Do Call Me Ska Face


50 years ago, yesterday, the Beatles held a press conference for the first public playing of their Sgt Pepper album. The BBC announced they would ban the track “Day in the Life”

But 50 years ago tonight, a rather different aspect of the Summer of Love occurred at the Birdcage with the first (and only) appearance of Prince Buster and his All Stars.

(On Sunday, the original Fairport Convention made their debut at a gig in Golders Green)


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

8 thoughts on “Do Call Me Ska Face

  1. “Al Capone’s guns don’ hargue!”. With regard to Fairport Convention, Ashley Hutchings, Simon Nicol , Richard Thompson and Shaun Frater were the original lineup. After their first performance at St Michael’s Church Hall in Golders Green on 27 May 1967, a member of the audience, Martin Lamble, convinced the band that he was better drummer than Shaun Frater, and promptly replaced him! They then added Judy Dyble, so the original RECORDED lineup was Judy Dyble, Ashley Hutchings, Richard Thompson, Ian MacDonald, Simon Nicol, and Martin Lamble. Only Simon remains of the original lineup. Ashley is still performing and is a delightful man. I see Judy every year at Fairport’s Cropredy Festival, she’s still performing after a long lay off. She’s very involved in greyhound rescue these days. Incidentally, when Dan Ogus was running a pub near the 12 Bar Club in London. he persuaded Judy to do her solo album launch there! Richard Thompson is of course, Richard…a still going great guns. I saw him solo in New Orleans a couple of weeks back- I was right up at the stage – WHAT a gig! Martin Lamble died in a crash in the band’s van – he was just 19. Richard Thompson’s girlfriend Jeannie Franklyn died in the same crash. Out of all the band the only one who walked away unscathed was Simon – he was pissed at the time. Ian McDonald is still performing – though these days he’s Ian Matthews – the same guy who formed Matthews’ Southern Comfort. Will we ever forgive him for their crap version of “Woodstock”? Probably not, although he’s done some stellar solo albums since… I always remember seeing Matthews’ Southern Comfort, Fotheringay and Hawkwind (WTF?) on the same bill at South Parade Pier back in the early 70’s! Fairport are STILL one of my all time favourite bands, the lineups may change…but they’re still FUCKIN’ FAIRPORT! See you at Cropredy this year? I’ll be there – as ever, leaning against “the long bar”….

    • Who cares, but somewhere I discovered a reference to their first gig being the 21st May and you say 27th, although it seems that Golders Green is a common factor. As to the more interesting question of them being “still Fairport”, what they do now seems to me to bear little resemblance to the classic Denny/Thompson band and even less to the first incarnation. In Rosemary, we covered their early version of Eric Andersen’s “Violets of Dawn”, very different from any English folk-rock thing. They’re perfectly fine now and the change is less dramatic than that of Fleetwood Mac but it’s a very different sound/style. In a different kind of way, the same thing might apply to Pink Floyd – not simply post-Syd, but perhaps from ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ onwards as they became increasingly pretentious and just plain tedious.

      Incidentally I’ve had a couple of conversations recently about who sang with them in Pompey at the Dance of Words. I’ve always been sure that it was Sandy Denny and the ‘Unicorn’ biography says that Pompey was her second gig with the band. Any memories …?

      • Dave……I have it on good authority (Judy D) ,that her last gig with Fairport was in Rome on 5th May so indeed the beatiful version of Suzanne , eminated from the vocal chords of one Sandy Denny and Iain Matthews as dance of words was later in the month………………….blimey mate all that time ago……cue for a song ,and from auntie beeb sessions of that same year…………………………..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3wbVcGpUdw

  2. If anyone’s interested, Radio 2 next Wednesday 10pm has the first of a two-parter entitled ‘Sgt Pepper Forever Forever’ – (God, I hope not).

  3. Sorry, should be just one ‘Forever’.

  4. That would be Forever Changes then? In Spinners column in the Evening News a few weeks after Sgt P was released, he reported lots of local ‘pop people’ not that impressed with it. How did it manage to acquire such mythical status? It’s ok but it just wasn’t and isn’t THAT special surely?

  5. Very witty, Doctor D.
    Listened to your radio broadcast last night. Very informative and entertaining, but felt you were a bit ‘rushed’ with the presenters attempting to cram too much into their programme.

    • Yes, I was expecting a more ‘focused’ discussion of 1967 etc and hadn’t expected any focus on my life at all. As it went on, I changed my choices of music. I don’t think for example they knew about Country Joe & the Fish, although they did know the Misunderstood. Very nice guys though – and thanks for listening

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