G Band (The Glitter Band) – Hastings Pier 4th June 1976



G BAND – HASTINGS PIER 4th June 1976

On their very first gig as the G Band, the glitter didn’t shine as expected. Among fainting fans, the G Band made their entrance but gone has the opening impact of the effective drum beats, instead under the spotlight appeared an unknown keyboard player which you could not hear during the whole set! Loud screams greeted the rest of the band and they played safe by starting with ‘Angel Face’ but because of sound problems this wasn’t that recognisable until half way through. They continued with a couple of unknown songs including a reggae number which was leaving the audience a bit restless and it didn’t help matters when they moved on with a terrible version of the ‘Lorraine Ellison’ classic ‘ Stay With Me’. It was apparent that the group seemed nervous and unsure but the tables soon turned when they performed ‘Tears I Cried’ and the new hit single ‘Don’t Make Promises’  with Gerry playing the banjo!  From ‘So Is The Sun’ to the Spencer Davis cover ‘Gimme Some Lovin’ to ‘People Like You & People Like Me’ and to finish the set ‘Goodbye My Love’. The audience got them back on stage  for the encore ‘Tell Him’.   reviewed by Johnny Mason for Melody Maker


here’s an older gig ad:


John Storer… I have no idea why I went to see them. My Aunt Margaret’s cousin, John Springate, was in the band (and still is) but that nebulous familial connection probably wouldn’t have dragged me to the Pier to see them. Can only assume a girl I fancied told me she was going! I was a million miles away from being the “coolest kid on the block” back then, and don’t think I ever let on I’d been to see them – they were a pop group, for goodness sake!  I do remember, however, that I was really surprised at how good they were live. Haven’t seen John since my cousin’s wedding several years back, but did meet a couple of the band about 6 years ago when they were still involved in legal wranglings over the name and royalties owed from back in the 70s. Almost choked on my tea when I looked at their Wiki page and saw one Roger Carey had once been in the line-up!  Does anyone have a photo of Roger dressed in silver foil and stack heels?

Read moreG Band (The Glitter Band) – Hastings Pier 4th June 1976

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Strawbs – Deadlines (2CD/1DVD) Remastered/Expanded Edition

DEADLINES : Strawbs (2CD/1DVD)  Remastered/Expanded Edition
Firstly the issuer of this release Esoteric Records have done a masterful job (as usual) with the presentation of this set. Housed in a sturdy glossy clamshell box, inside containing 3 discs with individual artwork, a replica Tour flyer/poster and a booklet. Disc 1 contains the original album plus 11 bonus tracks. Disc 2 contains 11 tracks live from their concert at the Golders Green Hippodrome recorded on 18th February 1978 for BBC’s ‘Sight and Sound’ programme. Disc 3 is a DVD (all region) of the aforementioned ‘Sight and Sound’ beautifully remastered in…well..’Sight and Sound’! available here for the first time. The Strawbs originally formed in 1964 by Dave Cousins as a bluegrass band had by the 70’s moved through Folk, Folk/Rock, Prog Rock and had pop/rock hits memorably with ‘Lay Down’ in 1973 (a personal all time favourite’). By the time they recorded ‘Deadlines’ their last album of the 70’s they were all but done. Their previous album ‘Burning For You’ ended with ‘Goodbye Is Not An Easy Word To Say’ intended by Dave as his farewell song to the band. Lets remember that 1977 was the height of Punk and all that came with it, bands like the Strawbs, Yes, Asia, ELP etc etc were considered irrelevant dinosaurs and derided by the Punk movement. However management somehow convinced Dave to carry on. So it was that he took a flight to New York to meet with Clive Davis music mogul and founder of Arista Records. An unlikely label one would think known mainly (at that time) for its pop sensibilities with acts like The Bay City Rollers, David Cassidy, Gary Glitter, Dawn etc. However a deal was done with an enthusiastic Davis and ‘Deadlines’ was the result. As it turned out it would be the only album for Arista. Largely ignored by the Press on release and to a degree the record buying public it became the ‘lost’ Strawbs album. Did it deserve it? an emphatic No! The line up for ‘Deadlines’ consisted of Dave Cousins (acoustic guitar/vocals), Dave Lambert (electric guitar/vocals), Chas Cronk (Bass), Tony Fernandez (Drums) and new arrival Andy Richards (keyboards/moog etc). Recorded in Dublin and Air Studios London all nine tracks written by Cousins, Lambert and Cronk the finished album did in fact have a lick of Arista about it as the band moved at times to almost pop powerballadry. Kicking off with a stormer ‘No Return’ (an ironic title given the closing title of the previous album!) with the lead vocal taken by Dave Lambert as opposed to Cousins, great driving riffs and some electrifying keyboard wizardry by Andy shown to stunning effect on the live DVD (there’s another Andy (Q!) known to us all that would surely rate this) Track 2 ‘Joey and Me’ another uptempo catchy cut also features some impressive keyboards. Track 3 ‘Sealed With a Traitors Kiss’ is a heartfelt ballad and is a beautiful gem. Space precludes a run down on every single track but two other tracks standout ‘The Last Report’ becomes an earworm after one listening and ‘Deadly Nightshade’ is a pure madrigal winner. Disc 2 as mentioned is the live ‘Sight and Sound’ concert audio. Disc 3 is the DVD of said concert with the same tracks in the same running order and for me is the jewel in this package. Mixing old favourites with tracks from ‘Deadlines’ its a great and nostalgic watch and joy of joys blasts off with a spirited ‘Lay Down’ what more could you ask for! If you’re a Strawbs fan I urge you to watch this you won’t be disappointed. An excellent package, more please Esoteric! Enjoy.
Til next time…………Colin


Andy Qunta… Great review, Colin!

Neil Partrick… really interesting article, Colin.


Julie Felix – White Rock Pavilion Hastings – 2nd June 1974

Dave Nattress… Would I be right in saying Mama’s gonna take us to the zoo tomorrow? And…we can stay all day.

Neil Partrick… Message Music was interviewed by me and he mentioned what it was like working with Julie http://oldfolkrebels.blogspot.com/…/kelvin-message-life…

Genesis & Budgie – Hastings Pier 2nd June 1972 and Budgie 30th June 1972

img203 genesis-2-192x300 1654072_418333351645461_1568307881_n-2

ticket supplied by Roger Carey    poster supplied by Iain Cobby  ad Sarah Harvey

Mick Knights….This was the first time I saw Genesis and as I said in my first post with this group, I remember Gabriel standing behind two antenia like spot lights looking menecing. The last time I saw them was the penultimate concert before Gabriel’s departure, at Wembly arena, where they did the Lamb. The last concert I went to this year was Steve Hackett at the Albert Hall, which was two and three quarter hours of pure nostaiga.

Pete Fisher….back in the days when it was cool to sit cross-legged on the floor at concerts…also still have the ticket!

Glenn Piper….I remember this gig (I know, I know, but it’s true, I do) Peter Gabriel wearing his flower costume etc

Tim Bruce….”Wheres my time machine?…”

Barry M Dyke….I was there with my then girlfriend (now my wife of 40 years), Gill. We both agree that Genesis were nowhere near as good as Budgie. Wasn’t Simon Davies, AKA Tony Kane, doing the disco?

Read moreGenesis & Budgie – Hastings Pier 2nd June 1972 and Budgie 30th June 1972

The Dubliners – White Rock Pavilion Hastings 1st June 1975

Patrick Lewis… Remember this concert. They were brilliant.

Jim Breeds… So do I and I have the programme I bought that night. Perhaps we were there together with the usual gang?

Dave Nattress… Saw them at Brighton Dome, I’m pretty sure it was, back in about 1970 and superb they were.  They rocked and folked and drank their way around – no doubt.  Good old boys for sure!

Jim Breeds… No mention of Ronnie Drew! He did leave the band for a few years and it was probably during that time that some of us saw him solo at the Black Horse in Telham. Were you at that one Patrick? He was a little too well oiled. John Towner fell out with him after John said Ronnie was too well oiled to play the guitar properly and Ronnie declined to have John accompany him. We bought him a pint in the car park ! (Ronnie, not John, lol)

Patrick Lewis… Jim Breeds, no I sadly missed that one. The WRP gig was at the time when Ronnie Drew had left the band. I always liked his renditions of McAlpines Fusiliers and Finnigans Wake. I think his replacement was Jim McCann.

Lindisfarne – Hastings Pier 17th January 1975

Photos by Chris Meachen

Steve Cooke… Alan with Kenny Craddock on keys in 1st pic. Still miss these two every day – made and played some great music with them.

Tony Court-holmes… I was there

Martyn Baker… Yep. I went to that one too. They were excellent.

Tim Moose Bruce… Saw them at White Rock in the 80s. Great gig.

Robert Paine… Remember this group

Chris Meachen…  I kicked the dressing room door down for them too.. (they were locked out..) earned a crate of ‘Newcastle broon’ for that….

Maureen Head… Loved their music.

Dave Nattress… Saw them on this one with the Bexhill contingent of pier gig followers. Fog on the Tyne – a fantastic album of a great era and some great singles of course. Run for home is a favourite. BJH were also a fave with the Bexhill boys.

Dave Weeks… Enjoyed the BJH more

Chris Meachen… I went backstage to find them standing in the corridor, having locked themselves out of the dressing room. One good flying leap got the door open, & a crate of Newcastle brown for me..

Mandrake featuring Andy Gunton – 1975


supplied by Andy Gunton Dakka Dakka Dakka Facebook site

Andy Gunton… One & only gig by Mandrake, a forerunner of Dakka Dakka Dakka, at a fete in Golden Green, Kent on Sat, 5th June 1975. L to R: Simon Flack, Andy Gunton, John McCue, Martin Fredericks & Gary Bunt.

Mick O’Dowd… You weren’t related to Mandrake Paddlesteamer were you?