Queen Street Masonic Heritage Trust

Registered Charity 1076186

The Trust

Sounds From The Cellar

In late 1979, Dennis Pooley started pulling a band together. After placing a "Drummer Wanted" advert in The Sunderland Echo, he met Grahame Cusack, who was then living with his parents in Toward Road, Sunderland. He was the final piece in the new band and they began rehearsing.


At first the new band began rehearsing in a former Church School hall in Shotton Colliery, where Dennis was living. Grahame suggested it might be easier for them to relocate the rehearsals to a place he had access to in Sunderland where David Green, the other band member, was studying and living.

Monos Temple Cellar
Grahame Temple Cellar 2

The Queen Street Masonic Temple was the venue where Grahame’s father Harry was the Steward. So the band moved their equipment into the cellar and began refining their particular sound, obviously while the building was otherwise empty, and no-one could be disturbed!

They named the band the Monoconics in 1979. The Monoconics were active for two years and in that time gigged heavily and released one single called 'Exit Stage Left' on their own label. They recorded a John Peel session in 1980 that was broadcast three times, ensuring their live performances and record sales were not confined to their local region.

Denny Pooley (Guitar, Lead Vocals)

Grahame Cusack (Drums, Backing Vocals)

Dave Green (Bass, Backing Vocals)


The photo’s are from the early 1980’s show the band rehearsing and having a great time fine tuning their own brand of music. The photo’s also clearly show the cellars well preserved condition and construction. 

D temple Cellar