The Big Green Cardigan Festival calls it a day…

After nine years, the time has come to put the Big Green Cardigan into the wardrobe and leave it there.
The festival has never covered its cost and as much as we love it, financially we cannot carry on.
It’s been a marvellous adventure making friends and discovering some great acts together but now it is time to move on to new things. We would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported The Big Green Cardigan since 2011 and hope you go away with some dashingly good memories.

So long, and thanks for all the fish

Mick & Dave
The Big Green Cardigan

Carol Arnold… oh thats a shame

Wee Jock… Sorry to read about this. It’s a tough industry and I feel your pain

Roger Daltrey The Who I Can’t Explain …I Can Explain! Hastings Rock Radio 1995.


supplied by Colin Bell

Colin Bell… I was working on a piece for the SMART website on The Who, then on Friday at the last get together the subject of The Who, Roger Daltrey and Hastings Rock came uu, So ive combined several threads together, to answer some questions, provide some info, have a few laughs and appeal for some help from the wonderful SMART community.

‘I Can’t Explain’ a pivitol record by anyones standards introducing The Who to the world. Recorded at Pye Studios in November ’64,
the session didn’t go smoothly….Shel Talmy the American producer drafted in some session players..As Roger was later to say to me ‘ producers paranoia, he didn’t think we were any bloody good to play’…! Hence the presence of Jimmy Page and Clem Cattini(legendary drummer with the Tornados, and a man who has played on more Hit records than you can shake a (drum) stick at. The upshot was Jimmy Page did play on the record, underneath Pete. Moony’s reaction…’get that F*****g bloke out the studio before I F*****g kill him!….Ah God bless Moony!
I first saw The Who live on Hastings Pier in 1967 (im sure lots of SMARTIES did). From that day on I was a die hard fan of the greatest live rock band in the world. I never imagined then that some years later I would be privileged to work at Track Records in Old Compton Street in Soho, home label to The Who, Hendrix, Arthur Brown, Marc Bolan, Marsha Hunt etc etc. Great days and many fond memories. Fast forwarding now to 1995 and Hastings Rock FM. 1995 was a crucial year for the station that its founder Nick Thomas had and has worked so hard to bring to air, great guy. This was the last RSL broadcast before the Radio Authority granted a local licence, I suggested to Nick that it might help to get some more publicity for the station in the pursuit of a permanent licence if I got a few ‘names’ to come on my show and do some interviews. Roger being local was top of my hit list. The studio at that time in December 1995 was in the Old Dairy in Silverhill (since demolished).
It was bloody freezing that year with thick snow. With no real conviction he’d agree to come on I rang him at home
and explained the situation and very generously he said ‘Ok mate for old times sake i’ll come in and do it’. We arranged to meet in The Clarence for a pint first…whilst in there a punter said,,nervously..’your Roger Daltrey!’…the reply deadpan from Roger ‘nah im a fish farmer’….So we crossed over the road to the studio and went live with the interview, he was great and gave over an hour and a half of chat to the people of Hastings an extroadinary amount of his time. It was great fun and he insisted on having the monitors in the studio at full change there! Very sadly as we all know the licence didn’t go Hastings Rock way, but Hastings Rock has of course lived on to great effect by Nick and his team, and long may it continue!
Now to the appeal for help bit…the only recordings made of this interview and others (i’ll list later} were on a vhs tape machine running off the desk.
I think ive located a copy in my archives and Sarah Harvey has kindly offered to get this transferred to CD.
Copies can then be made available to any one who would like them (free of charge). If you happened to make any recordings and still have them please get in touch via SMART. And we can preserve a bit of Hastings musical history. Thank You.
For Info the other guests who gave of their time and have played/or had connections to Hastings and appeared on my shows were:

Live in Studio:
Denny Laine (Moody Blues/Wings
Peter Sarstedt {who performed Where Do You Go To My Lovely..and dropped Hastings into the lyrics)
Annie Haslam (Renaissance)
Steve Hyams (British Lions/Mott)
The Dharmas (later to become Steadman)

Chris Farlowe
Kenney Jones (Small Faces)
Pat (PP) Arnold
Linda Lewis
Andy Scott {Sweet}
Dave Hill (Slade)
Steve Hogarth (Marillion)
Mick Abrahams (Jethro Tull/Blodwyn Pig
Suzi Quatro
John Steel (The Animals)

Bruce Dickinson (recorded, but not broadcast.

Look forward to seeing everyone at next meeting and as ever kudos to Alan for all his hard work!

Alan Wood… Great article ,thanks

Andy Qunta… Excellent! I love The Who, especially Roger, who was very good to Factory! I went to the record shop after I first heard Can’t Explain, not knowing what it was called or “who” it was by. I sang the chorus to the guy behind the counter, & he somehow recognized it! Who fan ever since! Thanks, Colin, & SMART for posting this!

Valerie Morris… I worked for Track Records … I PA’d for David Thornton-Pickering … Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp.  Vernon was a great friend and I did the promo at the BBC for Arthur Brown … Fire … many many memories of The Who, Dave Rafael, Marsha Hunt…… Valerie

Below the Queens Hotel Hastings – Queens Cocktail Bar. Year?

photographer: unknown

Had many titles over the years, The Flying Machine, Bonitas, Lazy Bones, Emmas, JR’s etc. Any idea of the year of this photo?

Paul Huggett… Going by the cars most likely mid 1930s

Michele Crew… That’s a great photo and probably the best it ever looked

Alan Esdaile… The cover over the entrance, has always stayed the same.

Mick Knights… There was a Christian coffee bar called the sign of the fish.

Nick Bloomfield… worked there when it was Emmas Disco (1978) and the management in a fit of desperation asked me to come up with some names for different nights. I duly obliged with ‘Funky Friday’ and ‘Saturday Special’. Thus ended my career as a fledgeling promoter…

Ernest Ballard… I used to drink in there a lot as my then wife was the receptionist working shifts. Met many top musicians including Elvis Costello when he was recording with SIr Paul McCartney. We were told by his management unknown to him to ignore him as he didn’t want conversation at the bar or people constantly asking for autographs. After a few days of this and a few drinks he shouted “. Does no one know who I am ? “. We all said. “ no”. He got more angry as we ignored him. Looking back it was so funny.

Peter Thomson… Free chicken and chips late night in Bonita’s. Never asked my age from 15 on. Can’t think of any other reason to go there….

Roy Penfold… I’d put it as mid to late 1940s.

Leigh Kennedy… The ‘Queens Hotel American Cocktail Bar’ to give it it’s full name, opened in july 1937. It was renamed the ‘Elizabeth Bar’ in 1957.

Mick O’Dowd… I took over from Colin Bell at Bonitas as resident DJ.

Alan Pepper… Remember it well Mick ! Hey DJ can you play Sex Machine by J B ? Hit it  !!!

Mick O’Dowd… Sorry Alan Pepper!

Lance Collins… Worked there for a few months but hated it. Missed being on the road. It had a really strange management team !!!!!!


Group 004 + 1 & The Beat Syndicate – 1964/65

Any flyers or posters on these bands?

The Beat Syndicate at the Photoshoot 001

The Beat Syndicate.. supplied by John Maskell

John Maskell… I was a vocalist for a support group on Hastings pier on the 19th September 1964. The group was called Group 004 + 1. I appeared with another group called The Beat Syndicate later that year or early in 1965 supporting Verne Rogers and the Rebounds.

Are there any archives that you know of that have flyers/posters or other details of the time. I am trying to trace my time in the bands, but not having much luck. I am attaching a photo of the group which was taken after we won a beat competition at Coronation Gardens Leytonstone London, which was where we were based.The good looking one is yours truly at the back, left to right is Tony the Drummer, Jim the Rhythm Guitarist, John the Bass player and Mick the Lead Guitarist.

Group 004 + 1 or Johnny and the Bobcats as they were previously known, also appeared at the West Cliffe Ballroom Ramsgate on occasions to raise money for the Football Club. We supported acts like Duffy Power and Deke Arlon and the Offbeats to mention a couple. I am sure you are aware that Deke Arlon went on to become a successful manager, Shena Easton being one of his big stars.

Andre Martin… Here is the Newspaper advert from 19 September, that shows the Beat Syndicate as supporting. Will see what else I can find out for you.

1421284_10202434732807657_1353946471_oAndre Palfrey-martin collection

John Maskell… I was very pleased to receive the West Cliff poster from Nick Warburton. This poster shows both groups that I sang with. At the time I didn’t realise that The Beat Syndicate were backing Duffy Power, We had been on a supporting list some time before on Hastings pier The Beat Syndicate. The Headline Group at that time was Verne Rogers & The Rebounds. Around three months after the West Cliff gig I joined The Beat Syndicate as lead singer. Regrettably, I have to announce that Jim Newton Rhythm Guitarist for The Beat Syndicate passed away in September 2018.


Martin Casson Agency – Hastings Pier Gigs Nov/Dec 1974



leaflet supplied by Michael Mepham

Kevin Sherwood… Went to all of them.

Phil Meston… Went to the first three!

Yvonne Cleland… Went to all but Leo Sayer.

Tony Court-holmes… only Curved Air for me

Bob Lloyd… Interestingly Steve Maxted ran a Wednesday night disco at Woodville Halls in Gravesend in the early 1970s

Dave Weeks… I think I went to all of them apart from Leo sayer. Happy days.

Julie Morris… I saw Leo Sayer and Sparks – and always there for Steve Maxted!Happy days indeed Dave!

Roy Winchester…I saw Leo Sayer what a voice if i remember it right he was dressed as a clown.

Judy Collins – St Mary In The Castle Hastings 23rd January 2020

A unique and intimate concert with the legendary American singer songwriter Judy Collins at St Mary In the Castle, Hastings. This is a truly exceptional opportunity to experience and hear one of music’s female icons in a rare close up and personal atmosphere. Tickets will be in high demand and there is limited availability so make sure you book early!

For more information and tickets…

Mick O’Dowd… Now look at this from both sides now.

Colin Bell at Bonitas Discotheque and promotion photo – 1970’s


img763 img766

supplied by Colin Bell

Caz Simpson… Daniel still thinks cauliflower is colinsflower! I love these Alan, hoping to see him soon for lunch and your invited! x

James Turner… I was a doorman there in the 70’s

Yvonne Cleland… I  remember you knocking around with him in the 70s, Alan!

Alan Esdaile.. Yes I worked for him and remember buying my first disco gear from Colin. As well as introducing me to some great records and contacts, he also let me take over his record review column in the Hastings Observer. So blame him!

Mick O’Dowd… You kept the seat warm for me Colin! Nice to meet up with you again at The Meet Colin. These pics take me back to the chicken & cockroaches sorry chips in a basket! The hours we must have spent shut in that booth on our various stints. Good times though!

Jane Hartley… That’s how I remember him, when I first started going to Bonitas! Not forgetting the chicken in the basket!