Feb 222017

Ron Cook says…

Does Hastings and St Leonards have the best musicians on the coast – let’s find out?

The festival organisers are looking for performers to play all over St Leonards on the day of the festival 1st July. 

This is the biggest event in the St Leonards entertainment calendar and visited by more than 5000 people. Gigs will be mainly in the open on the seafront and around the town centre.

You’ll need to be able to organise your own PA and transport but performance fees will be paid (pending the usual applications for funding) Bands, duets, soloists, whatever you play, however you entertain, be part of Lenfest.

If the idea appeals drop me an email ron.cook@gmail.com (Put Lenfest in the title line so I can find it easily) and I’ll make sure it reaches the right person.

We’ll be posting more on Lenfest in the coming weeks but email me if you want more details and I’ll do my best to reply.

Please share this with musician friends and family***

Feb 222017


In praise of the CD: Seven reasons why CDs are my favourite music format ever. Not everyone will agree with this but here goes…

It was only a few years ago that people were finding it hilarious that I was clinging obstinately to the CD rather than embracing digital formats. Now, with the renaissance of vinyl, some still regard me as a Luddite dinosaur for not embracing the switch back to the 12 inch. Here are seven reasons why the CD is king for me:

1. I love physical product – I can’t excited at the thought of sifting through computer files for my listening pleasures. While the bibliophile gets immense satisfaction from browsing through a proper library of real books, I get the same pleasure from my physical collection of albums. I like the artwork, the lyric sheets, the song-writing credits, the information on who is playing what, on when it was recorded, who produced it and so on.

2. But there’s only finite space – I started buying LPs as a teenager in the early 80s but had switched over to buying CDs by the early 90s. However, even in that decade I’d amassed enough vinyl to still fill up three large cupboards today. If I’d carried on buying vinyl at the same rate I’ve purchased CDs over the past 25 years I’d have no room to eat, sit or sleep. For me the CD provides the perfect balance between the romance of a vinyl library and the efficiency of a digital library.

3. Sound quality is important to me – If you played me a brand new vinyl album and a CD, personally I’d struggle to tell the difference. But brand new vinyl albums don’t stay brand new for very long and I prefer listening to stuff without crackles, scratches and jumps. OK CDs can degrade you tell me but I’ve never had more than a tiny handful of CDs that have become unplayable and (with a quick spin on my £15 CD cleaning/repair kit) all but one of those was as good as new afterwards.

4. Jumping up and down every twenty minutes is a pain in the arse – Getting up to put a fresh CD on is fine. But it’s only when I’m playing some of my old vinyl that I’m reminded how ridiculously short the LP format was. When you’re reading or working or just chatting to your partner, having to get up to switch sides every twenty minutes or so is just a pain. I’m sorry.

5. I like the integrity of the original album – My retro tastes mean I listen to an awful lot of reissues but, unlike many digital fans, I love listening to albums in full in the track order they were released in when they were originally put out on vinyl – and this accounts for the vast majority of my listening.

6. Though I like all the extras too – While I like listening to albums in the way they were originally conceived, I also love all the extras the additional length of the CD format allows: the B sides, the acoustic versions, the missing songs restored to live albums etc.

7. But most of all – I’m 50 now. And after experimenting with cassette tapes and records in my early years as a music obsessive, I’ve simply lavished far too much time, money, attention and love on my CD collection to ever contemplate changing formats again now. Good job it’s the perfect format for me then…

For more discussions... https://darrensmusicblog.com/2017/02/15/in-praise-of-the-cd-seven-reasons-why-cds-are-my-favourite-music-format-ever/

Tim Moose Bruce…  Im the same. Been getting a few cds of albums i already have on vinyl. I play them in the work van.

Alan Esdaile… You youngsters! Don’t really agree Darren. The clicks as the needle touches the vinyl and between tracks is something special and magical. Their is a market for the CD which work fine to a point (especially in the car) and sometimes interesting extra tracks that have been added. Mind you having said that their is a reason a lot of the additional tracks were left on the studio floor in the first place. Also some cd’s sound too clean compared to the original LP and lose something. Used to read everything on the LP sleeve, study the artwork, know the names, producers etc However now when I have a new CD the writing is small and sometimes difficult to read and when I’m playing I don’t even know the names of the songs and just flick through to the tracks you like. Mind you I prefer CD’s to cassettes which were a nightmare.

Darren Johnson… I’m definitely the CD generation. Can’t be bothered with vinyl and can’t be bothered with downloads! I do think CD artwork has improved vastly on those where they have stopped doing jewel cases and do the nice cardboard covers with a big fat information booklet inside.

Will Cornell… I agree wholeheartedly and am annoyed now because I am trying to get a 10 yr old unit fixed (can’t find parts) and if I have to buy a new one, NO brick and mortar retailer seems to be selling them. Guy at Best Buy said to wait 5 years…everyone will get sick of LPs again and the CD will come back.

Darren Johnson… I got my last one from Richer Sounds when I was still in London. Nearest to here is Tunbridge Wells though.

Will Cornell… So it’s the same all over the Western World I guess–Best Buy and Frys are the only stores left for electronics in Dallas TX and most of their stock is TV , computer, video game junk.. I’ll bet I can go into an electronics store in Hong Kong or Singapore and find several models to choose from at a great price. Tunbridge Wells…maybe that’s why Claude Rains’ character in Lawrence of Arabia would rather be there. You could find stuff in stores.

Darren Johnson… I went to the Record Fair at Ore on Sunday. The vinyl was going at huge prices and attracting the crowds.Hardly anyone was looking at the CDs and I picked up a load for next to nothing.

Will Cornell… I feel much better buying a used CD than a used LP. And there are reissue labels like your JSP and Proper based over there in the UK that have outstanding values on box sets. I have two Carter Family boxes that amount to 10 CDs, 25 cuts per disc….comes out to about 20 cents per song, beating downloads by a mile.

Tim Moose Bruce… Got the best of both worlds. Syill got my vinyl collection. Bought a 5 cd box set of the first 5 Rick Wakeman’s albums for a tenner in Asda a few weeks ago.

Teresa Bassett… I’m still a CD girl. Have several L P’s (that I could not throw away ) and no record player. Also have a few cassette tapes. For anyone under 30 this is what they look like..




Feb 212017

bbc-essex  p01tqgn9   bbcessex


95.3FM | 103.5FM | Digital

Mark Punter, the popular presenter of Vintage Vinyl on BBC Essex has been in contact. He is looking for any musicians/bands/singers who made vinyl – even unreleased vinyl. Era not important – can be from any period. The most important thing is that they need to have an Essex connection – so were born here, grew up here, played here regularly, or even live here now. Please contact Mark at mark.punter@bbc.co.uk with information.

Feb 202017


Jaki Liebezeit, December 2011. Author: Hpschaefer www.reserv-art.de


Eric Cawthraw… I think this one has slipped through unannounced. Simon Pont and I are both in black arm bands! Jaki always seemed to be in great demand and had a lot work even though it’s a long time since he left Can. Sadly gone, but not forgotten.

Feb 202017


photo source: Dave Crane Brian Matthew Sounds Of The Sixties SOTS(FAN Page) https://www.facebook.com/groups/194514894053/

Jim Breeds… Sad news … “BBC Radio 2 has announced that Brian Matthew won’t be returning to Sounds of the 60s, after more than two months off due to poor health.”


Andre Martin… He will be a very difficult choice as to who can follow him, if for no more than his years of personal experience in the entertainments industry. that very few other people can offer and be entertaining and fresh each broadcast.

Patrick Lewis… This is sad, loved listening to him on Saturday mornings with his selection of 60’s music.

Alan Esdaile… What is worrying is that Brian wants to come back and do the show but the BBC have other ideas.

Leigh Wieland-Boys… I have really missed him…not so keen on Tim Rice – nothing against him but it’s just not the same without BM 

Colin Norton… One of the good guys! Lets hope that he regains his health!

Jon McCallion… Somebody I’ve heard on the radio since I was a kid. Such a lovely voice, also Foot Tapper at the end of every show.They can’t replace you Mr Matthews.

Mick O’Dowd… As far as i’m concerened he IS The Sound of the ’60’s and has been for the past 25 years. No-one can do it better and with more knowledge .

Carol Arnold… such a shame . not the same without him .If he wants to come back why is he not allowed?

Alan Esdaile… Brian Matthew back next week for the last time.


Jan Warren… Oh bless him!! 🙂 ♥

Carol Arnold… wont be the same , will never make 6am anyway

Robert Searle… Legend

Jan Walters… disgraceful that its being moved leave it alone and bring back Brian Mathew.

Feb 202017


supplied by Robert Wren

Alan Esdaile… Anyone tell us anymore about The Birds? The American band was spelt ‘The Byrds’ but I think it could be this version…..

John Storer….The bassist in this clip is Kim Gardner who was the “Gardner” in Ashton Gardner & Dyke who had a hit around 1970 with “The Resurrection Shuffle” Groovy clip, by the way ….

Robert Wren….Ronnie Wood.

Andre Martin…..This is the British BIRDS and this is 1966, there was some confusion at the time about the 2 groups.They came from West London, and Ronnie Wood was in the original line up – here is potted history – The Birds were a popular rhythm and blues band in the United Kingdom during the mid-1960s, although they recorded fewer than a dozen songs and released only four singles. Starting out with a hard R&B sound, they later began infusing it with Motown-style vocal harmonies he best known former member of The Birds is Ronnie Wood, who went on to join the Jeff Beck Group, Faces and later The Rolling Stones.

Will Cornell…..Your Birds (w. Ron Wood) predated our Byrds by a little I think, and that’s why McGuinn used a “y”–that and he didn’t want UK audiences to think they were chicks.

Eric Cawthraw… just catching up on some of my SMART site reading and noticed the Witch Doctor posting for this. Well at the moment I’m reading ‘Rock On Wood’,  about Ronnie Wood obviously. A damn good read it is too. There is a lot in the book about the British 60s R&B band the Birds – I see they are also on the same add. This explains the item on the bottom left of the book’s inner sleeve cover that says “Don’t blame me, I was at The Witch Doctor”. See for yourself! I believe there was a right old whoo-ha over the name when the American Byrds came to tour. I believe our Birds were highly respected on London circuit in the mid-sixties. I’m too young to know! [Delusional again]. Anybody got some more music reading to recommend?

Ronnie Wood001 Birds Witch Doctor001

supplied by Eric Cawthraw


Feb 202017

1963 Tuxedos at Hollington Methodist Church Hall

supplied by Peter Millington

Pete Millington… L-R Pete Jones. Eric Upton, Robin Groves, Don Climpson (at back waiting for Shadows cover performance to end) Paul Burton. – Taken at 8:10pm used to start early in those days as the last bus home usually went at 10:00 – 10:30pm, also, the caretaker had to come and lock up.

Feb 202017


from West Marina to Hastings Pier Facebook Page – Shared by Alan Jenner

Local group the Springbeats pictured at the Scout Hut – Oxford Road Rehearsal night 1965

Anyone confirm the names of the band?

Phil Gill….I think it’s Clive Drew-Clifton on the left

Andy Knight.…Tim Duke on Bass I think. Looked again, def Tim on Bass, in my year at school

Mick O’Dowd… The Springbeats played at Grove Road Youth Club Ore on my first outing as a DJ. It was the first Rave that the Club put on with a live band. I worked with Tony Bridger at G. Brookers in Norman Road making fireplaces when I worked there as my first job in the real world!  About 1966.

Alan Mitchell… Clive Drew-Clifton, Tony Bridger, Barry Jenkins on drums and John Woolven singer. I don’t think that is the scout hut in Oxford Road. We used to go to the group practices and most were in the Hollington Parish Hall in Wishingtree Road.

John Wilde… This is a great photo. Love those guitars.

Lynn Graham…. The drummer Barry ‘s  dad was manager and who remembers little Vic Bridger, Tony’s cousin, former owner of Hairtek.

Alan Esdaile… Here’s The Springbeats Nicola and I think its Barry Jenkins on drums?

Nicola Dobson… Thank you Alan…Im really not sure..he used to work for the laundry late 60’s and was in the Cult band he said as I did have a tape from him?

Lynn Graham… Barry Jenkins was indeed the drummer. I used to run around with them and was very good friends with Johns sister Jackie.



Feb 202017


posted by Andre Martin

Alan Esdaile…  I will have to have a search, I’m sure I’ve got a few from Hollington Community Centre but we always referred to it as Hollington Youth Centre. A few bands used to play their and rehearse. Anyone help?

Andre Martin… Well done Alan, that I know would be most interesting

Tony May… I might have a few old pics of Hollington as well. Will see what I can find…

Andre Martin… One of the topics that I know would be of interest would be for any groups that started in Hollington or have links with Hollington, I know that in the 1960s there were several who used to practise in the South Hall in Oxford Road.