Who remembers Roy Martin of The Jazz Caverners?

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supplied by Ernest Ballard

Ernest Ballard… The late great Roy Martin. Founder of The Jazz Caverners. Who remember his saying at the end of every gig. ” Don’t forget to put the cocoa on mum “. Seen regularly in The Jenny Lind Hastings Great banjo player and band leader. I see he has a road named after him in Eastbourne and also a National Express Coach wow. RIP

Paul Huggett… Good old’ boy.

Roy Penfold… I remember the sheer joy apparent on his face when he led the band marching around at carnivals.

Alan Esdaile… Agree Roy.

Ernest Ballard… Yes he really loved his band. I feel he showed us a true love of music. A true legend and local hero. He brought joy to so many.

Geoff Peckham… Roy was the heartbeat of the Jazz Caverners and the Expedient Marching Band when I followed them around ’69-’72. I think ‘joy’ is the right word – he loved the music and playing it, and gave joy to those who listened. He was always so friendly and kind. Years later, I was playing with Uncle John’s Band in Lewes for the library (we had all the wild gigs!) and Roy, who I believe worked for the library (?) was there. He recognised me and when I introduced him to the band, he asked if he could join us for a song or two. The others weren’t keen owing to previous experiences with oddballs, even though I told them he was fine. Later, in the middle of a Cajun dance tune, Mamou Two Step, he leapt up, grabbed a mic and proceeded to perform a ‘Cajun rap’ over it. The lads in the band were initially a bit concerned, but they soon realised they were in the presence of …..Well, I’m not sure, really! But we all had fun and his fellow librarians loved it! As you say, a true local legend!

Ernest Ballard… Nicely put.

Chris Watford… Roy Martin was a great friend of mine, and a real character on the Sussex jazz scene. However, he was not the “founder of the Jazz Caverners” ! Let me explain :-
When the Hastings band, the Dolphin Jazzband broke up after some 9 years together, trombonist Brian Towers and myself re-formed as the Jazz Caverners, and as Roy had a van and was willing to bring over fellow members of Eastbourne’s Mojo Rhythm Kings, we offered him the chance to join the new band on banjo – although we already had a banjoist in the band, Geoff Coates. This worked out well, as Geoff would disappear to Europe quite often to go busking with his guitar. We were into the Classic style of 1920s jazz, so never sounded like a banjo band, and we recorded for the specialist label Vintage Jazz Music (VJM) in London in the early 1960s. Brian Towers, still playing at the age of 83 out in Toronto, has recently compiled a CD of these early tracks, and if your readers want to purchase a copy, they can contact Brian by Googling ” Hot Five Jazzmakers “. Back in the 1950s, Roy was the originator of the Expedient Brass band, which played at Bonfire Night parades all over East Sussex for many years- often in torrential rain ! It was an authentic New Orleans Parade band with a flexible line up depending on who was available on the night, and usually comprised up to eleven musicians, who came from jazz bands from as far afield as Hastings; Lewes;Eastbourne; Crawley, and even London jazz musicians came down. These would include Colin Bowden (drums), clarinettists Roy Pellett and Tony Pyke, trombonist Mike Pointon, etc etc. Even as late as 1966, when I had married and was living in Hildenborough, Kent, I would come down for the occasional Parade at places like Mayfield and Crowborough. In 2012 we had a Reunion in St.Leonards, and after a lunchtime meal for the musicians, we were greeted by over 150 old fans of the Dolphin Jazz band, and the Jazz Caverners, most of whom we hadn’t seen for some 50 years ! I put together a Reunion Double CD of unissued tracks by the bands, and I still have just a handful left, if anyone wishes to obtain it. Roy Martin is, of course on some of the tracks, playing and singing in his own unique way.

Liberal Abroad Ian… The road named after Roy Martin is in Polegate, where he was a councilor and for a year mayor.

Antony Martin… in reply to Chris Watford, Nice to read your kind comments about my Dear old Dad.
I would be interested in the cds

Prom In Aid – Jazz Caverners, Morgan Le Fey, The Jukes, Mars. Queens Hotel 31st May 1986

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Supplied by Mick Mepham

Phil Gill….My first gig with The Jukes. Andy Knight and I had a splendid time wandering around the place with a pair of walkie-talkies we commandeered from someone official looking and winding people up. Ian Dobson introduced The Jukes by name and said “On bass, Phil Gill. It’s not true when people say he’s not fit to live with pigs, because he is.” Great line! Also remember being hugely impressed with Michael Mepham’s band Mars, especially a song called Lorelei – they had a real big time buzz about them, well rehearsed and confident, and it showed from the first song. I still have the Prom-in Aid T-shirt and a poster. Lovely day.

Alan Esdaile… Mick, was Mars the band I saw at your special launch night in Eastbourne?

Joe Knight… sounds like you all have had some great fun in the past , thanks you two are like a library of Hasting bands

Tim Moose Bruce… Went to this one. Mars were great.

Pork Dagger with Roy Martin – Regent Hotel 1968

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin….I know that some groups come up with really strange names – but what about this from 1968

Geoff Peckham….Would this be the indefatigable Roy Martin who played banjo and sang with the Jazz Caverners?

Tony Qunta….Wow, I had forgotten about them!

Yvonne Cleland…..Who on earth thought that would be a good name?!

Chris Jolly… And they say it’s all in the name…

Terry Huggins… The Pork Dagger no less.

Pete Fisher… sounds like a Spinal Tap song title…

Andy Qunta… Thanks for reminding me about Roy Martin! What a character!

Hastings Carnival Beer Festival – Hot Pursuit Alexandra Park 14th July 1983

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poster and photo of Hot Pursuit supplied by John Williams

Featuring Sunstroke, Hot Pursuit, Jazz Caverners, Sturdy Beggars, Dr Miller Needs A Brain, Louis & The Bitterhalf, Telham Tinkers and Brian Boru.

John Williams… My old band in the Park – Hot Pursuit comedy show band. Featuring Derick Macey, Terry Tollan, John Williams, Patrick Green and Daniel Bruce Tollan.

Farmers Lung – around 1975/1976

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supplied by Sarah Harvey

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Support at the caves in 1976.

Sarah Harvey…..Farmers Lung – Probably from around 1975/76 – Farmers Lung played some gigs locally such as at The Palace Bars although probably little known in Hastings. Photo is the handsome David Kent and left to right Steve Turner (Bass), Richard Walsh (Guitar and latterly drums), Graham Barrett (Vocals and Guitar – RIP) and (hiding) Dave Kent (Keyboards and Guitar. There was also Richard’s brother Roddy Walsh – (Not pictured – Guitar – Roddy). Steve, Graham and Dave went on to join forces and form the 2nd or 3rd line-up of Samisen. Particularly liked their rendition of ‘Pearls A Singer’ …. a good band but little known.

Alan Esdaile…..How did you come up with the name ‘Farmers Lung’?

David Kent….It was my idea. I’d seen a documentary about this particular occupational disease and thought it would be a good band name. Astonishingly, the rest of the band agreed to it. I’ve made a bit of a speciality of being in stupidly-named bands that no-one remembers. Anyone remember The Twice Amorous Maniac Douglas Baders? Thought not. When that picture of the band was taken, we were called Westland Bone Circus and had previously been Johnny Sprogg & The French Letters. Just to prove that I still have no talent for picking good band names, I am thinking of releasing some songs using the nom de plume “One Magnificent Eye Wobbles”. No wonder I still have a day job. Incidently, If you’d heard Steve and me taking lead vocals after Graham left, you’d have thought we may have been suffering from Farmers Lung. I’d forgotten to mention The Sprouting Love Bumps.

Sarah Harvey… Great find with the Caves ad.

Mick O’Dowd…. Is this the same Dave Kent who worked for John Humphries at one time?

Karen Sweatman was Blackman… That’s him Mick, although I never knew him with hair! 🙂

Mick O’Dowd… No Karen he was nearly as sparse as I am now.