Skip Bifferty – Hastings Pier 24th February 1968

supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey…  Skip Bifferty on the Pier (February 24th, 1968). A psychedelic band formed in early 1966. Band members were…Graham Bell: vocals – Mick Gallagher: Keyboards – Colin Gibson: bass – John Turnbull: guitar, vocals – Tommy Jackman: drums. Following their demise in 1971 , together with , Bell, Turnbull and Gallagher, formed Bell & Arc. Bassist Colin Gibson went on to work with Ginger Baker, Bert Jansch, Alvin Lee and Van Morrison. John Turnbull and Mick Gallagher reappeared in 1977 in The Blockheads, backing Ian Dury; in 1979 Gallagher played and recorded with The Clash and The Only Ones.

Mick Mepham…  Haven’t heard On Love since we played it in Die Laughing. Great song!

Terry Huggins… They were also known as ‘Heavy Jelly’ and had a song called ‘I keep singing that same old song’ on the ‘Nice enough to eat’ sampler. Can’t recall what the story behind this was, but apparently there were several bands using the ‘Heavy Jelly’ name.

Phil Thornton… that was a great song !! written by Colin Gibson !! When we had a revival of Stallion recently we had planned to play a new version of ‘I keep singing that same old song’ as an encore !!

Terry Huggins… One of the best piano riffs ever.

Kev Towner… Now that would’ve been cool Phil!! I had no idea Colin wrote it – I think I’ve got a copy somewhere.

Sarah Harvey… Heavy Jelly…… Skip Bifferty had been clandestinely recording a new single “I Keep Singing That Same Old Song” with Paul Nicholls replacing Tommy Jackman on drums and with producer Guy Stevens at the helm. Writers of the London magazine ‘Time Out’ had written a review of a fictitious band with the name of Heavy Jelly as a spoof and a number of bands contemplated using the name. Skip Bifferty managed to be first out and the Heavy Jelly single was released on Island. For a while it was rumoured to be Spooky Tooth moonlighting, but journalist Chris Welsh almost disclosed the true identity of the group when his review punned “this one really skips and biffs along”. The single didn’t sell in the UK but did well in Europe.

Mick O’Dowd… Only just recently caught up with listening to this group. Most impressed especially their version of I Am The Walrus. Good band.

Wendy Wells… I have their autographs somewhere, I got from this gig, I’ll try and look them out lol!

Steve Cooke… … and of course Colin Gibson has lived locally for many years, forming Buick 6 with Roger Hubbard and Liam Genockey as well as numerous other musical and artistic achievements.

Gavin Martin… Good band!

Carol Ann Bolton… Excellent.

Nigel Ford… Never knew that….thanks everyone… “I keep singing that same old song” by Heavy Jelly was part of a set of covers by Maidstone band KRISHNA KUDU who played at Battle dances a number of times around 1969 – 72 and were a crowd favourite, even courted two Battle girls. I bought “Nice enough to eat” LP when I saw the track listed on it and have played it on Hastings Rock Radio many years ago.
Krishna Kudu were the first band I saw to use strobe lighting and I believe only to this track.  They also covered Rare Bird’s “Flight – As your mind flies by” brilliantly and “Hammerhead” aswell as Deep Purple, Black Sabbath covers etc.

Tich Turner… Ha, only just seen this. I was at the Skip Bifferty gig and was blown away. I went and bought their album right away and still have it. [probably their only one]! I’ve known Colin Gibson for many years now and only in the past year did I discover he was in the band, brilliant. Hi Mick, hope you’re well. I’m assuming you meant Spooky Tooth recording ‘I Am The Walrus’ as opposed to Skip Bifferty. I was chatting to my old pal and former guitarist in Whiskey Mac recently, and we got round to talking about Spooky Tooth, I absolutely loved that band and have all their albums, and solo ventures. So I mentioned to Graham that I went to see them at The Witchdoctor, and how great they were. He laughed and said, “of course you saw them there, we were supporting them”! Doh!!! Tich Turner.

Colin Bell… ‘On Love’ was one of my favourite 60’s singles, I’ve played it many times on my radio shows.

A rare photo of Skip Bifferty

Photo Credit: © Gered Mankowitz. shared from Colin Gibson

Johnny Turnbull… A rare photo of Skip Bifferty. L-R: Mickey Gallagher, Tommy Jackman, Graham Bell, Johnny Turnbull, Colin Gibson. Classic.  Photo Credit: Gered Mankowitz

Julian Deeprose… Two Blockheads on board

Alan Esdaile… Great hair.

Alan Pepper… Wow ! Nice unusual photo. Gallagher and Turnbull Oi Oi  ? Thought those names rang a bell !

Stuart Moir… Macky Gallagher and Graham Bell sporting permed hair, Danny Beckett of the band Candy Choir used to do the same caught him a few times with his rollers in place .

Chris Barrett… That naughty boy Colin Gibson seems to have a police whistle on his jumper as well as the peaked cap. Was he undercover?

Phil Gill… Undernourished I’d say.

Chris Barrett… Phil, naughty boy. I’d have said elegant and noble but balanced it with slightly furtive

Jacqueline Marsh… Their hairdo was as good as mine use to be back in the day lol

R.N.L.I. Beach Concert – August 1997


photos by Phil Little. Hastings Music Files.

  1. Pass The Cat Steve Riv & Colin Gibson. 2. Go Bear Go Tim & James. 3. Liane Carroll and Nana Tsiboe. 4. Johnny Panic.

Nigel Ford… I’ve played a track by Johnny Panic on my Heavy Rock Show on Hastings Rock Radio in the past.

Mick O’Dowd… Is Tracy Shipley and her husband still about. They also had the Carlisle back in the 70’s.

Eric Harmer… Tracy is still with us, sadly her husband died .

Ginger Baker vs Elvin Jones, Lyceum 1970

Supplied by Colin Gibson

Colin Gibson… Ginger vs Elvin, Lyceum 1970. A young Gibson in the middle.

Alan King… cymbal-head

Claire Hamill… Brilliant!

Steve Cooke… Great pic Colin!

Liane Carroll… WALLOP!!! XX

Bernard Goffredo… I remember that

Marcus J Lamb-Bentley… Fantastic

Jimbo Tipler… Too cool!

Alan King… looking for ‘the one’

Phill Gill… You probably still have the same strings on that bass.

Phil Thornton… Cool pic !!

Tom James Cowan… the best drummers are all jazzers… ginger buddy charlie john densmore….elvin..

Yvonne Cleland… humungous

John McCormack… Cracking shot

Russell Field… Great stuff. Elvin Jones had synesthesia. Must have been mad to play with.

Billy Darlington… Top work Gibson!

Marcus de Mowbray… Yup, I was there! I was about 15 and a teacher took six of us who were keen on music to see that gig. The teacher was a close friend of jazz drummer Phil Seaman, Ginger’s mentor and friend, and this teacher also booked Phil to play a trio gig at the school a bit later. Phil played well but was in a dreadful state and died three weeks later. Many years later I depped for Liam Genocky in Rye and Colin was the bassist, great musician and very nice person!

Alan Esdaile… I wish I had a teacher like that.

Tony Qunta… Marcus, Yes the great Phil Seamen. So sad he left us so tragically. I saw him give a drum clinic at a music shop in Warrington. Absolutely amazing.

Roger Carey… I recall the drum play off with Ginger B and Elvin J being reported in the Melody Maker at the time- amazing you were on that Colin! Remember in Battle I performed ” I keep singing the same old song” by “Heavy Jelly” – you were in the audience (in Battle) and I said it was a mystery song/band and that you might know something about it… you shouted out “I wrote it!” So much great stuff you have been part of including of course one of my favourite bands “The Movies ” !

Chris Jolly… Nice Enough To Eat… almost literally!



Nice Enough To Eat – sampler Island Records 1969 & record covers


post suggested by Mark Sims & Eric Cawthraw

1. Fairport Convention – Cajun Woman
2. Mott The Hoople – At The Crossroads
3. Spooky Tooth – Better By You, Better Than Me
4. Jethro Tull – We Used To Know
5. Free – Woman
6. Heavy Jelly – I Keep Singing That Same Old Song
7. Blodwyn Pig – Sing Me A Song That I Know
8. Traffic – Forty Thousand Headmen
9. Nick Drake – Time Has Told Me
10. King Crimson – 21st Century Schizoid Man
11. Quintessence – Gungamai
12. Dr. Strangely Strange – Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal

Eric Cawthraw… Sampler albums eh! I’ve still got a copy of Island’s ‘Nice Enough to Eat’ – it was either 14/6 or 14/11, not too sure. It had some good stuff on it – Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Free and I particularly liked the Quintessence track – Gungamai. (I thing that’s the Ganges). It has been covered several times and was in the charts – by god knows who now! (John Storer – over to you, no pressure). Ah Quintessence – another great pier gig. As for the re-assurgence of albums – if you go to any major gig in the last 3 or 4 years – there is always LPs in the merchandising. I think the kids are beginning to get the fact that the artwork and the music are integral and should not be divorced as it is with downloads and even CDs for that matter. If anyone gets the chance to go to the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham – go to St. Paul’s Gallery. It’s an art gallery specializing in LP cover art. They do it all properly – getting licences from the artists/record companies and then produce limited editions, they’re damn expensive mind but some are signed by the original artists. There is/was a lot of Hipgnosis stuff: Pink Floyd and Wishbone Ash. They even had a copy of the Sgt. Peppers album cover – the one that wasn’t used in the end. I see they have a website now – worth a browse. When I was chatting to the gallery owner, we were berating the fact that the art and music were no longer integral. I said that in times gone by the composers were influenced by the painters and in turn, the painters by the composers. I also said that you know damn well that when that cave-man made rock drawings he was going to be chanting. OK, so I’m nearly old enough to remember it first hand – I hear you thinking. It impressed him and the Mrs. and I were invited to a private gig the next day at the gallery to see Gordon Giltrapp. We had to refuse as we were off back to sunny Hastings! I’ve not had the opportunity to go back there since – it was about 4-ish years ago now. I’m pleased to see that the business is still operating.

Hipgnosis link…

Patrick Lewis… I  had this one – favourite track :Time Has Told Me by Nick Drake.

Jim Breeds…. I  remember seeing that in the shops and always meant to buy a copy. n:-/

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Buick 6 – Light From Darkness Studio Hastings 1992


supplied by Phil Little.

Colin Gibson – bass,  Liam Genockey – drums  & Roger Hubbard – guitar.

Alamo Leal….Buick 6, one of the most amazing bands I’ve seen. They could go into any area and cover it with a incredible groove. Great players.

Mama Josie and The Alley Cats – 1997


supplied by Phil Little.

At The Ain’t Nuthin But, London West End. In the photo, Phil Little, Colin Gibson, Josie, Alfie Bernardi and Simon Shaw. 1997.

Terry Pack…..I did that gig a few times with the band before I went to Italy in 1993. It was a nice gig, I remember, but a very late finish…

Phil Little…..The first set started at 9pm and the last set started about 2am.