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.