The Dark Ages Profile

Andrew Schmidt
28 Oct 2014

As late as the mid-1980s, you could still see a roughly painted “Dark Ages” on a wall at the top of Weston St, just off Ponsonby Road. The name had a distant menace and somehow you knew they must have been a 1960s band, although in those days information about that musical era in New Zealand was near non-existent.

It turns out that The Dark Ages were a tough R&B band from South Auckland who stacked up a myth that transcends their brief time together. They were a group whose most popular line-up featured Mick Sibley (guitar), Ian Thomson (drums), Darryl Keogh (guitar), Vaughan Stephens (bass) and Clive Coulson (vocals).

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Clive Coulson at the Top 20 with The Dark Ages, 1965
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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Ian Thomson at the Top 20 with The Dark Ages, 1965
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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Newspaper advert for The Pretty Things shows at the Top 20, 1965
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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Mick Sibley at the Top 20 with The Dark Ages, 1965
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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The Dark Ages at Astor Studios to record their only single, 1965. Left to right, Clive Coulson, Darryl Keogh, Ian Thomson, Mick Sibley, Vaughan Stephens. 
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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Dark Ages business card, 1965
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The only Dark Ages single featured on one side of this unofficial EP, released in mid-2000, with Grimm Ltd. on the other side.
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The Dark Ages open for Dinah Lee, Wayne Fontana and PJ Proby, September 1965. Left to right: Darryl Keogh, Ian Thomson, Vaughan Stephens, Mick Sibley, Clive Coulson
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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Darryl Keogh at the Top 20 with The Dark Ages, 1965
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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The Bluestars head north with The Dark Ages in 1965. There was a "Miss Personality Contest" to complete the bill.
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The Dark Ages at the Top 20, 1965. Left to right: Mick Sibley, Darryl Keogh, Clive Coulson, Vaughan Stephens, Ian Thomson.
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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The very, very rare Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day 45 recorded for Viking's subsidiary label Red Rooster in September 1965
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The Dark Ages at the Top 20, 1966. Left to right: Mick Sibley, Clive Coulson, Vaughan Stephens, Red McKelvie, Ian Thomson.
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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The Dark Ages at the Top 20, 1966. Left to right: Mick Sibley, Clive Coulson, Vaughan Stephens, Red McKelvie, Ian Thomson.
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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Vaughan Stephens at the Top 20 with The Dark Ages, 1965
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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A newspaper clipping announcing The Dark Ages’ split, 1966
Photo credit:  Ian Thomson collection
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Newspaper advert for the PJ Proby show at the Auckland Town Hall, September 1965, with Dinah Lee and The Dark Ages supporting
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day
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The Dark Ages, 1965. Left to right: Mick Sibley, Clive Coulson, Vaughan Stephens, Ian Thomson, Darryl Keogh.
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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Members:

Mick Sibley - guitar

Ian Thomson - drums

Darryl Keogh - guitar

Vaughan Stephens - bass

Clive Coulson - vocals

Red McKelvie - guitar

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Trivia:

A mid-1990s reunion of the surviving Dark Ages at the Hostage To The Beat book launch in Auckland was thwarted when Clive Coulson pulled out because he was unhappy with misinformation in The Dark Ages' entry in the publication. With Mick Sibley also unavailable, Ian Thomson and Red McKelvie roped in former Underdogs and Soul Agents for a Dark Ages appearance in name only.

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