First Emotion – The United Church presents 6th November 1993

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Supplied by Cliff Wootton – Featuring Barry French, Cliff Wootton, Den Wootton.

Cliff Wootton… just found this poster for a reunion gig that Baz, Den & I played on November 6th 1993. We needed a band for a fund raiser so I called the boys and we got back together for one night only.

Butch – 18th October 1973

supplied by Cliff Wootton

Featuring Dave Garland, Den Wootton and Cliff Wootton.

Andy Qunta… I remember Butch! Great band! Lovely fellas!

Geoff Peckham… Me too! I don’t recall seeing them, but Dave Garland became a dedicated Factory roadie. (One or two stories there, Andy!?)

Andy Qunta… yes indeed, Dave was Factory’s roadie for quite a while! What a character he was too!

Cliff Wootton… Happy days

Lucy Pappas… That’s the Den and Cliff I remember! Rehearsing in your garage, playing at youth club. Maybe a couple of years before this pic. The beginning of my illustrious career! xx

Dave Nattress… One or two stories Geoff – tell us more. Nothing along the lines of the lurid Led zeppelin Mud-shark story I trust!!!

Geoff Peckham… The once I’m thinking of aren’t for these pages, Dave, believe me!

Alan Esdaile… Probably better to discuss at a SMART coffee meet, Geoff.

Judie Struys… Just tell my brother that I was not the only person in the world who called Motown “Tamla”. It was common pratice in Hastings in the 1970s. He always laughs at me when I say it. So there, David Cash

Glenn Piper… Anyone know where Dave Garland is now?

Andy Qunta… I believe Tony Qunta was in touch with him a couple of years ago. Maybe he knows?

Lucy Pappas… You’re right, Julie, it was always Tamla!

Glenn Piper… Anyone know where Dave Garland is now?

Tony Qunta… Hi Glenn, unfortunately haven’t seen Dave for a few years now. I think the last time I saw him was at Will Thompson’s party. I was in touch with him around the time Factory was about to do the gig at The Carlisle. He was going to be the sound engineer on the gig but it never happened in the end.

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Beggars’ Gate Where Once Giants Trod cd

WHERE ONCE GIANTS TROD     Beggars’ Gate

Firstly thank you to Cliff Wootton for providing me with this album for review at last Fridays SMART meet.

Beggars’ Gate are Pete Cornford (vocals/guitar), John Farebrother (guitar/guitar vibesware/Ebow/ambient sound), Steve Harland (keyboards, synth, vocals), Cliff Wootton (bass guitars) and Jules Blake (sound engineer) and the band are based around Tunbridge Wells. I’m sure some of you will know these guys, for those of you who don’t then I urge you to make their acquaintance through this album. I have no wish to try and place the music they make into any particular genre, they have been described as prog/folk/rock, which is I suppose fair, however there are so many other elements at work here, classical, tribal, celtic, ambient are just some of the additional adjectives I would choose to use. The 10 tracks take you on a journey where all the aforementioned elements appear and samples and Gregorian chants also make well placed appearances. The liner notes written by Pete (who I assume wrote all the lyrics) start thus ‘At risk of sounding old fashioned, this recording was always going to be a concept album’. Which sounds slightly apologetic, well let me say there’s nothing wrong with a ‘concept album’ in my book whether it be from the early 70’s or the uneasy world of 2017 we all inhabit. Clearly this is a deeply personal and heartfelt expression for us to take a look at our past and where we might be heading. The crashing waves, chants and tribal drumbeats that kick off the opening title track immediately evoke a feel of ancestry and transport you to a Tolkienesque world of open wild landscapes and create a cinematic image in your head, well they did in this head, then sliding perfectly into the gentler ‘Orkney Stone’ a paen to ancient stones, with some excellent guitar (surely some Floyd influences here) and some damn fine piano. The first of two ‘instrumental’ tracks follow ‘Insolitude’ with a simple haunting piano over natural birdsounds works beautifully as a lead in to the celtic vibe of ‘Banks of Lindisfarne’. ‘Now The Road Is Calling’ has some, for me, of the best lyrics on the whole album and a fine vocal. However lyrically ‘The Walls Of Separation’ essentially a anti war protest song takes first place. ‘Protest’ songs can often come across as shallow and trite (not intentionally), this is far from the case here where the words ring chillingly true and certainly hit their mark and had me returning to this track more than once, a very fine song indeed. The magnum opus of the album I think goes to the final track ‘Sanctuary Gates’ which closes the album in epic form building as it does to a crescendo that fully delivers, and I suspect the band themselves know that.

As I spend the vast majority of my time reviewing national and international artists its a pleasure to have something ‘local’. I wish Beggars’ Gate all the luck with this release  and getting it out there to the widest possible audience to enjoy.

Til next time………..Colin

Alan Esdaile… Sounds GREAT. I’m playing it at the moment and also heard Sarah Harvey play it on her show last night.

1ST Emotion at Kings Country Club Eastbourne around 1973.

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supplied by Barry French.

Cliff Wootton, Barry French, Jenny Kebel and Den Wootton.

Colin Fox… This must be the old Kings before they built the upstairs.

Lawrie Broadway… I think your right Colin ,l played on that stage quite a few times through the years.

Tony Ball… I remember it well

First Emotion (or sometimes billed as 1st Emotion) – Aquarius 1972

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 supplied by Barry French

Barry French, Den Wootton and Cliff Wootton – supporting ‘Total’

Cliff Wootton… Great pic. I still have the Hayman 4040 bass although I restrung it as BEAD instead of EADG and reversed the polarity of one of the pickups. This made it sound like a Rickenbacker which annoyed a genuine Rickenbacker bassist who heard it and claimed it sounded more authentic than his bass did. Sometimes you can’t help upsetting folks without even trying. For the geeks, Baz is playing an Antoria Les Paul copy and Den is playing Hayman drums. The Antoria guitars were pretty good and in some cases better than the originals.

Sarah Harvey… his bring back so many memories. St.Helens Youth Fellowship, The Regent Hotel etc…. What a wonderful picture.

Alan Esdaile… Crushed velvet trousers? I used to wear a Red pair.

Dave Nattress… Sarah, did you not have an Antoria Les Paul? Crushed velvet – between me and my mates in Bexhill we had the Dulux colour chart in hideous crushed velvet flares.

Cliff Wootton… Nah – not crushed velvet. These were medium grey brushed cotton/denim/corduroy (not sure which). They replaced the faux velvet Dralon suits we bought from the Undergound Boutique. We had matching maroon velvet blazers to go with these trousers. Looked quite posh. The Dralon suits weren’t robust enough for gigging. We bought them for a season opener at Frenchmans Beach in Rye. I tore the arse out of mine, den split the back of his jacket while drumming and Baz was strumming so furiously that the sleeve came off his jacket. Shaw Taylor who was MC for the night thought it was funny. I stood with my back to the amp for the second half of the gig to hide my embarrassment. Later I also had black crushed velvet flares when I was doing some DJ gigs. They didn’t seem to last very long either and split when I leapt up onto the stage (there’s a common theme starting here). Maybe some other contributors can tell us some funny stories about mishaps at their gigs.

Barry French… Your right the Antoria was a great guitar, not as heavy as a Gibson & had a bolt on neck like a fender (I wish I still had it). Regarding the Frenchman’s Beach Gig, I got the impression that Shaw Taylor thought that the wardrobe malfunctions were all part of the act.

Alan Esdaile… I hope Shaw Taylor didn’t advise you to ‘keep em peeled’.

Sarah Harvey… I had a white Antoria Les Paul. A lovely guitar. Bought new from a shop in Bromley for £150. I sold it because I needed the cash in the early 80s. Regretted it ever since 🙁

Cliff Wootton… I  was chatting to Baz yesterday at the Beatles Day and recalling this photo I didn’t realise how much of a fashion trend setting chap I was back then. This was 1972. It took until 1977 for George Lucas to copy my hair style as a model for Princess Leia in Star Wars.