Mad March


I’m looking for some memories here. You know when Pompey got through to the fifth round …

Oh no sorry, wrong Blog (apologies Phil, apologies Rod)

OK I checked my diary. I was out and about this weekend fifty years ago but no Birdcage and in fact, in March 1966 I suddenly stopped going. This was a temporary break I hasten to add but I stopped, until the 26th when Alan Price was back again. I think the explanation lies in a certain change of booking policy (a bit more ‘poppy’?) but I’m not entirely sure about all the bands I chose not to see that month. They were: the Sumer Set, the Cat, the Green Onions, the Shevelles, the Who, , the Nocturnal and the In-Crowd.

The In Crowd played there more often than anyone except the Action and Vagabonds so I saw them lots and ditto the Shevelles. I’d seen the Who live at that famous Savoy gig and unlike lots of people back then I didn’t like them live – although they made some great singles.

So I think I just decided to save what little money I had and not go. But I can’t recall a whole lot about some of those bands. Did I make a wise decision or not? (Things got better through April).

PS The Birdcage might have got more ‘poppy’ but the R&B Chart was going strong. Among the less familiar stuff was “Love makes the World Go Round” by Deon Jackson, “Baby Come on Home” by Solomon Burke, “Can’t You See” by Mary Wells while number one was was Stevie Wonder, “Uptight”.



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

14 thoughts on “Mad March

  1. Here’s the thing…..With ‘The In Crowd ‘ playing down the road (Steve Howe…Yes and Keith West ….Grocer Jack / Teenage Opera ) later to be renamed “Tomorrow” and you with a bunch of saved up ‘paper round money’ jingling in your pocket and you have to think….”Stop Wait A Minute” , do i go or not…? and the answer is ????? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwMTdRjDGgM FAB LITTLE DITTY

  2. Does anyone remember a band called the “The Fleerekers who appeared many times at the Savoy ?
    The highlight of the evening was the drum solo played by the bandleader /drummer Peter Fleereker, the Savoy lights were dimmed because everytime the drum sticks made contact with the cymbals, there was this great cascade of sparks generated which was quite spectacular. I’m sure the more tech minded bloggers out there could explain how it was done but yours truly was well impressed. I suppose I was the impressionable type back then…..I was easily pleased !!

    • In my 60s book from that Theatre Royal night I had them as a Dutch group despite which they were described as “Britain’s Number 1 Jive Group” and they were certainly at the Savoy in May and August 1960 when I was still too young to be out rockin’ & rollin’. Then in April 1961, the Savoy broke with dance and jazz bands on Fridays to offer a “Teenage Beat Night” with the return of the Flee-rekkers, the Overlanders and Mick Glover Quartet and then Tony Holland and the Pack-a-Beats.

    • Don’t think they ever had the privilege of me attending one of their shows , but they had a sticksman called Mickey Waller , who I believe played on through the ranks with ‘the familiar crowd’ in Cyril Davies R&B All Stars / Georgie Fame / Brian Augers Trinity Steampacket and John Mayalls Bluesbreakers etc ……….

  3. Talking of the Birdcage, can you remember the name of the guy who used to dance at the front,both there and at other establishments.

  4. Mr Jones? I used to see him from time-to-time, walking around the Pompey streets until a few years ago

  5. Brian or Bryan Jones, I believe.
    Incidentally, the Flee-Rekkers made quite a few singles produced by Joe Meek – ‘Sunday Date’ was a good one.

  6. Did you ever go to see them Graham ?

  7. Pretty sure I didn’t, Rod, – I’d have remembered those sparking drumsticks if I had.

  8. Brian Jones lived across the road from me in Kensington Road. I never spoke to him – in fact, I don’t remember him ever talking to anyone. I only saw him at the Birdcage, never at any of the other Copnor or North End venues.

  9. I certainly remember him at’The Rendezvous’, Oddfellows Hall, dancing at the right-hand side of the stage.

  10. I vaguely remember hearing Brian Jones was a teacher or lecturer, but I couldn’t be sure.

  11. I’d be surprised Geoff. I think he was sax short of a soul band …

  12. He certainly wasn’t a teacher! I think he had some sort of office job in the dockyard – I know he went off to work everyday with a briefcase. I also remember that he used to ride a bike and would tear down the street slapping his backside, imagining he was on a horse -I think he also provided a racecourse commentary. Until a few years ago, when I visited my aunt, I would see him on the corner of Kensington and Winton Road, having a fag. His parents didn’t let him smoke inside. He must have gone to a special school – he seemed quite happy in his own world, especially when he was at the Birdcage (again, on the right-hand side of the stage). He must be/have been just a couple of years older than me, but I never saw him at College Park or any of the other places we would hang out.

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