Brian Thomas

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Full Name:  Brian Thomas
Musical Background:  
Instruments Played:  Lead Guitar
Career Began:  1961
Groups:  The Vigilantes
Residencies:  The Laredo Nitespot, The Pride of Place
Website (Vigilantes):

Award presented 2007 Award presented 2008

Brian Thomas was the leader of The Vigilantes from 1959, and the band played weddings and 21sts in dance halls, which included a regular but short-lived gig in Timaru (replacing The Downbeats) and hit the big-time when it became the second band at The Laredo Lounge (with Johnny Campbell and The Detours, and Les Stott) from circa 1963 through to 1965 when the band stopped playing at The Laredo.  They continued to make records, accompanying The Southerners on such hits as South Wind, as well as making a few records itself, most notably Come Tomorrow and The Cruel Sea.  The full line-up for The Vigilantes was: Brian Thomas (lead guitar, band leader and occasional singer), Larry McKay (rhythm guitarist and occasional singer), Dixon McIvor (vocalist), Derek (Willy) Withers (bass guitar and occasional trumpet), Tony Mason (drums), Bob Wilcock (tenor saxophone).


The Vigilantes appeared on The Des Britten Coca Cola Show  A tour to Pohara Beach Motor Camp was an epic, and the band played lots and lots of dance halls and church halls.  Spencer Street and the reek of Old Spice is a particularly strong memory.  Recording was very demanding and nerve wracking, but yet strangely satisfying.