Penny Black – early 70’s Hastings and Brighton

source David William/ Facebook Eastbourne Bands From 1960 on

David William.. first photo Hastings early 70’s. far right Dave H Terry Creasey Terry Mcconnel Dermot

Robert Searle… Great pictures

Pete Millington… Great flares!

Mark Asseenontv Scutchings-Stevens… Is that a Watkins/WEM bass ?

Dave Nattress… Went to the old Hastings College with Terry Creasey. Iain Cobby was there as well at the time. We were all doing construction studies. Also had Mick Kemp, drummer and Paul Durrant, Keyboards from Damaris – all doing construction. I remember when Paul brought in his first synthesizer. There were a lot of musicians there at the time. I was there part time from about 1970 – 1975. I remember Phil Gill there but don’t know what course Phil was doing. Do I recall correctly, Penny Black became Steam. Terry was definitely in Steam.

Chris Dann… Well, my wife has just had a look at the two photos of Penny Black and she says that the bass player in the first photo is Dermot and I am in the second photo. I was the original bass player in Penny Black. Consequently, left to right in the first photo ; Dermot Searle, Terry McConnell, Terry Creasey, Dave Hacker. (circa 1972) Second photo; Terry McConnell, Chris Dann (me),Terry Creasey, Dave Hacker. (circa 1970). I played bass with Penny Black from 1970 to 1971. 2nd April 1971 we played with Factory and DJ Tony Kane at Hastings High School. That’s how I remember playing on the same stage as Factory. I remember they were really good although I seem to remember that there was only three in the band ?? Dermot took over from me in July 71 when I went over to Brighton Top Rank to play full time in the Ronny Keane Band. In 1972 I went to study Jazz at Leeds College of Music and stayed in Leeds until about 1978 when I joined the Jack Hawkins Showband in London. I stayed with Jack as a pro bass player from 78 to 84 and then (sick to the back teeth of travelling) I packed in playing and took a job teaching music at Seaford Head School. During the late 60’s early 70’s I played bass (part time) with the Ted Crouch Band, Penny Black , Ronny Keane and various others who I just can’t remember right now. I also did a short stint with a band called The Kingsmen. I seem to remember that we opened Kings Country Club and became the resident house band. I left after a very short stint because I hated it ! When I came back to Eastbourne in the 80’s I played odd gigs with Ted Crouch and also with a band called the Amazing Rubber Band which was run by (if I remember correctly) Gary Bonner from Bonner’s Music in Grove Rd Eastbourne. I think I have some photos of Penny Black. I’ll dig them out and forward them to you.

Ian Williams…  Was your father Roly Dann, excellent drummer?

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Eastbourne band 1960’s – Billy & The Urchins and 70’s chat.

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supplied by Len Smith – Eastbourne Bands from 1960 on

Len Smith… Here’s one from early 60’s any idea of names, only one I recognise is Billy Contreras!  Looking for photos of bands like Mandragora, Virus, Morticians, MTA, Tall, Dark & Gruesome, etc. for my Eastbourne Bands site.

Colin Pierce… Billy & The Urchins

Tony Ball… Myself Tony Ball on Framus bass, Billy on vocals, Pete Richards guitar and I think the drummer may have been Mike Osullivan?

Chris Brown… Hello Len, hope all is well with you. I have a single titled I Made Her That Way by The Urchins released in 1967. Do you know if this was the group & had Billy Contreras & Roger Salmon in it? They had been The Beaux. I think there were 2 other members, but I have no idea who they are. If you can confirm this & advise any more like who the other 2 were I would be much obliged.

Len Smith… Chris by 1967 Billy and Roger were performing as Kaine & Abel following a spell as Beaux. I do not believe they added any other members until 1970. So unlikely that your 45 is by our Urchins.

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supplied by Len Smith

Gary Sykes… I was in an 80s rock band called Taor. Used to jam with simon williams from mandrahora, and coke from virus. Remember playing “rock at the redoubt” and various gigs at the archery tavern.

Dave Nattress… On Eastbourne bands or maybe more accurately, bands that played Eastbourne area pubs. Back in about 1977/78 I saw a band called Ptarmigan (as in the Scottish bird) in a pub in South Street, Eastbourne. Corner pub opposite the Police Station I think? Great sound, recall the singer has very long wavy hair. they did an incredible “Tears of a Clown” – Smokey Robinson. Anyone else recall them? Also at the Gun in Chiddingly, similar time, about 1977/78, a band call Nightrider. Saw them there a few times. Maybe they came from the Newhaven area?

Tim Moose Bruce… I remember a couple of Eastbourne based bands who play at the Star Inn at Norman’s Bay in the late 70s. Band called Boris, who did Eagles and Wishbone Ash songs with good twin lead guitar work. The other band Tuxedo Junction had great vocal harmonies which were used to good effect on songs by Supertramp and 10cc.

Tom Flynn… I played drums with Billy Contreras and Colin Pierce in Blinker after we disbanded Middlemarch, the folk-rock band with Joe Flynn (electric violin), Tim Morfitt (guitar and vocal), Chris Tunwell (bass), Nigel Barker (guitars and vocals) that played all the Eastbourne and Sussex area pubs in the mid-1970s including the Cavalier near the seafront, The Beach pub opposite the Fishermens Club, The Six Bells at Chiddingly and elsewhere. The other big band at that time was Denis Rayment’s Bandit with Eddie Tutt on bass and Mick ‘The Sticks’  McKiernan on drums. It would be nice to hook up with anyone still around as I moved back to Eastbourne recently. Join me on FB.

Jeni Townsend… Hi Tom, my friend Julia and I came to most of your gigs. I seem to remember she dated one of you guys – but can’t remember who but I do remember sitting for hours in Tim’s parent’s basement listening to you rehearse!

Lynn Graham… Anyone remember Johnny and Bruce who played in The Lord Nelson in the 60s?

Jan De Neef… Dennis Rayment Bandit in Cavalier bar in early 1970… Dale de Neef and his wife Jan now reminiscing in Eastbourne until 10 May 2019 any contacts ?

Keith D Flanigan… Hi there, This the Tony Ball and Pete Richards I played the drums with in the Pete Richards Combo back in 1964/5. I believe Tony or Pete had a brother that played rhythm. I remember Pete had a red sunburst semi acoustic Gibson, and the rhythm guitarist a Gibson Jumbo with pick ups. The Vox ribbon mike I used went through a Selmer amp and a self made Celestion speaker cabinet. I played with a very basic Premier Autocrat drum kit. We had gigs at caravan parks in the Pevensey bay area, as well as some pubs in Eastbourne, Pier Hotel, etc etc. We did a wedding here and there too, and traveled everywhere in a Bedford Dormobile? We practiced in a hall next to a pub at Stones Cross. We also went to the 3rd National Jazz festival in the bands Dormobile, to see the Rolling Stones play in 1963. If any one would like to contact me, it would be great to hear from you, photos maybe? Looking at the photo from Len Smith again. That is definitely Pete on lead guitar and Tony on Bass, but not me on drums. The photo must have been taken just after I left the Pete Richards Combo. Then maybe the band was renamed? The photo supplied by Len Smith may have been taken before I joined the group, and they may have been called the Pete Richards Combo then. I think the photo supplied by Len was taken at the Leaf Hall in Seaside Road Eastbourne, Just before I joined the group as drummer. For a short while it was the groups practice location. I remember coat hooks on the wall. It was the PR Combo. Pete’s initials, and Short for Public Relations I was told. Pete Richards also played the slide guitar.

Pete Billings R.I.P. (21st December 2016)

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Tony White (Eastbourne Bands from 1960 on Facebook page) … Remembering Pete Billings, drummer with The Saints, Fifth Avenue and dep’d with almost every other local musician since the 1960’s. Sadly passed away on 21st December 2016.

Robert Searle… RIP Pete Billings

Laura Broadway… Sad loss, great drummer,great bloke.

Colin Norton… Had the pleasure of meeting and playing with Pete this past September. Together with Lawrie Broadway, Baz Cooper and Pete we were the Features. Here’s a pic of Pete on September 10th this year. RIP Pete.

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Terry Pack… RIP, Pete. What a lovely bloke.

Eddie Sargent… Very sad loss brilliant drummer

Chris van Rock… RIP ……

Ernest Ballard… Oh. That’s a shock. He was a local hero. Nice bloke and good drummer RIP

Barry French… So sorry to hear this news, lovely man & brilliant drummer RIP.

Tony White has posted the funeral details on The Eastbourne Bands site... Pete’s funeral will take place on Friday 6th January 2017 at 1.00pm, at Beulah Baptist Church, Buckhurst Rd, Bexhill, followed by a family burial and back to the church hall for refreshments.

Charlotte Hutchinson… Dear Pete. We thought you were wonderful . So kind to us when we first met. So good to Chris , and a fantastic drummer. God bless you ,and may you rest in peace. You are going to be greatly missed  . Chris and Charlotte Hutchinson.

Dave King… The best drummer I have ever worked with. We played together as the Dave Allan Sound in the 80s and early 90s until I emigrated to France in ’92. Played together again at a couple of Saints reunions at the Winter Garden. What a lovely man, who didn’t have a bad word to say about anybody. This world could do with a few more like Pete. R.I.P. Mate.

John Harper… Grateful thanks to another old mate – Dave King – for telling me about this website in an email today from France. I can only second what he said about Pete. Dear old Pete was a good buddy who I’ve known and gigged with since 1970. Best drummer around and a lovely bloke. We were founder members of The BJ 4 along with Barry Jones on vocals and Les Saxby on keyboards. We were resident band at The Eastbourne Fishermens Club from 1973. Needless to say the band lineup changed over the years ( as they do! ) Les sadly passed away in 1988 and George Smithson joined the band on keyboards. When George moved to Spain Andy Winterborne became our keyboards. Mick Ansfield ( on bass ) gigged with us on and off. Stuart Coffee then became our bassplayer. We became City Rhodes Sounds when Barry left the band in early 80’s and Dave Hacker joined as lead vocals. Pete eventually moved on in the 80’s and joined Dave Allen Sound. Terry Mconnell became his replacement on drums. Stuart Coffee left in late 80’s to play jazz with his dad and brother and that’s when Bob Page joined the band on bass and vocals replacing Dave who joined Tony Bird’s band. Laurie Brookman joined us on guitar for a few years. We were resident at the club from 1973 to the year 2000.
Sadly several of the band have passed on now … Les Saxby, Mick Ansfield, George Smithson, Stuart Coffee, Barry Jones and of course Pete Billings. R.I.P. I’m pleased to say that Pete’s photo is on display at the club.

Geoff Peckham… Would this be the Les Saxby who was a friend and bandmate of my dad, Dave Peckham? My dad used to take me to his place near Alexandra Park in the 60s. I once showed him a copy of the sheet music of Donovan’s ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man”, which he played on his home organ and mocked it’s simplicity! Don’t know why I remember that. Did he also have a model train set?

Mark Mackenzie… I do remember you guys at the fish, Mick Ansfield played on some of our recordings we did in Eastbourne, he was a really great bass player.

Robert Searle… RIP Mick Ansfield

More Mushrooms Vicar – 1990’s

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supplied by Colin Fox – Eastbourne Bands from 1960 on

Anyone remember this band?

Yvonne Cleland… I remember the name!

Mike Guy… Yep, and Rod Brown [bass] and Paul Ray [drums] later played in my old band Kudos, now evolved into Globesque. Paul Ray left the planet some years ago but Rodney is still gigging – he was with Monty’s Python for a few years.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRF6HPOw4BWDcchzz-bGWtw/videos

Phil Thornton… Duncan is still around gigging with ‘Ugenix’ ( but they keep changing their name and I cant keep up !!!!)

Steve Young… Steve Young still alive in South Wales playing with The Secret Faces after a long solo career and in Nick Wards live band . Before this wrote and played with Honey Bane on a new album after being part of psychodelic trance act Sunfish with Sacha Holloway . Love and peace. Steve Young. ( Methadone Madness )

Steve Young… Forgot that just before The Secret Faces , Steve played main keys in Cardiff reggae band Zion Road . Following success with Sunfish , Steve had an amazing career on the underground dance seen as is the only live dance act to ever appear at Trowbridge Village Pump Festival .
Steve was main musical director for The Two Rivers Folk Festival in Chepstow , after being one of the main music committee members for 4 years at Fordstock Festival in Harbertonford Devon, Steve instigated some main acts for the festival culminating in securing mercury prize artist Seth Lakeman.
Now playing with The Secret Faces the band have now released 2 singles on iTunes and all other major download sites and have secured several gigs this year 2019 to launch the band in to the mainstream .After a long career in music , Steve’s biggest claim to his musical career was his collaboration with ex punk ledgers , Honey Bane

Connections: Billy Contreras by Len Smith

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supplied by Len Smith. Eastbourne Bands  from 1960 on.

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=Eastbourne%20Bands%20from%201960%20on

Len Smith… Connections: Lets start with the legend that is Billy Contreras. 1 The Urchins, 2 Beaux, 3 & 4 Kaine & Abel, 5 Pig Bin Band. There are a few more that I dont have pic, including a while in 60’s with The Sabres and 70’s with Blinker. Still going strong a couple of years ago with Colin Pierce and the still gets up on the mike now and then for a guest appearance at local pubs!