Stray and Factory and Tony Kane Disco – Hastings Pier 25th March 1972



poster supplied by Mick Mepham, ad supplied by Sarah Harvey



Andy Qunta….Stray were great! Bought their 1st 2 albums! Fave songs – All In Your Mind & Jericho.

Leigh Wieland-Boys….The gig was a bit expensive though, wasn’t it Andy?! And I bet the albums set you back about £1.25 each….those were the days of affordable music – live & on vinyl – aTime Machine for Christmas please

Andy Qunta….Yes, outrageous prices back then, Leigh! LOL! Love your Time Machine comment too – that would be nice!

David Miller…  still have that 1st album and the tinnitus I got from sitting too near the exploding dustbin when it went off….and the great loud music too. Now it is all in my mind for the duration…..

Chris Meachen… Excellent band, Stray.. Still have my copy of ‘Saturday morning pictures’…

Andy Qunta… Thanks again to Mick Mepham for posting the poster! I don’t have any of those things from that time, so it’s nice to see them!

Gill Harrod… Stray! I remember they were really good!

Dave Nattress… Stray…seriously good. Saturday Morning Pictures – got it on vinyl. “After the Rain” – pure Stray at their best. Lost the other vinyls but have a couple of 2 CD compilations – been looking out for the original vinyls in second hand record shops or CD versions. Saw them at the pier at least twice, seems like more – I think they played a few times more than just twice, and their shows featured strobe lighting which really added to the performance. Oh, yeah, and great memories dragged up of all those old bands whose gigs featured on the posters on the Time Machine clip.

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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!

James Turner… I seem to remember The Pink Fairies in Hyde Park a very long time ago.

Tony Court-holmes…I remember that night i think

Vaughan T-W… I was on the students union back in those days and along with fellow students from the (mainly) art department, heavily involved in booking the bands. I remember long and earnest discussion about Gracious because of the mellotron – was it an existential threat to backing musicians everywhere or just a great instrument in the right hands? Gracious and the mellotron won the argument and were a firm favourite across the college circuit. I don’t remember much about the Pink Fairies except at the time they were the loudest band I’d heard – I made the mistake of being stood in front of one of their speaker stacks as they started their set.

Geoff Peckham… Hi Vaughan. Long time…….! Jaffa here. I probably had these ‘earnest discussions’ with you, being a big Gracious fan doubtless urging you to book them again! Hope all’s good with you

Mungo Jerry – Hastings Pier 28th August 1976

I did have this date down for The Sounds Summer Rock Show but could that have been 1975?

Lance Collins… Gerry, did you support at this gig ?

Gerry Fortsch… Lance, yes the old Hippo Band was there and enjoying a beer. The lads in Mungo Jerry were a great bunch of guys.

John Mcewen… I was there! Great night. Hippo good as always!

Stuart Moir… Great band saw them in the early years in London.

Marcus de Mowbray… “In the summer time When the weather is a bit naff, grey, cold and damp”  Pretty bad lyrics, but more likely than the original ones!

Kate Recknell-Page… I loved them great music x

Live At The George – George Street Hastings 1991

live at george

supplied by Pete Prescott

Pete Prescott & Rick Pentecost, Kenny Craddock & Trevor Lewis, Jack Pound, The Turpin Brothers.

Pete Prescott… Down George Street. Nice little wine bar. End of memory..

Rogues Gallery – Eric Cawthraw, Mick Hurton, Malcolm Hutchison, Simon Pont, Yvonne Cleland, John Storer, Mick Watson, Gary Peters.

EC 002EC MH001

Malc 001Simon 001

10968456_10153019576940890_529598531788024437_n Reading 77001

Eric Cawthraw… I was thinking – we have photos of various bands as they were in there youth – but what about the rest of us! OK – we’re a sad old bunch of gits now, but it occurs to me that we ought o have a ‘rogues gallery’ for how we all looked in the days of our youth.

I thought I’d start the ball rolling with a couple of shots – these should scare the living daylights out of you, so snaps of others can only improve things. I’m in soft focus in the first one – probably just as well, the second photo is me on the left and Mick Hurton on the right. They’re a bit small – hope they are OK. It was taken in about 1970/71, so we would be about 20. They were taken on a day out in London, we’re up on one of the plinths with the lions in Trafalgar Square. Get that hair – very bouffant! Old hippies and proud of it! The third photo is  photo of Malcolm Hutchison.

Alan Esdaile… Anyone else?

John Storer… Remember seeing those pics often, Eric … My sister sent me some pics of me and Colin Jarvis that they found after clearing out my Mum’s house … will dig them out and post them in next couple of days

Sarah Harvey… Well I haven’t changed a bit as everyone knows! 🙂

Eric Cawthraw… Some of you in SMART will know my old mate Simon Pont. Simon has mobility problems these days so it isn’t easy for him to come along to the monthly bash. He has asked me to add his photo to the Rogues Gallery and provided a suitable picture, thankfully he has got his clothes on. It looks like it is taken back in his biker days, I think Mick Mepham is just out of shot with his bicycle and stablisers!! [Nobody sing ‘The Push-Bike Song’ please].

Yvonne Cleland… Please tell Simon Yvonne says hello! Above photo was in about 1975.

Eric Cawthraw… Thanks Yvonne – I’ll pass your best on to Simon.

Eric Cawthraw… (group photo) I know that John Storer was going to put a picture of himself as he was in younger days on the ‘Rogues Gallery’. Unfortunately his sad demise meant that this didn’t happen. So here is a picture of him at the Reading Festival taken in ’77 [I think!]. From left to right: John ‘er-um’ Storer, Mick ‘Curtains’ Hurton, Mick ‘Spanner-hands’ Watson and Garry Peters aka ‘The Spadger’.  Thanks to Kev Potter for providing the photo.


SMART 17 coffee meet report.

img849Wow and Flutter001

Vangelis001 cellars

Vangelis ticket supplied by Eric Cawthraw

SMART 17 Coffee meet Report. We made it to 2015 and a great turn out to kick start the new year. Among the newbies this time was Brian Wood. He was guitarist with the band The Flirts and had some interesting photos and posters which featured Michael Wheeler on vocals , Paul Wiseman guitar and a young Steve Demetri on drums. Colin Bell was talking about starting a record review column on the website and brought along a great photo of him in the studios at Hastings Rock interviewing Roger Daltrey. Usual chat about the future of the Pier and much love for Andre’s regular pier column. Stinger new magazine was handed out and Eric Cawthraw was complimentary about the record shop in Claremont called Wow & Flutter. He also had with him the ticket for the Vangelis Royal Albert Hall gig from 1976 and made the suggestion that we have various band photos in their youth on the site but what about the rest of us! Archie Lauchlan turned up to film the proceedings for a future pier documentary. Talk was about the sad loss of Paul Burton, The Beatles Day, The Dharmas, Denny Laine, Pink Floyd’s pulse lighting on the pier, The Who, John Peel, Bexhill clubs, recording processes, Fat Tuesday and more. Mick O’Dowd brought along a copy of a very interesting book called Best of Cellars The Story Of The Cavern Club by Phil Thompson which was a bargain from Poundland. Phil Gill mentioned Highway to play Queens Head Icklesham on the 8th Feb. Pete Prescott had some more photo albums with him and some great cuttings which I missed before. Too many people to mention but everyone had a great time. Lots I missed , so please feel to add any further comments here.

Eric Cawthraw…  Vangelis ticket  only 39 years ago! Ticket -£2.00, a small fortune then, I probably paid in pennies. The set was ‘Heaven and Hell’ with approx 40 kettle drummers in tow. When they gave them a good thumping – it sounded like thunder, nearly as loud as John Bonham!  With regard to Wow & Flutter I popped in to this shop in Claremont – a good selection of LPs and singles and they know their stuff. I hope they can make a go of it – definitely worth a visit, albeit that the shop is a bit small.

Justin Bridger…Next one x

Mick O’Dowd… Another great Meet from the organisational skills of Alan Esdaile Johnny Mason! Thoroughly enjoyed myself and met new friends as well as old ones. Interesting talk and items. Had a good chat with Peter Millington. Archie Lauchlan lurking in the background filming although he didn’t catch the obsenely big portion of cheesey chips that Michael Mepham was devouring before he left for his gig at The Dolphin. The atmosphere, as usual, was laid back & friendly and well done Alan for another great Meet. Roll on the next!

John Kingdon… When and where do you meet next please Alan, I would love to get there next time.

Alan Esdaile….Hi John you would be most welcome to join us at the next SMART meeting. The next one will probably be early March. It will be posted here as normal and I will send you a separate email at the time to advise you.


Stevie Zee – 1998


supplied by Phil Little. Music Files.

Ralph Town… Nice bloke and an amazing player.I,d love to see him play again but alas,I’m marooned in the Midlands 🙁

Terry Pack… I played with him for six months (?) during 1999: Burnley Blues Festival, The Borderline and lots of gigs up north. Ended my stint at The Black Horse Festival. A good player, but a clone of Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was fun working with Chris Sharley and Jo Brookes, though.

Pete Shaw… Haha! The Bruce Forsythe of facial expressions whilst playing any chord that needed 4 fingers! Played with him many times with Colin Gibson extracting amazing bass soundscapes whilst Stevie explored the outer limits of string bending…played my first internet broadcast from a London Club where, I am certain, we were perched on a shelf in front of a Stevie Zee fan club venue…Colin and I would take a leisurely dinner in upmarket restaurants prior to gig…leaving Stevie Zee to pace the dressing cupboard until we returned!! Thoroughly enjoyable times!!