The Kimbos

37293787_953758561469990_7407978034730369024_nMatthew McGuigan asks, “Who remembers The Kimbos?. Massively popular in Scotland in the early sixties before classically trained Andy Ross left to form The Andy Ross Orchestra and went on to national UK fame. Later, Andy was to become musical director of Come Dancing which he did for 30 years. I remember them well as they played all the largest dance halls of the era.

Andy Semple ( a Blantyre lad) was the vocalist and rythmn guitarist of whom it was said “Andy Semple, a happy-go-lucky sort of young chap who played rhythm guitar. He was at pains to point out that the Pavilion was one of the best ballrooms in the country, saying it was like a palace compared to some of the places they had to play in down south.

What made the Kimbos stand out among many modern pop groups of the time was that they were versatile enough to play ballroom and old time equally as well as the twist and the shake!


Add a Comment
  1. I’ve just found this site! I may be able to fill a hole up with my details? I played with the Kimbos somewhere around 1962 to 1964, for approximately two years.

    When I joined the group as lead guitarist, the lineup was as follows:
    Vocalist – Jimmy Semple(Andy’s young brother)
    Vocals/rhythm guitar – Andy Semple
    Keyboards – Andy Finnie( later changed to Andy Ross)
    Bass guitar – John McCulloch
    Drums – Jim Reid
    + me(Freddie Semple, as I was known then!)

    One Friday night in our Barrowland Ballroom residency, at the interval we had an argument about something or other, culminating in Andy Finnie taking Jimmie Semple out the door with him. We managed to play on that evening as a four-piece. Andy changed his surname to Ross, then formed the Andy Ross Orchestra with Jimmie Semple on vocals. in the Raith Ballroom, Kirkcaldy. I can not remember what happened to John McCulloch or Jim Reid . They were replaced by Jim Boyle on drums and Jim Wright on vocals/bass guitar. I forgot to say that John McConnell had already joined on keyboards.

    One midweek night in a Glasgow club midway through the gig I suddenly felt ill, feeling very dizzy, and just had to get out in the fresh air. I just decided there and then that I couldn’t do this gigging anymore and announced I was leaving the group immediately. I think the 5 1/2 day week working in Biggars Music and the heavy gigging schedule was too much for me.

    1. Hi Frederick,
      Were you before or did you take over from me as lead guitarist with the Kimbos?
      When I played it was Andy and Jim Semple, John McCulloch, Jim Reid and Andy Finnie,
      I was down at Jim Semple’s funeral earlier this year and his brother Andy passed away not long after him. Andy Finnie was also at Jim’s funeral.
      Kind regards

      Alan (Cuddles) Kay

Leave a Reply