Andre Martin…..This week’s History of The Happy Ballroom, is going to be much improved. Lets go to Saturday 25 April 1964, the top of the bill a band that had been doing great things in recent months were booked to appear – THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS .
Formed in Liverpool in 1961 as The Bluegenes, The Swinging Blue Jeans followed virtually the same path to success as many of their Merseybeat contemporaries during the early 1960s. After playing a succession of local dance halls and club engagements, including the Cavern Club, they travelled to Germany and appeared at the Star Club, Hamburg. The Jeans had their own ‘Tuesday Guest Night’ while they were resident band at the Cavern. One of the first bands they invited as their guests were The Beatles.
Their popularity was assured as by the time they appeared in Hastings in April, they had to their credit several singles, including these over a very short period of time, that had charted, “ Hippy Hippy Shake” / “Now I Must Go”, December 1963) – UK no. 2; “Good Golly Miss Molly” / “Shaking Feeling” March 1964) – UK no.11, and about to be released within days of this appearance, “You’re No Good” / “Don’t You Worry About Me” May 1964) – UK no. 3.
The Support act, booked for that night, should have been The Ramblers, who were from North London and who had appeared before in The Happy Ballroom, they were well known and had made several records under the direction of Joe Meek – what happened on that night is now picked up by the Hastings Observer – A local group The Confederates were asked at the last moment to stand in for the Ramblers and as you can see from the press cutting from the following Saturday, did a splendid job. Peter Millington, remembers the night well, as it was the first time they had played the venue, and it was somewhat larger than usual, as was the size of audience that the boys were used to working before.
The show went well, and as we will see very shortly, the Confederates were to headline The Happy Ballroom in their own right.
all cuttings…..Andre Palfrey-martin collection
Peter Shaw…..The unfortunately late, but great sticks man Dave Saunders…fast hands and an excellent artist too! I have one of his signed crayon art works at home…and it’s of a beautiful woman…typically Dave!! The band were a local big time outfit with a powerful presence…great memories!
Peter Millington….Thanks Pete, Praise from the master, All the product of Grove School (1961-1963) and a Regimental Sergeant Major with a Blue Van.