Weeley – Really?


Keith asks below about the Weeley Festival (Essex), observing he’s never read about it here. I’ll confess I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it before – or if I did, I’d forgotten! However, there is a site:


Apparently (unlike Altamont) when the Hell’s Angels misbehaved the stall holders took them on! The bill was very British – the Faces, Rory Gallagher, Arthur Brown, Edgar Broughton, Mungo Jerry but I spotted a couple of local ‘connections’ – other then Rod Stewart who it seems has forgotten all about his days in Pompey.

In recent years links have grown between Country Joe & the Fish and Pompey and one of the Weeley bands, Formerly Fat Harry included the Fish bass player Bruce Barthol who played the RMA a couple of months ago. Then there was Principal Edwards Magic Theatre one of whom, Jerry, was the College of Tech student who with ‘Guff’ put on the Dance of Words (Guildhall) in 1968, and there was also the Third Ear Band – i had a teaching colleague at the University, Dylan Pank, whose mum was in the Third Ear Band. The bill mentioned Jerry Lockran but that must be acoustic blues player Gerry Lockran who appeared regularly at the Railway Folk Club in the 1960s.

I reckon that’s a bunch of pretty impressively obscure local links huh? If that’s not enough I once promoted Hackensack in my days at Milton’s College of Knowledge


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

3 thoughts on “Weeley – Really?

  1. You want MORE obscure Pompey links? I got ’em!
    I personally booked the following to appear at South Parade Pier: Juicy Lucy, The Groundhogs, Lindisfarne, Steve Tilston (supporting Fairport Convention), Julie Felix (I’m still her tour manager in Ireland), Arthur Brown and Mungo Jerry,
    Status Quo and T Rex both played at The Guildhall. Harry Feld, Marxc Bolan’s brother, lives in Languard Road, Southsea. Tir Na Nog recently played at Edge of the Wedge.
    One of Rory Gallagher’s last gigs was on Southsea Common. Heads, Hands and Feet appeared at The Cromat. Curved Air played at The Locarno (supported by Albertos Lost Trios Paranoias) and later The Cellars (supported by Alan Clayson).
    Paul Brett’s Sage played at The Centre Folk Club a few times. I’m just back home from playing a regular Friday night jam session with my mate Stuart Cowell, who was a member of Paul Brett‘s Sage. Stuart was also guitarist/arranger with prog rock band Titus Groan. He also appeared on a couple of Al Stewart albums – but despite losing his street cred, made money as Val Doonican’s guitarist! To square the circle – he played a gig recently in Ireland with Bruce Barthol of Formerly Fat Harry who also played Weely… and George Butler, Formerly Fat Harry’s drummer – is currently in The Pink Faries – who ALSO played Weeley!

  2. We can’t get more obscure! Maybe if you did hard enough everything is connected to Pompey!

  3. I turned 16 at the Weeley Festival. It was the first festival I ever went to, and it was a bit chaotic (but not as bad as the papers made it out to be). For whatever reason, the promoters decided to run a continuous performance over the entire event. Barclay James Harvest brought their orchestra with them (conducted by a young Robert John Godfrey), but spent 50% of their set retuning because of the changes in ambient temperature on stage. People improvised campfires, which quickly became brush-fires, tent-firs and even car fires.

    The battles between bikers, piemen, and other security personnel was mostly down to each party believing that they had been appointed as sole agent for security on the site. But it did get very nasty at one point: c.f. using a set of 24-inch Stillsons to settle an argument.

    One down side was that a schoolfriend got ‘spiked’, spent the entire weekend in the Release Tent, and then decades thereafter in and out of institutions.

    King Crimson were particularly good. Principal Edward’s Magic Theater were …. odd.

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