Penny Black – early 70’s Hastings and Brighton

source David William/ Facebook Eastbourne Bands From 1960 on

David William.. first photo Hastings early 70’s. far right Dave H Terry Creasey Terry Mcconnel Dermot

Robert Searle… Great pictures

Pete Millington… Great flares!

Mark Asseenontv Scutchings-Stevens… Is that a Watkins/WEM bass ?

Dave Nattress… Went to the old Hastings College with Terry Creasey. Iain Cobby was there as well at the time. We were all doing construction studies. Also had Mick Kemp, drummer and Paul Durrant, Keyboards from Damaris – all doing construction. I remember when Paul brought in his first synthesizer. There were a lot of musicians there at the time. I was there part time from about 1970 – 1975. I remember Phil Gill there but don’t know what course Phil was doing. Do I recall correctly, Penny Black became Steam. Terry was definitely in Steam.

Chris Dann… Well, my wife has just had a look at the two photos of Penny Black and she says that the bass player in the first photo is Dermot and I am in the second photo. I was the original bass player in Penny Black. Consequently, left to right in the first photo ; Dermot Searle, Terry McConnell, Terry Creasey, Dave Hacker. (circa 1972) Second photo; Terry McConnell, Chris Dann (me),Terry Creasey, Dave Hacker. (circa 1970). I played bass with Penny Black from 1970 to 1971. 2nd April 1971 we played with Factory and DJ Tony Kane at Hastings High School. That’s how I remember playing on the same stage as Factory. I remember they were really good although I seem to remember that there was only three in the band ?? Dermot took over from me in July 71 when I went over to Brighton Top Rank to play full time in the Ronny Keane Band. In 1972 I went to study Jazz at Leeds College of Music and stayed in Leeds until about 1978 when I joined the Jack Hawkins Showband in London. I stayed with Jack as a pro bass player from 78 to 84 and then (sick to the back teeth of travelling) I packed in playing and took a job teaching music at Seaford Head School. During the late 60’s early 70’s I played bass (part time) with the Ted Crouch Band, Penny Black , Ronny Keane and various others who I just can’t remember right now. I also did a short stint with a band called The Kingsmen. I seem to remember that we opened Kings Country Club and became the resident house band. I left after a very short stint because I hated it ! When I came back to Eastbourne in the 80’s I played odd gigs with Ted Crouch and also with a band called the Amazing Rubber Band which was run by (if I remember correctly) Gary Bonner from Bonner’s Music in Grove Rd Eastbourne. I think I have some photos of Penny Black. I’ll dig them out and forward them to you.

Ian Williams…  Was your father Roly Dann, excellent drummer?

Chris Dann… Hi Ian, yes my father was Roly Dann (Roland) he played with Ted Crouch and then The Ricky Norman Sound. Sadly passed away in 2001 after various bouts of ill health. We actually played together a couple of times. One of my first gigs at the age of 14 was an ‘Old Time Sequence Dance’ at the Falaise Hall and my dad was on drums. I was playing an old Double Bass that I paid £10 for. I had to stand on a small stool to reach the fingerboard. We tied it to the roof of my dad’s car and hoped it didn’t rain. Well, the gig started and I was totally out my depth. Valiantly trying to sight read manuscripts and hold my own in a band of experienced pros. I remember when it was time to get paid all the other musicians got a fiver each except me. I got a ten bob note. When we got home I questioned the pay difference and was told “that’s all you’re worth son” A hard lesson but needless to say he was right.

Ian Williams… Hi Chris, you and I played together on a few occasions, with Ted Crouch. We met up in Eastbourne a couple of times, and I went to your house, ( leaving party?) and you’ve also been to mine, in Augustus Way, St Leonards, where you had friends  When we worked together, if my memory is correct, you were a teacher and sold your house to work abroad? Circa 1990? You also drove a Porsche, which you demonstrated by driving me along The Ridge. I thought the car was on rails. Sadly, due to bad advice, you blew the engine up.Just remembered, your Dad suffered with nose – bleeds. Why would I remember that?I’m glad you’re still around, and, hopefully in good health.

Nicki Dann… Yes but you turned about to be one of the best bass players around . Although as your sister I am somewhat biased

Geoff Peckham… Two connections here, Chris. My dad, David played double bass with Ted Crouch too. I’m not sure if he was a regular member or depping. Also, as a member of Factory, I don’t remember the gig with your band. I suspect it was when I had tonsillitis and they went out as a three-piece, Andy playing bass; which explains your memory of it.

Wilberforce montagu obodie… Had you not heard of Bobby Waugh

6 thoughts on “Penny Black – early 70’s Hastings and Brighton”

  1. Went to the old Hastings College with Terry Creasey. Iain Cobby was there as well at the time. We were all doing construction studies. Also had Mick Kemp, drummer and Paul Durrant, Keyboards from Damaris – all doing construction. I remember when Paul brought in his first synthesizer. There were a lot of musicians there at the time. I was there part time from about 1970 – 1975. I remember Phil Gill there but don’t know what course Phil was doing. Do I recall correctly, Penny Black became Steam. Terry was definitely in Steam.

    Reply
  2. Follow up.

    Well, my wife has just had a look at the two photos of Penny Black and she says that the bass player in the first photo is Dermot and I am in the second photo. I was the original bass player in Penny Black

    Consequently, left to right in the first photo ;

    Dermot Searle, Terry McConnell, Terry Creasey, Dave Hacker. (circa 1972)

    Second photo;

    Terry McConnell, Chris Dann (me),Terry Creasey, Dave Hacker. (circa 1970)

    I played bass with Penny Black from 1970 to 1971. 2nd April 1971 we played with Factory and DJ Tony Kane at Hastings High School. That’s how I remember playing on the same stage as Factory. I remember they were really good although I seem to remember that there was only three in the band ??

    Dermot took over from me in July 71 when I went over to Brighton Top Rank to play full time in the Ronny Keane Band. In 1972 I went to study Jazz at Leeds College of Music and stayed in Leeds until about 1978 when I joined the Jack Hawkins Showband in London. I stayed with Jack as a pro bass player from 78 to 84 and then (sick to the back teeth of travelling) I packed in playing and took a job teaching music at Seaford Head School.

    During the late 60’s early 70’s I played bass (part time) with the Ted Crouch Band, Penny Black , Ronny Keane and various others who I just can’t remember right now. I also did a short stint with a band called The Kingsmen. I seem to remember that we opened Kings Country Club and became the resident house band. I left after a very short stint because I hated it !

    When I came back to Eastbourne in the 80’s I played odd gigs with Ted Crouch and also with a band called the Amazing Rubber Band which was run by (if I remember correctly) Gary Bonner from Bonner’s Music in Grove Rd Eastbourne.

    I think I have some photos of Penny Black. I’ll dig them out and forward them to you.

    Best regards

    Chris Dann

    Reply
  3. Hi Ian, yes my father was Roly Dann (Roland) he played with Ted Crouch and then The Ricky Norman Sound. Sadly passed away in 2001 after various bouts of ill health. We actually played together a couple of times. One of my first gigs at the age of 14 was an ‘Old Time Sequence Dance’ at the Falaise Hall and my dad was on drums. I was playing an old Double Bass that I paid £10 for. I had to stand on a small stool to reach the fingerboard. We tied it to the roof of my dad’s car and hoped it didn’t rain. Well, the gig started and I was totally out my depth. Valiantly trying to sight read manuscripts and hold my own in a band of experienced pros. I remember when it was time to get paid all the other musicians got a fiver each except me. I got a ten bob note. When we got home I questioned the pay difference and was told “that’s all you’re worth son” A hard lesson but needless to say he was right.

    Reply
  4. Hi Chris, you and I played together on a few occasions, with Ted Crouch. We met up in Eastbourne a couple of times, and I went to your house, ( leaving party?) and you’ve also been to mine, in Augustus Way, St Leonards, where you had friends When we worked together, if my memory is correct, you were a teacher and sold your house to work abroad? Circa 1990? You also drove a Porsche, which you demonstrated by driving me along The Ridge. I thought the car was on rails. Sadly, due to bad advice, you blew the engine up.Just remembered, your Dad suffered with nose – bleeds. Why would I remember that?I’m glad you’re still around, and, hopefully in good health.

    Reply

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