Them Outdoors

Thank you for the comments on the previous posts – here’s something new:

I’ve initiated some discussions about Victorious on the Facebook site; despite my disappointment at being turned down twice this year, and understanding the views about doing unpaid gigs I happen to like it. I generally enjoy the atmosphere of Festivals (off to Wickham this weekend)

But it occurred to me that in all the Pompey Pop work there’s been no systematic record of the outdoor seafront events over the years. I think it would make a good story, so without doing any research, a few thoughts off the top of my head.

I’ve always claimed to have been very involved in the organisation and performance of the first rock/pop live event on the Common – September 1969, a free gig (see poster) with a bit of a counter-cultural spirit that was reported in International Times, and (London) Rolling Stone.

I reckon though that was perhaps it until the Heineken Festivals in the (?) mid/late 1980s. I have only two clear memories, seeing the Pogues and seeing John Martyn who later that evening re-appeared on stage during Ron Kavanagh’s set completely pissed. He had to be ‘removed’.

Then there was the big one-off Blues Festival, maybe 1993. The last day was badly affected by a storm and got moved into the Pyramids which could not take all the ticket holders. The council reacted poorly to that event. (There were also some live events in the Guildhall Square, maybe early 1990s?)

That takes us to the Bandstand; when did that start? I reckon I played there around 1997 (Reet Petite & Gone) and again with Country Joe McDonald in 2001. Then finally (?) there’s Victorious. When did that move to the Common – four years ago? Is there a list of all the acts?  This might be a big project but I’d love to get a definitive history – maybe add it to the Guildhall PME exhibition?

(Posting also on Facebook)

Common Poster Free Concert



(Not?) Fade Away

After more than eight years, I think this Blog is fading away, maybe slowly. I’m running out of stuff to post, it’s getting fewer views and comments, and the Pompey Pop Facebook site is far more lively. If something comes in of significance I’ll post it, but I’m treating it as being on one of those back burners for now.

It will remain ‘up there’ or ‘out there’, so it will be entirely possible to search back and find stuff. Someone recently found and commented on an old Jon Isherwood post and that’s always great – but maybe most of the stories have been told now?

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Barry Barron RIP

I’m sorry to record the recent death of Barry Barron (info from Mick Cooper), a Pompey Rock & Roller of the really early days. The band pictured is the Live Five (Barry middle guitar) who were featured briefly in the film “Expresso Bongo” (Cliff Richard, Laurence Harvey etc). The other photo shows Barry (right) with Chris Harvey the guitarist on the left at the City Museum in March 2010, when I interviewed them as part of the exhibition there. The funeral is at Portchester at midday on Wednesday. RIP


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Abba Zabba

I’m a (painting) member of the Fire Monkeys Arts Collective who occupy Studio One in the Hotwalls ‘Artches’ Project. It’s a great delight to be involved in the whole thing, which this weekend celebrates its 2nd birthday with a special show made up of work from all 13 studios in the Round Tower. It’s open this weekend from 11am-4pm, Saturday & Sunday and there’s a broad range of 2D/3D work, including a rather delightful ‘psychedelic’ bit (not me) with a mention for Captain Beefheart & his Magic band!