Samantha’s Club – New Burlington Street. What clubs and venues do you remember in London? Tiffanys Club and Gullivers People chat.


All images supplied by Colin Bell

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!

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SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Am I Dreaming? 80 Brit Girl Sounds Of The 60s. 3CD Set

AM I DREAMING?  80 BRIT GIRL SOUNDS OF THE 60’s    Various Artists 3CD Set

I’ve been looking forward to this release, definitely an early Christmas pressie for me. Solo and girl groups of the 60’s is one of my favourite genres. I guess most people’s minds would leap automatically to the sounds from over the pond from the Brill Building, Carole King, Shangri-La’s etc and Spectors Wall of Sound productions for The Ronettes, Crystals etc all timeless classics of course. But here in the UK we had an equally thriving ‘scene’ with many going on to be big names and some sadly disappearing without trace. This beautifully presented 3CD set from RPM is a finale to their very successful ‘Dream Babes’ series of compilations that ran from 1994 to 2007. If you already own any of these CD’s fear not none of the tracks are duplicated in this set which contains many rarities and some previously unissued material. The accompanying booklet by Ian Chapman and Bob Stanley tells the story in fine form along with some great photos. Just some of the ‘big’ names starting out on their careers are here in the shape of Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield (The Springfields), Kathy Kirby (a huge favourite of my dear old dad), Cilla Black, Jackie Trent, Elkie Brooks, Kiki Dee and Cloda (without the gh) Rodgers to name but a few. Fascinating to hear their evolution from their early recordings contained here. Away from these well known artists are the lesser remembered but in some cases equally great singers who had some success but didn’t make the leap to the big league but nevertheless left us some great singles, my personal choice being Billie Davis, Samantha Jones and Beryl Marsden who could belt out a great tune and should have had greater success but such is the fickleness of the record buying public then and now. A lot of the girls (and groups) were viewed as a bit of novelty fare at the time, and to be fair some were. However listening to the Vernon Girls of We Love The Beatles fame/infamy sing ‘Only You Can Do It’ on Disc One you realise they weren’t a million miles away from those aforementioned Brill Building girls when they had decent material. At 80 tracks there is so much to unearth and enjoy, it may not all be in the premier league but for anyone like me who loves this genre and time period its hard to fault. The breadth and scope on display is actually summed up wonderfully by the accompanying press release and for once I can’t better it in my own words ‘ beat girls, folk girls, hippy girls, mod girls,……………….Not forgetting Schoolgirls, secretaries, convent girls, actresses, daughters of diplomats and god daughters of royalty’!! Wonderful. You can have the fun of working out who is who!

I’ll leave it there with a YouTube clip of our late beloved Cilla getting Motown, and the back of the two heads watching the performance in the first 10 seconds belong to a coupla geezers called Paul and John….wonder what happened to them……….

For more information go to

This being the last SMART Sounds of this year, may I wish an early happy Christmas to all fellow Smarties and friends, see you in the New Year,

Til then………………….


SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Truth – The Columbia Recordings 1969-1970 by The Flock cd


I’m guessing that most readers first heard The Flock on the famous CBS ‘sampler’ album ‘Fill Your Head With Rock’ in 1970 (an album that’s been discussed on SMART elsewhere), its where I first picked up on them with their electrifying cover version of The Kinks ‘Tired Of Waiting For You’. Indeed the front cover of FYHWR shows Jerry Goodman of The Flock hair streaming playing like the devil on his electric violin. The Flock hailed from Chicago and had been around since 1966 (as The Exclusives) releasing several singles before recording their eponymous album in 1969 and the following years ‘Dinosaur Swamps’. Both these albums are contained on this new release plus rare and unreleased tracks new to CD. Signed to CBS this hugely musically talented band were part of the jazz/rock scene along with labelmates Chicago (or Chicago Transit Authority as they were then) and Blood, Sweat & Tears. Now both those bands went on to have illustrious careers as we all know. The mystery is why TF didn’t and by 1971 had all but broken up. They don’t know and neither do I. John Mayall saw them play in America in 1969 and told the press ‘The Flock are the best band ive heard in America’ coming from one of the founding fathers of the British music scene this was high praise indeed. Their debut album is so musically innovative its unique fusions of jazz/rock/blues and quality of musicianship is awesome just listen to ‘Introduction’ ‘Clown’ ‘I Am The Tall Tree’ and the aforementioned ‘Tired of Waiting’ and its clear these are guys at the top of their game.  I suppose because they weren’t ‘commercial’ or necessarily airplay friendly in the way of their contemporaries therein lies a large part of why they lost out on the big time. I think they are a musicians band lauded by their peers if not the record buying public. If that first album wasn’t great enough the follow up ‘Dinosaur Swamps’ was if anything even more accomplished ‘Big Bird’ should have been released and promoted as a single it certainly knocks spots off Chicago in my book, ‘Lighthouse’ and ‘Crabfoot’ are just two more highlights of creativity. Jerry Goodman’s violin and Fred Glicksteins vocals and lead guitar work together so perfectly. After the break up Goodman went off to the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the others went their separate ways. About 10 years ago their was a limited release of some Flock material and I managed to get in touch with Fred Glickstein and had a very interesting chat about the whole Chicago scene, I brought up another favourite of mine The Ides Of March, only for him to say they were good friends of his and they had shared the same bill often! He sent me some photo’s which hang on my wall. Great guy, great musician. This 2CD release has been remastered from the original masters and sonically sounds amazing and is certainly a definitive package with new liner notes by Fred. Anyone who has any interest in jazz/rock and hasn’t got into The Flock you are missing a rare treat. Well done Esoteric Records for a fine and much welcome package. Enjoy.

For more information go to

Til next time…….Colin


Terry Pack… Great piece, Colin

Peter Howard… My mate John at djtees does a fill your head with rock album cover tee. Pretty cool and it attracts only interesting strangers, who instantly recognize it .

Pete Fisher… remember listening to Fill Your Head With Rock back in 1970 with Bernard Jeffrey at his place.

Steve Reents… I had this album. Interesting fusion of jazz and rock.

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


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.

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing He’s Real Gone cd by Overend Watts

HE’S REAL GONE  Overend Watts

On January 22nd this year Peter ‘Overend Watts’ sadly lost his fight with cancer and passed away leaving behind this posthumous release. Overend was of course a founding member and bass guitarist of Mott The Hoople, later just Mott after Ian Hunter and Mick Ralphs departures. Known and loved for his zany character its typical that upon realising this album wouldn’t be released til after he’d passed its original title of ‘She’s Real Gone’ was changed by himself to ‘He’s Real Gone’. Brave and class and so very him. Recorded over a long period and indeed his only solo release Overend sticks to no genre but just gives us a lyrically light hearted, witty and humorous look inside his head, just look at a sample of titles ‘The Dinosaw Market’ ‘Prawn Fire On Uncle Sheep Funnel’ Caribbean Hate Song’ and my personal favourite, so far, ‘Belle Of The Boot’ which just brings a  smile to my face, listen to it we’ve all been there! But this is no comedic album ‘Belle’ has a hook many songwriters would envy. Indeed all thirteen tracks are well crafted and Overend played (or programmed) all the instruments. Its in retrospect a crying shame it took him 40 years to make a solo album because based on this he had so much to offer outside of his fundamental contribution to MTH.

Like labelmates Stackridge I reviewed recently Overend is a one-off defying putting in a ‘box’ quirky, delightful and yes heartwarming. Echo’s of glam. punk, Jilted John tease thru the 60 odd minutes running time but in the end its a unique album from a unique artist who may have physically left us but whose musical legacy will live on to delight his many fans. If I have a down day i’ll be slapping this in the disc drawer without fail.

For more information go to

Til next time…………..Colin

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Running Free :The Jet Recordings 1976-1977 (2cd) by Widowmaker and Black Is Black -the Anthology 1966-69 (2cd) by Los Bravos

RUNNING FREE : THE JET RECORDINGS 1976-1977 (2CD)    Widowmaker
A new remastered release with a previously unreleased track ‘Talk To Me’. The early to mid 70’s saw what was to become named the formation of ‘supergroups’, musicians from broken up name bands getting together, some to better effect than others. Widowmaker boasted a distinguished line-up. Steve Ellis (Love Affair), Ariel Bender (Mott The Hoople), Huw Lloyd-Langton (Hawkwind), Bob Daisley (Chicken Shack) and Paul Nicholls (Lindisfarne). Signing to Jet Records, run by the infamous Don Arden they released their debut album in 1976 ‘Widowmaker’. 10 tracks and a running time of just 40 minutes most of the songs were written by Ellis and Bender (aka Luther Grosvenor). Running loosely from straight rock to blues rock with some odd country-rock flourishes ‘Pin A Rose On Me’ its Steve Ellis’s powerful vocals and Benders guitar work that catch the attention. Ellis sounding at times like his old friend (and mine) Roger Daltrey and Bender getting in some neat, at times, wigged out guitar.  The overall impression is a good down to earth rocking band in the same vein as Dr. Feelgood. ‘On The Road’ and ‘Straight Faced Fighter’ being two examples. I saw the band open for The Who at Charlton in 76 and I remember thinking they were pretty dynamic live, and therein for me lies the crux, I don’t think the studio output captures that element and that’s a pity and maybe the reason they didn’t sell more records. By the time they came to record their second album ‘Too Late To Cry’ the following year Ellis had departed amongst a clash of, I suspect ego’s and differences, he was replaced by John Butler a acquaintance of Daisley. Butler brought a more laid back vocal to the party and indeed the whole album is certainly less raw, more refined, but for me lacking the bite of the debut outing, there is still some highs ‘Sky Blues’ notably with its Rod Stewartesque vocal and some excellent guitar work. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened had Ellis stuck around and built on the first album but many ‘supergroups’ met the same fate. All the musicians involved however went on to have long careers. As a time capsule of its time this release does its job and no doubt for fans of the guys involved will be lapped up.

2CD’s and 60 tracks that bring together all their A’s and B’s, album and rareties from their beat period. Inevitably and certainly here in the UK they will always be remembered for million seller and No 2 in 1966 ‘Black is Black’, it also made no 4 in the States. From my days of doing disco’s it was always certainly a floor filler, and probably still is at retro nights. Madrid based LB were huge in their native Spain and all over the continent making 2 movies (one sort of Monkees style) Playing at the prestigious San Remo Festival and making many TV appearances. The lead singer Mike Kogel (aka Mike Kennedy) was actually German and could sing in German, Spanish and English! I struggle to sing in English, indeed sing at all! anyway be that as it may I thought I was the only one that thought he sounded remarkably vocally like Gene Pitney but having read the sleeve notes so did many people. Never again achieving the success of BIB their follow up ‘I Don’t Care’ did make a respectable No 16 in the UK charts, and I must confess i’d forgotten it til hearing it again on this compilation. Its fascinating listening to this retrospective and hearing the influences that English beat bands clearly had on them, makes me wonder what other Spanish bands of the Sixties we haven’t heard of that were putting out good stuff. As previously mentioned all their singles and albums are represented here and so you have a mix of songs in English, Spanish and indeed sometimes ‘Spanglish’. Other bands clearly rated them as George Young and Harry Vanda (of Easybeats fame) gave them their original composition ‘Bring A Little Lovin’ prior to recording it themselves. At 60 tracks some may consider it a lot of material to get through for a band famous for one huge seller but there is plenty here to reward listening and its always good to broaden your horizons in my view. If you have an interest in beat bands of the Sixties you will enjoy this I have no doubt. Excellent sound quality and extensive sleeve notes make this latest RPM a definite collectors piece.

For more information go to

Til next time……. Colin

Dave Nattress… How I remember Black is Black by Los Bravos!! The Summer of 66 and it was one single of 6 I bought on some special deal from a shop in Bexhill, St Leonards Road, I think the shop was called Boyds half way along on the South side. Sold all electrical goods, record players, stereograms. TV’s and radios and one of several stores selling records obviously. They did some deal where you paid so much every week/month and went away with 6 singles. I also had Paint it Black by the Stones, Opus 17 by the Four Seasons, Pretty Flamingo, Manfred Mann, California Dreaming, Mamas and Papas and one more – long forgotten. Now Widowmaker, tagged as a bit of a Supergroup by some? Contained Steve Ellis on vocals – ex. Love Affair, Ariel Bender, Bob Daisley. Huw Lloyd-Langton, and Paul Nichols – Lindisfarne. A mate had the first album on Vinyl – “Widowmaker”. Played it to death. I have a double CD – 2002, with “Widowmaker”, and tracks off “Too Late to Cry” and “Live at Paris Theatre London”. I think the line-up changed a good bit after the first album maybe didn’t trouble too many sales, but the first album is good.

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing The Two Faces Of Fame – The Complete 1967 Recordings by Georgie Fame (2Cd Deluxe Edition)


Co-incidentally it was only the other week elsewhere on the site we Smarties were discussing our favourite year in music, which in mine, Alan’s and several others was….1967..and into my letterbox drops this new 2CD set for review.

Why does this concentrate on just 1 year in Georgies long and illustrious career? Simply because it was the year he switched record companies and signed with CBS, a label that had a different approach to how it would promote Georgie. ‘ The Two Faces’ refers to the fact the album consisted of ‘live’ recordings from the Festival Hall and studio recordings and that his music meant different things to different people. Having of course scored two previous huge hits with the pop/r’n’b singles ‘Yeah Yeah’ and ‘Getaway’ casual listeners would probably just think of him as another blue eyed soul/pop singer. But avid fans were only too aware of his main drive which was fusing jazz, swing, r’n’b and soul in his own unique way and with his awesome mastery of his Hammond. A consummate musician he had been playing all the top London clubs like The Flamingo etc for years and numbered The Beatles amongst his fans and peers. He was/is also blessed with a warm vocal style which is instantly recognisable. This deluxe 2cd set is an expanded edition of the original album release with both stereo and mono mixes and a plethora of bonus and some unreleased tracks. The exhaustive liner notes tell the story of this period excellently, its a complicated one! However the mix of material is far ranging and encompasses all the previous elements previously mentioned from the blues of ‘Bluesology’ to the jazz/swing of ‘Green back Dollar Bill’ (a great track!) to the (bonus) old soul standard ‘Knock on Wood’. Now those with good memories will also recall this was also the year of his third big chart hit (included here) ‘The Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde’. Space doesn’t permit a long foray into this, however TBOB&C sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the other tracks, lets just say the aforementioned CBS had a vision not shared by Georgie! Personally I also have always had an aversion to it as well! Of course these days fusing jazz with pop is all the rage and paradoxically that makes Georgie as relevant now as he was all those years ago, not that it bothers him one jot I imagine. He’s been making superb classy music for over 5 decades. Ive had the pleasure of working with him twice, solo and when he teemed up with Alan Price (see elsewhere on the SMART pages for that). Ive also seen him playing on at least 3 occasions with Van the Man.

A genuine affable and nice guy he is too. I have to be honest and say I generally shy away from ‘jazz’ its a genre ive never really go into, but Georgies style and fusion makes for a great listen and I have enjoyed listening to this album tremendously. Die hard fans will welcome and treasure this set without a doubt, and more casual listeners like myself will find much to reward listening. Its certainly given me a new perspective or should that be a retrospective view of his art.

For more information go to

Til next time………. Colin 

Colin Fox… I still love the sound of Hammond organ through a Leslie speaker.

Andy Qunta… Can’t argue with that, Colin!

Colin Searle… Got that gorgeous warm sound

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing The Final Bow Bristol 2015 by Stackridge 2CD Set.

THE FINAL BOW, BRISTOL 2015 (2CD LIVE)  Stackridge

Firstly before we get to Stackridge, I would like to congratulate Angel Air Records on their 20th Birthday. I’m proud to have been reviewing their releases since their inception in February 1997, so Peter and Shirley all credit to you for bringing so many artists back for us all to enjoy, may you continue for the next 20 years!

As the press release accompanying says ‘Stackridge are at the heart of Angel Air and part of the DNA of the label as Stackridge, The Korgis, Andy Davis, James Warren, The Meanies and the Mutter Slater Band have all seen releases over the years.

Stackridge are that rare commodity that have ploughed their own furrow musically since their formation in 1969. The first act (and closing act) at the inaugural Glastonbury festival in 1970 (I was there!), Stackridge defy ‘labelling’ are they prog rock, folk rock, bit psyche, avant garde? Yes all these things but unique, they are as English as a cup of tea and a crumpet, Like The Bonzo’s and Ray Davies they could only have ever originated here. Musically so accomplished, lyrically a bit mad at times! they really are a national treasure.

This new 2CD ‘live set was recorded at Bristol and as the title says was their ‘Final Bow’ after 45 years the band have finally called it a day. I wish them a long and happy ‘retirement’. To those of you who are familiar with their output you will find, probably, a good few favourites here, remember ‘Do The Stanley’? If you are new to the band prepare to enjoy! I found myself repeatedly going back to CD2 tracks 4 -6 and just smiling the tracks in question being ‘No Ones More Important Than The Earthworm’ ‘Lost And Found’ and ‘Boots And Shoes’. ‘Earthworm’ was in fact written by Gordon Haskell (Fleur-dy-lys, Ruperts People) Gordon never became a band member but had many connections , but that’s another story!, its just a delight of a song and a title! those three tracks just sum up the band for me. But then there’s ‘Slark’ and ‘Dora The Female Explorer’ and….well its all just so bloody enjoyable. Its fitting this should also be Angel Airs 500th release, half a grand, but a whole grand time to be had by all. Enjoy!

For more information go to 

Til next time……….Colin

Chris Sambrook… Purple Spaceships over Yatton. I remember Stackridge. I think String Driven Thing supported Stackridge on Hastings Pier. Stackridge also played support to Elton John the Eagles and Rufus at Wembley Stadium around about 1976 ish

Mike Tobin…  (shared to Stackridge Rhubarb Thrashers – For Enthusiasts Facebook Group) Great Review.

Mick O’Dowd… I was at the Wembley Stadium gig before the days of large screens. I was about on the half way line and the stage performers were like ants. Could have been anybody up there. Stackridge were good. Beach Boys blew the place away as it was sunny and they played all the surfin’ hits. Elton lost the crowd as he played the new album “Capt Fantastic” which is a very slow dirgy album. Crowd walked of but as soon as he started to play the hits the place erupted! Bands take note. We go to see the stuff we know! Rufus with Chaka Khan were also excellent. A good day all round.

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Milk Of The Tree: An Anthology Of Female Vocal Folk & Singer-Songwriters 1966-1973 Various Artists CD Set


4 hours and 60 tracks on this brilliant new compilation of one of the greatest era’s of music of the 20th century. As much a social shift as well as a musical one, prior to the mid-sixties you just didn’t hear that much solo female output, especially on the radio, in retrospect it was a largely male dominated pop world.

However with womens liberation gaining (quite rightly) swift progress in 1966 new voices started to make themselves heard. From Greenwich Village coffee houses to laid back canyons in L.A. came artists who would become household names led by Joan Baez, Jackie DeShannon, Melanie, Laura Nyro, Linda Ronstadt and Janis Ian, all included here and to name just a few. Of course it wasn’t just the USA producing new artists our homegrown talent, again included here and again to name just a few included the likes of Beverley Martin, Marianne Faithfull, Sandy Denny, Bridget St. John and Mary Hopkin. This release concentrates on rarer tracks and not the over compiled that is usual. Its hard to pick one highlight from another but personally i’d mention Laura Nyro ‘Upstairs By A Chinese Lamp’ Jackie DeShannon ‘Come And Stay With Me’ (a hit for the aforementioned Marianne Faithfull) Sandy Denny ‘ Late November’ and Buffy Sainte Marie ‘ The Dream Tree’. Buffy ive learnt over the years is a ‘marmite’ artist people either love or loathe her voice, I have everything she’s ever recorded and her lyrics never fail to move me, so I guess you can gather what camp I’m in! Along with all the solo offerings we are also treated to bands such as Stone Poneys, Mellow Candle, Pentangle, Spirogyra, Ithaca and Trees, wonderful. Also some tracks appear for the first time like the female American duo based in London with the wonderful monicker of Emily Muff! This compilation has something for everyone, it may introduce the young to music they weren’t around to hear at the time and equally for those of us that were it’ll get the synapses firing and bring back some memories of a golden era. When did you last here Principal Edwards Magic Theatre?! 3 CD’s a 44 page booklet full of info and great sound. Grapefruit Records show again how good they are at compiling interesting music collections to whet our musical tastebuds. Lets hear it for the girls.   For more information go to

Til next time……..Colin      


Andy Qunta… Great review, Colin! Thanks!

What Was Your Favourite Year In Music? asks Colin Bell

Colin Bell… Alan (Johnny Mason) and I were discussing our favourite year in music, it turned out that both of us said 1967! He asked me my reasons why for a thread on SMART site. I guess its impossible to sum it up without relating it to your own personal circumstances, so forgive me the personal rambling bit! I was 15 loved music and wanted to get into it somehow, so spent my weekends hanging about on the Pier waiting for the bands to turn up then helping them and their roadies lugging the gear up to the ballroom in exchange for staying free for the gig. This was to prove invaluable and give me a start in ‘the business’. The music on the radio (London & Caroline) I loved hearing was to name but a few coming from The Who, Small Faces, The Move, The Troggs etc etc. I was therefore in awe to meet The Move in person in May 67 when they turned up to play the Pier. They turned up in an old van mid afternoon Roy was shy, Carl lively, Ace & Trevor scary(particularly Ace who was very erm stroppy!) Bev however was very friendly and wrote down his address and said if I was ever up North i’d have somewhere to stay. It was a great gig as I’m sure those of you who were there would agree. And so the pattern went on each weekend and all those bands i’d heard on the radio I mentioned earlier I got to meet and form in some cases lasting friendships with, Dave Dee (r.i.p mate) in particular who helped me a lot over the years. In no particular order just some of the records from that year I loved were ‘Night of Fear’ ‘Waterloo Sunset’ ‘Itcychoo Park’ ‘Excerpt From a Teenage Opera’ ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ ‘I Was Made to Love Her’ ‘From The Underworld’ ‘I Can See For Miles’ etc etc etc. August of course saw the ‘festival’ in the Pilot field with The Kinks, Dave Dee, Arthur Brown, Geno Washington etc another highlight of 67. October back on the Pier and having the priveledge of being backstage with Jimi Hendrix and touching that white Strat! and seeing the Experience play! It was of course the year of Sgt. Pepper which changed and influenced bands for evermore and is no doubt remembered as the musical highlight. Much as I love the Beatles it was another band that issued an album in November that  year that for me is the greatest album ever made and that was Love ‘Forever Changes’ to this day I play it at least once a week its just sublime ‘Alone Again..Or’ pure perfection. These are just some of the reasons for my choosing 1967 as my favourite year, I hope its brought back some good memories for fellow Smarties, and over to you for YOUR favourite year for music and why. Off you go Alan it was your idea!…………..

Peter Fairless… On the pier? Has to be 1977…

Jim Breeds… Impossible to have a favourite year.

Alan Esdaile… Since I started helping out with The Conquest Hospital Radio, I noticed that most records I love are from 1967. Previously I would have thought  my favourite year for music was 1969 or the massive disco period in the mid seventies. 1967 the year of flower power. Remember buying a hippy bell from Carnaby Street, a few months later Woolworth and even WH Smith were selling them! Friends arriving at my house with beads on and flowers painted on their shoes. Hippy tie dyed clothes. Joss sticks were all the range and the message of peace and love was definitely for me. Scott McKenzie, Procol Harum, Small Faces, Beatles Sgt Peppers, Magical Mystery Tour on TV, Our World TV Programme with The Beatles All You Need Is Love,  Jimi Hendrix, The Doors,  Cream, Vanilla Fudge, Electric Prunes, David McWilliams, Privilege Paul Jones, pirate radio, the launch of Radio One and loads more.

Reg Wood… Yes 1967 for me too

Wendy Belton… I have always been stuck in the flower power era and the Motown and disco eras. I am true 60s and 70s. Love it. Just think you can’t beat those years…nothing compares to it now. Great to have you on board at CHR Alan.

Pete Prescott… Wow ! Tough one ! So many years to choose from. I was aware of music from as long as i can remember. 50’s and 60’s music. I remember when the Beatles exploded into our lives. My parents told my brother Steve and I we were leaving out home to move to upper Belvedere and I want to hold your hand was being played in the radio. I agree with 67. But 68 was big for me (My brother Chis gave me sgt Pepper).i became obsessed with Glenn Miller. music became very important to me. In 69 Chris gave me 19 albums he bought from a guy on his ship (so many albums ! Santana 1/abraxus and 3, Woodstock and more) and I saw my first concert in 71 (Hyde park. Grand funk/ humble pie/ head hands and feet) a very big deal for me. Music became everything ! I joined a band in 72. what do I choose ? I’ll go for 68 (with all the other years mentioned in dispatches !) I forgot 1970.I saw Free playing alright now on T.O.T.P’s. My life changed and 71, I saw The Who at the Oval. I’ll be thinking all day about this !

Stephen Moran… 1971

Judith Monk… All the above!

Andre Martin… It has to be 1966 for me

Clifford Rose… 1972 when I first started taking an interest in pop music after watching Telegram Sam on TOTP.

Nick Prince… 1967 for me.