Iain Cobby… Hi Alan, not sure about this, can Dave N or Nick W help out with this? Hope to see you guys at the next SMART, come on, lets meet up there!
Supplied by Nick Webb
Phil Gill… That would be before July 1976, when Iain Cobby sold me the Fender Precision Bass he’s playing . I would guess it’s 1975, or pre-July 1976 at the latest. I still have that bass, I used it on all the Stallion recordings, some tunes on Hutch Hutchins’ album and the Jo-Jo Laine single, “When the Boy’s Happy”.
Dave Nattress… Brilliant, Iain on the Precision as you say Phil, Tony Barraclough on Gibson SG, Mick Kemp – drums, Paul Durrant on keyboards and Paul’s girlfriend Ruth on vocals. Yes, Iain bought a Rickenbcker 4001? Soon after, Paul got a mini- mood – may have had it in this shot. I then joined on vocals and we had another shot the year Stallion smashed it and won and very deservedly. Nice one Nick, I remember you very well from 40+ years ago. Frightening!!
Dave Nattress…OK so are these shots actually from the Brighton Band competition which I didn’t go to and the MM National band competition which Stallion won in 1976. Damaris appeared in 1975 I think then I was with them in 1976. The backdrops are different, and Paul’s keyboard stands are different- also some of the clothes. I remember the glass wall/glazing behind the stage at Sussex Uni. Great for acoustics! If you were rich back then it meant u could afford 2 pairs of Lionel’s. Huckells for pukka gear or Loon Pants from Ken. market or ads in music papers.
Alan Esdaile… Can you help Iain?
Iain Cobby… Oh, what memories, thanks Nick. The lower shots were of the Brighton heat that Stallion eventually won in that long hot summer. We all piled into Richard Ive’s dads american estate and drove up to support them at the Roundhouse final. I remember going to work the next day and sleeping it off in Alexander Park. Glad your looking after the old P Bass Phil, sold because I had to pay back my dad the £300 I borrowed to buy the Ric 4001 (sadly sold too) I also used at that gig. The other 2 shots of Tony Barraclough and Paul Durrant were taken later, I think as Paul had that white stand built for his Elka Rhapsody and Korg synth so it looked like a Mellotron 400 . That would be when Dave replaced Ruth on lead vox. however I could be wrong……. thanks for that Nick, lost all my photos 20 years ago and sorry I didn’t make the SMART meeting.
Dave Nattress… Iain, we must meet up at SMART – anyway I must get there. That would help. So often I’ve wanted/intended to get there but failed – work and other stuff. I have some photos of Damaris on one pier gig – the one supporting Supercharge I think, and must show you them and get them copied. I may have the negs. How I got them I don’t know. There’s also a few of the MM Rock Contest at Sussex Uni. – which I think was the one the year after the one you did with Ruth. I’m thinking Rich or Nick took the snaps on the pier
all cuttings supplied by Iain Cobby
Damaris line up – Dave Nattress, Iain Cobby, Tony Barraclough, Paul Durrant, Mick Kemp.
Pete Fisher… serious flares!!
Phil Thornton… Damaris were great ! We (Stallion) played on the same bill as them a couple of times, It was cool having a local band around who were trying to do something a bit different !
Iain Cobby… Thanks for that Phil, much appreciated. Your Elka Rhapsody inspired Paul to buy one, the first affordable string synth on the market at that time.
John Wilde… where are you Damaris peeps?
Phil Thornton… the rhapsody had a great sound ! – (mine had a mod done by Tony Bird which gave it the ability to make a great church organ sound !) more distinctive than the logan or the solina (and cheaper !!)
Dave Nattress… Yes, the pier gigs Damaris did with Stallion were really great. Personally I always looked up to Stallion and John you were world class mate!! Hopefully you still are!! In answer to your question John – Dave Nattress – I’m still imprisoned in Bexhill but, for good behaviour, I’m hoping to get out to see Iain Cobby in the very near future – first time for over 35 years. Iain lives in Peasmarsh now. Tony Barraclough – guitar, is playing in No Exit, and still lives locally I believe, although I haven’t seen him for many years, Paul Durrant – Keys, lives in Scotland I think, and Mick Kemp skins – no idea.
Yvonne Cleland… I remember Paul Durrant from the Lido days! John Wilde is still world class, btw!
Graham Burfield… I remember seeing them on the pier with Stallion great stuff.
John Wilde… Cheers Dave. Thanks for the compliment. They were great days and we all had inspirational ideas. Ahhh the joy of youth. Best wishes to you Dave.
all cuttings Sarah Harvey
Sarah Harvey…..Some Pier adverts featuring local bands… Felix and Damaris from April and May 1976 respectively.
Phil Thornton…..Damaris, were a great band, they supported Stallion a few times.
Yvonne Cleland….Felix! Great band!
Andy Qunta….I remember Felix – they were excellent!
Chris Meachen…..Seventh Heaven came from the Isle of Wight, they were kind of early jazz funk
Mick O’Dowd…..Keep ’em coming Sarah!
Kev Towner… “Juvenile Fashion Parade” – how things have changed!!
Chris Boorman… Pretty sure I was at the Glitter Band gig!
Claire Triance.. How things change best summer hot
Richard Lavender… Remember the news of the world fishing comp. Won several rods over the years in that.
Dave Lelliott… Packed out at the Glitter Band
Nick Webb… Nice to see the Poster with my friends band Damaris on
Robert Searle… We supported The Glitter Band at the Pier when we were Easy Street,can’t say it was this date though. By the way, they were brilliant.
Iain Cobby… Nice to hear from Nick Webb, was that the Damaris we used green house pellets as smoke bombs and sent the audience of french students back 10 feet coughing and choking? I’m sure that was the gig that I have a recording of………………….
Dave Nattress… Iain, we definitely tried some pyrotechnics a few times – quite possibly your idea old chap or maybe Paul’s. Nick I remember you very well – best regards after 40 years!
Nick Webb… Cheers guys those where the days or night lol
Poster supplied by Roger Carey. Cutting supplied by Sarah Harvey.
Felix playlist supplied by Roger Carey
Jo Turner… I was there both nights.
Sarah Harvey… I organised all of the Ore Festivals in the 1970s. I wonder if they would be as popular today??
Jo Turner… I loved it Sarah. Thank you for the memories you helped create
Martyn Baker… Still got the album that I bought after the gig. Tres funky! Featuring Colin Bass on er ……. bass! Also………. Remember Bo Derek? She’s his sister!
Alan Esdaile… Never knew that Martyn. Mention Bo Derek and all I think about is Arthur! I know Colin Bass was in Camel.
Chris Meachen… Seventh Heaven are a band that intrigue me;- they were early exponents of jazz funk, a genre I wasn’t ready for at the time. I do know that they came from the Isle of Wight, & have often wondered if there was a Level 42 connection… Does anyone know any background?
pages from Wishbone Ash programme supplied by Eric Cawthraw
Virginia Davis… I remember a time when Eddie and the Hot Rods were a no show and an unknown band called The Jam stepped in. Not sure if it was that date though.
Alan Esdaile… I think that was 23rd April 1977 and The Jam replaced Johnny Thunders as was ill.
Virginia Davis… Oh right. Well it was a long time ago. At least I remembered who actually performed. Should of realised later date as it was just before In The City was released.
Eric Cawthraw… Supercharge – what a great outfit they were. I didn’t get to see them in Hastings, but caught them supporting Wishbone Ash in Brighton. They always looked like they were having a fun time. Above pages from the Wishbone Ash – New England tour booklet showing the Supercharge entries.
Mick O’Dowd… Supercharge were one of those great bands that never quite made it. Superb album Local Lads Make Good.
Dave Nattress… I do recall the gig very well and the newspaper cutting. Damaris played exclusively self-penned progressive material with lots of long instrumental passages that I used to get lost in listening to sometimes and I’d just drift away. I wrote the lyrics and we all helped arrange the tracks. Tony Barraclough played a Gibson SG through a Vox AC30/50, Iain Cobby was on Fender Precision later a Rickenbacker Stereo with the obligatory Marshall Stack, Paul Durrant had a range of keyboards including an Elka Rhapsody and several other keyboards, and Mick Kemp played a Pearl Full-Dimension kit with about 13 drums. Back then my 3 chords weren’t up to playing on stage and as my life has gone by, it’s still no more than 3 chords. Damaris nicked a passage from The Planet suite by Gustav Holst for one track called “Alien Tomorrows” – Mars maybe Jupiter, can’t remember right now, and then we had another long ranging piece called “Star-Tiger” which was written about an aircraft that disappeared over the Bermuda Triangle – which had the call-sign “Star Tiger”. Maybe you get the drift of what we were aiming for in our music!!! Supercharge were extremely good. From the moment they sound-checked we could see how polished they were.
Graham Belchamber… Supercharge ! I lived in Liverpool between 1985 and 95 and Supercharge were still doing the rounds up there. Some marvellous albeit hazy memories of them.
Iain Cobby… It was Jupiter, Dave.
supplied by Sarah Harvey
Paul Durrant…..Wow – amazing to see all this Sarah – thanks so much for posting – I played keyboards for Damaris – also great to see so many familiar names and faces that I never seem to see when I’m in Hastings (I live in Scotland now) – it reminded me of the night that Stallion won the Melody Maker Contest in London…..
supplied by Jules Carter
Phil Gill…..And here’s the poster from the Stallion gig as it looks in my dining room. Pic stolen from Jules Carter’s Facebook collection, but he took in my house and it’s my poster, so….And I can’t be bothered to get up off the sofa and walk to the dining room to take my own picture.
Paul Durrant….The pier gigs line up for Damaris was Mick Kemp – Drums, Tony Barraclough – Guitar, Iain Cobby – Bass, Paul Durrant – Keyboards and Dave Nattress – vocals.
Dave Nattress….Stumbled into this website after years on and off trying to backtrack the good times of Hastings Rock. I feel thrilled to see Damaris and references to my old band-mates, Paul Durrant, Iain Cobby, Mick Kemp, Tony Barraclough. We had some great gigs on the pier including supporting Stallion several times – they were something else and John Wilde – what a vocalist. We were in the Melody Maker Rock Contest the same year Stallion rightfully won it. I remember well the heat at Sussex University. Great to brag about that one and the pier of course. Astonished to see so much of the old stuff posted. To all of you who have helped this along – really well done. You’ve made an old man really happy!!!
Rachel Rayburn…My brother Paul aka Blondie was in Damaris
Ian Mantel… And Slik, with Midge Ure coming soon. Maybe Russell Field could get Midge to play down here again?
Dave Nattress….One for Jaffa, (Geoff Peckham). Jaffa, do you remember your gig at Bexhill Down School with (I think) Pete Higham on guitar and Tony Ford on drums – you on Bass obviously. The band was called “Syrinx” – was it not. Can’t remember any tracks but quite probably a couple of Cream tracks as Cream was a fave of yours and mine. Would have been 1969? Our 5th and final year!!
Geoff Peckham…..Yes, the band was called Syrinx. A short-lived band, we played a couple of Youth Club gigs as well as the school. We rehearsed on the kitchen/cellar of the Tegor cafe, diagonally opposite Bexhill Central Station. We played Cream covers, as you say, (Strange Brew, I’m so Glad etc), Dear Mr Fantasy by Traffic and a Pete Higham original, “It’s a Terrible Life I Live”, among other stuff. Interestingly, Tony Ford’s dad often gigged with my dad on corresponding instruments.
Yvonne Cleland…..Rehearsed in the cellar of the Tegor! I love it!
Geoff Peckham….Yes, do you remember it, Yvonne? It was a Yorkshireman who ran it. When he bought it, it was called the Roget and to save money on the sign he just renamed it anagrammaticly. (Nice word!) He had a good sense of humour – once, he came down during a rehearsal and said “I’m not saying it’s loud, but they’re dancing on the beach!”
Dave Nattress….Spot on Geoff about the Roget becoming the Tegor! I recall this now. I think, in the very early 70’s it changed hands and became “The Boiler Room” – a little – very little “Discoteque. I don’t think they had live bands there though – my recollection is that half a dozen people dancing filled the dance floor. Interesting that you used to rehearse at the Tegor. When I joined Damaris – mid-70’s – we rehearsed in the cellar under Barraclough and Stiles, (Opticians) just round the corner in St Leonards Road. We had sound-insulated the walls with old mattresses obtained from goodness knows where – rubbish dumps/house-clearance/lay-by’s and they were not of the newest/highest quality and ponged a bit to say the least. Like you I guess, lugging all the gear up the steep stairs, through the shop and then the reverse, post-gig at half-past midnight, after a stop at Taffy’s chippie. Good old days. We used to get a tug from time and time again from a man who lived in the flats above the shop – noise, and I guess didn’t like the tracks we were rehearsing!
Geoff Peckham….. Jack Bruce was a big influence in my formative years as a bass-player. And talking of interesting places to practice, my next band, Diversion with Andy Knight, used to rehearse in another café. It was the one on the beach at Glyne Gap. It was a really pokey but at least we didn’t upset any neighbours.
all cuttings supplied by Sarah Harvey
Sarah Harvey…..Late June 1976. The second Ore Group Festival which was part of Ore Week which took place over two nights. Stephen Turner’s preview, the advert with the groups appearing on Friday an Saturday. And finally Stephen Turner’s review. Six local bands with Trunk, Hippo and Damaris on the first night. Samisen, Mosaic and Felix on the second night.