do with a dog! left due to ill health    

               
The Pheltham Phantoms #
7
January 2009 to March 2011.
All change at Phantom central! Due to long term ill health reasons Brian has still not returned to the collective. As if that wasn’t bad enough, our other long term guitarist Simon then decided to hang up his plectrum after 9 years with the band (apparently looking after a dog is quite time consuming)! So what now? After a brief spell contemplating if drum & bass was the way forward the band decided to enlist the assistance of a couple of crack guitarists. As a result Jason Biggs was drafted in to cover for Bri & Kev Rogers joined to take up the lead guitarist’s vacant axe. Then with his daughter now old enough to be left in the car during rehearsals plus our own Bionic Man (or Frankenstein’s Monster!) now completely over his multiple operations, Paul decided to dust off his bass & re-enter the arena! Phantastic news! Apart for Nov who was sent back behind the keyboard! So, the next 2 years saw the classic Phantom 6 piece line-up inflicting their usual brand of indie punk rock mayhem at various venues (but mainly in Kingston!). That was until once again, Paul decided he needed a rest from Phantom World and bowed out at the historic first ever gig at Feltham's General Roy pub. What a phine way to go! At least this time round we know Nov can play the bass!
Mark
Gibson
(vocals)
Alun
Westoll

(drums/vox)
Jon
Novice
(keys/vox)
Jason
Biggs

(guitar/vox)
Kev
Rogers

(guitar/vox)
Paul
Castle
(bass/vox)
          left again!

               
The Pheltham Phantoms #
8
March 2011 to date.
And then there were five! Nov has dusted off his lovely orange bass, Gibbo is attempting to remember how to play the keyboards, Jase has learnt all of Paul's old vocals & so the 8th iteration of the Phants are once again ready to rock! The bands first outing will be the hotly anticipated Feltstock Festival this Summer, how exciting!
Mark
Gibson
(vocals/keys)
Alun
Westoll

(drums/vox)
Jon
Novice
(bass/vox)
Jason
Biggs
(guitar/vox)
Kev
Rogers
(guitar/vox)