Hooker – Studio & Grove School 1981

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supplied by Tim White  http://www.whitehouse2002.co.uk/index.html

Originally called Strider changed their name to Hooker at the end of 1980.  Steve Francis guitar/vocals, Steve Todd guitar, Tim White bass/synth, Kevin White drums, Charlie (Chas) Garrioch sax and Steve (Babes) Burt sound. Recording at the Sound Sense Studios in Seaford and gig photos from The Grove School.

Alan Esdaile… I remember making badges for this band. The problem was the logo was too big and struggled.

Tony May… There’s a good chance I was at this gig! I thought ‘Hooker’ were great! They did a fabulous version of ‘Ain’t No Love In the Heart Of The City’ (Whitesnake) and I kept on to the one in the band who worked at the school for a cassette recording but he never gave me one. Brings back a lot of memories seeing the old Grove School again…

Roy Penfold… I believe this band eventually became Shy Boy who you have previously featured Alan!


The happy ballroom & more 26th March 1966 by Andre Martin.


Andre Palfrey-martin collection

It may well be the Easter Weekend as I write, but 50 years ago, we still had several weeks to go. 50years ago its Saturday 26th March 1966 and the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier, is not in action this weekend, according to the local newspaper reports the visit from Dave Berry was well received and the Pier company were going to continue these shows in the coming weeks. Nothing mentioned about the Disc Jockey Promotions in the Restaurant, I think they were moved to the Regent Hotel about this time.
The Friday Nights entertainment for many would have been a short while in front of the Television with “Ready Steady Go” Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan would have introduced – Wilson Picket:634 5789- The Animals : Inside Looking Out, Mary Wells and Roy Orbison. But the best has to be Dusty Springfield as “You don’t have to say you love me anymore” – heading for the top of the charts within a few weeks.
The Witch Doctor again keeps the groups coming and we are being spoilt for the variety that always on the programme, This Saturday it’s the return of the fantastic ANTEEEKS and The Sonics plus records, just over 5 hours entertainment for just 6/- that has to be good value. Sunday afternoon “Big Big Record Spin” 2.30pm-5.00pm all for 1/6d. Tuesday night is “Candlelight Nite” an “Intimate atmosphere” and records for only 2/-. Thursday it one of the BIG nights with Steve Maxted and Friday according to the advertisement it was The Hastings Theatre group presenting “ Heat Rave so Come Cool” featuring 2 Fab groups – sadly very little can be found about this evening, and nothing was printed in the local press, so we will just have to wonder……
Radio for the weekend included on The Light programme – Saturday Club with Brian Matthew featuring Cilla Black, Crispian St Peters, Herman’s Hermits, Billy Joe Royal, Barry St John, The Puppets and the Ted Taylor Seven. Lunchtime it was the turn of Jack Jackson with his Record Roundabout, later the afternoons line up would include The Grand National from Aintree,THE Sound of Johnny Pearson, Saturday Bandstand, Desmond Carrington with Open House, Pop Over Europe organised by the West German Broadcasting Service, and Jazz Beat with the Alex Welsh Band. The evening was full of Music Hall, Old Time Dancing with Sidney Bowman and his Orchestra and Late Night Saturday with Peter Murray and friends. Sunday would include Easy beat with Keith Fordyce introducing toons from The Johnny Howard Band. Lunchtime it was Two Way Family Favourites from London & Koln. The afternoon was given over to comedy- Round The Horne,Val Doonican & Benny Hill. Alan Freeman would be around with Pick of the Pops. For the movie fans, Movie Go Round this week featured “Life at the Top” Laurence Harvey, Jean Simmons and Honor Blackman and “Where the Spies are” David Niven and John LeMesurier.
Television that weekend included – Grandstand incl The Boat Race & Grand National. Dr Who on his travels, Juke Box Jury this weeks panel included Nina & Frederik, Adrienne Posta, Ray Davis with David Jacobs in the Chair. The evenings viewing continued with Dixon Of Dock Green, The Western with Audie Murphy. Barbra Streisand in “My Name is Barbra”. The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Spies and to end the evening The Andy Williams Show this week featuring amongst other the Osmond Brothers.
On the Pirate wave bands, Radio Caroline South is still having technical problems and were off the air for the coming week, however on Radio London – the top 5 were – Dedicated Follower of Fashion[Kinks], Elusive Butterfly[Bob Lind], Super Girl [ Graham Bonney], I met a Girl[Shadows] & Substitute [Who]
There you go, 50 years ago, it only seems like yesterday at times. This has been an interesting week, in particular with the Pier; we now have the official re-opening day and the headline show for that day, it’s going to be an interesting day.
Until next week – everybody enjoy what is left of the Easter break and fingers crossed that the weather is not as bad as predicted !!   Andre Palfrey-Marin © 2016

The Happy Ballroom & more 19th March 1966 by Andre Martin

The next report back on 50 years ago in Hastings, and what was going down Saturday 19th March 1966. The Happy Ballroom was in action with the appearance of Decca Recording Star – Dave Berry who we all remember as having hits earlier with “The Crying Game” and “Little Things”. Also that week the Teen Beat Coffee Club on a Thursday had its usual session in the Restaurant. This has to be an improvement as the facilities are being used.
For those who read my special for last Friday – 18th March, will have seen that the Friday night RSG had started us all off for the weekend in good style.
The Witch Doctor was recovering from the Ides of March Rave with A Band Of Angels now having returned to London, from what I remember the band had stayed the night with the d’Abo family in Bexhill after the great success of the show. On Saturday night it was a return from regular artistes Davey Sands & The Essex plus in support The Original Dyaks. Sunday and Tuesday it was the record shows with our regular spinners and Thursday the “Muscles Maxted” Show. Friday night was to be another first for the club, where it was advertised as a Surprise Night ! I should be able to tell more next week.
BBC Radio Light Programme on Saturday had the usual bundle of Children’s and Music programme to start the day from 5.30am. Saturday Club with Brian Matthew had its usual excellent range of artistes, including this week – Small Faces, Freddie & The Dreamers, The Bachelors, The Who, Valerie Masters, John Mayall’s Bluebreakers and The Les Reed Orchestra. Lunchtime we heard Jack Jackson Record Roundabout. The rest of the day was made up of Brass Bands, Male Voice Choirs, Jazz with Chris Barber’s Jazz band and several visits to the Old Time Musical Hall. Sundays included Joe “Mr Piano” Henderson and The Sing-along’s. Easy Beat with Keith Fordyce and the Johnny Howard Band. This week it was a three way link up with BFBS and BBC for Family Favourites – London, Koln & Nicosia in Cyprus. The afternoon included Round The Horne, Benny Hill Time, Semprini and Pick of the Pops. Movie Go Round this week included a great education film – St Tinian’s with Frankie Howerd, Dora Bryan and George Cole. Also it was getting ‘geared-up’ for the release of Alfie. Early in the evening it would be Brain of Britain 1966 competition. Later Sunday Half Hour was live from HMS Tiger RN Dockyard Portsmouth. Late night Jazz was introduced by Humphrery Lyttelton and continued till 2.00am Monday Morning !!
Television for the weekend for the Rugby fans included the Scotland v England game from Murreyfield, a quick visit to somewhere ???? with Doctor Who and we had Juke Box Jury and Beat girl –Shirley Anne Field, Adam Faith, Jimmy Young and Jeannie Carson made up the panel with David Jacobs ready with the hit or miss button. The evening followed very much the norn – Dixon Of Dock Green, The Western Film – this week City of Badmen with Dale Robertson, The Black and White Minstrels, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and the Andy Williams Show took us to closedown. Sunday early television was very much “educational” and the entertainment did not really start until teatime – David Copperfield, Pinky & Perky, Songs of Praise, The film that night was “Sons & Lovers” based on the D H Lawrence novel, starring Trevor Howard, this was followed by a classic Sunday night drama – Dr Finlay’s Casebook.
For those tuning to the Pirate stations would have heard amongst the weekend offerings – Radio London Fab 40 –Top Five – Shape of Things to Come: Yardbirds, Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine anymore: Walker Brothers, Exclusive Butterfly: Bob Lind, Dedicated follower of fashion: Kinks, Nowhere man:Settlers. Over on Radio Caroline South, with the Emperor Rosko – No 1 Walker Brothers, No 2 I Can’t let go Hollies, No3 Sha La La La Lee – Small Faces. No 4 These Boots… Nancy Sinartra and No 5 Back Stage Gene Pitney.
So there we go, it was a very interesting an enjoyable weekend for me and I know quite a few people in the town. Looking ahead the clock is ticking to the grand opening of the new Pier on 21 May 2016, and certain Red Letter Day from so many of us in the town. We still have Easter to get through and that is when traditionally the Pier used to put on extra events, we will have to see. All that I remember from Easter 1966 was that it snowed !! Until the next part of the Story, you all take extra care and look after yourselves. Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2016

Official video Factory Angel From The Sky, full CD to be released in April 2016 and your chance to win one.

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cover: Teresa Qunta

Factory album, ‘Back in the Time Machine’ OFFICIAL RELEASE April 2016…

For a chance to win a copy of the long awaited Factory album, Back in the Time Machine, GO HERE: https://www.facebook.com/factory1970/ and you will find the GIVEAWAY there… easy peasy!!

Mike Curtis… Well That doesn’t disappoint! Excellent.

Pete Fisher… MAGIC! congratulations to all concerned, excellent track, great video, so good to see you back together!

Neil Cartwright… Excellent !

The Happy Ballroom and more 12th March 1966 by Andre Martin

March is quickly going and here are already at Saturday 12th, in The Happy Ballroom there is nothing scheduled, all that is advertised is for next week Saturday 19th, A Big Night Out – with the return of Dave Berry, no mention of his Cruisers. The Disc Jockey Promotions are happening in the Restaurant on a Thursday with local band – Mud Milligans Big Boss Band.
Friday Night had been a special on Ready Steady Go – with a James Brown Night – he was complete with the Famous Flames and the whole show was built around his touring concept The JB Review.
The Witch Doctor put together an interesting programme – On Saturday Night the headline band was Dean Ford & the Gaylords, who had recently moved from their home of east Glasgow to London. The group had been rated the TOP Scottish band in the early 60s, within a few weeks of appearing at Hastings they would change their name to The Marmalade and go onto a successful career. Supporting the lads from north’o the border were another popular act The Way. Sunday Afternoon, Tuesday & Thursday Evenings would be with Records, with what was a key part of the weeks entertainment on Thursdays. The “Biggest Disc Show Around” The Muscles Maxted Show.[quoted from the newspaper advertisement. Friday night continued with a “Roman Rave” with a Band of Angels – but more about that later.
BBC Radio over the weekend included Saturday Club with Spencer Davis, Ivy League, Division 2, Elkie Brooks, Ray Anton & Proform [sound like something you bought in Boots] and Jimmy James & The Vagabonds. Brian Matthew spinning and new releases and linking the whole show together in his usual calm way. Later in the day you had Jack Jackson Record Show. In the afternoon on Saturday Bandstand it was the Aldershot Staff Band of The Corps of Royal Engineers and on Jazz Beat that night – Acker Bilk.
Sunday followed the usual format – Easy Beat with Keith Fordyce, 12noon – Two Way Family Favourites London & Koln, afternoon comedy with this week Round The Horn, Val Doonican and Benny Hill. Movie Time featured “Flight of the Phoenix” starring James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Peter Finch & Hardy Kruger, I think this had been filmed in Libya with help from the British and US Forces. The other feature film was “Our Man Flint” starring James Coburn & Lee J Cobb.
Television offered on Saturday Dr Who, Juke Box Jury with David Jacob and his panel Patsy Ann Noble, Brian Matthew, Wendy Varnals and Bert Kaempfert. The evening continued with Dixon of Dock Green, the western film – “The Maverick Queen” followed by Terry Scott and at 9.10pm an Election Broadcast with the Prime Minister – Harold Wilson OBE. This was followed Dick Van Dyke on the Andy Williams Show. Nothing out of the ordinary on Sunday except perhaps Pinky & Perky !!
On the Pirates: Radio Caroline South with Tom Lodge @ 12 noon the charts were topped by Small Faces – Sha La La La Lee and the Hollies – I Can’t let Go. Radio London new Big L Top 40–Yardbirds – Shape of Things, Kinks -Dedicated Follower of Fashion. Walker Brother – The Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore. Hollies – I Can’t Let Go. Bob Lind –Elusive Butterfly.
A brief write up this week, as I have been very busy with projects that are all coming together nicely – including the Hastings Pier situation. Look out for more information as it’s trickled from the Trust over the coming weeks towards the Grand Opening on Saturday 21 May 2016.
Next week I will include more about the Friday 18th March 1966 and The Ides of March Rave at the Witch Doctor and the duel appearance of the d’Abo family !! Until then you all take care, fingers crossed that the warm weather continues.     Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2016.