Long Gone

But never forgotten

I’ve been marking all kinds of 50 years ago events this year – mostly about hippies. Here’s one of the saddest; on this day 50 years ago, Otis Redding and members of the Bar-Kays band were killed in an aircraft accident. He was one of the great 60s soul singers (and I’ve picked this one because I love it, and really, really LOVE the drumming)

RIP and thank you

From Pete (cheers)




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It ain’t me babe

The last Bullfrog gig of the year, on Thursday 7th December see the debut of an exciting new act fronted by club favourite Stompin’ Dave Allen.
SIX CROSS EYED CATS are a  6 piece band celebrating the music of one of the greatest of the greats, Muddy Waters, with material drawn from  throughout his long and illustrious career.

As well as Stompin Dave Allen  on vocals and guitar, the band features Andy Broad – guitar, Jon Vaughn – harmonica, Chris Rickard – piano, Jules Bushell – bass, and Jim Shearman – drums.

The Bullfrog Blues Club is  at The Dockyard Club, Onslow Rd, Southsea, PO5 2NH.
The event starts at  9 p.m. Doors to the club open at 8 p.m, but the bar is open at the Dockyard Club from 6.30 p.m  –
Tickets are available via our website - www.barkingspider.abelgratis.com via Paypal and also from Street Level Music, 139 Albert Rd, Southsea, Hampshire, PO5 2SQ


City of What?

And so it continues, both day and night.

Blackwells University Bookshop has been very kind to me over the years with my various publications, launches, a good rate, publicity etc, and anyway I’ve made considerable use of it, since now that Waterstone’s in Commercial Road is a coffee shop with some books in it, Blackwells has been the bookshop in Pompey.

So I called in today to buy the Guardian (did I mention that they don’t stock it in newsagents locally?) and discovered that the University has a ‘better’ use for the building, so Blackwells will close and leave the city, before Christmas. I guess it makes sense, after all there are only 20,000 students and academics around and who needs books anyway?

On that basis, I went to Waterstone’s to see whether I could buy a couple of titles – one is a “Biography” of Christmas, well reviewed in the Observer, but they didn’t have it – well why would you bother with a new title like that in December? Still at least they had the other new history of folk music (well reviewed in the Guardian) “Yes sir, upstairs in the Music section”.

So up I went but couldn’t find it. They don’t any longer have a desk or assistants upstairs, so down I went again and spoke to a different woman on the till. They were all very pleasant. “Yes we have one in stock, perhaps it’s downstairs under history or biography (?) or new titles …” So off we both went to look, but no luck. So she went upstairs to check and sure enough couldn’t find it.

So I’ve ordered both and I guess they’ll arrive.

But we really are stuffed aren’t we? If you go to Chichester, which has a population about one eighth of Pompey and start in South Street, within a few hundred yards there’s a very fine visual arts bookshop in the Pallant Gallery, an excellent second-hand bookshop (Kim’s) and just off the Cross, a Waterstone’s which is far superior to ours – it even employs assistants upstairs!

Despite which Portsmouth is seriously hoping to submit another application as UK City of Culture. No bread, no ‘papers, no Levis, no books – no chance! And don’t even get me started on the Test Match.


Back in ’68

Anyone recall this very interesting bill? Mick sent it, having found it on Facebook. It struck me as being exactly eight days before the final gig by Harlem Speakeasy at Manor Court, but I don’t recall this night, although at various times around then, I saw the first three bands in Pompey – were the Skie lot a local band?

SPP Bown Fairport