The Silhouettes – The Ambassador Hastings 1960’s


supplied by Stephen Kolimbarides

Early picture of The Silhouettes found at The Ambassador Restaurant where they used to rehearse.

Alan Esdaile…I think this is what became the Two Eyes Coffee Bar?

Barry Newton…..Centre and right hand remind me of Kingsley and Rod, but it might be my eyesight and memory getting blurred

Robert Searle….It definitely looks like them

Stephen Kolimbarides…..It’s Kingsley, Rod and Kirk hidden behind them. Not sure who the fourth member is. I really should have asked Rod when I saw him lunch time today. The photo is still at the ambassador on the wall in the same alcove as the pic was taken.

Phil Gill…..Is it Pete Gladwish on the left?

Stephen Kolimbarides…..I have pasted the reply from Rod. Now we know who the fourth member was. The other guitarist in the pic is Robin Pegler.He didn’t play for very long,perhaps 4 or 5 years,he found love and packed the band in,although he stayed in contact with King through their shared interest in Radio controlled aircraft. Cheers, Rod.

Colin Bell… Remember seeing them at The Fountain mid 60’s, they reminded me of The Searchers or perhaps they were playing one of their songs when I heard them, all those years ago.

Peter Millington… Saw them in the Market Hall in George Street around 1963. I believe they had a girl singer at the time and Kirk Ronchetti was the drummer. I seem to remember he had a peculiar drum kit with different size skins, (Trixon or Gretsch). WOW Rod’s Rosetti Bass – I had one at that time too, cost me 28 Guineas from a catalogue, no shops in Hastings to buy anyhing. Rod was ahead of the game with a superb Ampeg bass amp, much drewling. Just look at the style – matching shirts, trousers, shoes, ties and – yes tie pins. Those were the days!

Alan Esdaile… Have not found any photos of the Two Eyes coffee bar in West Street?

The Silhouettes – 1963

supplied by Pete Millington

Pete Millington… Another picture came out of the archives which I just had to colour – The Silhouettes in 1963, I think. L-R Robin Peglar, Mary McCarthy, Kirk Ronchetti, Kingsley Trowell RIP, and Rodney Trowell, I saw this line-up in the Old Town Market Hall – well ahead of their time and most groups in Hastings.

The Konrads and The Silhouettes – Hastings Pier 24th October 1964

supplied by Andre Martin

Did Bowie appear?

Peter Fairless… Err… no!

James Johnson… from a great pier to the plank

Lloyd Johnson… The Konrads had George Underwood and David Jones/ Later Bowie as members…

Peter Fairless… David left the Konrads in December 1963. In October 1964 he was playing as Davie Jones & The Manish Boys. Indeed, they played the Witchdoctor on 13th November ’64.

Alan Essex… Just read some stuff from the Guardian newspaper and The Konrads with Bowie did some recording at Joe Meeks studio but they weren’t one of his bands.

Mick O’Dowd… One member of The Konrads , Graham Samson, lives in Bexhill now and Alan Dodds( a retired priest) lives in Devon,, Other members were Neville Wills(deceased),Mick Milo, lives in Rye, Andrew Baldock, bass, and singer George Underwood.

Cindy Goodhand-Knight… Bowie

Gary Kinch… I notice Mr Knights as the manager, how long was he the manager?  He was certainly still there in the early 70’s

Peter Fairless… Andre will know!

Lloyd Johnson… George lives in Uckfield and is a mate…

Mick O’Dowd… Source of info…

The Konrads & The Silhouettes Sat 24th Oct 1964 Hastings Pier by Andre Martin


Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… Saturday 24th October 1964, it would be just another dance night in the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier, with the return of two well know attractions – The Konrads and the Silhouettes – for only 5/-, I was trying to remember how much a pint was in the bar, I think that was only about 1/6d, but then wages were large. Back to the music, the Konrads were a well know group from Bromley and South London, and one of their claims to fame was that at one time in their line-up was a soon to be discovered – David Bowie, however at this time it is fairly well documented that he had moved on from being with this group. The Silhouettes, made the journey from their home ground of Portsmouth/Southampton to play Hastings Pier. Both played a mixture of Soul and Pop and would have kept the dancers busy keeping warm in the large ballroom. The press at this time make very little mention of who is going to appear in the Ballroom, or even give any clues as to have the previous weeks acts had been received, so there is little to report. The weekend would have kicked off with the Friday Night “ Ready Steady Go” on ITV – with the line up including The Rolling Stones, Dave Clark Five, Marianne Faithfull, Sandie Shaw and Dusty Springfield – the package was presented by Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan. At Marine Court, the crowds making the trek to the 2nd floor – The Witch Doctor would have had another good week, with Saturday : The Cresters and The Confederates only 6/- for 7.30pm – 11.45pm. Sunday was the Blues Club, with this week Victor Brox Blues Train. [ club members only 4/-, non members 5/-] And the following Friday Dave Curtis & Tremours only 4/6d with the usual record shows filling the rest of the weeks entertainments, average price 1/6d.
Radio Caroline was gathering in popularity and there were a few new stations that had appeared over the summer months, but most were on low transmitters, so apart from Radio Luxemburg the signal strength would be weak and very flakey. Depending on the weather, one station that could be occasionally picked up was American Forces Network [AFN] being bounced from Holland to the USAF bases in East Anglia- that is where I first heard “Old Gold Retold” playing a lot of 50s numbers.
The BBC was still offering a range of musical entertainment, on Saturday this week on The Light Programme at 10.00 was Saturday Club – Brian Matthews introduced The Supremes, Ronettes, Baron Knights, Skeeter Davies, Merseybeats, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates. In the afternoon on Saturday Swings – 2.00pm – Manfred Mann, The Outlaws, The Raindrops, Russ Saintly and the Nu Notes – all this introduced by Don Wardell. On Sunday – Easy Beat would have been in the capable hands of Keith Fordyce [ already done his thing with RSG on the Friday]and on the bill The Swinging Blue Jeans, Val Donnigan, Long John Baldry and The Hoochy Couchy Men and the Johnny Howard Band. Television on Saturday would have included on BBC 1 – Juke Box Jury, with David Jacobs and his panel included Sid James, Andrew Oldham [watch that name] The Marchioness of Tavistock and another unnamed guest. And a little later Jack Warner starred in Dixon of Dock Green. ITV would have shown “Thank your Lucky Stars” with Brian Matthews in the hot seat. Sunday, however was nearly always void of music programmes for the youngsters.
So there we have another history lesson of half a century ago – quite selection, interesting to see the Confederates supporting The Cresters, who I believe came from Manchester, and I can remember both Pete and Trevor saying how excellent these lads were. Till next week in the Happy Ballroom and elsewhere in the town have a good week………………..

Mick O’Dowd… Here’s The Konrads with David Bowie.


supplied by Mick O’Dowd

Andy Qunta… Andre – thanks so much for all that amazing info! Took me right back!