And for Talbot


F that is

Hotel that is

Talbot today

Phil mentions F for Folk at the Railway, Centre Hotel and Hornpipe, but there were others and I visited and occasionally played at most including the Talbot (Jon Isherwood’s club), the Crystal Palace (+ the Railway – what was it about Fratton Bridge I wonder?), the Star (Lake Road), somewhere in North End (Paul Simon played), concerts at the Oddfellows (pre-Hornpipe), and the Jug of Punch in Havant. Later the Railway went off to the Festing and Alma Arms, Eastney, then there has long been the Old House at Home, just up the road from the now excellent Barebones in Milton Village Hall. There are still singarounds etc at the Rose in June, while back in the late 1970s I was involved with my band Skys is Cryin in running one in the Labour Party Club in Kingston Crescent.

And talking of Folk with a capital F, Fairport Convention have visited frequently since the first days of Sandy Denny (she also played solo in Pompey)



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 “And for Talbot

  1. Ah, the folk scene in Pompey and general area was superb in the 70’s. I used to go to The Black Dog in Havant, when Dave Keast ran it -my first wife Jane used to help out on the door. I saw some FABULOUS artistes – not the least being The Humblebums, Gerry Rafferty and Billy Connolly. At the break Billy said “Well I’m goin’ for a nice pint of Guinness. If anyone wants to join me I’ll be in The Cobden Arms opposite, ‘cos the Guinness in here is shite”! The boss of the Black Dog said to me later “That fucker’s not welcome back here – he won’t get ANYWHERE if he has that attitude” Uh-huh…. Jasper Carrott was a regular – he slept on our couch once. I remember him saying “I’m giving all this folk club stuff up soon – I reckon I’ve got a career in T.V”. Yeah, sure, I thought… Off stage “Bob”- his real name – was a pretty boring bloke . All his performances were scripted,very few ad libs – Shep Woolley wrote a lot of his stuff! Best night at The Black Dog for me was the WONDERFUL Mike Absalom…. SO good. Funny as fuck. Wonder what happened to him? Then of course, we had The Centre Folk Club, also ran by Dave Keast. Dave was never a real muso, just had his eye on the money – he used to ask me who he should book! First wife Jane worked there too. Great nights – Tommy Tucker (“Hi Heeled Sneakers/ Shake Your Money Maker”,Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Jack The Lad (with Mike Elliot), The G.P.’s (Ralph McTell with half of Fairport!) Richard Thompson’s short lived Sour Grapes, Lodon Wainwright III, Judy Collins, Alan Stivell…. ah, the list goes on and on. Then we had the Railway… I remember taking my Dad there to see June Tabor. She turned up with Maddy Prior, of Steeleye Span. It was about the time that “All Around My Hat” was in the charts. My CLASSIC Pompey moment happened there… The Railway was divided into two bars – the public and the lounge, where the folk club would be. The same bar staff served both bars, so you could hear people chatting in the public during the music in the folk club. Towards the end of the evening June Tabor sang Eric Bogle’s beautiful ballad “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”, totally unaccompanied. The sounds from the public bar diminished to absolute silence. As Joan finished the song, the whole pub was in absolute silence. It was broken by a real Pompey accent in the public bar…”Fuckin’ ‘ell, mush…” Now THAT to me epitomises Pompey….

  2. I can’t recall Sandy Denny did a solo gig at In Pompey, Dave..
    However, I recall Sandy fronting Fotheringay at one of the weirdest gigs I went to.. South Parade Pier in1970 (?) when there was a triple header – Fotheringay, Matthews Southern Comfort (with their frankly anodyne version of “Woodstock” which had just hit no 1 in the charts ) and… wait for it… Hawkwind…..
    I have been trying to find the original date, but to no avail… it was about the time of Hawkwind’s first album, and I clearly remember them playing “Hurry On Sundown “.
    I was in The Timber Tavern (next to the Royal Beach hotel) when Nik Turner of Hawkwind came in and ordered a pint. He was sprayed head to foot in silver paint. The barman asked him if he was in the band to which Nik replied “No man, I just drive the band around…. They make me dress like this”….
    Anyone have the date of this one – or even remember it?

    • I’m pretty sure in the 1960s, it was a concert at the Oddfellows with her mates the Strawberry Hill Boys. I’ll check it out. I remember the Pier gig very well and in fact in my forthcoming book there’s a photo of Fotheringay that night, taken by Nigel Grundy. I have a feeling my mates Martin & Geoff did a lightshow that night.

      • March 1968, Oddfellows Hall: Sandy Denny, the Strawberry Hill Boys in concert (probably a Jon Isherwood event). Two months later she was back on what I believe was only her second live gig with Fairport at the Dance of Words. The band became the Strawbs of course

  3. Best experience of the Black Dog for me was John Martyn, playing solo with is electrickery and Solid air songs. Started with a sparse audince and edned with about 4 of us as the rest had left as it was not real folk.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s