SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Am I Dreaming? 80 Brit Girl Sounds Of The 60s. 3CD Set

AM I DREAMING?  80 BRIT GIRL SOUNDS OF THE 60’s    Various Artists 3CD Set

I’ve been looking forward to this release, definitely an early Christmas pressie for me. Solo and girl groups of the 60’s is one of my favourite genres. I guess most people’s minds would leap automatically to the sounds from over the pond from the Brill Building, Carole King, Shangri-La’s etc and Spectors Wall of Sound productions for The Ronettes, Crystals etc all timeless classics of course. But here in the UK we had an equally thriving ‘scene’ with many going on to be big names and some sadly disappearing without trace. This beautifully presented 3CD set from RPM is a finale to their very successful ‘Dream Babes’ series of compilations that ran from 1994 to 2007. If you already own any of these CD’s fear not none of the tracks are duplicated in this set which contains many rarities and some previously unissued material. The accompanying booklet by Ian Chapman and Bob Stanley tells the story in fine form along with some great photos. Just some of the ‘big’ names starting out on their careers are here in the shape of Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield (The Springfields), Kathy Kirby (a huge favourite of my dear old dad), Cilla Black, Jackie Trent, Elkie Brooks, Kiki Dee and Cloda (without the gh) Rodgers to name but a few. Fascinating to hear their evolution from their early recordings contained here. Away from these well known artists are the lesser remembered but in some cases equally great singers who had some success but didn’t make the leap to the big league but nevertheless left us some great singles, my personal choice being Billie Davis, Samantha Jones and Beryl Marsden who could belt out a great tune and should have had greater success but such is the fickleness of the record buying public then and now. A lot of the girls (and groups) were viewed as a bit of novelty fare at the time, and to be fair some were. However listening to the Vernon Girls of We Love The Beatles fame/infamy sing ‘Only You Can Do It’ on Disc One you realise they weren’t a million miles away from those aforementioned Brill Building girls when they had decent material. At 80 tracks there is so much to unearth and enjoy, it may not all be in the premier league but for anyone like me who loves this genre and time period its hard to fault. The breadth and scope on display is actually summed up wonderfully by the accompanying press release and for once I can’t better it in my own words ‘ beat girls, folk girls, hippy girls, mod girls,……………….Not forgetting Schoolgirls, secretaries, convent girls, actresses, daughters of diplomats and god daughters of royalty’!! Wonderful. You can have the fun of working out who is who!

I’ll leave it there with a YouTube clip of our late beloved Cilla getting Motown, and the back of the two heads watching the performance in the first 10 seconds belong to a coupla geezers called Paul and John….wonder what happened to them……….

For more information go to https://www.cherryred.co.uk

This being the last SMART Sounds of this year, may I wish an early happy Christmas to all fellow Smarties and friends, see you in the New Year,

Til then………………….

Colin

David Essex – White Rock Pavilion 19th November 1974

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scan0017     david essex stardust     essex reply

Alan Esdaile… Shows how popular David Essex was, as his film was on at The Classic and The Curzon at the same time

Peter Fairless… Rock On!

Leigh Weiland-Boys… Saw him then & he stayed at The Queen Vic, where my friend was a receptionist, she worked that night so he gave her two free tickets to see him at the Brighton Dome & she took me! Double whammy!

Brigitte Lee… Where were the Penguin and The Orion?

Alan Esdaile… The Orion Cinema was next to the Old W H Smith (just down from the old main Post Office. The Penguin was where Dennies Club was, opposite Priory Street car park.

Chris Meachen… I was taking pictures for The Observer at that gig, along with the lovely Jennie Tocock who was attempting without much success, to get an interview with him..

Leigh Weiland-Boys… My Mum worked at the Observer at the time and got hold of a couple of photos from that night for me – I am not sure whether I still have them (moved a few times since 1974!!) but will have a look.

Jennie Tocock… He was a bit of a jerk if I remember rightly, Chris! We got so many great interviews with tons of the bands in those days … but dear old David was a bit too special to give us 5 minutes!

Alan Esdaile… Oh what a circus that must have been Jennie.

Lesley Bowles… My friend’s Mum worked in the White Rock box office and got me front row tickets, seat A20, I’ll always remember it – and so had the WR advertising poster on my wall for YEARS!!! Happy days!

Hawklords – The Carlisle, Hastings – November 5th, 2017 review by Sarah Harvey

photos by Sarah Harvey

I make no secret of the fact that I like nothing about bonfire and firework season and when the chance to go and see some legendary space-rockers in my home town of Hastings on November 5th presented itself, it was the ideal escape.This particular concert at The Carlisle had been advertised months before in many national prog rock forums and gig guides although having seen no real advertising locally for it up two weeks before I started to wonder if it was actually going to happen. I personally only noticed a poster appearing about 10 days beforehand and this lack of publicity probably goes some way to explaining an attendance lower than I expected.

For those who are not aware of the history of the Hawklords, they were originally active between 1978 and 1979 and were formed of members of Hawkwind, who were inactive during that period, namely Robert Calvert on vocals, Dave Brock on guitar and Simon King on drums. They were joined by Harvey Bainbridge on bass and Martin Griffin on drums who were both from a local Devon group named Ark. The band was completed by the addition of former Pilot keyboardist Steve Swindells. In 1978, the band released their first full studio album 25 Years On and as far as I am aware, the band last appeared in Hastings on 25 November 1978 as part of their 42 date UK tour in October and November of that year. In 2008 a new Hawklords formed around bass player Harvey Bainbridge and ex-Hawkwind vocalist Ron Tree, who were joined by drummer Dave Pearce (ex-Bevis Frond), guitarist and keyboard player Jerry Richards, and bassist Tom Ashurst. Apart from Ron Tree who had mysteriously gone absent before the start of the tour, this was the line-up the appeared at The Carlisle.

The set began with a piece called ‘Out Of Phase’. Having seen Hawkwind earlier in the year at Folkestone, I could have been forgiven for thinking this was Part Two of that concert because this was Space Rock in its purest form. If you asked me to define Space Rock I am not sure I could do it… apart from its spaceship like electronic noises acting as a backdrop… it is just one of those rock genres that you just know it when you hear it. Jerry Richards supplied the wonderful driving guitar chords and licks in typical space-rock fashion and was more than capable of providing the band’s lead vocals. As frontman for the band he also provided some humorous wit throughout his introductions. Bassist Tom Ashurst looks the youngest member of the band, and along with drummer Dave Pearce they supplied the gritty strength that the music demanded from its backing. Harvey Bainbridge looked like the mad professor at his keyboards and his witty vocal accompaniment to ‘Whisperer’s Downfall’, a track from their latest album, rather reinforced this for me. Indeed, having whispered to my friend Chrissy Brand standing next to me regarding my observations during the song, I became the subject of Harvey’s vocals…..’Look, she’s whispering’. It was like being caught in the act by teacher! Rather interestingly throughout the gig, I became aware of a number of recognisable musicians around me and it seems that Hastings has somewhat become a bit of a magnet in music terms. Members of Bevis Frond, Liam Glenocky (Steeleye Span) and Adrian (Ade) Shaw (ex- Hawkwind, Country Joe McDonald, Arthur Brown, and the Deviants.) took their place in the audience alongside me. The members of Bevis Frond were clearly there in support of their ex-drummer Dave Pearce, and towards the end of the set Adrian Shaw made an appearance on bass during ‘Flight’. The set had an interesting mix of older and newer compositions although I only detected ‘Free Fall’ as a remnant from their earliest days and curiously only ‘Ghost In My Machine’, ‘Whisperer’s Downfall’, ‘New Space’ from their most recent release (Hawklords Six). Also included in the set were a few cover versions ‘The Right Stuff’ (Robert Calvert song) and ‘Coded Languages’ (Hawkwind). Tom Mahler’s psychedelic lighting produced the ideal backdrop whilst Joe Rytlewski took charge of the sound, which all resulted in a kaleidoscope of intergalactic audio pleasure.

So all in all, a thoroughly entertaining evening that provided the perfect alternative to rockets of a different, and rather less attractive variety. I had said earlier that I had seen Hawkwind earlier in the year and found it a thoroughly enjoyable concert. To see Hawklords as some sort of poor-man’s Hawkwind would be an insult to them because to my delight I found Hawklords equally enjoyable with an equally enjoyable variety of space rock. Whilst I am no nearer to defining space rock after seeing The Hawklords, I continue to stand by my theory that I will always know it when I hear and see it. I certainly heard and saw it on Guy Fawkes night …. it is alive and kicking and in good hands with The Hawklords.                              Sarah Harvey – November 2017

Dave Nattress… As with your review of Curved Air Sarah, I found this review really entertaining, a great read. Makes me wish I’d been there. My (known), or self-acknowledged space-rock experience is pretty much confined to Hawkwind from the several pier gigs and festival appearances. One festival at Nutley many, many, years ago there was a band called Amon Din (I think), who I think may have had some association with Amon Duul but then maybe they just had a contrived name. I don’t know though on reflection I must have some space rock in the collection somewhere. For sure, I’ll dust off “In Search of Space” later for starters. It will be a dust off as I only have it on vinyl. I might even try and read the log again. What about some Flaming Lips, is that spacey – don’t mention him, or just weird?

Who remembers Disco 45 Magazine?

I think it was Tich that introduced me to Trevor Bolton and his partner Barry. They had offices in Hastings at Silverhill and Claremont. I worked on a few projects with them. Anyone know if Trevor is still around? The magazines were sold in The Disc Jockey. However a number of times the lyrics were wrong. They paid for the rights to reproduce them but had to work out the lyrics themselves by stopping and starting the records to work out the words. I remember when Soft Cell hit big, WH Smith wanted them to produce a special magazine, however the photos that came through from Soft Cell’s management were too obscene for Smith’s to accept it. They also went on and produced a Top Of The Pops magazine.

Jane Dorsett… I still have mine.

Julie Morris… I’ve still got some copies! Loved it!

Leigh Wieland-Boys… My favourite magazine of the time! Wish I’d kept mine

Wendy Belton… I still have a collection of these and sometimes look at them now. I love anything like that. Won’t ever get rid of them.

Ralph Town… I remember reading the lyrics to Virginia Plain and Crocodile Rock,both of which were wrong but I did enjoy that little paper, great fun.

Dave Nattress… Jane, I remember them well and all the posters on the walls of your bedroom. David Cassidy, Slade, Sweet, Rod Stewart, Donny (probably).

Julie Morris… I had 62 photos on my bedroom wall of David Cassidy – can’t bear to look at him now 😂😩

Alan Esdaile… It couldn’t have been forever, then Julie.

Julie Morris… Breaking up is hard to do Alan!

Martin Richter… I took some photos for them once – a guy called Tony Walsh asked me

Who remembers Dimarco’s?

supplied by Terry Huggins

Mark Praid… Wow, this brings back memories of the one in Hove. The best hard ice vanilla you could get.

Dennis Torrance… Ice cream was amazing there so good. I remember going shopping with my mum price rite then egg and chips lime milk shake on Friday night thanks for the memories

Wendy Belton… Remember it well. Their ice cream was amazing.

Rachel Rayburn… It was my very first job! Saturday mornings serving coffee

Keith Blizard… Not only great ice cream, a wonderful family !

Mick Knights… All meeting up late Sunday afternoon for egg beans and chips before deciding which film to see in the evening, we were creatures of habit in those days

Lloyd Johnson… I do! Tony Di Marco went to my school and I had a summer job along the seafront towards the Old Town working for the family in their ice cream shop, just before George street…🍦🍦🍦

Nastassja Kaschevsky… Used to go in there a lot, lovely family.

Dennis Torrance… My mum worked in the dimarcos under st marys in the castle early 60s I used to play the machines and eat the ice cream there to mums name was Ivy Torrance

William Wallace… the one in hastings gave u the biggest cup of tea in the world lol

Keith Cowper… One of my favourite places in the 50s and 60s

Chris Meachen… Some of my earliest memories are of my dad taking me in there,- He seemed to be friends with the owners (Mr Louis is the name I recall?) I used to have an egg & tomato finger roll followed by one of their fabulous ice creams. Went in regularly all through the years until they closed, much better than a poxy macdonald’s.

Andy Caine… So much time spent in there! The interior was beautiful.

Harry Randall…  see a lot of comments about the Ice Cream! Well a lot of people don’t realise the Ice Cream/Cafe opposite the “De La Warr” in Bexhill is the same family!

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What was the wonder of Woolworths for you?

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Hastings 2007 photo source: http://www.emilyandjames.co.uk/Galleries/Woolworths/Woolworthsphotos.html

https://www.facebook.com/SilverSurfers50/videos/1105923316095058/

Lesley Bowles… The record department

Peter Thomson… My first regular (Saturday) employment. With the Manager’s authority, plugging the bare cables of the display amps into a single socket, after jamming a pencil into the ‘earth’. This was after closing time and nobody died.

Jackie Hutt… Loved the broken biscuits…. My mum used to work on that counter.

Wendy Weaver… My first job, during the summer holidays when I was 14 in the Bournemouth Branch.

Mick Knights… I found an LP in the bargain section called The great American Eagle tragedy for 50p which I sold on ebay for £25.

Sue James… We used to love the bottles of raisin wine and the ginger wine at christmas

Tony Davis… I used to love the hot salted peanut machine they had. I also seem to remember that at one stage there was cafe in the Hastings one.. Talking about Woolies has also reminded me when in the same stretch or road were Sainsburys and Joe Lyons cafe. Sainsburys was all wood and marble and Lyons used to serve mashed potatoes with an ice cream scoop. Great memories!

Andrew Freeman… The smell of Woolies was completely unique.

Roger Dando… Airfix two Bob kits – obviously ! !

Jan Warren… It was just the store, it was where (and I guess many others) used to hang out on a Saturday, it was part of our Saturday!! – I was devastated when they closed all the shops, it was the end of an era!! 🙁 🙁 🙁

Peter Fairless… Louise in the record dept. Am I allowed to say that?

Paul Dove… worked there as a 15 year old Sat boy, bloody long time ago…

Alan Esdaile… Yes your right Tony. I remember a cafe where the record dept was in Woolies. Also remember Sainsburys and Lyons. Don’t forget the wonderful Dimarco’s cafe next door and also the tiny Tesco.

Dave Nattress… I lived in Bexhill where we had a good enough woolies. But I think I’m right in saying Hastings had the attraction of an escalator – when I was rather younger. Actually in latter years both Hastings and Bexhill had a period where they were selling some really good music DVD’s – bought quite a few. The records and later CD selections on offer were pretty good also. Overall though, the selection of merchandise available was great – they did most things.

Joe Knight… Demarco old fashioned but great food.

Tim Moose Bruce… The tiny Tesco was a large store in comparison with other shops when I first went there with my mum back in 1969 .

Joe Knight… That’s the shop you could always find something for everyone at Christmas

Terry Har…. Spent most of my pocket money in Woolworth Tolworth Surrey and as a teenager chasing the girls who worked there.(and sometimes catching them lol)

Peter Thomson… There was also a tiny Woolies in Kings Rd, St Leonards until the early 70s, at least.

Alan Wood… The escalator

Leigh Wieland-Boys… Record department

Dennis Torrance… Some great pictures there happy memories

Mike Wright… Embassy Records

The Cannon Cinema Queens Road Hastings 1990

supplied by Nick Prince

Alan McCann… It was actually ‘twinned’ in May 1971. Cannon had owned Hastings for a few years before starting an £1 million conversion to three screens, which commenced in 1984, but opened in June 1985.

Josie Lawson… My mum moved from the Orion cinema to the Classic Cinema – and worked there …I didn’t see much of her then as I moved away from Hastings in 1976 until I returned in 1987…

Tony Ham… Pearl & Dean adverts.