Fran - The Wranging The Wranging Mark - The Wranging The Wranging Roly - The Wranging

The Wrangling

The Wrangling play covers from the Punk era (The Jam / The Undertones) right through to today (The Vaccines / The Black Keys) covering mainly Indie / Britpop bands such as Oasis / Killers / James and some other well known but forgotten stomping classics by The Cult / Killing Joke / The Cars / Feeder / The Enemy / the Only Ones etc..

Having spent a year as a bunch of mates jamming for fun in a little room, the urge to play live was getting too great for some whilst the ambitions of others were maybe not as high – band members came and went – nobody could agree on a name then the Keyboard player left followed by the Singer which put an end to the fun!

Fran (Vocals / Rhythm Guitar) had already been in discussions with Mik (Lead Guitar) about joining the original line up pre-split and after contacting Roly (Keyboards) then Mark (Bass) it became evident that there was still a desire to ultimately play live so the search was on for a drummer – shortly after Neil was found via NWB.

The band actively gigged over the next 18 months with the same line up, until Mik decided to move on and reform one of his original bands with his brother. Stephen was found via Join my Band and took over the role of Lead Guitarist. Sortly after this Neil left to concentrate on other projects. Mike has just been recruited as our new drummer after responding to our advert on NWB.

'The Wrangling' is as much about the constant arguing about band names that had gone on for a year with the previous band as it is about an area of the town that the lads originate from – and was adopted unanimously.

We hope to see you soon at a local venue – keep music Live and keep on Rockin in the Free World!!!


Stephen: Guitars/Mandolin

Started playing Electric Guitar relatively late at 16 years old, after watching a school concert where the school band attempted classics like 'Freebird' and 'Stairway to Heaven' and failed, but the idea of playing live was now something I wanted to do. Two years later, my first gig was as a bass player for a local Stiff Little Fingers covers band Nobodies Heroes, and this was at a local youth club-There is evidence on youtube

After this myself and Michael Byrne formed our own band, but reversed roles and I played guitar and Mike played bass.

Six weeks later, we did our first gig playing covers from the Cramps, Killing Joke, Iggy Pop, David Bowie and the Sex Pistols.

After a couple of years, it stopped as quickly as it had started with people moving away, changing jobs etc. I always thought I would do something else, but I didn't realise I would wait 30 years, which brings us to the present.

After seeing that the original band members where still playing in various local bands, decided it was now or never.

The Wrangling's existing guitarist Mick was moving on, and an opportunity arose. So here I am. We may be older and wiser, but the older songs still rock, and we do them well.


Yamaha and Fender Guitars, Mesa Boogie and Orange Amp's and Boss Pedals.


Skids, The Cramps, Killing Joke, Spear of Destiny, Big Country, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine.


Fran: Vocals/Guitars

Started playing Bass guitar at school aged 15 – wrote songs and and formed a Punk Band with a couple of mates Mark Foster and Alan Hargreaves called 'The Mistaken' – played a couple of gigs supporting local band The Stiffs then left School at 16 at which point Al left the band.

Fran switched to Guitar with Mark and were joined by John Foster on Bass and Adie Caine on Drums and formed a band called LD50 who played at loads of local venues for a year or so. Fran and John went on to form 'Smash the System' based in Burnley with two local lads – Pecker and Kali but with Punk in decline the impetus was failing and they eventually split. Fran hung up his Guitar - no Idea what happened to Pecker and Kali and John Foster went on to form Potential Threat and later Urban Valley Chickens.

30 years on and Fran is back playing (not quite as skinny) but still with the same desire to have the crack, play live and (to quote a famous punk guitarist) "Give it some Bollocks" !


Gibson Guitars, Marshall Amps, Boss Pedals.


The Clash, The Ramones, The Adverts, U2, The Alarm, David Bowie, Oasis.


Roly: Keys/Vocals

After a childhood growing up with a piano in the house that I never looked at twice a chance encounter in a pub situated high in the French Pyrenees with a Dutch keyboard player at the age of 19 started a now enduring interest in playing keys. This was sparked as much by the impressive sound he was making as the female interest and free beer he was getting whilst playing the old Joanna in the bar.

The following 23 years were spent traveling the world with the Royal Navy always accompanied by a keyboard or synth which gave plenty of time to practice but little to no opportunity to join a band or perform. The final couple of years of my Naval career were spent instructing at HMS Sultan, a large training establishment, where through no fault of my own i somehow got roped in to being the rehersal pianist for the theatre group and ended up in the show band for the Christmas panto and summer production.

After over 20 years of playing purely for my own pleasure this was a whole new experience and an unexpectedly enjoyable one and so when the opportunity came along to join a few like minded individuals and play some music i jumped at the chance. Now 18 months later and after a few ups and downs i am the keyboard player in 'The Wrangling'


Keyboards:- Korg X3, Roland A30, CME UF8, Sound Modules:- Roland JV1080, Akai Z8 Sampler


The Cult, New order, Depeche Mode, Vince Clark, Squeeze, The Stranglers, Stone Roses, Supergrass, Muse, The Killers, Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs, Fleet Foxes, Ludovico Einaudi, Sergei Rachmaninoff.


Mark: Bass/Vocals

Formed the band MI5 in the late 70's with my brother Neil (Bass) & Shaun Spavin (Drums), I played guitar/lead vocals back then, we played a 1off gig in a local church hall playing a host of songs by The Police, I could even hit the high notes achieved by Sting back then!

From that moment of playing my first gig, the desire to achieve greater ambitions took hold. Shaun left the band & my brother Neil replaced Shaun on the drums, I switched to bass/lead vocals, paving the way for a long time friend of ours Dave (Chuck) Leyland to play guitar because he knew a couple of more chords than myself at the time.

We played quite a few Clash songs initially but turned out to be probably one of the first tribute bands to The Jam around. The Jam themselves were in their prime, with their singles going straight to No.1 in the charts, making MI5 very current & popular locally. We even looked like The Jam, wearing the same smart clothes, white fronted Jam shoes, I even had a Bruce Foxton (Jam bassist) hairstyle. We played a number of gigs around the area of Blackburn, Darwen & Accrington, we always went down well with the crowds, happy days.

Around about the time The Jam split up in 1983, our drummer Neil left the band. Dave & myself carried on playing together at practice sessions while, even replacing Neil with one of the first programmable electronic drum machines available but it proved very difficult to do anything with, certainly no replacement for the real thing. Not long after that MI5 came to an end, Dave & myself called it a day, looking back, we should have got a new drummer & carried on, something I would later regret.

So here I am 30 years later, bass guitarist in The Wrangling, reliving my past to some degree & doing gigs, that I never thought I would do again. Over that period of time, you often wonder what it would be like to be in a band, & feel the adrenalin rush of playing live again, so if your reading this & you were in a band once upon a time & like myself would love another crack, it's never too late but don't live with regret of never trying.

Here ends the gospel according to Mark.


Ibanez, Electro Harmonix


The Clash, The Jam, The Smiths, Arctic Monkeys.


Mike: Drums

The first musical instrument I owned was a beat up old acoustic guitar which was passed on to me when I was 19. I quickly realised that even though I loved playing guitar, this particular guitar was not great so I invested in one that didn't make my fingers bleed so much. My previous band experience has involved me singing and playing guitar but I have always wondered if the drums were my true calling. In November 2014 (at the tender age of 41) I decided to take some drum lessons, bought a quality drum kit and put a lot of hours of practice in. As soon as I felt confident I advertised my availability as a drummer and it wasn't long before I met up with The Wrangling. Our first practice together went really well and soon after I was the new drummer for The Wrangling. Playing drums has been a leap of faith for me but I am happy to say that an old dog can definitely learn new tricks.


Tama Rock Star Drum Kit with Paiste Cymbals (PST3)


Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Cult, Kings of Leon, The Beatles, Paul Weller, REM, Supergrass, Squeeze , The Stone Roses, The Smiths, The Cure, U2, Queens of the Stone Age

North West Covers Band - The Jam, The Cars, The Undertones, The Cult, Oasis, Muse, The Dandy Warhols, The Killers etc..
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