The Konrads & The Silhouettes Sat 24th Oct 1964 Hastings Pier by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… Saturday 24th October 1964, it would be just another dance night in the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier, with the return of two well know attractions – The Konrads and the Silhouettes – for only 5/-, I was trying to remember how much a pint was in the bar, I think that was only about 1/6d, but then wages were large. Back to the music, the Konrads were a well know group from Bromley and South London, and one of their claims to fame was that at one time in their line-up was a soon to be discovered – David Bowie, however at this time it is fairly well documented that he had moved on from being with this group. The Silhouettes, made the journey from their home ground of Portsmouth/Southampton to play Hastings Pier. Both played a mixture of Soul and Pop and would have kept the dancers busy keeping warm in the large ballroom. The press at this time make very little mention of who is going to appear in the Ballroom, or even give any clues as to have the previous weeks acts had been received, so there is little to report. The weekend would have kicked off with the Friday Night “ Ready Steady Go” on ITV – with the line up including The Rolling Stones, Dave Clark Five, Marianne Faithfull, Sandie Shaw and Dusty Springfield – the package was presented by Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan. At Marine Court, the crowds making the trek to the 2nd floor – The Witch Doctor would have had another good week, with Saturday : The Cresters and The Confederates only 6/- for 7.30pm – 11.45pm. Sunday was the Blues Club, with this week Victor Brox Blues Train. [ club members only 4/-, non members 5/-] And the following Friday Dave Curtis & Tremours only 4/6d with the usual record shows filling the rest of the weeks entertainments, average price 1/6d.
Radio Caroline was gathering in popularity and there were a few new stations that had appeared over the summer months, but most were on low transmitters, so apart from Radio Luxemburg the signal strength would be weak and very flakey. Depending on the weather, one station that could be occasionally picked up was American Forces Network [AFN] being bounced from Holland to the USAF bases in East Anglia- that is where I first heard “Old Gold Retold” playing a lot of 50s numbers.
The BBC was still offering a range of musical entertainment, on Saturday this week on The Light Programme at 10.00 was Saturday Club – Brian Matthews introduced The Supremes, Ronettes, Baron Knights, Skeeter Davies, Merseybeats, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates. In the afternoon on Saturday Swings – 2.00pm – Manfred Mann, The Outlaws, The Raindrops, Russ Saintly and the Nu Notes – all this introduced by Don Wardell. On Sunday – Easy Beat would have been in the capable hands of Keith Fordyce [ already done his thing with RSG on the Friday]and on the bill The Swinging Blue Jeans, Val Donnigan, Long John Baldry and The Hoochy Couchy Men and the Johnny Howard Band. Television on Saturday would have included on BBC 1 – Juke Box Jury, with David Jacobs and his panel included Sid James, Andrew Oldham [watch that name] The Marchioness of Tavistock and another unnamed guest. And a little later Jack Warner starred in Dixon of Dock Green. ITV would have shown “Thank your Lucky Stars” with Brian Matthews in the hot seat. Sunday, however was nearly always void of music programmes for the youngsters.
So there we have another history lesson of half a century ago – quite selection, interesting to see the Confederates supporting The Cresters, who I believe came from Manchester, and I can remember both Pete and Trevor saying how excellent these lads were. Till next week in the Happy Ballroom and elsewhere in the town have a good week………………..

Mick O’Dowd… Here’s The Konrads with David Bowie.

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supplied by Mick O’Dowd

Andy Qunta… Andre – thanks so much for all that amazing info! Took me right back!

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