The Prisoners – photo 1979

supplied by Dave Nattress

Andy Leaney guitar, Dave Nattress vocals, Mick Bridgeland drums, Robin Heggie bass.

Dave Nattress… After Samisen split, Mick Bridgeland and I teamed up with Andy Leaney and Robin Heggie on bass. We set about writing a set load of post-punk, abrasive, incisive shortish tracks. I don’t think we did any covers. We played quite a few gigs around Hastings as The Prisoners, The Yorkshire Grey, The Yelton, (as was), Chatsworth, and Crypt etc.

Mo Blackford… Thanks Dave for posting. My first real friend and great influence was Robin Heggie. He was a very cool chap, who introduced me to Paul McCartney among other people. He had engineered a couple of Paul’s albums and had previously played bass in The Hollywood Killers. Anyway. we formed my first band in the UK together. Initially called Red Shoes, we changed the name to The Stand (cerca ’82) and did loads of gigs around Hastings. The Stand also included Bernard Jeffrey (Hollywood Killers) on drums and Kevin O’Connor on vocals.  I’ve tried on a number of occasions to locate Robin. Maybe somebody knows something! It would be much appreciated. Cheers!

Alan Esdaile… Does anyone remember The Prisoners and know of the whereabouts of Robin Heggie? I did search but if he is the Robin that lived in Milton Keynes  then not good news. Can anyone help? Could do with some good news.

Mark Gilham… Sorry Alan. Not good news at all. Robin passed away a few years ago now. 🙁

Andy Knight… I didn’t know that, Robin and I played in Missing Persons together I know it is v late but RIP

Mike Mitchell… and whatever happened to Mick Bridgeland? Least I heard he had moved to Amersham…

Martin Richter… sad news about Robin – he was a lovely guy.

Dave Nattress… Sad to have it confirmed about Robin, but I must admit I was thinking the worst. He was a great guy and bass player, lreally looked the part and we all had a frantic and great time getting The Prisoners going. Also, of course, Andy Leaney. Andy and I had a great connection also, smiles on the face as I remember these 2 old friends our fun times going for it, the stupid band names that Andy particularly liked to come up with that we all rejected!! Great sadness and regret that they’ve gone – like so many more on the local scene, and nationally and internationally all connected through the music. So many people who were the bricks in the huge wall that was built up over so many years. Some of the bricks have crumbled away, but then, more are being added all the time.

Read moreThe Prisoners – photo 1979

Damaris – Hastings Pier 22nd May 1976 & details of where the name came from (Damaris mark 1 – 1974)

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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.

Petrol/fuel filling stations. Anyone recall when their car was last filled by an attendant and where? asks Dave Nattress

Dave Nattress… We all used to have our vehicles filled by attendants, then increasingly fuel stations became serve yourself, but can you, and SMART readers recall when they were last “attended to” in this way, and if so, when and where was the filling station.  I’ve used a mass of filling stations for a long, long time, but I actually can’t recall the answer to my own question.

Alan Esdaile… I remember some used to clean your front windows as well and always polite.

Dave Nattress… Indeed, the fuel station attendants used to wipe your windscreen even ask about checking tyre pressures and oil.  But, “progress” has stopped all of that.  Also, there are very few petrol stations compared with years ago.  Take the A21 for instance – a good few have gone.

Dave Weeks… Gran Canaria last March

Tim Moose Bruce… Smith and Humpheries in Sidley still do attended fuel.

Lyn Humphrey… I might be wrong here, but I believe the last time my car was filled up and had all the checks done, was in the States, sometime in the 1980s. An attendant rushed out and began cleaning my windscreen almost before I’d stopped! Never had that happen before.

Pat Sleet… Western Road St Leonard’s circa 1990

David Edwards… Certainly common in Spain but Guestling Garage up till 20 odd years ago by a really helpful Welsh fella.

Mike Vawdrey… A filling station on the outskirts of Alsager, South Cheshire just a month or two ago. Still there and still attended service when I drove past the other week having (shame on me ) filled up at Asda…

Dave Nattress… Dave Weeks…are you “The Dave Weeks” used to work in the Cont. a million years ago? Used to play guitar? u used to be in there a lot with various mates and girlfriends – well only one at any one time I mean! If so, good to meet you again, if not apologies….

Dave Weeks… Yes Dave Natress . 1600E too. Still around and still enjoying playing. I trust all is well with you.

Wendy Weaver… In Wareham about 3 years ago.

Barry Newton… Just outside Barcelona about five months ago

Ernest Ballard…  Near St Austell Cornwall 4 years ago by an old man owning an independent garage. His sweet counter stank of parafin too inside and was like going back in timeif you didn’t let him fill the tank up full he wouldn’t serve you at all for wasting his time ha ha

Dave Nattress… Well Mr Weeks – delayed reaction from me as usual, great to make your acquaintance again – sort of – via this website…how did you remember the 1600E!! I was some mug to flog it. I got a company car and my old man was moaning on about me having the 2 cars so I bowed to pressure and sold it.  Duh!!!!   And the company car was a Fiat 131 Mirafiori that Graham Hill used to advertise on TV.  Anyway, I hope you are well and maybe bump into you some time.  The Cont. – a long, long time ago!!

Leigh Weiland-Boys… Along the ridge when it was 37p a gallon!!!

Pauline Richards… If only!!

Stallion, Steppin’ Out and Damaris Hastings Pier 15th January 1977

supplied by Sarah Harvey

 

bell records slik

Slik

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…..

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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?

iPad – track & band identify by Dave Nattress

Something I learned only this morning was that the i-pad can identify tracks and bands etc. Call me behind the times – no prob. My Wife and all the children have i-pads – I’m happy with the pc and the laptop and a succession of phones; phones which are so complicated that I only ever use them for simple stuff -like phoning people. Anyway, back to the i-pad and it’s amazing, (to me) ability to ID tracks. This morning, my Wife’s got R2 on and there’s a nice track which was vaguely familiar so I said listen out and see what this is can you please, (I’m very polite). Abi my youngest, 15, says you can do it on the i-pad – which we call i-patch (eye-patch), bear with me, it’s a house of madness, so she held the device to the Radio and in seconds – I’m sure you know this, it’s identified the track as Dan Fogelberg – “Longer”. Sounded like DF and it turns out I’ve got it on a Greatest Hits, hence it was familiar. So….I asked can the i-patch, sorry pad, do this to other stuff – like I meant the Hi-Fi and the answer was Yes, anything. So…I said right! let’s try and do it with some obscure tracks, so out came a few favourites, most mentioned on the website and I tried to fool it. It got, amazingly to me, “Midnight Madness” by England off Garden Shed, “Death Walks Behind You” by Atomic Rooster – same Album, “The Martyr” by Wally – first Wally Album, but couldn’t get “In Circles” off It’ll All Work Out in Boomland by T2. I’m gonna have a heap more fun with it.                   Dave Nattress

Peter Fairless… Let me guess …it then goes on to check which tracks you’ve bought and any you’ve downloaded and sends you the appropriate bill?

Alan Esdaile… When I hear the word i-patch all I think of is pirates day. Thanks Dave for posting, I’m sure a number of people will know this and a number will not. Any other advice is always welcome to post here.

Dave Nattress… Peter…steady – dangerous suggestion in these clever IT times. I suppose it could act as a spy for the record companies and PRS but I still buy virtually everything I listen to simply because if it’s a new band for instance – first album etc. and they’re on a really mean royalty, I’m happy for them to get the little bit of my money that’s left once everyone else has been paid their cut.

Eric Cawthraw… Yep, this has been around for a while, we have ‘SoundHound’ on our tablet, does the same thing. What’s more, it asks you if you want to buy the track and download it – so within seconds you found it, bought it, own it, played it! I first came across this app a couple of years ago visiting my son. We were watching golf on the TV and this song came on – within seconds my lad used the app and bought the track. It is very clever in i/d-ing stuff, but I beat it when I played it some Grobschnitt, that said, it can find a lot of obscure stuff.

Syrinx – Bexhill 1969 and talk of Damaris & Diversion

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.