Pink Fairies and Gracious – Hastings Pier 12th March 1971


pink fairies


ticket supplied by Pete Fisher

Alan Esdaile… Didn’t it annoy you when you handed in your prized ticket that you wanted to keep for a souvenir and they ripped it in half. Gracious were a Great band.

Geoff Peckham… I agree Gracious were a great band. Saw them at the college and was mesmerised by the lengthy pieces and the mellotron. Factory supported them twice on the pier, this one included.

Mike Curtis… I have two of their LPs. Worth quite a bit I believe – but I’m not parting with them…..

Dave Nattress… Whilst the memory is SO SKETCHY on this, I went to this concert, either at the college or one of those on the pier – such a long time ago. I had a gig poster for many, many years on my bedroom wall when I lived at my parent’s house, of what I think was a pier gig or all-lighter maybe with definitely Gracious, Pink Fairies and 2/3 other bands. One was “Strife” possibly another was “Total” but I’m sure it wasn’t “Total Strife” (as a band name). I think Factory were maybe one of the other bands on the line-up – sorry Geoff – I went to many of your gigs but it was such a long time ago!! Anyone with better memories? I so, regret losing the poster and unlike so many have not hung on to gig tickets etc.

Martyn Baker… I remember helping STRIFE (from Liverpool?) on and off the pier with their equipment (on the pier trolley). Their roadies got us in the gig for free and also promised to get us a drink too, but that never materialised – could be because myself, Paul Guimbeau and Chris Wood were only very young.

Gary Kinch… I remember the Gracious album, I seem to remember Steve had it and maybe 1 or 2 mates had a copy.

Alan Esdaile… Still got both Gracious albums which have been played to death.

Geoff Peckham…  I’ve just discovered that Factory were playing this night too! A quote from Andy’s diary: “March 12th at Hastings Pier for £5. Last minute booking for Hastings College dance, backing Gracious and Pink Fairies. Only 1 45 minute set. Fairies almost booed off. We got good applause from crowd of about 400. Encouraging reactions from people.” I remember it fairly well. The Fairies were quite stoned. I had a chat with one of Gracious’ roadies. He was articulate and posh sounding and was about to resign after a gruelling tour of W. Germany. We’d find out about that sort of thing later!

Iain Cobby… I remember Steve yo bro, coming back after catching Gracious doing a sound check on the pier. He said they were really good like an early Genesis with lots of Mellotron and pomp. Years later I bought a double CD with both of their opus in one . Bit disappointed. perhaps they were better live?

Geoff Peckham… I know what you mean, Iain. I bought the same CD, having lost the LP years ago, and although some of the magic’s still there, there are some fairly cringeworthy bits; eg the words in “Dream”. But nothing matches actually seeing them live at Hastings College in 1970. I thought they were amazing. I’d never heard live mellotron before, and the long pieces were so engrossing and riveting; a new experience for this impressionable 17 year old!

Andy Qunta… Fabulous!

Bernard Goffredo… I went to that gig probably with Pete Fisher

Lee Evans… The Fairies were one of my all time favourites …

Iain Cobby… I can see the influences Geoff. I just love Amulci and Howard. Great prog tracks. Great band, Factory!

Phil Thornton… would have loved to have been at this one ! – I loved all 3 bands !! – imagine hearing ‘blood red Sun’, Walk don’t run and Time Machine on the same night !

Martyn Baker… I wasn’t allowed to go. Mum & Dad said no way, as I was 12. Wanted to though!

England – Hastings Pier 25th March 1978 photos by Sue Arber

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© Sue Arber.  supplied via Phil Gill.

England – Hastings Pier 1978. Four pictures of prog rock band England on Hastings Pier in 1978, during Phil Gill time as bass player. Courtesy of rock photographer Sue Arber,who kindly sent them to Phil. 

Martyn Baker… Can’t find ANYTHING at all about them online.

Alan Esdaile… That’s the trouble Martyn Baker with the name England. I have a previous posting which I will find. Here is some from you tube.

Roy Penfold..

Martyn Baker… Thanks Alan and thanks Roy. I was doubting my memory that they actually existed!

Yvonne Cleland… Like the album name.

Dave Nattress… Wow – nice one and especially for Phil Gill. I went to the gig and was disappointed because (if I’m right) they played nothing off Garden Shed. Presumably some of the tracks they played – but no way can I remember any, would have gone on to “Last of the Jubblies”. Maybe Phil can recall or even has a set-list? Martyn, there are actually quite a lot of hits on England (this band), on the web. Try Garden Shed Music.

Phil Gill… The majority of England’s set during my tenure was songs from The Last of the Jubblies and new songs which I don’t believe were ever recorded. We rehearsed Midnight Madness from Garden Shed, but I don’t recall playing it live. I actually learned all of Garden Shed for my audition the previous year and would have loved to play it live but, to be fair, the other three had spent the previous 18 months writing and recording the album and were desperate to move on and work on new material. What’s your take on where they were headed during your post-Garden Shed tenure Geoff Peckham? Did you ever play it with them?

Geoff Peckham… I was a bit mystified as to their musical direction when I joined. I thought “Garden Shed” was fabulous but I didn’t play any of that with them. In fact we played nothing for a while, until we started rehearsing then recording the stuff that eventually surfaced on “The Last of The Jubblies”. This was very different from “Garden Shed”, more ‘organic’ I thought. It appeared to be developing but nothing seemed to move whilst I was around.

Phil Gill… Wow, exactly 39 years ago today!

Iain Cobby… Garden Shed ; must be one of the best prog albums of all time. Didn’t we swap Marshall cabs at that time Phil? I do remember the gig on the Pier and like Dave (we must have gone together as we were part of Damaris at that time) fell disappointed that there was nothing from that album. I do remember the mellotron looked as if it was stripped down, all the tapes exposed and that the PA was pants and did the guys no favors. but hey………… you lucky bassists to have been part of that history.


Reading Festival featuring Stallion 27th August 1976

reading 76

Andy Gunton… I was there.

Phil Gill… Wow….40 years ago

Alan Esdaile… Do you remember seeing Stallion play, Andy?

Phil Gill… John Storer will. He was right in the front row shouting “‘allo Phil!”

John Storer… John Storer does indeed remember, Phil … was there with Kev Potter, Matt Brand, Mick Hurton and Matt’s cousin (who’s name currently escapes me). It rained …. a lot! Particularly remember Moon being awesome, (how I’d love to get my hands on their first album again) and great sets from Rory Gallagher and Ted Nugent. Remember Kev getting hit on the back of the head by a full can of Party Four, which we then proceeded to open and drink. By coincidence, had cause to mention Reading 76 several times during the last fortnight. One of my business partners went to Reading Festival last weekend and I was bemoaning the “gentrification” of rock festivals, telling him that a festival should not be about 5 star hotels and Radio 1 Dance tents, but about very cheap plonk, leaking tents and not changing your clothes for three days! Those were the days! A great weekend for £6.95!

Phil Thornton… ha ! I forgot the Enid played !! – also missed the Sadista sisters ( their drummer went on to form YMO who are one of my all time favourite bands !) – I did get to see AC/DC and Rory Galagher who were brilliant ! Supercharge were also great ! – the mighty diamonds had a rough deal getting bottled, they deserved much better from the audience.

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Rare Bird – Hastings Pier 1972?

rare bird 1972?? hastings pier from pete fisher Rare Bird, Hastings Pier 1972? - 2 pete fisher

photos by Pete Fisher

Barry Newton… Is this the same RARE BIRD had a single released , Sympathy ?

Alan Esdaile… Same one Barry and still sounds excellent.

Barry Newton… I knew the band vaguley a long time ago. My brother had a flat in Battersea, by the park, and they lived in the flat above and I would visit for the parties. I used to leave the 58 club, jump on a fast motorbike and arrive when things were getting lively. Great times.

Alan Esdaile… Pete, the Rare Bird photos weren’t from 1974 when they supported Barclay James Harvest on the pier? Looks like you think this is 71/72 anyone confirm a date? I think the keyboard player is David Kaffinetti who went on to play Viv Savage in This is Spinal Tap?

Chris Sambrook… Former Rare Bird Keyboard player  David Kaffinetti did join Spinal Tap as Viv Savage on Keyboards.  He only spoke the words”Have a good time, all the time”.

Cliff Wootton… I remember that gig. Den & I had front row seats over on the right. Nice to see some pics. We didn’t have a camera with us that night.

Pete Fisher… As Chris Sambrook confirmed, it is indeed David Kaffinetti in this photo, who was one of the two keyboard players in the band and who went on to play Viv Savage in Spinal Tap.

Mick Bolton… I auditioned for Rare Bird when they were looking for a keyboard player – didn’t get the job though. It would have been in ’72 or early ’73 I think.

Alan Esdaile… Just as well Mick, otherwise you might have missed out on Mott The Hoople.