“Talkin’ with Huddie Ledbetter”

I do quite often in the Skiffle Orchestra these days but the title is actually a line from one of the greatest albums in my life, Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks. Apparently it was released 50 years ago this week and with my mates in Rosemary it was a big part of the soundtrack of our lives in the following 18 months.

I’ve just seen a news item on BBC about the anniversary, which drew attention to its references to Belfast, which I’ve never visited, but there are also references to Notting Hill which in those days and again 20 years later was an important alternative to Pompey for me. The feature also described the “folksiness” of the album, but I reckon it’s more significant for the musicians who give it a jazz feel. At that time, Astral Weeks, Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix hinted at a way forward for pop/rock towards contemporary jazz. It never really happened, but I shall be forever grateful for that wonderful album.




Scarlet Town are at the Barley Mow tomorrow night (Thursday).

Meanwhile, Tuxedo Junction are doing their thing at the Auckland in Southsea, this coming Friday 8.30pm—11pm and the following Sunday @ the Robin Hood in Rowlands Castle, 3pm – 6pm.

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Nicolas Roeg RIP

The film Director has died. His movies included Performance, a remarkable portrayal of London gangsters and a fading rock star played by Mick Jagger. It is strictly speaking a late 1960s movie – the end of the dream – although its release was delayed. I recall seeing it at the cinema in Cosham High Street. A few years later came The Man Who Fell to Earth, starring David Bowie.

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The Live Five!

If you have access to ‘Talking Pictures’ TV then at 8.45 pm this evening they’re showing Laurence Harvey & Cliff Richard in Expresso Bongo. If you don’t blink, there is a very brief scene in a recording stdio featuring a guitar-based group who came from Pompey. They were originally the Mick Glover Group but when he went off to do National Service they renamed themselves The Live Five. Some people still recall with great fondness their Saturday morning gigs at the LDB, corner of Arundel Street (Debenhams now).

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John Clark RIP

I’m sorry to report that John has died – the news is on the Facebook site from his pal and former drummer terry Threadingham – they played together in Coconut Mushroom. John was also in Morgan’s Camel Train with Mick Legg and worked at one time in a guitar company – Burns I think. Here he is, second from the right in the Mushroom circa 1967:

Mushroom 3

(L-R Terry, Colin, Roger, John, Graham)