John Barry RIP

John Barry has died at the age of 77 in New York – I guess from the ’60s, most of us remember particularly the James Bond theme with Vic Flick on guitar (plus Juke Box Jury – see the two nice comments below from Dave Mussell) – I pinched this Google photo of the John Barry Orchestra with Shirley Bassey as they (plus Matt Monro) appeared together at the Guildhall in May 1964.

The John Barry Seven had also appeared there with Adam Faith in October 1961 and at Easter of the following year the John Barry Seven played the Savoy for the first time. They returned in August and November 1962 and March 1963 (with the Benny Freedman Orchestra). I believe the 1964 Guildhall gig was the last Pompey visit


Magic Saturdays

Today I met some pals from way back for a lunchtime drink in the city centre. Walking home towards Southsea put me strongly in mind of 1960s Saturday afternoons spent in Verrecchias and Commercial Road, just ‘hanging out’

In 1966 I kept a daily diary for the only time in my life so I checked it out. As it happens, 45 years ago this very day was also Saturday 29 January and it was one of those great days. I’ve always loved Saturday afternoons, partly because I went to Pompey Grammar and we had to go to school on Saturday mornings. So once maths and Latin (!) were done with I had a great sense of Freedom (another guy at the school Dave Mussell has left a great story in a comment to Human Dynamos below)

In 1966 I was 16. I had worked over Christmas at the old Post Office in Stanhope Road,and EXACTLY 45 years ago today picked up my new suit from Jacksons in Commercial Road – made-to-measure, blue, single-breasted with a single centre vent. I had black brogues and matching paisley pocket handkerchief and tie and I loved it. That evening my diary says I wore it out for the first time to the Birdcage to see the fabulous and now somewhat forgotten/under-rated Spencer Davis Group (10/-). While getting ready, I listened to Herbie Goins and organist Dave Davani on the Light Programme’s “Jazz Club”.

Sometimes it seems like yesterday and sometimes it feels like another person in another world


Soulful Reunion

(Update – see comment from Phil – many apologies, this is Image not Soul Society)

I went to the Fountain in Rowlands Castle last night to see the Dolphins who include Mick McGuigan (St Louis Checks/Coconut Mushroom) and Alan Christmas (Sons of Man/Aubrey Small). Sons of Man were the first group I ever saw at the Rendezvous (supporting the Moody Blues) and another Pompey group who played support there were the Soul Society (pic above).

Last night Phil  Freeman their singer came over to the Fountain with his brother Roger who was SS’s roadie (“because I had a van”) and also worked backstage on many Guildhall gigs. Phil is now a backstage man too as he runs lighting for big events and tours (next up 10CC). At the Fountain, they met up with Rod Watts who played organ in SS – apparently there’s still an unfinished home-made Hammond Leslie Cabinet somewhere and a photo of Ernie Sears flyposting for the Rendezvous!

Phil and Roger came with their daughters – Roger lives in Georgia USA these days and his daughter sings in a band – check out http://www.myspace.com/jessesgirlband and hear “I Want Candy”. Phil’s daughter came with her young man who just happens to be the son of the much missed Steve Farrow, lead guitarist in Travis Raymar, Tangerine Slide, Rosemary etc

And so it continues …

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Their lead singer Gladys Horton has died. Story on the Rolling Stone site:


I think it warrants mentioning on a Pompey site because  they recorded the original of “Please Mr Postman”, covered by the Beatles but also “I’ll Keep Holding On” – covered wonderfully by Birdcage favourites the Action and “Too Many Fish in the Sea” – often played by DJ Pete Brady at the club. Beautiful music. R.I.P.

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Anyone Know … ?

Some queries

1. From Mick Cooper who wants  any information  on a mid to late 1960’s outfit called The San Cella Duo.Dave Sinclair was the singer/guitarist, who came from ‘up North’ ! and the drummer, I think from Gosport, who’s name I don’t know. I believe they won a talent contest about 1966/7? at the Cumberland Tavern (Charlie Hurdles) in Eastney Road. I expect there was a NEWS report, but date unknown. Where are they now? (Dave – I think they were also called the San Cella Sound)

2. Anyone know anything about Mr Shrine & Mr Pearl who apparently owned the Savoy/Kimbells in the 1950s? Did they buy it from Billy Butlin? When? How long did they own it? (etc)

3. Repeat enquiry (see below) for David Llewellyn – and of course keep sending info

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John Ainsworth RIP

These guys are the Music Makers performing at the Unity Hall in the 1950s (look at those chairs!). The pianist is John Ainsworth who in recent years had been helping out at Angel Radio. Sadly, I’ve learned from Chris Fosbrook that John died about 10 days ago. Mick Cooper had visited him a couple of times recently and provided the photo.


The Human Dynamos!

Everybody knows about “Ready Steady Go!” but it had an off-shoot in 1964, “Ready Steady Win!” a talent contest for unsigned bands. The winners were the Bo Street Runners, including drummer Mick Fleetwood (Mac) but Pompey group the Dynamos also reached the final and were recorded for the album of the same name.

The Dynamos’ drummer was Alf Pink who has just contacted me with the photo above and this delightful account of his times on the Pompey scene:

“Mick Glover, Steve Stevenson and Alan “Satch” Songhurst the drummer who appeared in the coffee lounge at LDB in Commercial Road were the first Pompey group I ever saw. Steve and Satch were older than me and we were all at the Southern Grammar School. I was probably 13 at the time. Later aged 15 I worked in a draughtsman’s office and an older lad was John “Joe” Farnell who played drums for the Nightimers I think. I went to see Joe at the Co-op hall Albert Road and he did a drum solo. Being young and impressive I spent the money I had been saving for a motorbike and bought a drum kit from Courtney & Walker with no idea how to play them. Never owned a motorbike but probably a good choice.Pete Pinckney and I started in the front room of my Mum and Dad’s house in Woodmancote Road and the rest just happened

1961 Forming member of The Talismen with me on drums, Pete Pinckney lead guitar, John Bullock bass guitar and Alan Patterson rhythm guitar – we only played instrumentals numbers at this stage. Soon this line up was joined by Billy Storm (Bert Parker) of the Strollers and we started vocals.

Line up changed about a year or so after but still as The Talismen to Alf Pink, Pete Pinckney, John Bullock and Mick Reeves (Arthur Ward Band) vocals and rhythm guitar.

1963 I joined The Dynamos and Dick Ray replaced me in The Talismen. Dynamos line up of Alf Pink drums, Marc Tuddenham lead guitar, Terry Bragg (Ex Strollers) bass guitar and Don Golding rhythm guitar. Marc and Don has already been in a couple of groups together (Renegades etc). This line up appeared on Ready Steady Win as per your photo of 1964 taken at the Railway Inn, Woolston. We worked mostly for Bob Potter (Now Lakeside fame) and were the support band to just about every famous English group except The Beatles and The Stones and also support band to American artists – Big D Irwin, Jerry Lee Lewis etc.

About 1964/1965 Don Golding left and was replaced by Roger Barber as vocalist.  When Marc Tuddenham left he was replaced by Steve Stevenson lead guitar (Mike Glover skiffle trio Saturday mornings at LDB Commercial Road and Pete Stroller and The Drifters) and name changed to The Scheme a few years later Steve was replaced with Bernie Morley lead guitar. This line up of Alf Pink drums, Terry Bragg bass, Bernie Morley lead guitar and Roger Barber vocalist continued for a while and then changed direction and name to The Roger Anthony Four playing cabaret venues and functions. The band folded in 1971 when I stopped playing to concentrate on my business. Terry, Bernie and myself all gave up and Roger Barber went on to form Lace with Roger vocalist, Pete Pinckney lead guitar, John Bullock bass guitar and Dick Ray on drums.

34 years later I enjoyed a comeback in The Playboys with Alf Pink drums, Dave “Digger” Hart lead and vocals, Pete Jackson bass and vocals and Marc Tuddenham lead and vocals. Dave “Digger” Hart and Pete Jackson had played together for years and were excellent pros and Marc Tuddenham is a genius as he was as a teenager in The Dynamos. I was in awe of them but loved every gig and Digger paid me a huge compliment when he said “I don’t have to worry about you!”. Later Digger went off to live in Spain and the line up became Alf Pink drums, Marc Tuddenham lead, Pete Jackson bass and Rod Watts, no less, on keyboards. Great fun playing the old tunes again and especially a Rod Watts special – Nut Rocker by B Bumble and The Stingers. Alas without Digger to arrange the gigs they dried up and the others all involved in different groups and bands carried on playing and I entered my second retirement as a drummer. Hope it does not last another 34 years!”

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Anybody Know?

About this query from Jacqui Charlton*. Please post a comment if you know anything and I’ll contact her

“I was wondering if anybody can remember, or came across a pianist called David Llewellyn in the 1960’s.? He was studying music in Manchester and a session musician also playing at Portsmouth venues.Would be very interested in any news in relation to him. Thank you”.

*Hey aren’t you Bobby’s sister and a good centre half in your own right? The 60s live on!

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Saint and Pompey

Last night (Saturday) Mick Cooper (right) and I went over to Westbourne to meet up with David St John (left), all-round entertainer, regular correspondent on this Blog and keeper of all the similar on-line records for Southampton music and gigs way back. Of course many of us who played in bands in the two cities regularly visited the other for gigs – there were many good gigs in Southampton and many fine musicians. David now lives in the midlands but was in Westbourne to entertain at a Burns Night event and it was good to meet up (photo Lou Allen)