The Reytons aim to take T.Rex’s crown at Clifton Park gig

ROTHERHAM band The Reytons aims to boost the town’s economy - and overhaul the achievements of legendary 70s band T.Rex - during their summer gig in Clifton Park.
PARK LIFE: The ReytonsPARK LIFE: The Reytons
PARK LIFE: The Reytons

Lead singer Jonny Yerrell says he would “die happy” after the concert that will attract 20,000 music lovers.

He even hopes that the authorities will one day erect a statue in honour of the group and its momentous Rotherham occasion, scheduled for Saturday, July 6.

That would certainly be more than singer-songwriter Marc Bolan and his T.Rex group achieved there, although in fairness they were claimed to be as big as the Beatles at the time they played in South Yorkshire.


Johnny and the rest of the modern-day Indie rockers, Lee Holland (bass), Joe O’Brien (guitar) and Jamie Todd (drums), cannot wait to follow in their footsteps at Clifton Park and believe they have the chance to cement a historic role in Rotherham’s story.

"The last band to play there was T Rex in 1971,” said the 38-year-old singer.

"I’m not sure what their capacity (crowd) was but we think that we’ve done enough for it to be the biggest that the town has ever had, so we’re excited for it,” he told the Notion website.

“One thing that no one can say they’ve done is be a working-class kid from Rotherham, sell 20,000 tickets in the park that they grew up in as a kid, boost the local economy and change the reputation of the town forever."

The beaming front-man says Clifton Park doesn’t get “any bigger than that for me. I can die happy as an artist knowing that we’ve done all of that. The rest is a bonus.”

Eventually, he says, he would "like a statue at Clifton Park: a statue of us to say that we did the gig.

“I can’t believe where we are now after the last five years. We’re dead grateful for where we are.

"I’d like to never have to go back to work a normal job. And if I could carry on doing what I’m doing now, and it’s the same as it was yesterday, in ten years’ time, I’d be over the move with that.”

Johnny also shared his memories of playing in Clifton Park as a youngster.

"I guess everyone’s got a Clifton Park. For us, it was the place you’d go to as a kid.

"Growing up, we couldn’t afford to go to places like Disneyland or on big expensive holidays.

"In the summer, to be told that you’re going to Clifton Park for a day to kick a football around, have a picnic, go to the paddling pool or on a few rides, was your highlight and it was something that I always look back on fondly.

"Part of me feels bad that we’re going to put a massive fence around it for a week but the other side of me is dead smug and I love the idea of it.”

Such is the lure of the homecoming gig, Johnny says he cannot look past the summer show, even though they have an Australia tour (Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne) from late September.

"I feel like I don’t want to rush,” he said.

"When we first started, the belief was always there. We’ve been motivated in trying to achieve arena status and getting to this Clifton Park show. But every time you hit a milestone, I think you still pinch yourself and go, ‘I can’t believe we’ve actually done it’."

  • Were you at the T.Rex concert at Clifton Park on August 28, 1971?
  • They were a huge attraction, back then and it was a month before they released their second album Electric Warrior.
  • Those watching Bolan and fellow entertainers Arthur Brown, Terry Reid, Arthur Brown, and Marmalade, were a group of Hells Angels and Stan Crowther, the ex Rotherham MP!
  • One fan recalled the crowd being 60 per cent down on what was expected...some of them booing T.Rex.
  • Was that true? Let us know your memories by emailing us at: [email protected]