M.I.5. – Witch Doctor St Leonards-on-Sea 19th November 1966

Anyone remember this group, possible from Liverpool?

Caroline Shott… Wasn’t The Witch Doctor also the name of the club in Hastings? As I read your post it all came flooding back!

Mike Vawdrey… There was a Scottish group of the period known as Johnny Law and the M.I. 5 – don’t know if they were prominent enough to venture this far from their home turf ? ? An alternative possibility could be that they included somebody whose initials were MI …

Little Walter – Witch Doctor St Leonards 1st November 1964

Poster supplied by John Busbridge

Ken Copsey… Wow! I didn’t know he had played in Hastings. Someone I would have loved to have seen live.Anyone on here go to the gig? Tragic that he died aged 37 and was originally buried in an unmarked grave.

Pete Fisher… look what I missed in the little seaside town where I grew up! I would have been 9 years old, so a bit young to get into this club…so many bands played here back then, including Jimi Hendrix on the pier in 1967…missed that one too…started catching up in ’69, starting with The Who! I would have just turned 14, and was allowed to go escorted by my older sister’s best girlfriend, who’d organised tickets. We stood up the front too at first, but after a couple of songs I started feeling weird and the room started to distort visually (this was way before I indulged in anything mind enhancing), just from the sheer volume, so I had to pop out briefly for a bit of sea air…came back and watched the rest from a more sensible distance…my mate Ben came into school the next day with one of Keith Moon’s drumsticks, which he’d managed to keep hold of despite being chased out of the ballroom and off the pier by envious fans at the end of the gig…being of diminutive stature and a fine rugby player probably helped…

Ian Middleton… I was at the Witch Doctor that night. It was a great show. I believe it was the last night of this particular tour.

David Edwards… Little Walker played Hastings, well bugger me!

The Cresters & The Confederates – The Witch Doctor – 24th October 1964

supplied by Peter Millington https://pet842.wixsite.com/confeds-to-jinks

Mick Knights….Now that does take me back, I was there on the opening night to see the Nashville Teens!! The first steps I ever took on a dance floor were there, the tune was Pretty Woman and the young lady didn’t hang around for a second one!!!!

Peter Millington… The Cresters were so under-rated, we (The Confederates) were “gob smacked” they were fantastic! They were superb and such good individual musicians.

Mike Curtis… I saw Dave Curtis and The Tremors when I was on holiday at Butlins Clacton in 1963. First live band I ever saw.

Lesley Maskell… I was there at Butlins Clacton in 1963. Dave Curtis and I had a holiday romance that lasted until the next summer.

 

Little Richard – Witch Doctor St Leonards 7th October 1964

Supplied by Stephen Moran

Anyone confirm if he definitely appeared? I think he had to cancel a previous date due to pneumonia?

John Gale… Little Richard, what a voice, far more than just a Rock n Roll star too, very soulful as well

Colin Norton… Hadn’t realized that Mr. Penniman had played the Witch Doctor. How cool!

Graham Belchamber… Incredible he played here

Mike Vawdrey… Maybe it was a touch of the ‘Rockin’ Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu’  – as per Huey ‘Piano’ Smith ? ?

Jim Breeds… I love that The Knives and Forks were booked for Saturday, and by Sunday it was The Return of …!

Mick Knights… Little Richard cancelled on the evening, we all turned up only to be reimbursed!

Mick O’Dowd… Is that THE Dave Dee?

Colin Bell… Yes indeed it is, shortly before the name change to DD, DBM&T.

Mike Vawdrey… Yes it is !

Dave Weeks… Never mind all that, the return of Knifes and Forks must have been a special night. Or was it an instruction as they went missing the week before?

Mick Knights… Just noticed at the bottom of the poster ‘Epivision is coming’. Being quite ancient I was there at the time and recall exactly what it was, does anyone one else? All of a bit of an anticlimax really, having been promised an audio visual experience it turned out to be an overhead projector that would project a dodgy photo of the group who’s record was playing, didn’t take too long for the novelty to wear off!

The Happy Ballroom, David Bowie & The Buzz at Witch Doctor and more. 3rd September 1966 by Andre Martin

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bowie & buzz

Andre Palfrey-martin collection

All too quickly the summer season ends and we start to return a more normal schedule, although as this was 1966 this would be still hectic for a few more weeks because of the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, as I write this we are remembering Saturday 3rd September 1966. The Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier has The Tony Strudwick Big Band for this weeks entertainment, and the variety on offer has now been reduced to just the Saturday night – the Sunday Club ended on the Bank Holiday Weekend.
Along the coast, a distance that I was informed recently was just under 1 mile, the Witch Doctor is still following the Saturday Night live bands, and this week we have some chap, called Dave Bowie ?? And the Buzz, they have advertised them as Radio London Climbers! The remainder of the week is Record, but I understand that one of the most popular record spinners would be returning later in the month after a summer break. Our regular routine would for many have been Friday Night and Ready Steady Go with the show piloted through the bedlam by Cathy & Keith, on the show this week The Spencer Davis Group “When I come Home”, Wayne Fontana “Goodbye Bluebird, The Fortunes “ Is it really worth your While” & Sandie Shaw “ Run”. Lets take a look at the BBCs offerings – On The Light Programme on Saturday we had 10.00am Saturday Club with Don Moss sitting in for Brian Matthew, and the groups appearing included Alan Price, The Spencer David Group, Small Faces and Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. In the afternoon – Swing into Summer continues and this week’s artistes included Adam Faith, Vince Hill, The Ivy League & The Magil 5, for Brass Band Fans this was also the 114th National Competition broadcast live. The evening entertainments still with summer seasons in mind came from Great Yarmouth with Terry Scott & Hugh Lloyde, Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Dallas Boys and The Countrymen. Later in the evening it was The Henry Wood Promenade Concert from the Royal Albert Hall. The evening ended with Dancing Over Europe and Simon Dee. Television – Grandstand, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Till Death Do Us Part, The Trouble shooters and Match of the Day. Sunday, was very much as usual – Radio – Children’s requests, Mrs Mills & The Happy Gang, Easy Beat. Three way Family Favourites – London, Koln & Singapore [BFBS were just about to move into their new studios in Tanglin Army Barracks on the island, that would be their home until the pull out of British Forces in 1972 from the Singapore Base – I remember it well] The afternoon was filled with the usual comedy, Melody and Movie times and later in the evening the main show came from Blackpool. The evening ended with Jazz Scene. Sunday was Educational till mid afternoon, then International Athletics, followed by It’s a KO – Blackpool v Lytham St Anne, Perry Mason and Ken Dodd. BBC 2 had Cricket and a feature on Animals in Trinidad.
On the pirates Tony Blackburn on Radio London Top Forty – Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers “ Got to Get you into my Life”, Lee Dorsey “ Working Down a Coal Mine”, Chris Andrews “ Stop that Girl”, Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band “ Big Time Operator & a band that I would work many times with a little later in the Decade on Hastings Pier – Episode Six “ Here There and Everywhere”. The top 5 on Radio Caroline this week – Dave Lee Travis on Caroline South – Roy Orbison “ Too Soon To Know”, The Beatles “Yellow Submarine, Manfred Mann “Just Like a Woman”, Small Faces “ All or Nothing” and Chris Andrews “ Stop that Girl”
So there we have another weeks memories of Hastings & St Leonards. I hope that it brought back the good times, even if after all these years perhaps that not quite as we remember them – memory can do some strange things to the truth.

Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2016.

Andy Qunta… Thanks again, Andre. You took me right back there!

The Kinsmen? plus The Motion – Witch Doctor 19th August 1967

Should this read The Kingsmen of Louie Louie fame, or a completely different band?

Mick O’Dowd… I think it is the Kinsmen. Don’t remember The Kingsmen actually touring the Uk as they were an American outfit and I think I would have gone to see them if they did.

Andre Martin… THE KINGSMEN were a group from Portland Oregon.Louis Louis was released in 1963 and held the no 2 slot on the Billboard chart for 6 weeks. Re-released again in 1966 it did chart, but much lower down.

Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames – The Witch Doctor St Leonards 13th August 1965

Sid Saunders… I was at the Witch Doctor that night.

Jackie Hersee… Me too

Judith Monk… Me too!

Caz Simpson… Me too!

Nigel Ford… No, No…. (I wasn’t there….)

Peter Millington… The Confederates were the support group. Speedy, George Fame’s bongo player took a real shine to John Conroy, The Confederates lead singer. Never seen John so frightened before or since lol.