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Checks at Sea

checks at weymouth (1)

chris beat cruise

Alan beat cruise

From the mid-1960s, the St Louis Checks (top) mucking about on Weymouth seafront – presumably prior to playing at the Steering Wheel Club? and then shots of Chris West and Alan Williams on one of the famous Beat Cruises around the Solent.


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The “boys” are making a first time appearance  at the Wellington pub/restaurant, High Street, Old Portsmouth this coming Friday April 3rd, this’ll be an interesting evening methinks ! The following Friday(10th) will be back at one of their  favourite venues, The Auckland in Southsea.
I can’t think of anything amusing to say apart from it’ll be lovely to see all, some, a few, a couple, one of you on either or perhaps both nights, as the saying goes “you can’t get enough of a good thing”…..there again….
Original line up, no deps or absentees…hopefully :
Marc Tuddenham—Guitar/vocals
Rod Watts—Keyboard/vocals
Pete Jackson—Bass/vocals
Dave Brown—percussion/vocals
What more can I say, how about “Keep Music Live”…??

The next Barebones acoustic music evening at Milton Village Hall on Saturday 11 April is just a couple of weeks away!  Next weekend is Easter and then, the weekend after that, it’s Barebones!

This time we have an evening of acoustic Americana for your delectation and delight, starring:

Hometown Show  Featuring Matthew Harrison on guitar and vocals, Joshua Hibberd on bass, Trevor Thwaites on harmonica and Caz Batten on vocals, Hometown Show have an authentic Americana/Bluegrass/Country sound.  They admit to being heavily influenced by the old-time string bands of Appalachia and their many modern day folk heroes.  You could have gone to see them at world renowned venues such as the Hard Rock Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee and the O2 arena in London (the place I still call the Millenium Dome!).  In fact they were at the O2 just a couple of weeks ago in theCountry2Country festival.  But you don’t need to go to Nashville or London because they’re coming to you at Milton Village Hall.  Have a listen to them here: https://www.facebook.com/hometownshow/app_204974879526524 .

Panhandle Conspiracy are the irrepressible Andrew Perry on guitar and vocals, the wonderful Pat Francis on dobro and mandolin and the incredibly handsome and talented David Jordan on double bass.  They got together in the mid-1990s, went their different ways around 2000 and reformed a couple of years ago.  Andrew’s distinctive voice brings out the best in current and not-so-current Americana, while Pat is renowned as the finest dobro player in Britain (I think I’m meant to say “probably” but actually I think he is the best).  Check them out here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9bdvaCJ_YA and here https://www.facebook.com/panhandleconspiracy .

On top of all that, of course, there will also be some excellent surprise artistes performing short sets.

The usual rules apply, if we can call them rules:

  • There is no admission charge, no tickets and no bookings.
  • There’s no PA – it’s entirely acoustic – and not much in the way of lighting.  Also, the furniture is a bit hard so you might want to bring a cushion.
  • We’ll have a collection where the audience is invited to contribute what they think it’s worth for a full evening of astonishing acoustic music.  The money is shared out among the performers listed above and pays for the hire of the hall.
  • Bring your own booze or soft drinks and/or nibbles.  The hall is not licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquor.
  • All this is why we call it Barebones!

Looking forward to seeing you there, Milton Village Hall, Milton Road, Southsea PO4 8PR at 8pm on Saturday 11 April.  Doors open at 7.30pm.

If you can’t get to this one, make a note in your diary for SUNDAY 7 June with the Pete Harris Trio and Joe Houghton-Gisby.

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Kimbell’s future

Pompey may have the worst team in their history but they’ve just appointed a new Board member with an interesting surname. Does anyone know if there is a link between his name and the famous ballroom? From the News:

“John Kimbell has been appointed to Pompey’s board. The 39-year-old has been appointed as one of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust’s three members on the club’s seven-man board. Kimbell, a South stand season-ticket holder, has been attending Fratton Park since 1983 and has sat on the Trust’s board since being elected in 2013″


Stand By Me

From Pete (White) – an interesting question:

“Dave a thought suddenly came to me. At what point (and why?) did we all start using music stands. I recall that until we started backing the visiting Cabaret acts at Sinah Warren in around 1973 we never used them. Just had a set list laying on the stage. Seems like since the late 70’s everybody used them. Is it because our memories failed or the music became more difficult  or maybe nobody cared much about the visual effects anymore? Anyway seems like I have used a stand and cheat book ever since. (Do I really need the words and chords in front of me to play Johnny B.Goode???)”
Well Pete, I’ve used crib sheets for decades but when I had that flat washboard in front of me it was easier to keep them part-hidden. I use them on some songs because arrangements are complex (not “Johnny B Goode”!) and I’m often nudging the musicians and also because my memory for lyrics is poor, but rather more because I sometimes panic mid-song and forget lyrics that I know really well. If the crib sheet is there I don’t panic and often don’t use it. In this new band I’m just singing so there will be a music stand. Bob Dylan and Bryan Ferry are among those who use those invisible stands loved by politicians and when I saw John Mayall last autumn he had a file full of songs/arrangements on his keyboard.

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Lyn & John

From Lenny, a double dose of sad news today.

Some of you will know Lin Stone – perhaps if only from her appearances in Citizen 63, notably dancing with Marion. Some time later she was very involved in the Polytechnic Entertainment scene and she still lived in Southsea but I gather she passed away this week.

I’ve just returned from a rehearsal with my buddy Denis where we were working on a song by Pentangle among others. Arriving home, I learned from Lenny that John Renbourn – one of the great guitarists – has also died. His wonderful music lives on though

RIP both

PS: If bad news comes in threes, I hope this is the end of it – just found a message from Mick that Buddy Holly’s bass player Joe B Mauldlin, also died this week