Turn it DOWN!


My first double post (Blog & Facebook) about outdoor gigs has brought very few responses – and those that came in on Facebook were mostly about events over the hill (Torpedo Town?). No-one has mentioned other Heinekens, Victorious in Dockyard or Southsea Common, a favourite Bandstand Sunday, the Big Top in the Guildhall Square etc. Don’t you guys get out much?

Anyway Pete sent the ticket (below) with this story

“Dave this is in response to your request. I think it would have been 68 or 69. I don’t remember who put it on. I remember I borrowed a Marshall Stack. We played on the grass with no stage out on the airfield. The noise travelled so far that the cops turned up saying people in Tangiers Road were complaining. The ticket is about 3” in Diameter.”



Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

5 thoughts on “Turn it DOWN!

  1. Been meaning to answer, but had a week I am glad to see the back of. As I did go to a number of those events I will take time to write later

  2. I remeber a gig in Guildhall Square in the early 90’s, run b y the indefatigable Roly Woods (RIP). John Martyn was playing, and I found him sat quietly – with a bottle – on the seats near Guildhall steps at the entrance to Victoria Park, looking like one of the local winos – he was very affable and VERY pissed…… I think Roly put on Helitorope that year too.

  3. That reminds me I saw Courtney Pine in the Guildhall Square and that was either the late 80s or 90s.

  4. I certainly saw the Albion Band in the marquee by the Guildhall. Not sure when, but before I met Fran as comparing music at some time we found we had both been in that tent.

    For the Bandstand, one afternoon I enjoyed greatly was Lucy Skeaping’s Burning Bush (now if we were not completely civilised around here that could lead to innuendos surely). A wonderful afternoon of Klezmer music which I had gone long to not expecting much and ended up just feeling really good. The other real highlight has to be Country Joe getting everyone to join in the Hokey Cokey.

    The Heineken Big Tops were good nights. Edwin Starr stood out for me ( a bit of a surprise at the time), Desmond Decker was good fun. I also really enjoyed Jools Holland’s big band, he must have played in 1992 ( there are times when I really wish I had kept a diary)

    There was also a marquee in the car park at Port Solent, I think in 1991. They had 5 nights of very interesting music with a world music flavour. I have a notion that one was the Rebirth Brass Band and there was an African band as well. Does anyone else remember this? I went for a few nights but it is too long to to recall more. There was also a small stage in that car aprk at some other time, I think more recently, and I enjoyed Boys of the Lough.

    Victorious with the tribute bands in the dockyard was enjoyable, nothing spectacular but it was free. We went to Victorious in Southsea last year, Radiohead impressed me, as did Scouting for Girls, but it was a bit too big for me now and the music was a bit too “normal”.

  5. Well… I do remember there was a Country & Western open air festival at the Airport in 1980 – it included staged ‘gunfights’ and a ‘genuine’ Native American village. One of my neighbors took a ‘sickie’ from work to participate in this reenactment; and promptly lost his job after very cleverly being photographed for the front page of The News in full warpaint and feathered warbonnet. Not the sharpest tomahawk in the teepee, it would seem.

    There’s a very good article about the festival on this rather splendid site: http://michaelcooper.org.uk/C/country.htm

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