Big Beat Reunion 22nd Oct 1988 – Hastings Pier with Screaming Lord Sutch

all photos © Anthony ‘Nan’ Morland. Poster supplied by Pete Millington.

Screaming Lord Sutch with Cliff Bennett, Tommy Bruce, Cynthia Payne and others. Bottom photo Mike Berry with Nan and Jenny.

Matt Thomas… I spot Nan & Jenny

Lloyd Johnson… On the right of the photo…Nan & Jenny with the glasses….

Jim Breeds… So, did Sutch have a place in Hastings, or did he stay with others when he was in town. I need evidence though, so don’t say yes because you once read it on Facebook. I want to hear from you if you know for a fact and where

Kev Towner… Jim, I was always under the impression that he stayed with Lord Tivers when he visited Hastings

Judy Atkinson… I think I was there that night – certainly saw him on the pier, just can’t remember when

Colin Tapp… Great photo. Nan

Lloyd Johnson… I was constantly trying to book The Hollies for The Big Beat Reunions but they were always booked for the dates we had for the pier…The Dave Sutch one was really good fun. Terry Smith R.I.P. who helped me put it on was working in the props department of a London TV station and we managed to get a Coffin, Dry ice machine and Polystyrene Grave Stones to set dress with, we had all the back drop etc from previous The Searchers gig. Terry also acquired two monks habits from the TV props department and I bought a couple of glow in the dark skulls that fitted over Terry and I’s heads….The Stage curtains were closed all was quiet, The group started to play The Death March and Chris or Henry slowly opened the curtains just like the times ‘Lord Sutch’ played The Pier Ballroom in the early 60s.Dave Sutch was in the coffin I handed the mike to a creepy hand that came out of the coffin and there was a blood curdling scream and then”ARE YOU READING TO ROCK N ROLL” and out jumped ‘SCREAMING LORD SUTCH!”….Terry and I with our Monks Habits and Glow in the dark skulls on were dancing like madmen each side of the coffin…that was a great fun! and a night to remember!…I took a photo of the entertainers that performed that evening with Nan Moreland and Jen in the photo. The photo was taken on Nan’s camera.

Lloyd Johnson… left to right: front …Cliff Bennett, Dave Sutch, Cynthia Payne, (Dave Sutch’s girlfriend at the time), Jen & Anthony ’Nan’ Moreland… Back : Elvis impersonator, Tommy Bruce, unknown female…

 

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Rose Royce: The Definitive Collection, 3CD Box Set

THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION   ROSE ROYCE  (3CD)

I have to say straight off, the fact you are reading this review, from this particular reviewer, is in itself something of a minor miracle. Much as I’ve had a lifetime love of music & chose it as my career, there are a few genres & time periods that leave me stone cold, no matter how hard i try. One in particular is the mid to late 70’s disco boom spearheaded by ‘Saturday Night Fever’ at the sound of Barry Gibb breaking into that falsetto on ‘Night Fever’ ‘ Jive Talkin’ etc i run for the hills with my fingers in my ears. But of course there is always going to be the odd exception to my general disregard of that whole time/genre. That exception i present to you here today in the shape of Rose Royce. I don’t recall now when i first became of them, but no doubt it was 1976 and ‘Car Wash’ but it was undoubtedly a year or more later when i heard ‘Wishing On A Star’ that i finally did take some notice. Who was that lead female singer with such an enchanting vocal? Rose Royce’s story began in 1973 when an 8 piece collective from Los Angeles then known as the Total Concept Unlimited toured Europe & the UK as part of Edwin Starr’s soul show. It was Edwin that introduced the band to legendary Motown songwriter/songwriter Norman Whitfield in a move which saw the stars align. After a decade at Motown shaping the careers of Edwin & notably The Temptations, Whitfield was looking for a new challenge and left Motown taking with him The Undisputed Truth and setting up his own label Whitfield Records. His next move was to sign the Total Concept Unlimited as the studio and touring band to back them. By this time the band had changed its name & become Magic Wand. Whilst in Miami a member of The Undisputed Truth heard Gwen Dickey singing in a local band and brought her to Whitfield’s attention who flew her to Los Angeles for an audition. He realised he had found in her the ingredient missing from Magic Wand and installed her as their lead singer, in the process giving her the stage name Rose Norwalt. Whitfield had recently been charged with creating the soundtrack for a new musical comedy movie ‘Car Wash’. Whitfield took the members of Magic Wand to the film set for them to soak up the atmosphere and used the music he created for the movie to launch the band, who with a final name change, he dubbed Rose Royce to reference Rose (Gwen Dickey) and Royce to signify ‘class’ as in Rolls Royce. The band were immediately successful with the single release of the theme ‘Car Wash’ which was a Billboard No 1 and the soundtrack double album from which it was lifted was certified double platinum. ‘Car Wash’ is naturally the opening track on this excellent new 3 CD compilation from Robinsongs. It is called The Definitive Collection and for once it certainly lives up to its title. I have lost track of the albums i have been sent over the years that use the word ‘definitive’ but 9 out of 10 times aren’t. This is usually because the band concerned have recorded for several different labels & they haven’t all been willing parties to participate together with one collection, thus you don’t really get a true ‘definitive’ compilation at all and you end up having to buy several albums to get what you want. That is not the case here. Robinsongs have pulled together the bands work from all labels concerned in the Rose Royce story MCA, Warner (who backed Whitfield Records) and Epic. So,you can literally sit back and enjoy all the classics you would expect. Disc1 as you might expect kicks off with ‘Car Wash’ (the long version) and features other major hits including ‘I Wanna Get Next To You’ ‘I’m Going Down’ ‘Wishing On A Star’& the exquisite ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’ which must surely rank as one of Gwen’s finest vocal performances over her career with the band. Alongside these biggies are some great funk/soul tracks like ‘Do Your Dance’ which are clearly inspired by Whitfield’s work with The Temptations but taken to a new funkier level. The closing track is also a real beauty, a mid paced ballad entitled ‘Help’ which I’ve totally fallen for. Disc2 starts with a fabulous track That’s What’s Wrong With Me’ that displays many of the musical traits of ‘psychedelic soul’ that Whitfield had pioneered at Motown. However it’s track 2 that i can’t get out of my head and have repeatedly replayed just for its wonderful intro. The way it builds with the stabbing synth, the drums, the bass line, the horns, the strings all making their appearances is intoxicating. Although i was obviously aware of it at the time of its release in 1979 i didn’t REALLY listen to it then ‘Is It Love That You’re After’ was and is a truly great track and I’m somewhat ashamed i wrote off late 70’s ‘disco’ as mentioned at the start of this review so completely, when songs as good as this existed, but hey it’s never too late to learn. IILTYA was to be the last hit featuring Gwen before she left to go solo in 1979. Track 3 ‘Bad Mother Funker’ (yes i did spell that right…) is a very cool slice of funk as is the following track ‘Pazazz’, an instrumental which contains some dazzling horns. I’m not going to pretend I’m familiar with all the tracks that make up Disc2, 13 in total, because I’m not, due as aforementioned to my previous disinterest in the genre, but I’m learning and listening avidly and genuinely enjoying what I’m hearing. Disc3 contains 10 tracks and kicks off with the full length 12 minute version of ‘RR Express’, which again being totally honest is the only track on the disc that I am familiar with and that is only because a friend i used to hang with in London loved it, The following 2 tracks ‘Jump Street’ & ‘Illusions’ both gave my speakers a good work out and are deeply funky. There were moments listening to this collection where certain parts or riffs would remind me of Earth Wind & Fire or Sly & The Family Stone, but i honestly think Rose Royce in the final analysis are often cooler & more refined than either. I’m now re-assessing my previously held opinions on late 70’s disco/funk thanks to listening to this compilation. I may not find anything else from that era that i have changed my mind about, however i thank Robinsongs for showing me the error of my ways when it comes to Rose Royce. The collection comes housed in a quality fold out pack with accompanying informative booklet. If i was still using my old 5 star rating system this new compilation would merit all 5 and that’s a statement i never thought I’d make about this genre when i woke up today. Enjoy.

for more information go to https://www.cherryred.co.uk

Til next time…..stay safe…..Colin

Alan Esdaile… Good review and video but the track I really love is ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’

Mick O’Dowd… Really loved this band. I’m another fan of RR Express. Had 12″ copy (the long version and played it a lot. I also love the other tracks you mention. Thanx for the background info. very interesting. If you see a spare copy floating about can you put my name on it please.

 

 

Jimi Hendrix museum – photos from Dave Jenkins album

Supplied by Dave Jenkins

Dave had a photo album with loads of interesting pictures at the recent SMART meeting of the Jimi Hendrix museum in London and remembers seeing him at The Upper Cut Club in Forest Gate on the 26th December 1966 and this is where Hendrix wrote Purple Haze.

photo: https://blackcablondon.net/2014/08/01/jimi-hendrixs-london-part-one/

Mike Vawdrey… Thanks for the Jimi Hendrix’s London link which was fascinating and included some unusual shots I hadn’t seen before. Excellent clips too – not all familiar. It certainly revived an ‘ancient thrill’ or two ….

Is that the operator on the line…

Ernest Ballard… Get off the line there is a train coming. Reverse the charges to parents. Talking clock. Ah the memories. Such heavy phone books

Jane Saunders… the smell of pee pee in the telephone boxes and all the phone numbers from working women – ahhh the memories

Alan Esdaile… Remember the smell! Used to always push the buttons in the hope of getting a few pennies

Eric Peckham… hello operator … hello operator … hello operator

Dennis Torrance… So much different then the queuing in the rain and people banging on the booth happy days lol

John Warner… Free calls just tap out the number!

Amanda Brooks… .. well you better get off, theres a train coming

Eugene Hughes… I remember them well. Particularly as we never had a phone at home. How about Dial a Disc!!!

Jan Warren… Great to see this!! – life used to be so simple?!!

Paul Morfey… The 4 runner of the moblie phone!?!

Eugene Hughes… The original mobile phones weren’t much smaller.

Jan Warren… Hideous, bulky things!! – I never had one, I think they were more of a “status symbol” for the posh, rich yuppies?! haha

Collins & Hayes Ponswood, photos late 70’s from Pete Prescott

all photos supplied by Pete Prescott

Merv Kennard… Hi Pete I remember the photo of you and Bob, but can’t remember what led up to it. Bob is still around but have not seen him for ages.

Judy Atkinson… I worked as a temp there briefly in 1977

Dennis Torrance… I worked Collins&Hayes from August 68 till April 1975 had a good football team 1972 onwards .

Pete Prescott… There was a lady called Sue in cushion stuffing who was featured in the Esther Rantzen show with her unusual laugh ( think of a donkey with breathing problem). A cassette tape was primed and I was given the job of making her laugh. It worked. She was featured on the show one Sunday night. I’m guilty of hiding in those tubes and jumping out on people. I nearly gave Jim a heart attack. Naughty boy !

Rusty Butler – 1973 featuring Colin Norton on drums

An early recording by the Stranglers’ Dave Greenfield made in late Autumn, 1973. The band was called Rusty Butler and this was made at Saturn Studios in Worthing, Sussex, England.
The line-up was: Tony Savva (Vocals), Dave Greenfield (Keyboards/Backing Vocals), Eddie Renouf (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals), Dave Poxon (Bass Guitar), Colin Norton (Drums).
The song was written by David Poxon.

Colin Norton… Hey Alan, Thanks for posting!

Alan Esdaile… I remember Saturn Studios. Spend a few long nights their. Probably with Steve D’s bands?

Colin Norton…  I think that it’s called Pebble Beach now, not sure…

Anthony Ruffell… Saturn Recording studios was in teville road Worthing by the train station run by David Ruffell my dad from about 1972 to 1978 i think he sold it on, he had a trident mixing desk.

Anthony Ruffell… I got the date. It was from 1970