Famous Speakeasy music group celebrates 40th anniversary

Speakeasy folk group at 40

The famous Speakeasy music group will mark its 40th anniversary on Saturday 12 November with a Mass at Saint William of York church in Thornton celebrated by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon. The Mass will be followed by a celebration in the parish hall.

Speakeasy was formed in 1976 by Father Tom Leigh and began as a discussion group for young people, but because the founding members loved music it soon developed into a music group.

The folk group got its name at one of its weekly meetings on a Monday, when an early member looked around the room and saw guitars and guitar cases and was heard to say, "this looks like a Speakeasy". The group played at St William of York every Sunday evening and met in the parish centre on a Monday night.

Speakeasy helped to lead the music for the annual Liverpool Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes; sang for Pope John Paul II when the future Saint visited Liverpool in 1982; and also appeared on the BBC's Songs of Praise.

All former members and anyone with connections to Speakeasy are invited attend the gathering, which follows a successful reunion of the group last year.

Speakeasy sings Sloop John B