SMART coffee meet No. 39 report

A nice warm afternoon for our 39th meet and among the newbies this time was Sarah Ferguson. Sarah was chatting about memories of the Pam Dor and Black Cat coffee bars with Colin Bell.  Mick O’Dowd arrived with some interesting albums Righteous Brothers Back to Back, Vogues Greatest Hits, Sgt Barry Sadler Ballard Of The Green Berets and Whistling Jack Smith I Was Kaiser Bills Batman which got people whistling the tune as soon as they picked up the sleeve! He also had two local cd’s from the Tar Babies and Jinks Night Fever from August 1999.  I had sheet music books of The Rolling Stones 8 new songs, Shadows Golden Greats, Stranglers Collection 77-82, Who Best Of and Hazel O’Connor Breaking Glass. Pete Prescott arrived with a pile of LP’s including Return To Forever featuring Chick Corea Where Have I Known You Before, Atomic Rooster In Hearing Of, Wishbone Ash 1st album and Argus. Barry Taylor popped in with a couple of interesting photos from 1975. Iain Cobby came along with a bunch of photos of Wal Basses. They were very popular in the 80’s and are now being made again. Ann and Phil Gill were talking about the success of son Miles with the band Roam, who are setting the charts alight with their new cd Great Heights and Nosedives and currently on tour in America. Phil was talking to Iain and Lol Cooksey about the Stallion album has had over 3 million illegal downloads without getting any payments. Interesting to hear that Iain is having a group rehearsal with Factrio, watch this space. Jon McCallion was reminiscing about Effigy and when Chris Baker was in the band. Graham Belchamber was talking to Ray and Anita Medhurst about his Bruce Springsteen plaque on the end of Hastings Pier and has written to Bruce about it.  Eric Harmer and Sarah Harvey were talking about their recent successful gig with James Westlake and Tony Davis was talking about his up and coming show on Conquest Hospital Radio. This is just a small bit of what I remember, anyone who wishes to add anything interesting you were talking about, then please feel free to do so.

Pete Prescott… I hate missing these meetings. It’s great hearing other peoples past adventures and seeing books/ albums and photos. Wonderful.

Tim Moose Bruce… I got a Tar Babies cd. Great band . One of their bassists being Lee Pomeroy who at present is in the Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman line up of Yes.

Mick O’Dowd… Great afternoon as usual. Thanx Alan!

Jim Breeds… When’s the next one? We may even be living locally by then!

Alan Esdaile… Looks like being 15th December but will confirm in due course.

SMART Coffee meet No. 37 report



Our 37th meet. Among the newbies were Sue Jones, Mark Harris and David Miller.  Sue was  talking about her memories of seeing Jimi Hendrix at the Isle Of Wight Festival. Mark & David both from The Likely Lads were reminiscing about their bands Beez Neez, Split Image and others. Mick O’Dowd had with him Phil Spector’s Back To Mono cd box set and the local mod compilation album Uppers On The South Down. Geoff Peckham had a very interesting  Beatles book ‘Revolution in The Head’ and was talking about a skiffle band he recently played with called Lonnigans and featured none other than Rod Davis, an original Quarrymen. Pete Prescott arrived with a bundle of albums and some interesting photos of Cliff Richard from the Time musical. He mentioned that Deep Purple’s Ian Paice lived in Hastings at one stage. Andre Martin and Sarah Harvey were looking forward to their shows on Carnival Radio  and Neil Roberts was talking about future gigs for his band Freak Flag.. Phil Gill had his guitar with him and working out some tunes with Roger Carey. I had with me albums of John Miles, Back Street Crawlers, Breaking Glass and Sharks. This is a small bit of what I can remember, anyone who wishes to add anything you were talking about, then please feel free to do so.

Lucy Pappas… One day I’ll get there! Not that I have any memorabilia, it was all thrown out years ago. Hope you had fun x

Mick O’Dowd… Another goodie Alan. Nice to see more newbies being baptised!

Mark Harris… Thanks chaps, enjoyed some good old reminiscing!!

Tony Davis… Sorry to miss it. There next time

Dave Nattress… I will take a Friday afternoon off work one day and get there!! Great to see the cover of the first Sharks album. Excellent album, not a bad track. Saw them do OGWT when they did World Park Junkies and Snakes and Swallowtails. Got it on vinyl and CD along with the second Sharks album, Jab it in Yore Eye, slightly changed line-up, but another really good album. I didn’t know anyone who knew of the Sharks!

Jan Warren… Hi to Neil Roberts and his band “Freak Flag”, great name, and I was just wondering if you got the name from (the great) Jimi’s lyrics in “If 6 was 9”? – as he mentions a “freak flag”!! – sorry, just wondering

Alan Esdaile… Well spotted Jan. I have not seen them live yet but they do play Hendrix and Cream, so I think you are right.

Jeanette Jones… Sad not to be there Glad it happened, & lots of folk got to enjoy themselves xxx

Iain Cobby… Hi Dave, must meet up with you at the next meeting. I too will take the afternoon off and we can catch up on old Damaris times. Been an interesting year for me.


SMART 32 – Coffee meet report

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Among the newbies this time was Mick Knight who I haven’t seen for 40 years or more! Mick used to play in a band called ‘Dupree’ which featured Barry Denyer and Andy Bannister at one stage and a changing line up including Piers Clark, Roger Hubbard and Danny Hedge. Hopefully we will get to see some photos soon. Pete Prescott was in conversation with Mick, talking about Steppin Out and other local bands . Mick O’Dowd had with him The Beatles Sgt Peppers Album still with the insert cut outs, The Beatles White Album, The Who Quadrophenia and Expandis Mystic Man 12”. He also had a huge bag full of cd’s and was happy to let anyone have them or for a donation to next years Carnival Radio which pleased Andre Martin. Andre was talking about The Happy Ballroom from 50 years ago when it was going through a very quiet period.  Eric Cawthraw had with him Steamhammers remastered edition of Mountains LP and recommends the band ‘Black Mountain’ who had a really good track called ‘Space to Bakersfield’. Pete Millington was talking about happy memories of The Searchers 1987 pier gig and had with him Billboards Top 100 from the 60’s vol 1 & 2 cds, as well as some interesting photos from Paul Watts 70th birthday. Tony Davis and Sarah Harvey were talking about Tony’s future radio shows and Wendy & Graham Weaver bought along tour programmes from AC/DC  Blow Up Your Video Tour 88, Razors Edge 90/91, Deep Purple Perfect Stranger 84/85 and Status Quo In The Army Now 1986.  Darren Johnson was excited to be going to a private house gig of Iain Matthews, expect a review soon. Laurie Cooksey & Tony Qunta were talking about the next Factrio gig which will take place on the 4th December 2016 at The Fountain in the village of Plumpton at 5.00pm.  Lee Merry had photos of his bedroom wall’s covered in bands he promoted at The Carlisle from the mid 80’s to 2000. He is doing copies and hopefully won’t be too long before we can share them. I had with me albums of The Four Tops Reach Out, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band Framed and Fusion Orchestra Skeleton in Armour. This is just a small bit of what I can remember, anything I missed pleased feel free to add.

Jim Breeds… Sorry we weren’t there.

Alan Esdaile… If you had turned up Jim, you could have popped across the pier and had a go on the snow slide.

Josie Lawson… Be lovely if the meeting had minutes but think it’s just a great together…Used to love spending time in The White Rock Hotel. Attached photo is before the renovation was done and Lawrence used to display one of my poems in frame as you see…they stopped at the renovation….


John Williams… Sorry did not make it mate

Mick O’Dowd… Informative & interesting Meet Alan, as always. Good to see more newbies.

Cheryl White… Shame I missed it. It would have been a great opportunity to speak to the group about Poly Styrene/XRay Spex memorabilia. When is the next one Alan?

Alan Esdaile… Due to Christmas, not till mid January Cheryl. Might be worth you joining the Facebook group Rejects and Reprobates which might be able to help more with Poly Styrene.

Jan Warren… Oh, so very interesting, I wish I could get to these meetings??!! I’ve got Fusion Orchestra, Four Tops and Sgt Peppers!! 🙂 Sgt Peppers is probably my fave Beatles album, but I’m trying to see the “greyish” coloured album underneath it?? …….. first of all I thought Groundhogs (Spilt) or Stones (Aftermath)??? and I thought of a few others – but I’m sure its none of those?? ………… can anyone tell me??? 

Alan Esdaile… That’s The Who Quadrophenia, Jan.

Mick O’Dowd… It seems to me alot of people are getting the wrong impression as to what goes on at the Meets Alan. From reading between the lines of some comments of people who couldn’t attend they are seen as quite formal with speakers etc. Please let everybody know these are as INFORMAL as is humanly possible and you just chat, over a coffee or drink, to anyone who takes your interest. Everybody is welcome and no newbies are allowed to be left unattended for long as Alan always makes sure that someone speaks to them by introducing them to people that might share similar tastes in music etc.(No it’s not a dating agency either!) and from there on in you mingle and chat. Hope this clarifys the situation.

Pete Prescott… Exactly ! I try and make every one. They are so relaxed and great fun.

Darren Johnson… Yes. Enjoy the relaxed informality of it but always interesting stuff to chat about.

Josie Lawson… Very interesting. Thanks. See LOL attended also…best wishes to everyone…

Sarah Harvey… If it wasn’t for the meetings I wouldn’t have met so many wonderful people from the music world…. I have met up with so many friends from yesteryear that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. Its been a catalyst for many band reunions even though some of us haven’t managed it yet……. work in progress 

Tony Davis… I think SMART is a great place to go. Nothing formal just old and new friends chatting over things they have in common – mostly music. Having recently come back onto the music “scene” its been great to catch up with old faces and to make some really good new friends. Well done Alan.

Geoff Peckham… I agree with all the above. Always made welcome, and it’s brought so many musos together, sometimes for the first time, sometimes old buddies. SMART played a big part in Factory’s re-emergence! I only wish I could attend more often.