Nicki Dann… I so remember that night .
Eva Neuke… Me too, when I was still quite young
Paul Pearson… My dad was in the band Amersham Cross at this gig. Anyone remember if they were any good? Haha
Alan Esdaile… Paul, yes they were a good group.
supplied by Sarah Harvey
John Wilde….Went to Osibisa and Hot Chocolate. Both excellent though Osibisa take the prize for crowd enthusiasm.
Sarah Harvey….Didn’t they march on and off the stage chanting OS-I-BI-SA OS-I-BI-SA OS-I-BI-SA etc. ?
Phil Gill….And I was part of that enthusiastic Osibisa crowd. One of my favourite ever gigs. They grooved a trench from here to France and made everyone dance and have fun. Even I was dancing – probably haven’t since, so no mean feat, Osibisa.
John Wilde….Yes they were complete with their chant and with the great percussion, voices and instrumentation kept us moving and wanting more.
John Storer…..I just love the last line of that ad …. “Forthcoming attraction …. Marc Bolan & T.Rex … Tickets £1.25 in advance”. Remember getting tickets to see Japan at Brighton Dome in early 1982 and stating “I will never again pay £6 to go see a band”. Ahem!
John Wilde….July 25th 1975. T Rex supported by Stallion. Anyone have a poster?
Mick O’Dowd….I agree with you Phil. One of the best live bands going. Unfortunately they didn’t always transfer that excitement to vinyl. I always said that i’d defy anybody(even if they didn’t like the music) to not, at least, tap their foot!
Eric Cawthraw ….Here’s a story with a different take – no, not about a band, but rather a bizarre incident in the crowd. Before I expand on this – I bumped in to Mick Watson and related the details to him – just to confirm this is as I remember it, as he was also at the same gig – and yes, he remembers it just as I do!
I’m taking you back to the summer of 75 and the good old Pier Ballroom again. The main band that our crew had gone to see was Osibisa – aah, all those naughty pulsating rhythms I here you thinking!
It was back in the days when the ballroom was just one big open space and often there would be seats stacked up at the sides so that anyone could take one and plonk their butt on it at the location of their choice.
To set the scene further, once Osibisa came on, most of us migrated to the front of the stage, so every one was squeezed in at the front and the back half of the auditorium was virtually empty – this was often the format for the audience. I’m sure people could get pregnant in the thrusting throng – and some of them women!
It must have been a cool or wet evening as I do remember everyone had coats – and it’s the coats that feature in this story. Just as Osibisa came on, our mate Malcolm Hutchison said he was going to sit towards the back as he felt pretty knackered, so he got himself a chair and down he sat – OK, we said, you might as well keep an eye on our coats. So we dumped them around him and joined in the melee towards the stage. Once the gig ended [and a great evening it was too], we returned to our coats – and the vision that presented itself still cracks me up when I think about it.
There in front of out eyes, where Malcolm should have been, was just a pile of coats – a small volcano/mountain of coats! It seems that everyone else must have thought – ‘good idea’ – we have a cloak-room attendant! Bit by bit, as people left, they peeled their coats from the pile and slowly the form of Malcolm re-appeared – he was fast asleep! What a vision! How he slept through the gig or didn’t asphyxiate, I have no idea! I’ve never seen the like before – or since. It could only have happened in the Pier Ballroom! So we woke him up and off we went.
As far as I can remember no one went home without a coat – but I still wonder if everyone went home with the coat they arrived in!
Julie Morris… Trying to find if Osibisa are still playing – website doesn’t seem to have anything since about 2015
Alan Esdaile… Had a good search Julie and all I could find was a gig they did on the 7th July 2017 in Sekondi-Takoradi but couldn’t find any further gigs listed.
Mike O’Dowd… Two great band with Osibisa winning by a head!
Pete Houghton… Great memories Didn’t Osibisa support Ginger Baker and they had to play on the Floor
Mick O’Dowd… Pete, Fraid not! I was there. The support band did play on the side of the ballroom because the BGA trio took up too much room
John Wilde… Both gigs were brilliant.
Colin Doherty… Good memories. Only £1 each, bargain!
Mick O’Dowd… Good little band. Saw them several times including this one.
Tony Davis… I was the house DJ at the Aquarius on this gig. I remember that the band went on first without Errol who was standing in the wings talking to me. We both noticed that he had missed his cue but he wasn’t bothered commenting they would get back to it in a minute. Nice guy and a good night.
Barry French… Does anyone else recall seeing Hot Chocolate on the Pier in the 70’s or did I dream it?
Alan Esdaile… Yes Barry, July 1975, great night remember it well as I did the disco.
Mick O’Dowd… Osibisa were one of the most exciting concerts i’ve worked on. They were absolutely electric. Trouble was they couldn’t transfer this exictement to disc. Great band though.
Leigh Wieland-Boys… I was there at Hot Chocolate that night!
Tony Court-holmes… i think i was there
Mick O’Dowd… What a cracker this release is Colin! Always loved them from when they first appeared as The Hot Chocolate Band on Apple Records with “Give Peace a Chance” (Yes that one). I believe there were 2 versions of Could Have Been A Lady. The original was tweaked to make it more funky sounding. So many hits. So many memories. Always remember Centre Page performing Everyone’s A Winner. Like you, Colin, Emma & No Doubt About It were my faves although it’s so hard picking faves from a track list like this.
Colin Bell… Mick, Hi mate, yes there were 2 versions as you say. They had such a consistently high standard its as you also say so hard to pick a fave! This is one of the most enjoyable compilations i have ever reviewed.
Stephen Singleton… One of the best bands ever ! Incredible songwriters and musicians . Also brilliant in concert . I’ll be ordering this monster
Alan Esdaile… Some really great tracks and always excellent live but never seemed to be given the credit they deserve.
The last track of the Megamix ‘No Doubt About It’ is one of my favourite HC tracks and involves a strange and personal connection. In 1978 I lived in London off Finchley Road and coming home from a gig in the early hours I saw what I can only say was a UFO having woken up my flatmate who saw it too and confirmed I wasn’t drunk or dreaming! the sight stayed with me always. Then along in 1980 came ‘No Doubt About It’ co-written by Dave Most (brother of record whiz Mickie) based on the experience of seeing a UFO…which I later found out was seen over…yes you’ve guessed it..Finchley Road! Spooky! Anyway back to earth, this new collection has been remastered from (where possible) the original master tapes and sounds wonderful and has given my speakers a good work out. Hot Chocolate produced some classy and classic material over their peak years and this release adds to that admirably. With new members the band still tours to this day, Errol Brown sadly left us in May 2015 but im sure he’s looking on and busting some moves, no doubt about it. Enjoy.
For more information go to … https://www.cherryred.co.uk
Til next time……………..Colin
Monica Bane… Loved Hot Chocolate. Have some of their music!
Mick O’Dowd… Great stuff! They were an excellent band with a terrific singer. Worked with them once and saw them on another occasion. Nice blokes. Sad loss of Errol.
Julie Findlay-Jones… Went to see them with your sister Alan, brilliant concert.
Peter O’Donnell… Talented man.
David Edwards… Great band with Errol’s honey laden vocals what’s not to like about them
John Parnell… Saw them in their very early days in September 1968 at the Narracott Grand hotel, Woolacombe, Devon. Excellent band. I particularly remember Errol’s very energetic performance in addition to his great singing.
ad supplied by Sarah Harvey. Arthur Conley photo Atco Records
This is a great Hot Chocolate track that doesn’t get played much…
Mick O’Dowd… Don’t remember Arthur Conley being there but I saw Percy Sledge & Ben E King along with The Elgins & Gene Latter at one point.
Leigh Wieland-Boys… I was there the night Hot Chocolate was on
Hit makers Hot Chocolate perform a spectacular soul and disco night performing all their timeless classics. Expect to hear: Everyones a Winner , It Stared With a Kiss , You Win Again , Louie , Emma , Could Have Been a Lady , and the classic You Sexy Thing , plus many more.
Support comes from Heatwave who will perform their hits Boogie nights, Mind Blowing Decisions , Always and Forever plus more, along with DJs playing classic soul and disco anthems, this will be a must see show for any 70s music fan.
Mick O’Dowd… Spotted today poster for Hot Chocolate & Heatwave at The White Rock in December. Anybody know who’s replaced Errol and what the new line-up is or is it another”tribute” type band with no original members?
Jim Breeds… I saw that poster in a few places too while we were driving around. I looked them up to see if there are any of the original members still in the band (there are). Latest vocalist is one Kennie Simon. To me it’s one of those bands that was all about the lead singer and to carry on gigging without him is milking it. Just MHO.
Allyson Breeds… I had a lovely Hot Chocolate at Hanushka in George Street, does that count?
Jim Breeds… Was it during a Heatwave?
Alex Chapman… I knew Eric Johns in the mid 70s and the last that I heard he had moved to Australia. Some of the Original lineup are playing
Matt Thomas… Cant replace the vocals of Errol but they had some great tracks that will probably be recreated perfectly
Tony May… I doubt the ‘Heatwave’ on the bill will have many original members. The history of the band is littered with tragedy and their original lead singer, Johnnie Wilder Jr is dead. The original line up featured Rod Temperton – writer of Michael Jackson’s – ‘Thriller’.