Big Beat Reunion – Searchers, The Confederates, The Talismen – 14th November 1987

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supplied by Peter Millington https://pet842.wixsite.com/confeds-to-jinks

Peter Millington… First Big Beat Reunion – 14th November 1987 – Hastings Pier – what a great event! The surprise guests included Cliff Bennett being backed by a group comprising of Ray Fenwick, Pete Shaw, Chris Sayer, Pete Head and others from the show.

Chris Giles… And a brilliant night was had by me and hubby

Peter Millington… 1963 was the hey day of the big names playing the Pier – this “Big Beat” reunion was 24 years later. We’ve now moved on another 28 years – b****y frightening! A night I shall never forget, playing with my long term friends in the Confederates and being on the stage with all these legends, Wow! lump in the throat stuff.

Mick O’Dowd… I was there. I thought The Searchers looked too young to be any of originals but they were.

Pete Prescott…  I was at the first show. Brilliant gig. Fantastic line up. Packed. Crowd loved it. Some came in their original old clothes (the ones who could still fit into them !) Cliff Bennett was great ! The organisers didn’t know if many would show up so there were only a few people behind the bar. Very difficult to get a drink, so a lot of people were sober. lots of dancing. Fun night. The next one was packed. Lots of people behind the bar. Lots of drunk people. Not such a good night. Obviously just my opinion. I often watch people get plastered and pay less attention to what they came for and stagger and shout their way through the night. the music was great on that night as well.

Mike Raxworthy… Me too!

Pete Millington… I played with Confederate friends at all 3 “Big Beat Reunions” but the first in 1987 was the best

Robert Searle… Great stuff

Mark Hardwick…  I Believe i have a 45 of The Talismen (whispering bells) given to me by a relative of theirs 30ish years ago. I’ve found the record on CREZENT label 1978 Whispering bells b/w Sounds in our minds. taken from LP album Sounds in our minds (Lightning records) b/w was written by M.Swift and B Baker. the wife was a lady cleaner from Hastings College, Archery Rd can’t remember her name, hope this helps.

Pete Millington… The Talismen broke up in 1966/67 if not earlier. Without the wife’s name and her husband’s surname we can’t do any verification. Let me know if you find any names that might help in validating this mystery

Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers – Witch Doctor 7th September 1965

 

Andre Palfrey-martin collection 

Peter Millington…He did another stint in 1987 at the second Big Beat Reunion – did you miss that too? He was a master of live performance and such a genuine bloke, proud to have played on the same bill with him and chatted.

Caz Simpson… Sadly I did miss it, he’s a top notch bloke and very underrated

Mick O’Dowd… Always one of my faves.

Andre Martin… Remember a gig with these boys in Summer 67 at The Surf City Club, Tunbridge Wells. They were booked in for a special night, it was usually disco remember working the venue for several months in 1967 9.00pm – 2.00am all that I can recall was it was small and over some shops in Monsoon Road I think access not the best, but in those days all I needed were records, equipment was all built in and provided by Management.

Mike Knights… I know this gets a little bit boring, but yes I was at this one to.

Lloyd Johnson… I saw them at The Assembly Rooms in Tunbridge Wells in 1964. Fast forward to 1981 and I had a visit from a shipping agent at our Kings Road Shop. The company was Benco and the person who came to see me was Cliff. He became our shipping agent. Several years later when Chris Sayer and I were organising ‘The Big Beat Reunion’ on The Pier Cliff asked me if he could come down and join in, of course I jumped at the chance to have on the bill. I spoke to Chris about it and Henry Harvey, Jonah & Chris said we’ll back him!…they practiced for a hour with Cliff on the afternoon whilst we were dressing the stage. Cliff was so pleased to meet his old mate that was in The Searchers. We’d booked The Searchers as top of the bill. The night was a dream and a huge crowd showed up.

Paul Huggett… Great band. Saw Cliff and some of his originals at a Butlins 60s weekend a few years ago, still impressive. Chris Farlowe and the Zombies on the bill too.

Trevor Spears… I also saw them in 64 at Tunbridge Wells great band and supported by another good band The Preachers who later had a couple of members killed in a car crash! I was also in the support group in Lucerne Switzerland with them and the bass player was Chas Hodges and an amazing piano player Roy? cannot remember his surname!

 

The Talismen & Cliff Bennett – Big Beat Reunion 14th November 1987 video by Peter Millington

Peter Millington…..video features The Talismen, another group local to Hastings and who were very popular. They played a mixture of pop and rock in the 1960s and also reformed for his very special event.

Peter Millington…..The Big Beat Reunion party on Hastings Pier on 14th November 1987. features Cliff Bennett and Friends, Ray Fenwick, Pete Shaw, Pete Head and co-organiser of the event, Chris Sayer.

Alan Esdaile….WOW, we are spoilt today.

Stuart Moir….Ray Fenwick on Gibson Les paul lead guitar, and Pete Shaw on drums and of course Peter Head on bass. We were support band for Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers around that time playing at Chislehurst Caves.

Peter Millington….I think you’ll find that Ray was playing a Yamaha and not a Gibson Stu!

Pete Shaw…..I remember it well! We all met, on the pier late that afternoon and ran through some numbers that Cliff had outlined…a couple were really versions of Johnny Mars set pieces as Ray and I were still gigging with Johnny…Cliif B was great  and after the gig he asked if we could work with him at other gigs he had…Ray and I did some more for him but Pete H and Chris S could not! Great fun and hey, that kit wasn’t even mine but even with only a couple of cymbals it sounded period authentic although some of my staggered breaks were a bit modern! Ray’s guitar was one of two Yamaha specials he had picked up from Yamaha themselves?? His accomplished and searing sound accompanied me and my kit for years!! I’m very thankful for his friendship at that time…Chris Sayer and Pete Head all time Hastings musical heroes! Thanks Pete for posting this…I’ve never seen it before!!

Caz Simpson…. I can’t believe I missed the Big Beat Reunion on Hastings Pier in 1987! Cliff Bennet played, where was I??