Headlights, Be Bop Bella, Die Laughing, Sunstroke – Carlisle – 558 Entertainments – 12th Jan to 20th Jan 1979

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supplied by Mick Mepham

Mick O’Dowd… This was my first promotion at The Carlisle. I had previously promoted Headlights at The Caves and was very impressed with them. They came from London but that’s all I can remember about them. Can anybody else help out? As you can probably make out Be Bop Bella & Sunstroke were rock’n’roll acts and then there’s that other band that no one on this page has probably ever heard of. Die Laughing. Hi Mick, Lol & Tel!

Alan Esdaile…  Remember Sunstroke very well. Used to be managed by Cy Whitfield in Hastings. Very surprised we have not found any photos of the band so far. This is all I got.

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Mick O’Dowd… I now realise I promoted Headlights 3 times. They must have been good!

Jim Breeds… Was the audience mainly made up of transfixed rabbits? 😀

Sarah Baggaley… Hi, my dad played bass in a band called Sunstroke in the 70s. I have a pic of the band with a Hastings phone number on it so I guess it’s the same one?! Trying to find out a bit more about it as he died in 1997.

More St Clements Caves Hastings gigs – 1978 – who went to The Caves gigs ask Mark Randall?

Mark Randall… Back in the early 70s when the Randall family used to hire two sherpas and trek to Pelham Crescent for our summer holiday: we visited St Clement’s cave for a tour. The guide said that it still hosted bands and had a night club there on occasions. Anyone here gigged there/went to gig?

Phil Gill… Seen a few bands down in the caves – The Breathers, and Richard Strange are two that spring to mind. I might even have played there, can’t recall who with but I do have a memory of lugging gear for miles down a path and then inside the caves.

Ann Gill… Did it involve Melanie Stace the sister of singing teacher Emma?

Peter Fairless… Yeah, went to a few gigs there.

Tony Davis… DJ’d there with Merlins Music Box a couple of times. Think it was for Debenhams Social Club. I do have the same memory as Phil about it being a long way to lug gear. Think they were good nights though. Interesting to see if someone could organise something down there now.

Peter Fairless… It’s full of Disney stuff, though, isn’t it?

Harry Randall… Gigged a few times in the caves like Phil said lugging gear several miles and once inside lugging it through narrow passageways Sandstone everywhere took about a week to clean the gear after good times though!

Tim Moose Bruce… Saw Die Laughing down there. Great night.

Chris Baker… Certainly have! Remember “Bear” our drummer complaining that the echo was like playing with another drummer about half a mile away!

Pete Fisher… I have very hazy memories of what would have been my very first gig with an electric band – a one-off engagement for me and my schoolmate John Davis (on bass), organised by a drummer who sounded like he’d trained at Butlins pensioner dances, and provided the only transport, a Reliant three-wheeler…cold, damp and miserably paid…

Dave Nattress… Samisen played there a couple of times.  Good gigs, summer, lots of foreign students filling the place up but yeah what an ordeal lugging all the gear down from the road on the top of the West Hill, down the path. I’m thinking none of the cabs had got wheels – no chance, and then down the steps, another narrow path, in, and what seemed like miles down the long descending sandy path to the main cavern where we played.  And then, bonus, do it in reverse.  So long ago I’m guessing the sound wasn’t great but the bodies would have helped soak up the reverb.

Tich Turner…  I performed there in 1967/68 [?], with Deep Purple. Just about the worst get-in ever. But this gig really sticks in my mind for another reason. The place was absolutely rammed. We played the 1st set & by the end of that, the condensation was pouring down the walls. We went back on & got through to the very last number, when there was this enormous ‘THWANG’, I looked round to see what the hell it was & there was Lennie Benton, his face an absolute picture. He had the body of his bass in one hand & the neck in another. Only thing was, they weren’t joined together! He had an old semi-acoustic bass, a Framus or something & the condensation had completely wasted the glue holding it together. My dear old Dad, put it back together & Len swore it played even better afterwards.

Headlights, Smokestack Lightning & The Executives – Hastings Pier 23rd Sept 1978

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poster supplied by Mick Mepham,  ad supplied by Sarah Harvey

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The Executives from Brighton. supplied by Mick O’Dowd

Alan Esdaile…. Mick O’Dowd promotion

Mick O’Dowd… Headlights were a brilliant band and I had already promoted them at The Caves( Those were the days!) and was so impressed that I put them on my first Pier Gig. Does anybody have any info or pics of them? I thought they could have gone on to greater things as did another of my promotions, Smeggy & The Cheesey Bits who morphed into King Kurt!

James Sadia… One pound!! blinkin extortion!

Chris Boorman… Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated!

Mick O’Dowd… I  know how to rip-’em-off James!

Gavin Martin… Executives- not the Roy Carr (untaggable) band?