The Talismen – Top Hastings group from 1964 to 1967



Supplied by Peter Millington Hastings Groups from 1958 to the present – photos Lloyd Johnson

Peter Millington… The Talismen – One of the best Hastings Groups between 1964 and 1967. Chris Sayer, Keith (Budge) Harrison, Henry Harvey and Peter (Jonah) Jones. Pictures from Lloyd Johnson. Sadly, Chris, Budge and Henry have all passed away.

Yvonne Cleland… I think this is the band that came round to our house and played a few numbers when I was a baby in a cot. Chris played something, and I plunked along with him on my red plastic guitar!

Jon McCallion… Had lunch with Chris nearly every day in the early 70s. Lovely man.

Ken Mulley… I remember this band very well … As I recall they played in Hastings caves.. One stage they were all wearing Levi 501s which insprired me to do the same..! this would had been 64/65

Leigh Wieland-Boys… The lovely Jonah, always looked after us girls when he was a bouncer – never saw his band though sadly

Stuart Moir… I see Pete at the Hastings sea angling club when it’s open was a brilliant solid drummer in the Talisman .

Lloyd Johnson… They played the Market Hall, The Regent, The Caves, The Pier everywhere. I thought they were the best group in Hastings at the time. always quick with the wit!…I was good mates with Henry and and I put The Big Beat Reunions on The pier in the 80s…

Capels – Old Town Hastings – info wanted

Advert 1980

Tony May… A puzzler for you all? Does anyone know what year ‘Capels’ closed down? I’m researching a photo I have been given for Christmas and it shows ‘Capels’ where the ‘Upstairs’ Nightclub used to be. I remember, ‘Capels’ from the 1980’s but can’t recall if it became ‘Upstairs’ afterwards or if ‘Upstairs’ became ‘Capels’? My gut tells me that it was ‘Capels’ first but any info you can shed on this would be good… Oh and if any of you have any photos of either club you would be willing to let me use for an article in, ‘Hastings Town’ please get in touch, thanks!

Tony Court-holmes… new one on me and i drunk in capels a lot

Nick Prince… It was the upstairs night club last of all but CapelsRestaurant still continued underneath. The Upstairs Nightclub was generally still called Capels by the regular during this era. Do you know about Edward Capel?

Tony May… Ah, thanks, Nick! I may be getting things mixed up then! I thought ‘Capels‘ was the Nightclub but if it was a restaurant and underneath ‘Upstairs’ that would explain why I remember it incorrectly – especially if locals at the time also confused the two. Oh and no, I know nothing about Edward Capel?

Nick Prince… The correct spelling would have been Capell’s after Edward Capell , whom was a Shakespearean commentator and a famous playwright. It was once his home. It was also used as a bingo hall by Harry Simmons before he took over the Cinema Deluxe and was used for screening very early films between c1907 and 1910.

Wendy Weaver… I went upstairs in Capells in 1980 on Old Town Carnival night with Mick Msplesden who was s neighbour. He said that Jimmy Dimitri owned it at that time.

Terry Hardwick… I was the DJ at Capels . Upstairs was short lived after someone buying the property next door and Getting it closed down due to noise

Virginia Davis… I wondered why it closed as it always seemed busy.

Yvonne Cleland… It was a great club. I couldn’t wait to finish my shift in the Nelson and get up there! Jayne White was on the door xxx

Wendy Weaver… I think it must have been 1981. We went in there on carnival night with Mick Maplesden who was our neighbour and it closed shortly after.

Harry’s Old Town Bingo, Rock-a-Nore Road, Hastings

Supplied by Leigh Kennedy

Carl Ridley… Would that be Harry as Harry Simmons

Gary Benton… Thats correct

Graham Sherrington… more memories

Pete Houghton… What a great photo! Wasn’t it a night club above

Leigh Kennedy… 1963

Leigh Kennedy… 1950


Leigh Kennedy… Late 1960s

Ian Johnson… Yes it was a night club above

John Gale… Capels

Phyllis Mendenhall… Capels nite club was here we spent a lot of time in there it was great


Ten Years After – Hastings Pier Sat 22nd September 1973



poster supplied by Mick Mepham, ad supplied by Sarah Harvey



photos by Roger Carey

Glenn Piper…. I remember this gig; one of the early ones that I worked on .

Jim Hobbs….Yep, me too!

Here they are playing the great Slow Blues In C – venue unknown

Roger Carey… 1000 plus people at the Pier concert which discouraged me from going to the front!

Sarah Harvey… Just talking to Roger last week about this gig….. he always remembers me telling him that Alvin Lee just walked past me and he was so small (height wise). I had his poster in my room for many a year and always imagined a guy towering over everyone…….but he was Ronnie Corbett height. Must have worn big platformed shoes. He looked a massive bloke on Woodstock and all the posters.

Jim Breeds… I was at this gig! I had long blond hair – it couldn’t be could it!? Probably not.

Yvonne Cleland… This was a good gig. Remember it well, and Alvin Lee came out afterwards and spoke to us.

Read more

Wild Turkey – 7th March 1973 Hastings Pier (changed from Aquarius), also 18th August 1973




Aquarius flyer supplied by Roger Carey, pier flyer supplied by Iain Cobby.



 poster supplied by Mick Mepham

Aquarius or Hastings Pier 1973? One handbill and one poster,  same date, two different venues, now confirmed as Hastings Pier.

Andy Qunta…. did see Wild Turkey at the Pier, but I don’t remember the date. Another great band! (Seemed to be so many then, not so much now!)

Pete Prescott….i saw them in sittingbourne around 73/74 with leo sayer and judas priest ! great band ! gary pickford hopkins was the singer, he was wonderful. He sadly died last year.he sang with ashly holt from warhorse in the rick wakeman band (i just got a warhorse cd signed by ashly for my birthday).i remember bernie marsden was in wild turkey in 73/74.glen cornick wore some pretty strange clothes.i also saw them supporting black sabbath at the albert hall in (i think ) 71.

Clive Richardson…. Wild Turkey did play the Pier and not Aquarius. Also on the August date ‘Leo Sayer band’ did not turn up.

This the other gig they did in 1973 with Leo Sayer Band & Daisy

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poster supplied by Mick Mepham and cuttings supplied by Sarah Harvey

Tony Davis… Saw them at The Dome in Brighton on tour with Black Sabbath – think it was the Master of Reality Tour. They were a great band – that’s Turkey and Sabbath

Phil Thornton… Great gig !!!

Andrew Freeman… I love seeing these posters from both the nostalgia point of view and because they remind me of my son who lives in Brighton and plays with a band called Rough Hands, playing gigs all over and in Europe. I like to think one day, maybe one day they will play Hastings Pier, who knows

Glenn Piper… It was a good gig

Pete Prescott… Good times! Great band. I saw them at Sittingbourne town hall and at Chatham central hall in 73/74. I first saw them at the Albert Hall supporting Black Sabbath in 71.


Better Days – John Barleycorn – The Crypt 8th March 1989

Paul Dengate…  Better Days, a folk-rock band from Hastings, East Sussex, UK, was formed in 1982 and split in 1992.
This track, John Barleycorn (a traditional song) is from a set recorded live at The Crypt in Hastings on Wednesday 8th March 1989 when Better Days won the Battle Of The Bands competition, and just a few months before they toured the UK as support to Steeleye Span. The line-up in 1989 was John Burgess (vocals), Garry Blakeley (fiddle), Steve Cooke (fiddle), Paul Dengate (guitar), Andrew Griffin (bass) and Paul Warren (drums).

John Storer… Gosh … Garry Blakely! There’s a name from the past. Was friendly with both him and his older brother, Teddy, as they lived just around the corner from me. Enjoyed this clip and found several others of Garry’s excellent fiddle playing, and a great video of him and his son playing together

Mary Lipscombe… I’m fairly sure they played the beach concert that year as well.

Andy Gunton… This takes me back. Better Days were one of the first local bands I can remember seeing after moving down to Hastings in 1988.
Not a bad introduction to the Hastings music scene I reckon.

Clifford Rose… I saw them support Steeleye Span at the White Rock back in April 89. Better Days played the better set.

Paul Dengate… We played the beach concert a number of times. I’ll see if I can find which years.