Freeway – and the pier zooquarium triodome talk 1970

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photos supplied by Andy Knight, cuttings supplied by Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection

John Kingdon (Voc), Dave Shaw (Voc), Jime Beadle (Bass), Colin Pierce (Gtr), Joe Milligan (Tenor Sax), Ron Milligan (Baritone Sax), Clive Pearson (Trumpet), Andy Knight (Drums).

some great pictures of Freeway. Taken around 1970 on Hastings Pier.

Yvonne Cleland…..Bonitas! That was the name I forgot.

Philip Meston….. I remember Bonita’s, but not the Freeway Show Band

Andy Qunta….Great band! Freeway were great, and very ambitious with the brass section! 

Ralph Towns… I remember the zoo that was in there .I think a copy of the Bayeux tapestry was in there for a while and I remember seeing a Dalek in there but what the hell that was doing there,I don,t know.

Len Smith… Freeway with Dave Shaw singing. Bonitas gig was 1971.

Ian Plater… Is that the same john kingdom, that had J K’s burger world in Eastbourne.

Tony May… Aside from the musical history side of things this picture is a rare shot of the old Hastings Pier and an attraction I was too small at the time to remember? If anyone knows more about it I would be interested to hear more. Any chance the photo owner would allow me to use it for an article in ‘Hastings Town’ perhaps?

Mick O’Dowd… This was the old Triodome that graced the Pier for a while. It was used for various events including the Zooquarium and a skating rink (can’t recall if it was ice or roller). I believe it was moved to Warrior Square Gardens after The Pier.

Jim Breeds… The Triodome was originally built to house the Hastings Tapestry to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 1966. It features on several postcards that I have too.

Natasha Kaschevsky… Later used for Amusements around ’76 – ’78, I used to work in there in the summer holidays

Alan Esdaile… I’m sure at one stage it was suggested that The Triodome be rehoused on the Ladies Parlour West Hill with The Tapestry.

Andy Knight… Tony, you are welcome to use it.

Tony May… Thanks for the info Jim and for the use of the photo Andy. If any of the band have any memories of playing the Pier or can give me more info please e mail it to unseated.tony@gmail.com. Thanks!

Flanko Fin Barr… The Good times

 

Does anyone remember Battersea Fun Fair? asks Colin Bell

photo Stewart Townsend. Cover from the 2020 book. More details… https://joylandbooks.com/books_new/battersea-fun-fair.htm

Colin Bell… After recently watching the film, ‘The Day The Earth Caught Fire’ which featured lots of memories of Battersea Fun Fair, I wondered who else has memories of this fair?

Robert Carey… Worked right on Queenstown Roundabout in 60s and always over there. Great fun.

Paul Crimin… Sure do!

Steve Thorpe… Went there as a kid, I remember the high level walk through the trees and the water splash

Alan Esdaile… I remember going on The Rotor at Battersea funfair and probably about 9/10 years old. Excited to tell my mates at school and explaining it went really fast, then you got stuck to the wall when the floor disappeared. No one believed me!

Phil Little… Used to visit Battersea funfair when I first moved to London in 1972, it was one of the cheapest things to do.

Jane Hartley… I remember going as we had friends in South London, can’t be more specific though!

Colin Bell… The best thing for me was the Schweppes Grotto with its four caves ‘air’ ‘fire’ ‘earth’ and ‘water’ i’ll never forget crossing over the ‘molten lava’ in the fire cave, it was all magical for a 10 year old. The tree walk at night was amazing with its illuminated ‘dragons’ ‘pixies houses’ and animals etc. Then when you had seen all that next to it was the Guinness Clock with all its animations, a version of which came to Hastings seafront opposite the entrance to Robertson Street in the 1950’s. Different world but brings back so many happy memories in this grim time. Stay safe and well everyone x

Rick Pentecost… I went there a few times when I was very young. I loved it! Was there a Guinness Clock,- or did I imagine that?

Nicola Dobson… Yes my dad used to take me there..loved it and the roller coaster

Peter Houghton…My partner comes from Battersea And he used to ride the rides before the fun fair opened. And he used to work on some of the stalls + worked in the cafe there

Janet Horton… I had relatives in Middlesex at the time, it would be 1964 and I was 10. They took me to the fun fair, and I went in the grottos. Magic. It was funny at the time though, because I didn’t know you glowed purple and this woman came walking towards me. I thought she was a ghost, lol. Then she said, look at your own clothes and I was glowing purple. I remember it so well, we all laughed about it for ages.

The Ballroom All Stars DJ’s – Hastings Pier 21st May 2016

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photo by Allyson Breeds

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                  photos by Kevin Burchett                            quotes photo Jim Breeds

Chris Gentry, Johnny Mason, Colin Bell and Mick O’Dowd.

Allyson Breeds… I don’t know why Mick looks like he is wearing a yellow wig?

Leigh Wieland Boys… DJs were excellent!

Chris Giles… Brilliant photo Allyson

Andre Martin… It was always Johnny M who had the Goldern Wig!! Great time with the “old hands” almost 200 years experience between us over the years!

Kevin Burchett… The Golden Oldies at Hastings Pier second session.

Archie Lauchlan… Poptastic

Sarah Harvey… I just think they all look so cute 🙂 xx

Jim Breeds… Old Skool Still Rules

Andre Martin… Brill – that sums up the Ballroom All Stars !!

Andy Qunta… Ha ha – love it! Those are some rock-star, legendary DJs!

Andy Gunton… I’m still wondering who that rogue hand, under the desk, belongs to?

Caz Simpson… The rogue hand definitely belongs to a female.

Andy Gunton… Where’s her other hand?!!!!

Chris Giles… I didn’t notice until Andy pointed it out..Ha ha

Alan Esdaile…Thanks Jim. I see what you mean about the hand Andy, it looks like its far too low to be Andre’s and It looks like its on my knee!

Jim Breeds… Done with the greatest of respect and affection 🙂

Mick O’Dowd… That’s awesome  Jim. Actually the yellow on my head was not a result of me rubbing on Colin’s T-shirt but is in fact my halo slipping after I mentioned a certain gentleman that appeared on the Pier in silver suits who I was not allowed to mention!  Nice to see you there on Saturday. Great to see you back.

Jim Breeds… One year ago today.

Chris Giles… What a fantastic time we all had x

Mick O’Dowd… A year ago! How time flies! Had a great time.

Alan Esdaile… They let us out on day release, as long as we had our name tags on.

Jeanette Jones… Nice photo, guys 🙂 We’ve all come a long way !

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

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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!

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

Ez Allen with Colin Bell DJ’s – Vacuum Generators 14th May 1971

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Ez Allen with Colin Bell at the back. Vacuum Generators 14th May 1971 supporting Alamo.

Samuel Freeman…. It was a good night

Colin Bell… Bloody hell! Haven’t seen this before! Where did the years go….

Andy Knight… I just love that pic, where are they now?

Alan Esdaile… Great hair!

More Colin Bell photos. Hastings Caves setting fire to his hands 1970/71 and working with Freddie Starr

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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!!!

Mick Turner… He was the Last of the Comedians. He was Brilliant!

Jan Warren… Oh, Freddie Starr, Loved him

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Shape Of The Rain: Riley Riley Wood & Waggett, 3CD Digipak

RILEY RILEY WOOD & WAGGETT    Shape Of The Rain
Who? I hear you cry, well  in this instance I would echo that myself. I like to think after 50 + years in this business that even if I don’t know their work I will at least have heard of them, but I must confess not this time. So let’s investigate, come with me back to the end of the 60’s/start of the 70’s. Many bands had dropped their previous incarnation’s and gone ‘psych’ ‘prog’ ‘freakbeat’ ‘experimental’ etc etc. To cater for these ‘underground’ bands, the major Record Labels all created offshoot labels, EMI had Harvest, Pye Had Dawn, Philips had Vertigo, Decca had Deram and bringing up the rear was RCA with Neon. Now I have this particular quirk that remembers Record Labels (I used to file my mobile disco records by label) so I DO remember Neon but for another long forgotten band in Dando Shaft. In operation for just over a year from 1971 -2 the label only had 11 releases of which SOTR was number 7. Hailing from an area of the country bounded by Sheffield and Chesterfield the band came together originally as a Everly Bros style duo of cousins Keith Riley (lead vocals/guitar),and Brian Wood (guitar vocals before being joined by Keith’s brother Len Riley (bass) and Iain ‘Tag’ Waggett (drums).  The band’s name changed constantly, The Gear (inspired by their covers of Liverpudlian bands and Beatlesque sound) The Reaction was another and it was at this point they recorded a brace of demo’s and a local record shop owner David McPhie took an interest (he also represented Sheffield’s own Joe Cocker) and duly became their manager. With a name change to the more contemporary Shape Of The Rain all was set. This 3CD package covers their 1971 album RRW&W, a host of demo’s, outtakes, alternative versions, the demo’s for the aborted second album, a 50 minute live show from May 1970 and more. Disc 1 contains the original album kicking off with ‘Woman’ which, as noted in the sleevenotes, is a riff heavy pop/rock number sounding in structure very similar to Atomic Rooster’s ‘Devil’s Answer’ (co-incidentally issued on the same day!), this was issued as a single but didn’t trouble the charts at all, But this didn’t bother Neon, singles ‘weren’t cool man’ this was the dawn of the album…much cooler…er..man. After all the man in charge at Neon was Olav Wyper who in his previous life had been at CBS where he had dreamed up the much lauded sampler ‘The Rock Machine Turns You On’. Why am I banging on about labels? because that’s where the problem with the success or rather lack of it for Shape Of The Rain lies. They were a good sounding band, they wrote their own material, and where they didn’t ,had excellent taste performing material by The Byrd’s and Love. Now as any reader of my reviews, column’s etc will know Love is a band really close to my heart. Shape Of The Rain were clearly heavily influenced by the prevailing West Coast Sound, track 7 ‘Dusty Road’ is a prime example as is the following track  ‘Willowing Tree’s. And this is my point about success, had SOTR been on RCA’s main label there would have been more emphasis on promotion and put frankly money spent. To be fair even the band admit they were ‘musically confused’ but being hidden away, on a albeit ‘cool’ underground label served them badly. Their music is hook laden, delicate and contains some stunning arrangement’s, the Press of the time were impressed comparing them favourably to the like’s of Traffic and Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman took them to his heart as a big fan. So you had a commercially adept band hidden away on an obscure label, it was a no win situation as the fans of the ‘underground labels’ were looking for something more esoteric than SOTR and the main label fans of RCA were being treated to Bowie, Sweet etc i.e. the commercially successful acts of which SOTR could have been one. They have also been compared to Badfinger which I think is a fair comment, good hooky melodic songs and credibility to boot. The songs written for the second unreleased album show a growing confidence ‘The Very First Clown’ and ‘Listen To Your Heart’ being two examples.

The 3rd disc in the set is the previously mentioned ‘live recording’ taped at Manchester University (supporting Manfred Mann’s Earth Band) and given the recording restraints of the time is remarkably good, it captures the band in fine form (love the ‘Hendrix’ licks) mostly made up of new material at the time it did include a great version of ‘Willowing Tree’s from the Riley, Riley, Wood & Waggett album. And what about that album title? hardly jumps off the sleeve does it? I have a horrible suspicion somebody said something along the lines of ‘Crosby, Stills & Nash’ that’s cool man lets do that with this album. enough said! Eventually the band transferred to the main label and carried on til the mid 70’s before going their separate ways. Its a fact that there is more 60’s & 70’s music available to listen too today than there was then, incredible but true, so many albums never saw the light of day for so many reasons and some rightly so but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Shape Of The Rain and plugging a gap in my musical knowledge. Grapefruit Records have done their usual sterling job on the presentation of the set and the 24 page booklet contains many evocative photo’s and pictures of vintage poster’s and sound quality is excellent. Enjoy.

Til next time….please all stay safe and well……Colin

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

Ruperts People with Santos Morados – Hastings Pier 14th April 1968

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ruperts autographs

poster Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection.  autographs supplied by Colin Bell

Mick O’Dowd….Best known for “Whiter Shade of Pale”-like tune Reflections of Charles Brown. Have their CD which is pretty good to.

Wendy Wells… I remember this gig as an almost 16 year old. Had a crush on Steve from Santos Morados. If I remember rightly we exchanged addresses and wrote a couple of times, but never saw each other again. I’m sure I have the bands autographs somewhere and those of Rupert’s People. Happy Days.

Alan Esdaile… Can’t find much about Santos Morados but they did have a single on Island Records.

Andre Martin… well I never that takes me back many years

 

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!

Read moreWhat Was Your Favourite Year In Music? asks Colin Bell

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing The Idle Race: The Birthday Party, 2CD Expanded Digipak Edition

THE BIRTHDAY PARTY  (2CD Expanded Edition) by The Idle Race
From out of the midlands in the mid 60’s came what was to become ‘brumbeat’ Birmingham’s answer to its northerly neighbour ‘merseybeat’.

Birmingham was a very fertile scene with literally hundreds of ‘beat group’s. as we called them in those days, sounds really quaint now. The Idle Race evolved out of one such very popular band ‘Mike Sheridan & The Night Riders’, one member at that time being Roy Wood who left to join The Move. To fill his place guitarist Johnny Mann was recruited from Carl Wayne & the Vikings (Carl also to become a Move member) but after abruptly quitting the band were once again without a lead guitarist. An advertisement was placed in the Birmingham Evening Mail and the successful applicant was an 18 year prodigy in the shape of Jeff Lynne. A single was recorded ‘It’s Only A Dog’ a cover of a Kingsmen song which disappeared without trace. Jeff was then promoted to lead vocalist and songwriter and the band signed to Liberty Records. Roy Wood offered them a new song (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree, too good to turn down the band duly recorded it for their debut single in September 1967, but it was shelved when The Move recorded it themselves (as the ‘b’ side to Flowers In The Rain’). So step forward Jeff with what would be their first single ‘Imposters of Life’s Magazine’ a glorious slice of proto psyche complete with varispeed guitar, strange riff’s time signatures and indeed lyrics. In hindsight now it sounds like an outtake from Sgt.Pepper, in fact ive always felt Jeff was, and is, heavily influenced by Beatlesque melodies albeit with his very own genius take. Despite ‘Imposter’s’ being well received, much airplay and heavy support from one Kenny Everett it didn’t trouble the charts. The follow up single in March 1968 whilst again not a hit is the song for which the band is arguably best remembered ‘Skeleton & The Roundabout’ another Lynne composition was insanely catchy, quirky pop psyche and again showed off Jeff’s lyrical talents to the full. Along with Ray Davies and leaving aside Lennon/McCartney, I believe Jeff is a national treasure of ‘Englishness’ in his tales of pastoral and baroque themes.This new expanded album release celebrates his craft to the full, if you love the art pop of 67/68 of artist’s like Nirvana, World of Oz etc this is for you. There are so many strong tracks that you can hear the nascent ELO in there. ‘The Birthday’ and ‘I Like My Toys’ are two prime examples, the latter was played to death by the aforementioned Everett. The original album had 13 tracks, this release has the full 13 track mono album plus 9 bonus tracks on disc 1 whilst disc 2 contains the stereo version of the album (plus 1 bonus track). Amongst those bonus tracks are some gems like the previously mentioned ‘Lemon Tree’ and the ultra commercial ‘Knocking Nails Into My House’ (should have been a hit single). So 40 tracks to enjoy and a splendid 24 page booklet full of period pictures, sleeve covers and articles. Grapefruit Records have again excelled themselves with this release. Enjoy.

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

In closing, i’d just like to send all my best wishes to all my fellow SMART members, stay safe and well and if we all have to stay in at least we can listen to that album we’ve been meaning to get re-connected with!

Til next time……………………….Colin

Mick O’Dowd… Great album and a precursor to ELO. Had the original album on vinyl.

Colin Norton… Totally agree with Mick! This album is an absolute gem! I still have the original vinyl but must admit that its almost worn out. Stay safe guys!

Ray Harper… What a fantastic posting. Thank you.