Better Days – John Barleycorn – The Crypt 8th March 1989

Paul Dengate…  Better Days, a folk-rock band from Hastings, East Sussex, UK, was formed in 1982 and split in 1992.
This track, John Barleycorn (a traditional song) is from a set recorded live at The Crypt in Hastings on Wednesday 8th March 1989 when Better Days won the Battle Of The Bands competition, and just a few months before they toured the UK as support to Steeleye Span. The line-up in 1989 was John Burgess (vocals), Garry Blakeley (fiddle), Steve Cooke (fiddle), Paul Dengate (guitar), Andrew Griffin (bass) and Paul Warren (drums).

John Storer… Gosh … Garry Blakely! There’s a name from the past. Was friendly with both him and his older brother, Teddy, as they lived just around the corner from me. Enjoyed this clip and found several others of Garry’s excellent fiddle playing, and a great video of him and his son playing together

Mary Lipscombe… I’m fairly sure they played the beach concert that year as well.

Andy Gunton… This takes me back. Better Days were one of the first local bands I can remember seeing after moving down to Hastings in 1988.
Not a bad introduction to the Hastings music scene I reckon.

Clifford Rose… I saw them support Steeleye Span at the White Rock back in April 89. Better Days played the better set.

Paul Dengate… We played the beach concert a number of times. I’ll see if I can find which years.

Simon… Saw them at the Battle Folk Festival at The Black Dog, Battle. I bought the CD and listening to it right now. Garry B is married to a sister of a great friend of mine but didn’t know he was in the band!

Catsfield Steamers rehearsal


supplied by Paul Dengate

Paul Dengate… I have this picture to hand, taken after the time I ran the Box. It’s a Catsfield Steamers rehearsal: Kevin Hoad on drums, John Burgess (later vocalist with Better Days), Brian Chainey just visible behind John, Jane Downes and myself (playing the Gibson SG mentioned in a post on this page a few days ago). Umpteen other Steamers would also have been there.

Yvonne Cleland… I used to work with JB. He’s now the rector at Fairlight church. Catsfield Steamers were a cracking band.

Paul Dengate… The Steamers are still playing, though not so often since Will, Jane, Jo and myself left at the start of this year

Tim Moose Bruce… I like the Plastix on the graffiti o the wall. Remember them as a Bexhill punk band.

Andy Caine… Hi Paul, is that the SG I bought from you?

Paul Dengate… Yes