Hutch Hutchings – Feels Like Rain LP – 1977

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Jan Warren… sorting through my records I came across this album Tony Qunta played several instruments, can anyone enlighten me??

Ernest Ballard… That was Charlie Hutchinson. Guitarist songwriter. He was married to the sister of Tony Brooks wife Tony ran Dragon Studios in Hastings. Tragically Hutch was killed in a a car crash in Hastings shortly after the album was recorded. He was a lovely guy. Steve D and Min have sadly passed away too X

Jan Warren… I also remember “Min”, he was a musician who lived in Hastings Old Town in the early 70s, he was lovely, sweet hippy – our friend.

Ernest Ballard… He played sax. Yes a great character.

Phil Gill… Well, I’m on it. What sort of info would you like?

Tony May… This is a very emotive subject for me as ‘Feels Like Rain’ is probably the record I remember most from my days at Stylus Records in Castle St. We had quite a few copies in stock and I always remember Nelson De Souza ( the boss) telling me he had taken them on ‘sale or return’ but that the artist had subsequently died and he could not do anything about returning those we had not sold. Sadly, I have never heard the album. If any of you here can remember anything more about Hutch or the recording of this record I would love to hear it. Thanks Jan for posting this!

John Williams… Min played in our band PLC yes he was nice.

Pete Prescott… I had a copy of the album but lent it to someone years ago and never had it returned. Min was a lovely guy, his funeral was unforgettable. So many amazing stories. Hilarious in places. He took a photo of me staggering along the sea front on the half marathon. Then when he saw me out months later he ran home to get it. I still have it with his inscription on the back.
The album was worth some money abroad at one time I believe. There are some good local legends in it. Now ! Who did I lend it to?

Roland Clarke… Min was a great character, always stopped to have a chat if I saw him in the street. I knew Charlie back in the day. He used to hang around the studio from time to time. He wrote and did this album before he was 25. I remember him giving me a copy on lp, however, I unfortunately lost my copy in a flat move. Charlie was about 6 years older than me but was tragically killed as a passenger in a car accident returning from a pool match. He was sitting in the back but the car hit a tree driving down London road in St Leonard’s, he was only 25 I believe.

Phil Gill… Charlie and I used to hang out and play guitar/sing when we were 13-14 years old. I think we were the only two kids we knew who played guitar in our peer group, so we kind of came together by default and he was already a good friend by the time he decided to record the album in January 1980, three years before he died in September 1983. He managed to get everyone to play on it by the simple expedient of telling everyone that the others were up for doing it – so everyone basically said, “Well if those guys are doing it, then I’m in too..” Cheeky bugger…
We did production rehearsals in The Box, a tatty rehearsal room in Silverhill – see pics below by Chris Meachen, who sat in and made himself unobtrusive. The album was recorded at Arnie’s Shack studio in Poole, most of it recorded over two days, then a short break before a final day of overdubs and mixing. Steve D and I finished drum and bass tracks by lunchtime on day 2, so we basically sat around and provided banter for the rest of the sessions. Min sat around in the studio for two days drinking cider until he was asked to do his parts, so asking him to play specific parts at set points in the songs was never going to work. It was decided to let him play pretty much what he wanted to all the way through the songs. After two days of doing nothing he went off like a greyhound out of the traps and did just that. We kept his good bits and edited out the rest, and I think that worked very well. Charlie actually had a deal with Goodwood Records to press 1000 copies of the album, so I don’t think he paid for it himself. I might be wrong, it was 36 years ago. The Hastings Observer sent a photographer down to Poole and he spent a couple of hours in the studio snapping away. I never saw any of those photos, but I’d be interested to – does the Observer have an archive somewhere? Feels Like Rain was valued by Record Collector at £40 in the 1990s. Its value was based on the fact that it’s a small pressing run from a small UK record company, something that overseas collectors look for. It’s now down to £35. Here are the Chris Meachen rehearsal pics…

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Photos by Chris Meachen. (photo 1) L/R Allan Thorpe (Producer), Phil Gill,  Steve Demetri, Tony Qunta, Charlie Hutchinson, Ashley Pepper.

Gary Kinch… Cor….those names bring back great memories. Charlie was everyone’s friend, all were welcome at his Cornwallis Gardens flat back in the day (72-73 ish). I remember seeing him in the Fiesta one day with a bad case of Arc eye so he must of had a welding/engineering day job……If memory serves he was also a keen member of the West Hill boys club earlier on, bit of a prodigy in that field also. Steve D was a prefect at Priory road school in about 70-71. He caught a friend and I doing something naughty on the west hill so he took us both to the Head where we got the cane. In 79 I was saving for our first house and needed some extra cash, he gave me a job in the Golden Hind, so all forgiven. We had some great laughs in that pub. He later moved into a house just along the road from us. This house coincidently was just a couple of doors along from Mins house.
Min was a great neighbour, never a dull moment. Quite often just prior to November the 5th we would see rockets launched horizontally up the back of the terrace just above wall height. It must have frightened the crap out of the local cats……a one off was Min. …..all non music related but there you go.

Andy Qunta… Great memories, Gary! Thanks for sharing!

Jan Warren… Thanks for sharing your memories, it’s fascinating stuff!!

Tony May…  HUGE thanks to everyone here – especially Phil. Would any of you mind if I prepared an article about this subject for ‘Hastings Town’ magazine? Would love to use your pics Phil, plus any you might have of Charlie that are more full faced…

Phil Gill… You’d need to ask Chris Meachen about using the pictures. I’m OK about them from the point of view that it’s my image in them, but Chris owns them. Happy to provide additional info for your article. Sadly, I have no other pictures of Charlie – Chris might, he took loads.

Alan Esdaile… Anyone else got any photos?

Ernest Ballard… I have a copy of the Album if needed.

Bunnydrums… I have just added a lovely copy of Hutch Hutchings “It Looks Like Rain” to Discogs (04/012017) thanks bunnydrums.

Alan Esdaile… Just checked, listed as £40.00

Roland Clarke… I wouldn’t mind hearing it again. Perhaps someone can copy it to an audio file.

Jacqui Gibson… Hi. I am Charlie’s sister  Jacqui  and I am just so touched by all the wonderful  comments about my brother. I do have a copy of his album if any one wants a copy of it

Charlotte Hutchings… Hi I am Charlie’s daughter and I have just read through these comments and I’m really moved by all the fantastic words people have said about him. It’s so nice to read about things like this as I didn’t get chance to get to know his wonderful cheeky character because of the horrible tragedy that took him from us while I was still a baby . I have a picture of him playing his guitar I think it maybe in one of the studios if that is any good. I will post this on here when I get home.Looking forward to reading more posts and finding out more about him. Charlotte (Charlie)

Tony Qunta… I still have a copy which I cherish. I loved being part of it. Charlie was a very good artist and songwriter and a lovely bloke.

Tony May… FINALLY bought copies of ‘Feels Like Rain’ by Hutch Hutchings and ‘Sounds IN Our Minds’ by ‘Talisman’ today and have been spending some quality time listening to them and thinking of all the ‘history’ I have with them both. Great stuff…

Ernest Ballard… Charlie gave me a copy when it was pressed. Great to still have this in his memory

3 thoughts on “Hutch Hutchings – Feels Like Rain LP – 1977

  1. Hi. I am Charlie’s sister Jacqui and I am just so touched by all the wonderful
    Coments about my brother. I do have a copy of his album if any one wants a copy of it

  2. Hi I am Charlie’s daughter and I have just read through these comments and I’m really moved by all the fantastic words people have said about him. It’s so nice to read about things like this as I didn’t get chance to get to know his wonderful cheeky character because of the horrible tragedy that took him from us while I was still a baby .
    I have a picture of him playing his guitar I think it maybe in one of the studios if that is any good. I will post this on here when I get home.
    Looking forward to reading more posts and finding out more about him
    Charlotte (Charlie)

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