supplied by Colin Bell
Pete Fisher… I won’t be rushing out and buying this, but the band certainly marked the era ’74-’76…my younger sister (who was 15/16/17 at the time) was a huge fan, and had all their records, all the tartan gear, and went to loads of their concerts…must admit they had some catchy tunes, but it was all too teeny candy floss for me…
Colin Bell… I was looking for something in my archives (I must organise them one day!) and came across this. I was struck by the artwork and how creative it was then. Samantha’s was in a basement off Regent Street and I was introduced to it on a night out with Clem (from the Foundations) and Jimmy James, from memory it was around late 1969 early 1970. A great place with soul bands appearing and the D.J. ‘booth’ was the body of an E Type Jag (very swinging sixties). Drinks 2/6d! You could get well pissed for a coupla quid! I was lucky enough at that time to have the use of a mate’s flat in Berwick Street Soho, ideally placed to go to all the great clubs. Many hours spent at the Marquee, Whisky-a-go-go, the Flamingo, Middle Earth and Hatchetts in Piccadilly, a great club over 3 floors with a chill out bar level, a restaurant with a glass wall overlooking the ‘disco’ floor. I’d be interested to hear any memories of this period from other Smart members? Great times and great memories…………..
Alan Esdaile… Happy days in Wardour Street at The Marquee. Also the Speakeasy. Also remember auditioning bands at Tiffanys nightclub in Shaftesbury Avenue and a club in Piccadilly with the disco on the top floor, mirrored lift and the club had records stuck to the wall. 100 club, Roxy, Ronnie Scotts etc.
Peter Fairless… Went to some dodgy, some good clubs in London. Some were very dodgy but very good! Can’t remember all the names but most of those listed above.
Steve Gage… My mate Ray was a bouncer at Samanthas where are you now mate??? 🙂
Mick O’Dowd… Went to The Q Club in Paddington after seeing James Brown at The Rainbow in the 70’s I think. JB turned up after we got there and jammed with the band. Awesome!
THE COMPLETE BELL RECORDINGS 1966-1969 James & Bobby Purify
James Lee Purify and his cousin Robert Lee Dickey (died 2012) formed as a duo in 1966, with the latter adopting Purify. Both hailed from Florida and were steeped in soul music. Signed to Bell Records they scored a million seller with their debut single ‘I’m Your Puppet’ written by prolific songwriter Dan Penn (who wrote many hit songs including ‘Cry Like A Baby’ for labelmates The Box Tops). Nominated for a Grammy and an enduring soul hit IYP was in fact completely disliked by the duo. Originally written as a country song it was too lightweight and ‘poppy’ for James & Bobby who were not shy of telling the press at the time. I can see their point of view. This compilation includes the two albums they recorded, singles and bonus/unissued tracks and IYP does sound out of place when compared to the rest of the tracks. Their follow up hit (in the US) ‘Wish You Didn’t have to Go’ is much more representative of their soul credentials and sounds like a Stax/Atlantic/VJ release as indeed does the rest of their output. In fact both IYP and the other tracks were recorded at Fame Studio’s Muscle Shoals, a legendary place to be sure. Their first album features some superb covers of, in particular, Eddie Floyds ‘Knock On Wood’ Otis Redding’s ‘Ive Been Loving You Too Long’ ( a great arrangement) Sam Cooke’s immortal ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ and Sam & Dave’s ‘Blame Me’. Sam & Dave were undoubtedly the pre-eminent soul duo at the time, so its interesting that they actually covered IYP! Their second album contained here ‘The Pure Sound Of The Purifys’ carried on the Sam & Dave link with ‘I Take What I Want’, ‘When Something Is Wrong With My Baby’ and ‘Soothe Me’, in retrospect it seems a bit much to cover 3 songs by what are basically your main rivals, however when you think back nearly all black soul acts were doing it, in particular Tamla and Motown being the most guilty. Anyway be that as it may there are some fine vocal performances ‘Hello There’ (another Dan Penn original), ‘When Something Is Wrong With My Baby’ and ‘Shake A Tail Feather’ with backing vocals by no less than Melba Moore, Doris Troy and Ellie Greenwich, which was recorded with a ‘live’ feel in the style of Geno Washington, who incidentally covered…yes you’ve guessed it..IYP! All in all the 38 tracks gathered here are a real trip back to those heady days in the 60’s when soul MEANT soul, not what purports to be ‘soul’ nowadays. Ok I’m biased and getting on but listening to this its 1967 and im young and full of hope and energy. SoulMusic Records have done a great remastering job coupled with a 16 page booklet and whatever James & Bobby originally thought their music stands the test of time. Enjoy.
Til next time……………Colin
Supplied by Jon McCallion
Andy Qunta… Ah! Good times!
Phil Gill… I was there, probably with young Carey, Meachen and Shirley, as they labelled us at school. Sarah Harvey might have enjoyed the evening too.
Sarah Harvey…. I did indeed Phil and I had. completely forgotten about Effigy and to be honest cannot remember seeing them at all other than a vague memory that I didn’t think much of them. Factory as ever were THE band of Hastings at the time.
Chris Baker… Hah! Flight of the Rat was one of my “Flashy” solos! Those were the days! We only did a few gigs.
Phil Gill… As I recall Chris, you showed me how to play the pedal note riff from Flight of the Rat, one night at an Effigy rehearsal that Roger Carey and I attended. Was it School Road in Ore? Roger was buying Iain Cobby’s speaker cabinet and we came along to look at it.
Brigitte Lee… Where was Clive Vale Annex?
Chris Baker… Ha! Phil! My arthritic old fingers can’t play it so fast these days! Fun to so though. Still got that analog Park Fuzzbox too and the old Hofner!
Geoff Peckham… I remember we (Factory) were really impressed with Effigy. Didn’t they do a couple of other Deep Purple covers? Speed King, and Child in Time? According to Andy’s diary we played with them twice in 1971. May 7th at Priory Road School. Andy said that school gigs have been “…really great. This was no exception. Bit of trouble from old ladies and police about the noise but never mind. Effigy supported (or did we support them?) – not bad for their first gig.” The second was at the YMCA on August 13th. Andy mentions the awful acoustics and that “Effigy (with Tom) supported.” Could that have been the legendary Tom Jones? (The one from Stoke, not S. Wales!)
Phil Gill… And Steve’s drumming was *never* too loud. End of.
John Wilde…. Tom Jones, any info on his history or where he is now?
Geoff Peckham…. I got to know Tom in ’69 when his dad had an electrical shop in Western Rd, Bexhill. He told me stories about being in a pre-Black Sabbath band called Horny Moon (!) and other tales. He was a great character and raconteur. Like you, he had great stage presence – a great blues singer and harpist. He moved back to Stoke, and around 73-74 turned up at a Factory gig in NE Staffs University. I think he put us up for the night. Haven’t seen him since. Anyone else know anything? Be good to see you again sometime.
Alan Esdaile…yes it was School Road Ore where the rehearsals took place, in the old church hall which was full of antiques and clobber and the band squeezed somehow in the middle. I think their was a giant stuff bear but maybe wrong? Geoff Peckham date is correct as Friday 7th May 1971. Clive Vale Annex was part of Priory Road School and the gig took place at Clive Vale. Jon McCallion sung with Effigy at this gig and glad you remembered Tom Jones. I got a review somewhere which I will post on the YMCA gig shortly.
Andy Qunta… Great review, Colin!
Neil Partrick… really interesting article, Colin.
supplied by Mick Mepham
Phil Gill… Remember this one well. Had a talk with Stan Webb afterwards. He was a right miserable bugger.
Terry Huggins… I remember going to this one too. Can’t recall much about it as I met a young lady. Didn’t they make the support band play in front of the stage instead of on it, or am I thinking of someone else?
Alan Esdaile… Can’t remember Terry and can’t recall the band ‘Ardon’. I will see if Colin remembers.
Pete Prescott… The second gig I played was supporting chicken shack in Jan 73.i was in a band called village. It was at kemsley town hall. I was 16 and terrified ! Helen tap was there.
Joe Knight… great sound!!!
Eric Cawthraw… Yep, I was at this one. By then it was the ‘Stan Webb show’, the rest of the band didn’t really get much of a look in. Proper old showman guitaring and still a very enjoyable evening.
Pete Fisher… pretty sure I was there…Stan Webb had a specially long guitar lead back then, and used to make a feature of going walkabout into the audience…before the days of wireless systems (pioneered by Angus)…years later (1990) I saw Buddy Guy at the Albert Hall, and when Clapton annonced him, you heard his guitar but he was nowhere to be seen on stage…minutes later he stood up in the middle of the audience, where he’d been hiding, and walked up to the stage, playing via his wireless system…cool trick!
Nigel Ford… I remember seeing Ardon some time on the Pier (didn’t keep a diary until late ’73) and after playing a couple of numbers the frontman said “we’re ARDON….do you get it ?”
Jan Warren… Oh yeah, Chicken Shack.didn’t they do “I’d rather go blind”?! – love that song!! xx
Gerry Fortsch… Stan Webb, brilliant saw him gig with Canned heat great.
supplied by Colin Bell
Alan Esdaile… Just noticed that’s the back of my head in the first photo. Colin’s setting his hands on fire with lighter fluid and giving me bad ideas. When I did it, I left my hands alight too long, blisters with yellow puss come to mind!
Mick Mepham… A yellow cat Alan?
Andy Qunta… Never forget how much fun it was lugging gear down to the Caves! The sound down there was interesting too! Echo….echo…..echo…. & “natural” reverb!
Mick O’Dowd…. A real rock venue! I agree Andy Qunta it was a long trek especially in inclement weather, but a great venue I promoted & played at several times. It’s rumoured that the Stones played a private gig here in early 60’s. The walk was as nearly as bad as the trek up the Pier to The Happy Ballroom!
Yvonne Cleland… <groan>
Jim Breeds… So *That’s* why there are no hamsters in the caves!
Alan Esdaile… Did a number of gigs in the Caves. Always had lots of helpers to lug the gear in but they all disappeared when it was time to pack up! A bit of a walk and worse then the pier as no trolley. All the leads and cables ended up covered in sand stone. Saw lots of great gigs here, remember seeing The Jazz Caverners a few times and The Breathers did an excellent gig.
Peter Gladwish… I will never forget playing at the caves several times during the early 70’s with ‘King-Rod’. Fabulous place to play but it’s not the gigs I remember…….it was getting the gear in and out!!!
Til next time……………..Happy Easter To All,
Alan Esdaile… According to Keith Tooke, Twinkle spent here honeymoon in Hastings 72/73 staying at the Queens Hotel.
Tony Court-holmes… poor girl
Sue James… I have Terry the single
Josie Lawson… I loved this song. I had the 45 record. Must have worn it out. Played and played it cos my first boyfriend had a motorbike..no he didn’t crash but he broke my heart. Anyway, listening today and seeing Twinkle singing it, in my opinion didn’t give the same impact. I find this with many songs. Listening to them either from record, tape, radio gives them more of an impact than seeing the singers sing them. There has only being two singers in my opinion who are great at both and that are Gerry from Gerry and the Pacemakers and Gene Pitney…
Pete Brazier… Can’t wait! Sounds like A Good Album to get!
Paul Crimin… Saw them at the Standard…
Wendy Weaver… Chicory Tip played at a Caravan Club New Year’s Rally about 12-sh years a go. They played for the whole evening. I think there were only 2 of them but they were very good.
Barry Upton… Son of my father !!!
Nigel Ford… They played at Battle dance when I was there,just before they became famous and went down well, but then became too dear to re-book when famous.