In the News

There’s a new report emerging about inequalities in arts funding (from taxes, the lottery etc)

Apparently they (them in charge) spend £70 per head on the arts in London and just under £5 per head in the rest of the country. And no, I have not missed out a zero – £70 and £5

Of course, generally speaking pop/rock music gets nothing/very little anyway.

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Explanation Time

My old pal Mick Legg and I are having a conversation on the post below which perhaps warrants a wider explanation. He was asking me about my involvement in the Tom Prince Charity night at the KIng’s Theatre on 23 November (poster below)

It may help to explain that I’m billed as the MC and that’s it. This gig is not connected with last year’s Pompey Pop event at all, except that Steve Pitt who organised that night is doing this one and asked me to MC. I know only bits about the bands at this stage – I’m not even sure whether any/most/all are local although I have some websites to research.

It seems a good cause but in all honesty and from an entirely selfish point of view, I’m not relishing the night. I’m hopeless at all that ‘Smashy’ & ‘Nicey’ stuff but it seemed ungenerous to decline.

However, I’d like to stress I’ve had nothing to do with the bill or the organisation in general – and I guess Dave Allen did once do a tour as MC to the Beatles (and the Honeys!)

In terms of a future Pompey Pop gig, reviving the good old days, there is some talk of something at the Guildhall. Things are a bit quiet there right now but there is a meeting next week so …

T Prince poster


What’s in a name?

“What’s in a name? that which we call Rosemary
By any other name would smell as sweet …”

(With apologies to Will)

I’ve just received a Text from my academic association (IASPM – International Association for the Study of Popular Music). Someone is asking how and why groups choose the names they do/did

I sent her a link to the Pompey Pop list on the website but I have never really asked WHY so now I am

I’ve always pretended that Rosemary took its name from that Grateful Dead track but the truth is I’ve no idea.

Of all the bands I’ve played in I think my favourite name was Kindhearted Woman – a very brief, little known 70s blues band. But they weren’t my favourite band.

Over to you – and what about PERFECT names? I’ll nominate The Action



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Pete Plays!



here’s ex Furys, Residents, Colours guitarist Pete White who most of you know has lived in the USA for many years. He saw the piece about the scooters and sent this:

“Well I was never a member of the scooter riding crowd although I did own a Vespa for a few months in 1966 but I never got it on the road. But here I am in the La Piatza bar on board the Disney Fantasy. This neat rig is set up so if you twist the throttle the lights flash the horn blows and it makes engine revving noises.”

(I’ve never ridden a scooter or motorbike in my life but this looks like my kind of thing – thanks Pete)


Weston Hart

Here’s a great image and story from Martin de Klerk:



“I’ve been looking through your excellent website but have found one error regarding Weston Hart:

A photo of the 84 London Road branch states that the picture dates from 1975.
I was Advertising Manager for Weston Hart for the year 1974 – started on 1st January, redundant by Christmas.
If the picture was published in 1975 it is more likely that it shows the shop in its heyday 10 years earlier, before its demise.
When I worked there both the Decca and HMV signs had been removed. I had the 2nd floor to myself – the administration having moved to a factory unit in Northarbour Road, along with the Service Dept from Fratton.
In January 1974 there were 11 branches but the Denmead branch was closed in the summer after an abortive attempt to make it an In-Car Entertainment Centre after the owner of the first car – a VW beetle – to have speakers fitted in the doors found that the windows would no longer open!
Later in the year Weston Hart was taken over by an expanding West Country firm called Woolacotts – main branch in Bude. They also took over Radio House of Poole (two branches) and another firm with branches in Redhill & Reigate.
A design agency in London took over the re-branding (see attached ads above from 1974, April and October) and then the advertising – my salary was part of the advertising budget so I was let go. I moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the summer of 1975 but gather that all Weston Hart (by then Woolacotts) branches soon closed.
I see that a firm called HBH Woolacotts was founded in 1976 but confines itself to Cornwall and Devon.
Hope you find this helpful.
PS: I note that 47 High Street, Cosham, is empty once again.”
Thanks Martin – Another error, I’ve always called it Weston Hart’s but it wasn’t – it was Weston Hart


It Ain’t Me Folks

An exciting new band makes it debut at The Bullfrog  next Thursday – 7th of November: Stompin’ Dave’s Blues3 features three of the UK’s top roots and blues musicians including award winning drummer Sam Kelly, larger than life personality Earl Jackson and multi instrumentalist Stompin’ Dave Allen.

This band which was only formed this year has already performed at The Farnham Maltings, Brewdog, London, Quay Arts, the Isle Of Wight, and was the toast of the long running Boogaloo Blues Festival also on the Isle Of Wight.

London based Sam Kelly has been voted into Blues In Britain magazine Gallery of the Greats, as a five-times winner of the ‘UK Drummer of the Year’ award. Sam has recorded albums with such well known artists as Gary Moore, Ruby Turner, Rory McLeod and Stan Webb. Over the years Sam has worked with Chaka Khan, Dr John, Ben E. King, Robert Plant, The Foundations, Billy Ocean, Roger Chapman, Michelle Shocked, and Ottis Taylor and many others. Sam has recently performed with Paul Jones, Imelda May, Robben Ford, Andy Fairweather Low and Chris Barber.

Based in Nottingham Earl Jackson is on bass, guitar and vocals. A well known figure on the British blues and rock n’ roll circuits, Earl has performed across the UK and beyond. He has made appearances on BBC radio and TV including the prestigious Jonathon Ross Show, a widely acclaimed success. Earl is currently causing a sensation appearing as Chuck Berry in the popular theatre show Rockin’ On Heavens Door. Born of Jamaican parents in Lambeth in 1964, Earl was heavily influenced by Gospel music. Much of his charisma and on-stage confidence comes from performing before ten thousand people or more at various Gospel events. “Entertainment with a capital ‘e’“ The Mad Rat Magazine.

Last but not least Stompin’ Dave Allen is on guitar, fiddle, banjo, piano and vocals. Dorset based, Dave has performed across the UK and beyond including Glastonbury Festival, Bestival, Ealing Blues Festival, and The Great Dorset Steam Fair to name a few.

“Stompin’ Dave’s is a master of all kinds of American roots music ranging from bluegrass to blues guitar, with a nice line in self-deprecating patter between numbers. He’s partial to showbiz gimmicks, juggling with his banjo and playing his guitar behind his head like Hendrix, but there is great sincerity and feeling in his performance, too…a formidable musician and a true original.” The Telegraph.

The Bullfrog Blues Club is at The NBE CSA Club, Onlosw Road, Southsea, PO5 2NH. Advance tickets are £8 (student/ conc. £5) and can purchased online at http://www.webplus.barkingspider.abelgratis. or at “Street Level” music store, Albert Rd, Southsea Tickets also available on  the door – doors open 8 p.m  at 8pm.

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It’s All Crying

From Tony Ransley who has asked me to post these and his commentary*



“You say that the sky is crying but here the sky and earth are crying. Does anyone remember those lovely blue summer skies of years ago? The odd jet would leave condensation trails, it would fade out at once or in an hour or so. The trails you see here are chemical trails, the air and land are being poisoned by aluminium, barium and other toxic chemicals. This is all in the so-called global warming and weather control agenda. Please look up at the skies and don’t be fooled. Check out all information on the subject”.

*(for info, no one else can POST on this site but I’m generally very happy to do that for you if, like Tony, you email me pix/info or whatever. Of course, anyone can Comment on my posts and after my first approval of the name you use, your comments go in automatically. If you use a pseudonym or change your name however slightly you have to wait for me to approve again)