The Village Gate

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Don Clarkson Collection


The Village Gate  —  at The Plaza Lounge, The United Service Hotel
Don Clarkson (Guitar), Paul Humphries (Drums), Dixon McIvor (Vocals) and George Drayton (Keyboards)

The Village Gate was formed to reside at the Plaza Lounge (which was connected to The United Service Hotel) and to take advantage of the new 10 o'clock closing regime which came into effect in the latter part of 1967.  The original members of The Village Gate were bass player Don Clarkson, keyboardist George Drayton, drummer Paul Humphries and vocalist Dixon McIvor.  Paul successfully won the ballot to get into the Army for Territorial (Compulsory Military) Training, and he was replaced by Dave Cox.  Around that same time Dixon McIvor left to move to Australia, and he was replaced by Norm Bland.  Don Clarkson recalls that The Gate finally finished up circa 1970, and he re-formed the group with Dave Cox and Andrew Lee around 1973/74. After Coxy's departure there were other drummers including Don Gutry, John Clarke and Paul Biddick.  For a while Don Clarkson and Neville Claughton shared bass duties on a week-about basis.  Latterly, Andrew Lee was instrumental in keeping the band ticking over the years.


The original Village Gate formed to play at The Plaza Lounge
Don Clarkson, Paul Humphries, Dixon McIvor and George Drayton

Original Village Gate
Dixon, Paul, George and Don

The new Village Gate
Norm Bland (Vocals), Don Clarkson, George Drayton and Dave Cox (Drums)


A reconstitution of The Village Gate at The Riccarton Working Mens' Club in 2002
Paul Biddick (Drums), Don Clarkson (Bass) and Andrew Lee (Keyboards)