Mick Abraham and Ray Fenwick -Yamaha Guitar Evening – Leisure Music and Drum clinic with Jimmy Kilpatrick – June 1979

Andy Qunta… I remember this somewhat! I was excited to see Mick Abrahams, first of all, and also I was part of the “backing band” for the event. I don’t think the band had a name at the time, but later we became Jim Jim & The Jims. We had started in weekly jam sessions at Ray Fenwick’s house. Anyway, that’s how I remember it. Good times!

Pete Prescott… I remember the times at Rays house.great nights !Ray was responsible for some really good times when I look back. Dermot Murphy Pete Shaw you me and Ray. it grew after that. I think Dermot hadn’t played for a while. There was rust on his bass when he opened the case. We all said”mind the carpet Ray will go nuts! (I must ask Derm if he remembers that). We were outside talking about getting into a serious band and doing gigs in London. I said I couldn’t until the present series of Dallas had ended. I needed my weekly fix of Victoria Principles magnificent breasts. We all went “Yeeeeeees ! Then went home. It was 1979. After the Yamaha gig (the first) we did the Queens hotel supporting Tich. Then a few weird ones (Scallywags). we started the Chatsworth gigs Jan 9th 1980.Tuesday’s. We played every week till (I think) July. Andy Caine gave us the name.when he spoke to the Hastings observer they needed one. We used to say we were “Fred and the Freds” or “Jim and the Jims” he chose that one. One night the band had Pete Shaw Derm Terry Pack you me Andy Ray your brother Tony Wes and Tich sang a couple. One blues jam lasted (according to Andy Knight) 27 minutes. That’s when I started bringing a book.  Do you remember reading it while Ray was doing the three week intro to smoke in the water ? Fun times !

Pete Fisher… Saw Blodwyn Pig supporting Ten Years After at the Albert Hall in December 1969..

Tony Qunta… Mick Abrahams! One of my heroes! Loved the album ‘Ahead Rings Out’. Blodwyn Pig were superb at The Toby Jug, Tolworth 1969. Jim Jim and The Jims was a lot of fun!

 

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Ray Fenwick: Playing Through The Changes – Anthology 1964-2020, 3CD

Playing Through The Changes : The Anthology (1964-2020)     RAY FENWICK
Released this Friday this compilation will be of interest to many, especially some from the local music scene. Where to start with Ray? Well firstly i’ve sadly not had the pleasure of meeting him, which given the amount of bands and projects he’s been involved in is surprising, however i know some of you reading this have, so any innaccuracies that follow are entirely mine and i’ll stand corrected. Ray is one of Rock’s supreme journeymen whose career has spanned over 6 decades and has encompassed a myriad of genres from Ska to Hard Rock. He is not only a gifted guitarist but also a singer, multi-instrumentalist, producer and a noted session player. I strongly recommend that you follow the link to https://www.cherryred.co.uk at the conclusion of this piece for more information as i would need a book to do full justice to his story. In short he began playing guitar at an early age fully encouraged by his parents and by the age of 15 joined his first band Rupert & The Red Devils and though underage trod the established path to playing the seedy clubs of Germany & Holland where in the latter he would later play frequently having met & befriended Jan Akkerman & Focus. Returning to the UK he joined The Excels (formed by another Ex Red Devil) the infamous Don Arden became their booking agent and off they went to the South Of France to play on the more salubrious Riviera, making the acquaintance of Brigitte Bardot along the way (lucky man!). After this sortie he joined The Syndicats replacing the outgoing Steve Howe, then utilising his connections he moved on to Dutch band Tee Set. By 1967 he’d joined The Spencer Davis Group as they entered their second phase after the departure of Steve Winwood. I’m particularly fond of this period that started with ‘Time Seller’ as i really enjoyed the shift to psychedelia the band experimented with. Although Ray wasn’t on ‘Time Seller’ he did play on the excellent ‘Mr Second Class’. After 2 years with The SDG Ray was off again to pastures new with The ian Gillian Band via recording some sessions with Bo Diddley along the way. By 1974 he’d become part of rock band Fancy who had a surprise American hit with a cover of ‘Wild Thing’. Fancy were a group of session musicians put together by Ray’s long term mentor and friend celebrated music arranger Mike Hurst. In the eighties another of Ray’s projects would come together as Forcefield (in 3 incarnations) more of which later. As is plainly obvious Ray has been a very busy and ubiquitous figure in the industry and i’ve only really scratched the surface. This new release compiled with Ray’s full involvement consists of 3 CD’s containing 61 tracks housed in a very sturdy fold out digipack crammed with photo’s and an exhaustive booklet with tells the extensive story of this remarkable career. CD1 is rich with the many facets of Ray’s playing from the opener ‘Mercury High’ Gillan Band track through to Ska represented by The South Coast Ska Stars ‘Range Rider’ the groove laden rock of Fancy & ‘She’s Ridin The Rock Machine’, Spencer Davis, Rupert & The Red Devils, Eddie Hardins ‘Wind In The Willows’ Ray’s sublime take on The Shadow’s ‘Apache’ and joy of joy’s the mod revival sound of old friend Tich Turner’s Escalator ‘Are You Wiv’ are just some of the other delights and highlights. CD2 is more rock and project orientated kicking off with Forcefield’s (Mk1) cover of ‘Smoke On The Water’ (a track we’ll return to at the conclusion). Artists featured include Tee-Set, David Coverdale, Roger Glover (& friends) Eddie Hardin’s Wizard Convention, Forcefield (Mk2), Hardin & York & Graham Bonnet. And if you are someone reading this who thinks  i haven’t been aware of Ray through all these tracks, well maybe, but you will have heard him as a kid growing up if you watched kids TV as he also co-wrote the theme to ‘Magpie’ included here, boy has this guy been prolific. CD3 is another eclectic mix featuring the Ian Gillian Band, Forcefield (Mk3), Eddie Hardin, Mike Hurst, Spencer Davis, Bo Diddley, a wonderful version of Mason Williams ‘Classical Gas’ featuring Cozy Powell and 2 tracks from Ray Fenwicks White Lightning ‘Shine It On Me’ & ‘Mail Box’ both featuring our very own local lad Pete Prescott on lead vocals (there’s a rather endearing photo of the band featured on the inside of the compilation….hair metal rules!). It’s Pete that gets the final word on this marvellous compilation. I rang him as i was somewhat puzzled as to why any band would record a cover version of the iconic ‘Smoke On The Water’ (as referred to earlier kicking off CD2 as Forcefield), doing it as a live number i could understand, i’ve heard a million rock bands do that. But to record it is surely superfluous?. Over to Pete, it came about when he was living and gigging in Switzerland in the mid-80’s where he made the acquaintance of one of the singers from the band The Far Corporation who had a hit in 1985 by covering LZ’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’ (masterminded by Boney M creator and producer Frank Farian). spurred on by this if you can cover an iconic song like that…so Ray, with an eye on the Japanese market (who love their metal) invited Pete, Cozy etc to Catsfield Studio’s where he was working to record SMOTW. So that’s answered that, thanks Pete. I apologise for my lack of Forcefield knowledge! So in conclusion, this is a fascinating collection of work spanning a remarkable career and space has precluded me from all the story but i trust i have whetted your appetite. Ray has been an influence and a helping hand to many a musician local and otherwise and Lemon Records have done a fine job with this package celebrating his many talents. Enjoy.

for more information go to https://www.cherryred.co.uk

Till next time, stay safe…Colin

 

Lies – The Chatsworth Hotel 1980

1. JAN 13th 1980 - LIES 13. 27th jan 1980 lies

16. 2nd march 1980 lies

supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey… Some familiar names from March 2nd, 1980. Pete Prescott , Kevin Hoad, Ray Fenwick, Terry Pack Tony Bird .

Andy Qunta… Excellent!

Terry Pack… I remember those Sunday gigs. I enjoyed that band.

Pete Prescott… We didn’t gig that much. I remember doing Stevie Wonder ‘ s loves in need of love today. A few Chatsworth gigs and it was done.

Peter Millington… I was there, great band and venue

Terry Pack… Sunday lunchtimes. Kevin used to joke that nobody would come to the gigs because people would think it was all lies.

Tim Anderson… And the support act….Post Truth.

Phil Gill… They later changed their name to Alternative Facts.

Sarah Harvey… Peter Prescott !!! How posh ☺

Mick O’Dowd… That’s alot of Lies!

Robert Searle… A. Great lineup, I would have love to have seen this.

Stuart Moir… I was there admiring Ray Fenwicks guitar prowess brilliant evening

Robert Searle…I did recording session with him years ago. The last time I saw him play was at the Hailsham Club with Tony Kenward group, he can play any style.

Pete Prescott…He is a fantastic player. As you say any style. Very classy. One of the very few that listens and likes singers and the overall sound of a track. I would love to work with him again. Offstage he’s also very funny. He had so many hilarious stories. I’ve told him he should write a book.

Guitar for sale from Les Harding

Guitar for sale from Les Harding. It once belonged to Ray Fenwick. 1986 cherry red jackson chavel model 4, with locking tremolo, usa plate on the back,humbuck and 2 single coil pick ups, maple neck. If interested please contact Cris Kennard through Facebook, or happy to pass on any messages.

Robert Searle… Great guitar, really great sounds

Merv Kennard… also has rose wood fret.

Jacquie Hinves… I remember that guitar so well. Why don’t you see if Ray would like to buy it?

Merv Kennard… no longer for sale, Les has decided to keep it.

Magpie 1970’s Theme Tune – The Murgatroyd Band. Featuring Spencer Davis, Ray Fenwick and Eddie Hardin.

Robert Searle….Spencer Davis group.

Tony Qunta….I seem to remember Ray did mention that, although no disrespect I was much more interested in the fact that Jenny Hanley was one of the presenters. 😉

Terry Pack… And Susan Stranks!

Pete Prescott… yes he was involved with Spencer Davis and (i think) Eddie Hardin. He used to get royalty cheques for years.

Ken Copsey… Me and Huggy gave him a call a year or so ago as I noticed a Rickenbacker 12 string for sale on Gumtree which I remembered using in the Teenbeats. Think he is living in Norfolk. We just wanted to say hello and let him know there was no longer any ill feelings between us. He sounded just like uncle Ray had always sounded, man!

Pete Fisher… Used to love this programme…the theme’s other co-writers were Eddie Hardin and Spencer Davis…Susan Stranks looking glamorous at teatime

Harry Randall… Wish I got a royalty cheque!

 

 

Harry R & The Jump Jets – The Continental 1982 & De La Warr 1983

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The Continental Bexhill 22nd September 1982supplied by Pete Prescott

Pete Prescott, Terry Pack, Dave Easton, Pete Shaw, Andy Caine and Ray Fenwick.

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The De La Warr Pavilion 5th October 1983 supplied by Pete Prescott

Pete Prescott ….it was one of those short lived (and everyone new it ) fun bands.ray was good at getting everyone on board and organising rehearsals.i learned 48 rock and roll songs in a week.the best 24 were picked and the rest dumped.i could still sing most me then now.we all learned a lot.especially how good rock and roll is.and how influential it is.

Robert Searle… Good pictures of Pete and great picture of some great musos.

Jane Hartley… Nice legs!

Phil Gill… You wouldn’t want to take any of ’em home to meet your parents, would you?

Harry Randall… I’m wondering what’s happened to them all?

Janet Rennie… Lovely boys

Mark Gilham… What is it with Ray and promo pics?

Pete Prescott… Great band ! Andy and Ray played so well. Fantastic players. We had our moments.

Terry Pack…  did a number of recordings with him, including a country blues album(!). I liked him and he was a very good player: much more than a rocker.

Andy Caine… Bags of fun!!!

Martyn Baker… Great band photo!

Pete Shaw… What fun we all had..before Harry R, during the mad days of Harry R and after where we all did a bomb burst back into more mad music in varying bands!! Great lessons learnt…22 minute guitar solos..easy!!!

Pete Prescott… Yeah ray solo Andy solo Andy Qunta solo Tony Qunta West solo ray solo in a blues jam. 28 sodding minutes ha ha !

Phil Gill… I believe Rev Stockdale’s mum met several of them one morning when she walked into her living room and found them asleep on the floor.

Pete Shaw… What fun we all had..before Harry R, during the mad days of Harry R and after where we all did a bomb burst back into more mad music in varying bands!! Great lessons learnt…22 minute guitar solos..easy!!! And I’m allegedly a drummer…!

Andy Caine… Making as much noise as possible!

Martyn Baker… I’ll have you know, my parents met at least 3 of them.

Andy Caine – Jim Jim & The Jims rehearsal & Crypt gig 1979

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photo by Pete Prescott

Peter James Shaw…Looks like a Jim Jims rehearsal….! My sparse rehearsal kit!

Terry Pack….Upstairs at Ray’s?

Pete Prescott….  I took this. Andy played on two songs of written. He played great. This was at Andy Qunta’ s house.

Martyn Baker… Monsieur A. Cunningham. Pretty much the best singer/guitarist I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

Janine Anne Scott… Happy Days xx. We used to strum along at Duncan Dray’s house xx

 

Steppin’ Out – Archery Tavern Christmas Eve 1977

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supplied by Paul Dengate

Paul Dengate…. I’ve checked through my diaries and I reckon this was taken at the Steppin’ Out “party night” at the Archery, Eastbourne, 24th December 1977. Used to do the sound for the band, but this was probably a special party-piece. L-R: Wesley Magoogan, Ray Fenwick, Paul Dengate, Martyn Baker, Roger Hubbard. Drummer is possibly Andy Knight.or Kevin Hoad.

Andy Qunta… Great band!

Nigel Ford… Was Tich Turner in Steppin’ Out at some point,…soon after he left Stallion, I seem to remember?

Alan Esdaile.. Yes your right Nigel. Here’s a press photo from 1977…

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John Wilde… One word. Hair.

Wesley Magoogan… Serious flairs!

Martyn Baker… Yeah, nice pair of lionels Wesley but I think if there was a biscuit around then Paul would have taken it.

Paul Dengate… Yes.

Dave Nattress… Samisen played the Archery Tavern once when I was with them – mid-week I think and If I remember correctly it was one of those gigs where the unappreciative audience had just about made double figures.

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