Gimme an F …

The original Fish Man, Barry Melton, lead guitarist in Country Joe & the Fish (Monterey, Woodstock etc) will be in Pompey, three weeks today, at the lovely intimate setting of the Square Tower. He’s bringing Stephane Missri (guitar & banjo) from Paris and the tickets (limited) are just £7 – for which you get also support from some bunch called Scarlet Town.


I saw Barry on the IOW last year with Youngblood Banana (left) and a fine show it was, performing mostly traditional/roots songs, from the days that were formative in the development of the American version of psychedelia. He’s a master guitarist.

Rabbit & Barry M


It’s All Happening

The Birdcage anniversary, Victorious and Houston have kept me busy this weekend but fifty years ago, just a couple of years after the Bank Holiday was moved from early to late August, was very lively.

On Friday night the original Coconut Mushroom (mostly ex-Inspiration) were at the Parlour for what Spinner called Portsmouth’s “first home-grown attempt at a fully fledged light show and psychedelic happening”.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience released their first album, Are You Experienced, and they played at the Saville Theatre on Sunday night with Tomorrow and Arthur Brown. Woburn Abbey held its Festival of the Flower Children – some fascinating memories and photographs of which, Nigel Grundy has posted in the PME Exhibition.

The Beatles, plus entourage including Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful took off to Bangor, Wales for a weekend with the Maharishi but while there, heard the shocking news of the death of Brian Epstein – at which they returned to London


Flood in Houston

While we were basking in glorious Bank Holiday weather you will have heard about the terrible floods in Texas which according to the BBC currently centre on Houston. It’s a strange thing that back in 1968, on their second album, the British Savoy Brown Blues Band wrote and recorded a song called “Flood in Houston” – they were a favourite band of mine back then, with a fine singer by the standards of the British blues, Chris Youlden.

There are many blues about floods, certainly going back as far as Bessie Smith’s “Backwater Blues”, which I remember Alexis Korner once performing on ITV’s “Five O’Clock Club”, and Charley Patton’s “High Water Everywhere”. I guess the best known these days is also relevant today – “Texas Flood” made famous by Stevie Ray Vaughan, but originally by Larry Davis.

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On a Sunday afternoon.

Again, I didn’t find much music to excite me, but it was a beautiful day again and Pompey people were having a lovely time which is always delightful. For me the highlight was, as I expected, the very fine EMPTIFISH.  Indeed I liked them so much, I bought the T-shirt.

This geezer was enjoying them, without any kind of shirt, but that revealed the classic Pompey tattoo (right shoulder)

Tattoo You

And the boys have a message for you all



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Over there


It’s no secret that I’m very fond of the VICTORIOUS FESTIVAL – I enjoy seeing the people of Pompey of all ages, having so much fun. But in truth, this shot, from the Castle hill, looking down and across the scene, somewhat sums up my sense of detachment this year.

I guess it’s no one’s fault that the kind of music I’d prefer to listen to really isn’t around as a Festival option these days – especially on a weekend with other Festivals elsewhere – but it certainly was my fault that I messed up on the tickets and was wrong in thinking my weekend purchases would get me in on Friday night, so I missed Madness – the act I most wanted to see.

I’m very fond of the World Music Village, although they didn’t invite my skiffle guys back this year, but it was a shame that Neneh Cherry didn’t turn up and there were some sound problems. My favourite act yesterday was the Dave Baker Project (great fun), who you can see busking in Palmerston Road (Dave plays with the skifflers) and today I’m looking forward most to Emptifish – it seems odd that my focus is on two local bands.

In past years there have been surprises I’ve really enjoyed like Naughty Boy, Laura Mvula and even Noel Gallagher last year, but nothing so far – we went for a curry last night!