High Mileage & Babylon – Hastings Pier 14th May 1977

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supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey… Best remembered as the founding keyboardist with Mott the Hoople, Terence “Verden” Allen was born May 26, 1944 in South Wales. He was in a number of bands following departure from Mott, one of which was Cheeks who he formed in 1976. This was quickly followed by the formation of HIGH MILEAGE, which featured Martin Chambers on drums, Paul Oaldenall on bass, and guitarist Dave Tedstone. Tedstone was another Hereford local, who was well known to Verden through his stints with the Doc Thomas Group and Lee Starr and the Astrals. High Mileage soon gave way to Verden Allen’s Seven Inches, which also featured Martin Chambers. Curiously HIGH MILEAGE isn’t even mentioned in Allen’s biography and skips from ‘Cheeks’ straight to ‘Seven Inches’. So if you saw High Mileage on The Pier, you were capturing a very rare gig.I can’t remember seeing them at this gig on May 14th, 1977…..but probably did….does anybody else remember them?  Also….Babylon! Was this the prog rock group that was formed in 1976 by Rick Leonard, Rodney Best, Doroccas, J. David Boyko, and Gary Chambers (As far as I am aware no relation to Martin Chambers…or was he)? They released one album, 1978’s Babylon, before breaking up that same year.

John Storer…This was one I missed. Had been to see The Vibrators the previous Saturday, and had spent shedloads of money on Thursday 12th May at Ye Olde Pump House celebrating Eric Cawthraw’s 25th, Mick Hurton’s 22nd and my 21st birthdays. It had been a night full of Thunderstorms (Mr Cawthraw will know exactly what I mean). So skipped this one as the following week, The Damned and The Adverts were playing and pay day was still two weeks away!

Mick O’Dowd… Good find Sarah. I’m not familiar with either band either.

Sarah Harvey… As for Babylon…they seem like a band who would appear on the pier but they were formed in Florida, so not sure…. but they were the only Babylon around at that time and all the dates seem to coincide with their short existence.

Eric Cawthraw…  just seen John Storer’s remark on ‘Thunderstorms’: a vicious little cocktail that slides down your neck so easy that you’ve had too many before you know it. After-effects ? – I hear you say…..well, the name is appropriate – it’s like having you head inside a car-crusher…only worse. Garry Peters and Mick Watson introduced the recipe to a bar in Florida – the barman got blitzed, but no surprise there!  It’s a bit like o/d-ing on orange juice: Take a small bottle of orange juice add a measure of Canadian Club and another of Cointreau a dash of soda water and ice – bingo, imbibe and hold on to your hat! Vince Bristow came in to the Pump House one evening and shouted ‘my round!’ – I think there were 9 of us along the bar, all on Thunderstorms having large ones in pint glasses and Vince paid up! It was another 3 weeks before Vince had to buy another beer as we bought him ales in turn. Then there were those evenings on the Green Chartreuse….how are we still alive!!!

Phil John… Saw him last year at The O2 when the original Mott the Hoople reformed for a short tour. They played to an audience of 9000 people. Not bad going for a band that had played only 3 gigs since 1975.

Pete Houghton… I saw High Mileage on the pier the line up was Verden Allen ,Martin Chambers , Paul Oaldpenall And Someone Called David S I can’t read his autograph as they signed a sheet of paper for me.

supplied by Pete Houghton

1 thought on “High Mileage & Babylon – Hastings Pier 14th May 1977”

  1. This was one I missed. Had been to see The Vibrators the previous Saturday, and had spent shedloads of money on Thursday 12th May at Ye Olde Pump House celebrating Eric Cawthraw’s 25th, Mick Hurton’s 22nd and my 21st birthdays. It had been a night full of Thunderstorms (Mr Cawthraw will know exactly what I mean)

    So skipped this one as the following week, The Damned and The Adverts were playing and pay day was still two weeks away!

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