Remember When


I was checking through a pile of old copies of the Pompey Evening News  in an antique shop and spotted one for Thursday 24 June 1965. Thursdays are usually the best, because you get ‘Spinner’s’ page plus the weekends Entertainment small ads.

It is possible to see all this on microfilm in the Library; Mick and I have spent many happy hours doing just that, but there is something delightful about having the old ‘paper itself.

On that day, Spinner reported a couple of very popular gigs at the recently opened Birdcage Club (Kimbell’s) – the first (of what would be 29) by Jimmy James and the Vagabonds and a Saturday night with 1,000 fans to see the Moody Blues. With the Southsea Birdcage now opening on Thursdays and Saturdays the Rendezvous followed suit by adding Thursdays to its regular Saturday. That coming week the Birdcage had (Thursday) Rod Stewart, Gary Farr & Brian Auger* and (Saturday) Ronnie Jones & the Blue Jays. The Rendezvous had the Clique on Thursday and Stormsville Shakers on Saturday. I remember seeing and enjoying the Clique there on one occasion.

*Spinner was also announcing the imminent formation of the full Steam Packet with Long John Baldry and Julie Driscoll replacing Gary Farr. There had been some talk of the Crow (J Crow Combo) linking up with Ms Driscoll but Spinner announced “expect the Crow to fold its wings soon” – sadly true. The new guitarist/bass guitarist in the band the Williams Brothers from Southampton released a single called “Honey Love”.

Also among local bands Sherlock & the Saints renamed themselves the Abundance, the Southern Classics departed on a two month tour of Sweden, Norway etc and Jacqui Rivers & the Boyfriends began a residency at Ryde Hotel. Gosport’s  Brothers Scarlett with Gary & Lee were at Thorngate (3/-) with tickets for the Who advertised – but they never came.

On Hayling Island, the Kon Tiki had regular jazz nights while summer Monday night gigs were planned for the Savoy with Cliff Bennett, Georgie Fame, the Yardbirds, the Animals, Moody Blues and Goldie & the Gingerbreads.

Elsewhere on that Thursday evening, if you didn’t fancy the Birdcage or Rendezvous, there was Bingo at the Savoy or Old Tyme Dancing at the Crystal Palace on Fratton Bridge.

Wot no Furys?



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

7 thoughts on “Remember When

  1. I’ve spotted another alternative. Stop indoors and watch the first episode of “Man from UNCLE”, 8pm on BBC1. Pompey cinemas were pretty crap but on Southsea Common was Cinerama Mobile Theatre – do you remember that? It featured “Seven Wonders of the World” at 6pm and 8.20 pm, so you could catch the first show and nip over to the Birdcage.

  2. “Wot no Furys?” Not surprised Dave,. We never did get much press. Could be that we were playing parties and places that were not in town. I did not keep a diary nor a Gig list so have to rely on my dodgy memory. I do recall that we were pretty busy throughout 1965. As I think I have mentioned before I did not do the bookings, the group van picked me up and dropped me off after the gig so the memories of where we played are vague except for a few notable places. Looking in my scrapbook (which is one thing I did keep up on) I notice we have pictures of us playing Kimbells in 1965 though when I have no clue. I recall it seemed to be in the lower part of the building. I have a few snippets of the Evening news with “Furys Top Local Group appearing at the conservative club” and stuff like that. Funny but I have better and almost total recall of gigs in the late 60’s and onward. That was when I started doing the bookings and directing what we played a little more so maybe a little more responsibility helped me focus. Either that or I quit drinking. LOL

    • sounds like info for the PME to me mate….

    • Cheers Pete. During the 60s I think most pop/rock/R&B (etc) gigs were ground floor at Kimbells. Sometime in the (early?) 1970s that floor became the Playboy Club and then the Casino, but even after that, I recall a couple of gigs upstairs for Mr Greedy & Jim Lawrence when they had Basins there briefly in the mid 1980s (1987?). For sure we (the Reds) did one with Wilko Johnson upstairs.

  3. Oh, what heady days ! Some of my favourites within a couple of nights ! The Vags were always wonderful, as was Ronnie Jones. The Ronnie Jones / Herbie Goins band swapping period was about to begin.
    I can remember seeing The Clique at the Rendezvous. On one occasion the singer started stabbing a tailor’s dummy and a load of imitation blood squirted out !

  4. Was it Mike Hales who was Spinner at this time?

    • Hiya Bob – I think so. Like me, Martin R, ‘Oscar’ and Nigel G, he went to Portsmouth Grammar School. By 1968, when I was at Polydor with Harlem Speakeasy, he was the Press Officer there. He lives in Cornwall now.

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