SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Johnny Nash Stir It Up: The Anthology 1965-1979


STIR IT UP – THE ANTHOLOGY 1965-1979 Johnny Nash

This is a welcome release, the first decent anthology of the excellent Johnny Nash, 2CD’s 46 tracks in pristine remastered sound. Annoyingly these days if you hear any JN on the radio its 9 out of 10 times going to be ‘I Can See Clearly Now’, I’m sure all the programme controllers are all about 15! Anyway, Houston born Johnnys career goes back to the late 50’s, but as the title of this compilation says we kick off here in 1965 with the opening track ‘Lets Move And Groove Together, a deep soul outing that would sit perfectly on an Otis Redding album showcasing Johnnys soulful vocal prowess. However after visiting Jamaica it was his fusing of soul and reggae that was to bring him to international recognition. 1968’s ‘You Got Soul’ is a personal favourite and a perfect example. As I said earlier radio sticks with ICSCN, but remember ‘Hold Me Tight’ ‘Cupid’ (best cover of a Sam Cooke song), ‘Stir It Up’, ‘There Are More Questions Than Answers’, ‘Tears On My Pillow’ ‘Dream Lover’? all great single hits. Lets not forget that ‘Stir It Up’ these days probably linked indelibly with Bob Marley was first recorded by Johnny and it was Johnny who took the struggling songwriter to London and the rest was history for Bob. Johnnys own songwriting, producing, arranging, playing talents are far ranging, read the excellent sleevenotes that accompany this set quite incredible. As well as the hits already mentioned there are great covers to enjoy ‘Groovin’ (originally Young Rascals) is a stellar example. There are also tracks released for the first time from two later 70’s albums ‘What A Wonderful World’ and ‘Lets Go Dancing’.
Although these days no longer active musically since basically ‘retiring’ in 1988 Johhny is still successful in other activities. I saw him perform live back in the 70’s along with the late Desmond Dekker and I’m so glad I did. His legacy of recorded music and his contribution to the global awareness(along with DD I might add) of Jamaican reggae cannot be overstated. On a sunny day like today as I write these words Johnny just adds to that sunshine. To sum up a great, and in my opinion, essential compilation to grace your collection.

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Happy Easter to all, til next time…..


Radio Northsea

Sarah Harvey… Going back to the early 1980s when pirate radio was still alive and kicking

Alan Wood…Thanks Sarah,that theme tune always gets me !!!

Sarah Harvey… Over and above any other pirate radio station, RNI has always been the most dearest to my heart for all the memories it brings back.

Alan Esdaile… Remember the theme tune, it brings it all back, because the signals kept dropping you moved up and down the dial listening to Caroline, London, North Sea, Radio Essex and others.

Robert Searle…  Loved them all and still going on internet radio.I bought an internet radio a couple of months ago, best thing in radio.

Alan Pepper… Wow That takes me back to my youth ! Radio under the pillow late at night. Playing all the latest sounds. Thanks for that. I always thought it was called NORDSEE ha ha !

Mick O’Dowd… Didn’t they have a Dutch segment and it was Radio Nordsea Int.?

Charlie Tumahai images wanted


Photo: Jean-Luc Massey Hall (?), Toronto, Oct. 22, 1977 Charlie Tumahai, Be-bop Deluxe

Angela Boyd… I’m doing archive research for a NZ feature documentary called “Herbs: Songs of Freedom”, about Charlie Tumahai’s band “Herbs”. I’m trying to track down any images or footage from some of Charlie’s earlier bands (Be-Bop Deluxe, The Hollywood Killers, Healing Force etc).

You can contact Angela at  or happy to pass on any information.

Dave Nattress… I’m pretty sure Angela would know this, but, just in case.  There are several You-tube films of Be-Bob Deluxe, some from Whistle Test.  Good old stuff as Be-Bop were a real favourite – still are etc. and I saw them live once at Eastbourne Congress.

A love letter to The Byrds A love letter to The Byrds – and the part they played in a musical journey… by Darren Johnson


I love folk and have attended numerous folk festivals and countless gigs, taken part in seminars on the history of English folk song and enjoy writing about it, both on here and in other publications. However, unlike rock which I loved from my early teens, my appreciation of folk came later in life. But after getting into heavy metal as teenager in the early 80s, I started exploring back – to 70s glam rock and 60s beat groups.

Continue reading here….

Alan Esdaile… still love Eight Miles High

Darren Johnson… Yes that late period of the band had some good moments. The Untitled album especially

Will Cornell… That McGuinn was able to still have a band around him when everyone was coming and going is one of rock n roll’s greatest historic achievements. From “Notorious” to “Sweetheart Of the Rodeo” and beyond to “Untitled” is pretty remarkable…and look what bands came about in their wake. Gram Parsons alone casts a huge shadow.

Darren Johnson… Plus other Byrds spin-offs like the magnificent Gene Clark solo albums


Robert De Mortain and Hastings Rock end of an era


Robert De Mortain… This is with great sadness that I would like to inform you that the Robert De Mortain has traded yesterday for the last time. I am not a man of words so I will make it short.
The whole team at the Robert de Mortain would like to thank you for allowing us to be part of your life. We are very proud to have contributed to the local community and real sad to see the pub go. We know what it means to you: “18th and 21st Birthdays, Bank Holidays, Hastings Rock Radio, Karaoke, THE QUIZ, Xmas Day, First alcoholic drink, being kicked out or barred:), hangover, first date, last date, wake, funeral, outdoor antics, ghost hunting, table tennis and badminton social club, halloween, the odd games of darts, …” so much to think of! We will miss you. Should you wish to get in touch with any member of the team please leave your details in a private message or pop in and leave a note in the mailbox. Thank you and take care.

Sarah Harvey… We are sure that the fans will join all of us at Hastings Rock in thanking everyone who has been involved with The Robert De Mortain both past and present for some wonderful times and also wishing them all the very best of fortune for the future. The Robert De Mortain has always been described as the spiritual home of Hastings Rock and we will miss everything about it. May The Robert De Mortain and all the people who have been involved with it…… live on in your fondest memories forever!

Roxine Lucas… What a shame got a lovely beer garden out the back x

Beatles Day 18 – White Rock Theatre Hastings – Sunday 2nd April 2017

Beatles Day 18 POSTER FINAL

Harry Randall… I’ll be there!

Tim Phillips… Beatles Day 18 .it won’t be long yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah ,it won’t be long yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah .

The Rockitmen… We love playing at Beatles Day

Sam Rosewell… I’m there!

Pauline Richards… Be there or be square!!!!

Trevor Lyward… I got a sgt pepper 12 inch picture record beatles never been played

Chris Barrett… It’s in my diary. It’s a real highlight of the year. Seeing so many friends. Pete Prescott is a hero. I wasn’t even grey when I played on it first. Here’s to many more. 🍻👍😀😎

Alan Esdaile… Always the biggest music event in Hastings.

Tim Moose Bruce… Im there with Eclipse.

Joe Knight… It’s a great chance to get to see some GREAT TALENTED PEOPLE PERFORM  Looks like a great line up again.

Kevin Burchett… ill be there as normal

Alan Esdaile… Not long to go now. Don’t forget The Beatles Day Stand will be in Hastings Town Centre on Fri 31st March and Sat 1st April. Where you can get tickets, badges, raffle tickets, t-shirts and programmes to plan your day.

Dawn Wildman… £23,000 raised already for Macmillan Cancer Support! There’s still plenty of time to get down here to join in with the fun!

Alan Esdaile… Excellent, the place is buzzing and you still got time to join us, with lots more great bands to play.

Tony Davis… A great Beatles Day yesterday. I introduced bands and artists on the acoustic stage from 12 noon to 5pm and then down to the Sussex Hall until the end at 10pm. Only managed to see a little bit on the main stage but thought Kid Kapichi were great. Lots of reports about the main stage and the amp fire so must have been an exciting day for my pals Andy Gunton and Dawn Wildman down there. I always enjoy introducing bands but was really pleased yesterday to introduce Benjamin Davis and Caitlin Merison on the acoustic stage and my friends The Kavemen (Chris Rigden) on the Sussex Hall stage. It was a day, however, tinged with sadness as I introduced Benjamin’s band Mania for their last gig. So good luck in the future. I’m sure we’ll all keep in touch and perhaps some of you will occasionally play together in the future. What always pleases me about Beatles Day is the number of young performers that appear like 13 year old Charlie fronting the band Charlie’s Angels. Great voice. Thanks to everybody that played and supported the event but most of all thanks to Pete Prescott who once again did a great job putting it all together.

100’s and 100’s of comments and photos coming in, so please check out the Beatles Day Facebook page and website. Latest total awaiting confirmation is over £25,000.