My diary records cold and snow in this week 1966 and today at last this winter has caught up – not snow perhaps but it’s freezing huh?
So here we are on 14 January which 50 years ago was a Friday night. Last week I mentioned seeing the Action who appeared at the Birdcage 17 times, although only once in 1967 and that as a four-piece before they became Mighty Baby. On the 14th it was the only act that appeared more frequently and that was of course Jimmy James & the Vagabonds, 29 times at the Birdcage – an average of almost precisely once a month during the two-and-a-half years it was open.
I don’t think you can argue that JJ&the Vags were a great British band longer term, but at that time they were a superb live soul band and I do think think their first album New Religion was the finest of all the British soul LPs – really good stuff. On release, it was the first time I’d ever heard the term ‘progressive’ applied to popular music although it’s certainly not ‘Prog’!
It was six bob to get in and in the diary I’ve noted a “big fight with Southampton mushes”. I remember it pretty clearly – people running around all over the place. Preparing for this future career as archivist I stood back, watched and wrote it down. I’m a lover not a fighter as I’ve observed before.