Dakka Dakka Dakka featuring Andy Gunton on drums – Dreamworld single 1986.


Andy Gunton…Today we bring you the freshly digitised version of ‘Dreamworld’, the A Side of the single released in mid 1986. The B Side ‘Leather Jeans’ will be coming in due course.


supplied by Andy Gunton… Tonbridge local press cutting from 1985.


supplied by Andy Gunton… Rehearsal photo from c1982. Taken in the oast house that we used to rehearse in. It was also used at that time by The Anti Nowhere League. Boy, did that place get cold in the winter!

Peter Russell…. Hey. Just stumbled across this. I was looking for some pics of my best friend who was your bassist for a short while and died in a bike crash. Mark Brown. He left a group Tuesday Town to join you.

Andy Gunton… We never has a bass player called Mark Brown. The bass player throughout the history of the band was called Keith Edwards. We did try out several singers before finally getting Phil Alamo. who is in this video & who sadly died a few years ago. I’m sure I remember the name Tuesday Town though 🙂

Peter Russell… Hmmm strange. I saw Mark playing with Dakka at the rock garden I think it was? Maybe dingwalls. Phil went to marks funeral on that old moto guzzi he used to ride. I’ll dig out some pics if you like. I used to do all the promo stuff and handouts for Tuesday town.

Andrew… Hi Peter, I was the guitarist in Dakka Mk 2 – I’ve got a few photos of Mark. I probably met you at the funeral with Phil.

Peter Russell… Wow, unexpected email… I remember Alamo turning up on his Moto Guzzi at the funeral and Let it be being played as if it were yesterday. Must be 30 years ago.

Andrew… I’d not googled Dakka for a few years, so hadn’t seen this site before, hence unexpected email! I was a bit surprised with the response from Andy as I thought it was common knowledge that Phil had put a ‘new’ Dakka together with Mark? Yes, I think it was 1987 – it was incredibly tragic as we’d played a gig the night before the accident and Mark was excited about picking up his new Kawasaki the following day…… I’ve got a few band photos in the loft somewhere – i can dig them out and scan/email them to you if you want?

Peter Russell… I was even more surprised as I went to a couple of their gigs!!! that’s how I met Mark. We done some off road biking then he went and bought a Kawasaki Turbo….tragic. He had a child with a girl called Jane. Sam was his sons name. Only a few months old.If you have some pics it’d be great to see them. I worked in the print for the MoD and used to do Marks hand outs for Tuesday town, then he went to Dakka and I’d just done some art work like round stickers and stuff. Never got to give them to him he was a great bloke. Lived in Tunbridge Wells for a while then moved to London. That Wal lefty bass he had must be worth a mint now…

Andrew… It’s mad to think his kid will be 34 now…. I’ll try and dig out my photos during the week and I’ll be in touch to let you know what I’ve got.

Andy Gunton… Peter/Andrew: I had no idea Phil Alamo had formed a Dakka Dakka Dakka mark 2, unless my memory is playing tricks on me. I’d certainly have been very interested in hearing/seeing them, especially if they were playing any of the old songs. I moved away from Tonbridge in late 1988 so that might help explain it. But I don’t even remember DDD Mark 2 being mentioned at Phil’s funeral, either during the service, or when talking to friends before/afterwards. I do vaguely remember Phil forming another band, I’d have been surprised if he hadn’t, but had no idea he was using the DDD name. Sorry to hear about your friend Mark. I remember Phil having a Moto Guzzi bike. I’d certainly be interested in seeing any photo’s of DDD mark 2, if only to see if they rings any bells, and if I recognise any of the other members

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing A Place In The Sun The Complete Jason Crest – 2CD

A PLACE IN THE SUN -The Complete  Jason Crest       JASON CREST
I’ve been looking forward to this for some time. Back in the late 60’s i supported Jason Crest on several occasions all around Sussex & Kent. I remember a particularly good gig at Staplehurst Village Hall, which in hindsight was a very low level venue for such an accomplished band. Unfortunately this is part of the overall lack of support the band received. Formed In Tonbridge by drummer Terry Clark he recruited another Terry (Dobson) from a venue i also played at Tonbridge Teen & Twenty Club. Terry No 2 played guitar, they were joined by Ron Fowler on bass & Dave Tiffin on rhythm guitar. The band christened themselves The Spurlyweeves and set about gigging and making a name for themselves. They entered a band competition where they spotted another young gifted guitarist called Derek Smallcombe who shortly replaced Dave Tiffin. Terry Dobson swapped guitar for Hammond Organ duties and then in one more poaching act in came on drums Roger Siggery whilst leader Terry Clark switched to concentrating on lead vocals. By 1966 the five piece knew they needed to make changes to distinguish them from all the other ‘beat bands’ mainly playing covers. So embracing the new wave of budding psychedelia the band changed their name to The Good Thing Brigade (not a memorable name!) However local papers ran articles on this local ‘flower power’ pop band and got them some attention. By 1967 EMI offered them a deal but the band chose to go with rival Philips Records (a fateful decision). Now writing their own material and firmly embracing psychedelic rock they released their first single the glorious ‘Turquoise Tandem Cycle’ a full on psyche mini epic with a distinctive Hammond played through a wah-wah. This track kicks off this newly released 2CD set. Newly launched Radio 1 loved it and got behind it, but to be fair it wasn’t a ‘commercially sounding’ record. And this was really the start of the bands problems. Philips were used to promoting 3 minute ‘pop’ songs The Walker Brothers, Dusty etc. they kept looking to the band for ‘pop’ commercial songs whilst the band were cutting new ground with some of the best psychedelic records released in the 60’s. ‘Teagarden Lane’ a dreamy swirly acid dripped trip,  ‘My House Is Burning’ the epic ‘Black Mass’ a tour-de-force all complete with backward loops & phases. ‘The Charge Of The Light Brigade’ a radio friendly opus sounding rather ‘Move’ Like. Indeed with several other bands of the time the guys covered The Moves ‘Here We Go Round The Lemon Tree’ and actually produced an almost better version than the original and i say that as a great Move fan. This was fine with Philips whose lack of imagination ran to, well lets release a cover of a successful song, that always works…..but it didn’t. although it did lead to the band straying from their original material and covering ‘Paint It Black’, Spirit’s ‘Fresh Garbage’ and even ‘California Dreaming’ which to be fair did show off the bands great harmonies. But the strangest moment came for me when they covered ‘Hold On’ the ‘b’ side of ‘Reflections Of Charles Brown’ by Ruperts People who i was closely linked to and made for an interesting backstage chat at one gig! Its Disc2 of this collection is where you will find the majority of these covers, along with those already mentioned you will also find Paul Simon, Beatles & Spooky Tooth being given a work over. It’s interesting and frustrating comparing the two CD’s inasmuch as i want to travel back in time and grab the A & R guy at Philips and tell him to nurture this fresh, innovative, excellent psyche band and support and encourage the original material and basically leave the ‘covers’ as maybe live gig material. Well obviously that can’t happen and anyway eventually Philips ever dwindling interest in the band saw them call it a day. By 1970 they had changed their name to High Broom (a suburb of Tunbridge Wells) and founder member Terry Clark had departed frustrated. High Broom had a turntable hit with ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ but within a year they also imploded. In 1971 Clark, Siggery & Smallcombe settled their differences and formed a new band which would eventually become prog rock outfit Holy Mackerel. As i said at the start of this review i worked with Jason Crest several times and they have a special place in my heart as a lover of psyche rock they represented one of the best UK acts in that field and comparable to anything in similar vein emanating from the West Coast. For anyone who has a similar interest in this genre i warmly recommend this package to you to savour. Of interest to local readers is the booklet accompanying this release where you can find references to our beloved Hastings Pier, The Cobweb and a montage of gig posters featuring local venues like Battle Memorial Hall. I thank as ever David Wells & Grapefruit Records for this excellent complete collection and for bringing back some very warm memories for yours truly. enjoy.
For more information go to https://www.cherryred.co.uk

Til next time, please stay safe and well…….Colin

Graham Matthews… Fantastic band, they played Staplecross Village Hall many times and at 12 years old I got to know them fairly well. In front of the stage there was a triangular section down from the apex of the roof which Nobby Clarke (the singer and main writer of their own songs) told me acted as a sound baffle and what you heard on stage while playing was not what the paying public heard. He went to the far end of the hall when setting up and got the sound balance right and I have seen so many bands play that venue including a lot that went on to great success, Nobby was the only one I saw do this and they always sounded great. IN THE 80’s several of us would book bands to raise money for the village as we still lived there and one guy booked a band called Cats Eyes, I arrived as they were setting up and walked in to see a guy with his back to me just inside the door singing and getting the band balanced. I said You have to be Nobby ! and sure enough it was 20 yrs later, remembering the hall from the 60’s.

Colin Bell… That’s brought back a few memories Graham, it’s highly likely we would have met, as i said in my review i supported them with a disco several times & did Staplecross Village Hall as a disco gig several times, cheers! Colin



Mandrake featuring Andy Gunton – 1975


supplied by Andy Gunton Dakka Dakka Dakka Facebook site

Andy Gunton… One & only gig by Mandrake, a forerunner of Dakka Dakka Dakka, at a fete in Golden Green, Kent on Sat, 5th June 1975. L to R: Simon Flack, Andy Gunton, John McCue, Martin Fredericks & Gary Bunt.

Mick O’Dowd… You weren’t related to Mandrake Paddlesteamer were you?

Dakka Dakka Dakka – featuring Andy Gunton.


supplied by Andy Gunton

Here’s Andy Gunton when he played drums and lived in Tonbridge.

John Alexander Wilde….Nice one Andy.

Terry Pack….The strange world of the band photo. Right lads, I’ve found a great location round the back of Sainsbury’s/In a disused warehouse/halfway up a cliff, etc. So, wear something that you feel represents the ‘spirit’ of the group, now a bit more hair gel/leather/denim/make up/ attitude, etc. Perfect! Oh, no. Could you insert a guitar/synth/cymbal, please? Now; smile! OK, then, glower. Alright, stare blankly, then. What do you mean, you’re getting cold?


supplied by Andy Gunton Dakka Dakka Dakka Facebook site

Andy Gunton… A press photo from the days when Dakka Dakka Dakka were still a trio. April 1983 (?)

Paul Couldridge… that takes me back.

Andy Gunton… It takes me back too.

Glynn Williams… Takes me back too… and then some: I played with Andy, John, Keith and Dave in their previous incarnation, “Mandrake Root” (well, more like puffed furiously into a tenor sax whilst wiggling my fingers about). What an absolute blast to find Andy’s video clips online; I guess I ought to go look for these guys and say hello.

Chris Baker… Isn’t that a very young Del Boy top-right? 😉

Sarah Harvey… Andy looks quite good looking there…. what happened Andy? 😉

Andy Gunton… Oi! 😉

Mark Randall… Andy – still cool, John – a nodded ‘I think I know you, but not sure why’ back in 2002, Keef – gawd knows but hope he still wears fluorescent socks

Amethyst – Whitefriars Press Club – Tonbridge 1974


supplied by Barry French

Barry French, Jenny Kebel and out of shot Will Powell & Paul Huggett.

Neil Cartwright… Ah … the good old ‘Hammer Fist’ !!! 😉

Peter Millington… Great Pic – Remember seeing them in the Old town around 1974

Barry French… Just to explain Neil’s “Hammer Fist” comment. Amethyst were in the main, a middle of the road club band. We had an Agent who got us a Pub gig, which if memory serves me correct was on the outskirts of Maidstone. The agent assured us that “Amethyst was just the band the venue were looking for”. When we arrived at the pub we were amazed at the many motor bikes that were parked outside. On entering the pub  (dressed in our mauve frilly shirts & flares) we were greeted with a pub full of bikers, with Paranoid (or something very similar) being played on the jukebox. Thinking this can’t be the right venue we went in search of the Land Lord. We found him in the back bar, behind him pinned on the wall was a massive poster. Illustrated on the poster was a huge clenched fist surrounded by lightning bolts. Written on it were the words that sent a chill down the spine,” HAMMER FIST” here tonight 8pm to 11pm. Well to cut a long story short,we did the gig, the Bikers (As bikers always are) were polite & friendly & i’m sure some were singing along to Jambalaya during our Carpenters medley. A gig well survived, but none of us had the nerve to ask for another booking.

Neil Cartwright…  ‘Come-a Come-a down, dooby-do down down’ =D

Peter Millington… The memory is back – I saw Amethist at the Kings Head in the Bourne – A Pub Gig but no Bikers, Phew! I hear you say Barry.