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Good Nights!

Tonight was one – down to the Dockyard (Club) to see Teed Up with Steve Roux & Bernie Fox, then the Aguilar/Blumenfeld Project with Barry Melton on guitar and vocals – and in both bands my old pal Steve Browning on bass guitar. It was a very fine night – another good one for John Roberts.

Rather lovely too to meet a young man of just 15 who came down with albums by these guys – you don’t expect to meet 15-year-olds carrying (vinyl) Blues Project albums. I’ve told him to check in here, and I’ll get some other stuff to him, so hoping for a Comment.


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New Search

Karl & the Rapiers. They are mentioned a few times in my booklet “Here Come the Sixties” (2009). I remember meeting a couple of them, a few years back at one of the Christmas reunions and this message has just appeared on the Pompey Pop Facebook site, so I promised to put it here too. I suspect some of the Renegades or maybe Mick can help:

“Making a film about the music scene around Pompey/Southampton in the sixties and looking for help! Im a recent university graduate who is currently making a film about “Karl and the Rapiers” – A band that my grandfather played in and got quite big in the early sixties. They played across the whole south of England and had a record deal signed before they all went their separate ways. I found this page and thought this was the best place to get some more resources for the film. I’m looking for anyone that thinks they could help, anyone that remembers or knows people that saw the band, stories of the music scene around Pompey and Southampton at the time. If anyone has any photos or videos of gigs at the time I would love to use them! I have a handful of their only recordings (That I know of) and would be happy to share them on here if people are interested!”


Over Here

From the USA

John ‘Spider Man’ Roberts has just been to visit, on his way to a gig at Dimbola on IOW this evening (Monday). He has with him, to perform, Barry Melton (ex Country Joe & Fish), Roy Blumenfeld (ex Blues Project etc), David Aguilar (Chocolate Watch Band) from the USA, plus our own bass player Steve Browning who works regularly with John’s American visitors. They’re back in Pompey next Sunday to play at Southsea’s Dockyard Club in Onslow Road with support from Steve’s ‘other’ outfit, including Steve Roux & Bernie Fox. Here’s a link to an older Blumenfeld/Aguilar gig:




Eyes Open

I’ve been asked to help with this. I knew Doug and even taught his daughter, but I know nothing about him now. I don’t recall Nettie.

Does anyone know anything?

Forty years ago, during the height of the punk era, one of the top bands on the south coast was Portsmouth based ‘Eyes’ featuring local boy Doug Kane. At that time the band came to the attention of Cambridge based Raw Records and two singles were released ‘I Like It’ and ‘Once In A Lifetime’.

Also, around the same time, the label almost signed a Portsmouth based female vocalist by the name of Nettie Waling.

Now, record company boss is trying to find members of the band and the female vocalist for a book due to be published next year.


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?