A Band Of Angels, The Defiants & The Victors – The Dolphin 18th March 1966

Supplied by Andre Martin

L-R:John Gaydon, John Baker, Andrew Petre, David Wilkinson, Mike d’Abo

Andre Martin… That was a great night at the Witch Doctor on our College events that always drew in the crowds. Noels band The Defiants were one of the supporting acts.

Jim Breeds… Love the alterations on the ticket.

A Band Of Angels – 18th March 1966 and part 2 of The Happy Ballroom report by Andre Martin.

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supplied by  Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection L-R:John Gaydon, John Baker, Andrew Petre, David Wilkinson, Mike d’Abo.

Here is the 18th March 1966 extra report –
As you can see we are looking at Hastings 7 St Leonards some 50 years ago, although it only seems like it was yesterday. We at the local college – Hastings College of Further Education had planned for the college Rag would coincide with the 900th celebrations of that famous battle around 14 October. Because of the term dates, our main entertainments were scheduled for June and would be a 3 nighter on Hastings Pier, the Big event being the Friday All Nighter. To start the ball rolling we decided that something in March would be a good idea, and looking for a theme, decided against St Patricks Night and went for 18th March – “ The Ides of March “ the entertainments committee organised this, and for some unknown reason decided to book the Dolphin Ballroom on the floor below the Witch Doctor, at the last minute this was changed and we had a very successful night. The Programme was top of the bill, Pye Recording artistes and old Harrovians “ A Band of Angels” supported by two excellent local groups The Defiants and The Victors and the record spinning was left in my capable hands.[ its strange that the word Disco does still not appear anywhere] As we had 2 members of the d’Abo family amongst the college student body, the addition of Mike in A Band of Angels, would ensure that Mrs d’Abo would be along to see the boys appearing on the night, she was a real trouper and all the noise, lights and great number of young people, never flinched the whole evening – she was a Star!
We arrange for a personal visit from the boys to Alan Jensen in the Disc Jockey in the afternoon for PR exercise, record & photo signing etc – these were always popular and you could rely on a very happy smiling Alan to be buzzing around the shop, and he came along to the club that night as one of our guests. On another personal level, that turned out to be the start of another interesting time for me, as I was asked to take over the organisation of the entertainments for the Rag 3 Day event later in the year, so great things ahead. A Band of Angels were a great act and I think one of their best records, and one that in subsequent years would get a big following on the Northern Soul Circuit was” Invitation” As this was a Friday night – “Ready Steady Go” had set the scene, and on the show that week, we saw Billy Fury-“I’ll never quite get over you” : Barbara Lewis : Bob Lind “Elusive Butterfly”: Spencer Davis “Somebody Help Me”[ has to one of my all time favourite records of the year ] Irma Thomas and The Who “ Substitute “ – which was the first single that I played that night, having been given a copy earlier in the week by Alan Jensen as Reaction records were doing a heavy promotion at the time. It was an excellent way to start the night. For those of you who remember that night, I hope this addition to my weekly blog has brought back good memories, I certainly remember that weekend for all sorts of reasons. Back to normal in the next couple days when we look at the weekend of 19 March 1966        Andre Palfrey-Martin© 2016.

Alan Esdaile …..Not sure if this record was a hit but was big with the Northern Soul crowd. I used to go and play the piano for Mike ‘d’Abo’s mum ‘Primrose’. A lovely lady and very much missed.

Andre Martin….Very true – now being played in Japan in the Northern Clubs ! Hope Mike and the Boys are getting their Yen.

 

Suspects – gig posters 1965

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posters supplied by Karen Sweatman

Pete Shaw….We used to play at The Continental Club, Eastbourne which was a three/four storey building which is now Laura Ashley….had to carry the kit up to the third floor and we were great competition for Eastbourne bands…one drummer used to leave chewing gum on my drum stool….it stopped when I stuck one on him..literally….I did succumb some years later and joined an Eastbourne band…but this is where playing away from Hastings really started…we were friends with The Lurking Gromwells!!…a Ninfield band…at least Graham had a Thames Trader 15cwt Van that we turned over at Cowbeech! The farmer was more interested in the integrity of his recently replaced 5 bar gate than us…I left via the shattered windscreen to pick up my scattered drums along the Lane!! Remember that Dave!! Graham’s Van was, yep, well bent and left outside his home!

Andy Qunta….Oh the good old days, eh Pete! Great stories!

Robert Searle….Great stories Pete.The O’Driscolls had some great photos of the Lurking Gromwells. Don’t know if they still have them though.