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Kent MusicBiz - Classic Venues

The Acropolis - Folkestone - Small club venue - Used to get raided by the police!

The Beehive, Canterbury

Drummer of Caravan jammed with us here in 1968 - CJA

I also remember seeing members of Genesis at the all nighter in Canterbury - The Beehive. They did an acoustic jam session. Wonderful times -
Mervyn Harding

Bridge Country Club Click for Posters
-Hi there

I am doing some research into the late 1968 UK tour by Led Zeppelin when they were still billed in some places as The Yardbirds.

Your name has cropped up, so I figured you may know someone who was there, or may even have been there yourself.

On a ridiculously more hopeful note, would you have any idea if anybody regularly taped shows at the Club ? Either illicitly or through the mixing
desk ?

Any help, guidance or /anything/ you can contribute would be a massive help.

Also, while we are down your way [I only live in Swanley and know the area well], how about the University show in 1971 ?

I'll leave you to scratch your head and cast your mind back through the fuzz, and hope to hear from you soon.

Thanks - Paul Chapman

Cavern at Lido - Cliftonville.

Granada Picture House - Maidstone
My first ever gig was at the Granada picture house in Maidstone to see the second show of that day of
on the 8th January 1964 on Elvis' Birthday...was any one else there ?
Dave Sheather (myspace DJ Hillfunk Dave)

Corn Exchange Maidstone

Coach and Horses, Canterbury

Co-Op Club - Folkestone
Co-Op Club ( Now called Pipers - Logo created by Martin Jones) half way up Tontine Street

Cream played there to an audience of about 12 people.

Dover Town Hall - Lots of bands from Dover/ Folkestone - Lonely Ones / Big Beats etc.

Dreamland Ballroom Margate

I saw Deep Purple there. Awesome. - NRA

Roger "Twiggy" Day writes
There was also a place in Broadstairs whose name I can't remember but I do remember seeing the Downliners Sect there on the night President Kennedy was assassinated.
Do you know that before it was called Neros, Ramsgate, it was called the Pleasurama Ballroom (or something close to that) and the New Yardbirds played there just before they became Led Zeppelin.

Dreamland Ballroom was the place Though. Everybody played it. I remember the queues all along the seafront to see Brian Poole & The Tremeloes who were almost resident band before they hit the big time. Great value at two shillings and sixpence. That is where I started my career playing records while the bands had a break. I must have appeared with all the chart bands of the era. If only I had taken a camera with me. The while working on the off-shore stations I did discos at most of the venues I mentioned earlier.

Dreamland, Margate. - Not the main ballroom but another dance hall/bar alongside the entrance tunnel from the seafront. - Lots of holidaymakers

Dreamland Ballroom in Margate was the venue of Showaddywaddy's first professional gig on 1st September 1973. Paul Fixter

Empress Ballroom - Pfizers Club
Dover Road, Folkestone

Alan Taylor who kindly supplied these photos and some of the text said.

"Pfizer Social Club was over the Empress Ballroom at 14-16 Dover Road from 1958 to about 1968.
When I used the place Jack and Esme Joyce were steward and Stewardess. I used the place on a Thursday evenings which was a jazz evening dancing to records or the Sundowner's."

At a later date Martin Jones and his friend and partner Peter Hickie opened the "Sundowner Club" on the 2nd floor of the Empress Ballroom site, which later had to move to the bottom of Dover Road 100 yards away under the old Co-op - due to town and road restructuring. The club gave opportunity to new bands to start their own careers in the music business, an ideal still required today.

Sundowner Club

Going up the road from the entrance towards Payers Park were shops under the Hillside Club, an alley to the Wooddcutters, Swift School of Motoring, a greengrocers, Michael's fish & chip shop, R.O. Wiltshire, calor gas stockist, Renham's cycle shop, a linen, fancy goods & toy shop and The Copper Kettle, tobacconists, confectioners and stationers.
All the buildings from Osborne's butchers at the bottom of this part of Dover Road were demolished in 1973.

I was delighted to come across your website yesterday.

My father was Peter Hickie and Martin Jones' business partner in the Sundowners Club Folkestone.
Sadly, my father passed away in July 2011. However, I have many fond memories of working behind the bar at the club and DJing during the
summer vacations for foreign exchange students. I managed to retrieve a vinyl copy of House of the Rising Sun when my father sold the club - couldn't let it fall into the wrong hands!
Peter Hickie and Martin Jones met when they both worked at Dungeness power station in the wages office. The Sundowners Club came about because they were both going to be made redundant by a new computer system. He persuaded Martin that Folkestone needed a new nightclub - and the rest is history.
...............Simon Hickie

Sundowners Club Folkestone 1975

After reading the article on the sundowners and the club, it brought back many memories for me. During the summer of 1975 (when I was 16) I used to go to the sundowners club on Monday nights, which was the youngsters disco night, I got very friendly with Duggie Dean, the resident DJ, and after a very short time , I was DJ ing at the teen nights, and also some times at weekends, under the name of Mark Fudgebender, or Fudgee, as I was sometimes called. I had so much fun at the club, I even cooked the sausages on a weekend for the obligatory sausage and chips. Martin and Peter were very good to me. I then went on to DJ for Dave Godden on the Disco Caroline Roadshow, then to London for Rainbow International, the rest is history. Now at 54 years old I am still DJ ing, but it was the Sundowners Club that got me started. The Golden Age of Disco in Folkestone may be long gone, but the memories never fade.
...... ....Mark Wilkins

See The Travellers

Folkestone Art School

Saw Hawkwind there.

Golden Arrow, Cheriton

I recall seeing a number of the bands in the late 70's at the Golden Arrow in sandgate. Denigh, City Blues Band, Life n Soul, etc etc and Henry McCullough (I think) on one occassion . Good Web Pages.

Regards Ian





Hillside Social Club, Dover Rd Folkestone ( knocked down now )

Contrary to popular belief, Hendrix never played Tofts, he did however play the Hillside Social Club, Dover Rd.

December 31st 1966 - Jimi played in Folkestone at the Hillside Club, which was one building further up Dover Rd than the Empress Ballroom .
Stan had agreed to pay them £50 for the night. A good fee for Folkestone at the time though he thought it was a risk to book an unknown band for such an important night of the year as he only knew Noel.
People in the audience included; Dave Shacke, Dave Ewer, Roy Pratt(Adams), Rod Jones, Mick Wilkins, Dusty Miller, Trevor Wright and many others but if we believed everybody who said they were there there would have been a queue to Sandgate. My father "stan" has always told me how Jimi Hendrix played at his nightclub on New Year's Eve. Just found this on google & thought I would let you know.
Cheers, Deniece

Picture Above: Thanks to Alan Taylor - Next building down the road was the Empress Ballroom under the Pfizer's Club.

The Experience also rehearsed at the Hilside Club on the following day 1st Jan 1967
Roy Peatt (Adams) jammed with Jimi and Noel

Picture Right - The Circuit at The Hilside Club 1966 (Pic. Thanks to Rod Jones)

Poster Left for an Experience gig thought to be in Folkestone captured from The Circuit's van window 1968 believed to be held at the Co-Op Club (Micks Flamenco)
(Now called Pipers whose logo was created by Martin Jones) half way up Tontine Street.
...I did the flying with Roy Pratt(Adams) who played drums with The Cossacks. ( Terry Hughes lead, Gordan Clough rhythmn, Spud Taylor bass, Dick Paul vocals ). ( there's anuffer band 4 yer archives ). Also saw Rare Bird play there just b4 Sympathy. .......Shacks

Hi Chris
I think you’ll find that Hendrix played at the Flamenco Club in Tontine Street – previously the co-op club. One of the great music experiences of the time.

Hendrix never played at Micks Flamenco either but the Cream did (before they played at Tofts) Mick Micheals/Hambi is still around to confirm that ... Big Al Collins

We are looking for positive confirmation of these events please contact 01303 893472

Does anyone remember Hippocampo in Thanet? .............Pat Catt (nee Sellers)

Hole in The Wall - Dover Rd, Folkestone

Kings Hall - Herne Bay.

Leas Cliff Hall
The Leas Cliff Hall on Folkestone's spectacular cliff top location is the largest hall in the area. In the 60's it held about 1200 standing and 800 seated and has been the main live music venue for decades. Every Saturday night it was the place to be with famous international bands and was nearly always full. It was common to have two local support bands as well, which gave them the "Large Venue" experience and their first dressing room with the band's name on. If only walls could talk!.
The venue used to be owned and run by the Folkestone and District Council, they had their own rules and the manager was not one that you should fall out with if you wanted to gig there again.

Rolling Stone allegedly got £1200 when they appeared here. Support Bands were paid £12 - £15. It seems for ever that bands have complained about the acoustics, but the sound systems have changes drastically over the years. In the 50's and 60's an amp. power elevated through average 15 to 100 Watts and no foldback. The sound just disappeared out into the hall, never to return. If your PA packed up, you wouldn't know. The front stage lighting was on a different phase to the stage power and it was not uncommon for a vocalist to get a belt from the mic. stand if it touched the lighting. To be continued

Former Managers
Nigel Stewart




The best gig ever, at The Leas? - contributions please.

I have just returned to the site after about a year and am impressed with its growth.

I can remember seeing "Focus" at the Leas Cliff Hall in the mid seventies along with most of the other bands listed. Hocus Pocus and Sylvia chart
fame; think they came from Holland or somewhere. Big at the time, strange that it was considered necessary to make it an all seater gig.

Suzie Quattro, Mud, Medicine Head, Rubetts and Hawkwind played too.
Keep up the good work (making me feel old!) - .................................................................................................Colin Hughes

Who played the Leas Cliff Hall 28th October 1969 ????
Savoy Brown with the Road Runners and Stan King - See pic. on right. Thanks to Amy Woodland KRNM

"Ten Years After" They were excellent, having stood in for "Jethro Tull" at short notice. - Nick Ashman

I agree that the best gig at the Leas Cliff Hall was Ten Years After, when they stood in for Jethro Tull at short notice..... Graham Wright

Bands I saw at the Leas from 1973/4.........A bit of nostalgia from me, a list of bands I saw over the Leas during the 70's with a couple in the 80's. There are one or two I have probably missed off, but it is the best my old memory banks can do.
· Roy Wood's Wizzard
· Billy Cobham
· Buddy Rich Orchestra (have Buddy's autograph)
· Cozy Powell (have autographs)
· Budgie
· Groundhogs
· Nazareth
· Robin Trower
· Curved Air
· Back Door
· A Band Called O (have autographs) (supported by Barnacle)
· Nektar
· Steve Hillage
· Principle Edwards Magic Theatre
· Pink Fairies
· Andy Fairweather-Low
· Hudson-Ford
· Daryl Way's Wolf
· Stomu Yamashta
· Thin Lizzy (4 times! 3 with Eric Bell, 1 with Gary Moore)
· McKendree Spring
· JSD Band (twice)
· Stray (twice, once supported by Barnacle)
· Woody Woodmansey's U-boat
· Gary Glitter
· Marc Bolan
· Medicine Head (have autographs) (supported by the Charlesworth Young Band)
· Merlin (supported by Barnacle)
· Arrow (supported by Barnacle)
· Steve Marriott's Packet of Three
· Soft Machine
· Atomic Rooster
· Steamhammer
· John Hiseman (not sure if this was Tempest or Colosseum II)
· Fleetwood Mac (after Peter Green, but before Nicks/Buckingham)
· Deke Leonard
· Marillion (with Fish)
· Upp
· Sandgate
· Marvin Brett & The Thunderbolts
· Suzi Quatro
· Level 42
· Barnacle/Expedition (Topper before the Clash!)
· Andy Macpherson (good old compere!!!!!!)
· Henry McCulloch Band

Just looked at your webpage and it took me back
Just to add a few more names to Tosh’s list appearing at the Leas Cliff Hall 1970-71

Deep Purple
Idle Race (early Jeff Lynne pre ELO)
Keef Hartley
Graham Bond
Stan Webb’s Chicken Shack
Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band

Plus later in 73 or 74 The New Seekers (had to take my sister) and Ralph McTell
and to clarify it was John Hiseman’s Colosseum original line-up playing Valentyne’s Suite. He asked everyone to sit down!

Best regards,

I'm surprised at you! Did you not see any of:
Climax Chicago
Black Widow
Uriah Heap
Juicy Lucy
Foster Bros. (London rock trio, had a No.1 in London at time)
Stephane Grappeli
Jack The Lad
I do not believe it!.......................................................Tony

Sutherland Brothers
All the best and carry on the good work.
.............................Tony (Germany) e-mail:

Other bands that played The Leas
Pink Floyd
Rolling Stones Apr 4 1964 Leas Cliff Hall Folkestone Kent
Alan Price
Georgie Fame
Freddie and the Dreamers
Love Affair
Barron Nights...............................Shacks

I can remember seeing "Focus" at the Leas Cliff Hall in the mid seventies along with most of the other bands listed. Hocus Pocus and Sylvia chart
fame; think they came from Holland or somewhere. Big at the time, strange that it was considered necessary to make it an all seater gig.
Suzie Quattro, Mud, Medicine Head, Rubetts and Hawkwind played too
.....Colin Hughes

During the late 80's early 90's I went to probably every 'rock'-type gig at the Leas so will list as many of those as I can remember. However, the best gig ever (in fact out of any venue or band I have ever seen) was Big Country. This was one of the last gigs they ever played and contained the entire original band line up. They had been touring without their drummer Mark but did the Folkestone and Glasgow gigs with him. I also remember seeing a post-gig article in the Herald where they were interviewed and they stated that it was one of the best, and most surprising gigs they had played in many years, apart from their long awaited homecoming gig at Glasgow. I will never forget that night.
Anyway let me try to list as many bands as I can remember.
Quireboys x 2
Goats Dont shave
Big Country
Transvision Vamp
The Almighty x 2 (fantastic gig)
Dogs D'Amour
Bad News
Garbage (I think)

There were also a couple of gigs at the Metronome when it was open (for the briefest time). I saw:
PJ Harvey (superb gig) Zodiac Mindwarp
.............. Simon Johnson

Marine Pavillion Folkestone

Saw "Yes" there, when Leas was closed for major repairs, I believe it was subsidence ! Incidently, Jan and I saw "Yes" at the Apollo last year (2000). They are the same as ever, but with less hair. It was weird going to a major gig like that with lots of other balding middle-aged old rockers. NRA

Neptune Dymchurch
January 1967

BURUNDI BLACK ....Tony Webley








Odeon Folkestone

May 17 1964 Odeon Theatre Folkestone Kent (2 Shows)
Saw the Stones play the Odeon with The Applejacks and Heinz.....Shacks

Pleasurama at Ramsgate. Seafront, - Home of the Radio London Nights promoted by Radlon Enterprises of Curzon Street,London and sponsored by Inecto hair shampoo. - Many,many great bands - Brian Auger & the Trinity - Rod Stewart,Julie Driscoll & Long John Baldry , Episode 6 (Later to become Deep Purple) The Troggs - David Bowie & the Lower Third, Small Faces,Alex Harvey Soul Band,Pinkertons Assorted Colours (I wish I could remember them all )....C.A.Rose

The Quarterdeck youth club in Zion place,MARGATE - Could get very crowded with the local mods

Springfield Hotel(Folkestone) Early 80's

This place really took off as a friendly meeting place for the musicians of Folkestone, the pay wasn't great but at least most bands could get a gig or a jam. For the landlord and the bands it was about their music and the freedom to play anything.

In 1981 the owners asked Chris Ashman the owner of Europa Sound Studio to help out with promoting the venue. The resulting solution was the creation of the "Gig Guide" later idents "Kent Gig Guide", "Kent & East Sussex Gig Guide" and now enabling all venues to afford to promote "Wotson". The Guide in 2005 appears in oround 4.5 million newspapers per week and can be seen or heard on all of the best media including TV, Radio etc. The Guide also sources listings to the best gig guide websites.

Around this time Chris was asked to arrange Sunday Lunchtime Jam Sessions for the venue so he enlisted Jack Pound to run them as he was the only person he knew that was experienced and reliable. Jack made a brilliant job of it and the venue got busier and busier. In general at that time, if you were in a band and not playing that night you would be at The Springfield. Jack Pound is still actively presenting Jam Sessions fortnightly at the "The Butt" in Hythe.

Problems with the neighbouring Hotel and Bar resulted in a court appearance and a "Clockwork Orange" was installed along with bricking-up of windows and some soundproofing. The "too loud" bands found that they were suddenly cut off in full scream. Not much fun but this device kept the place open for a few more years until the retirement of the owners.
Thoughts of The Springfield still brings fond memories for the Musicians of Kent.

Star Hotel. Maidstone

Starlite Herne Bay (managed by Charlie Chesters son, he also used to be in Cliff's backing band in the early days)

I remember seeing the Small Faces performing there and Peter Chester (Charlie's son) was the Manager there at the time before running a shop in Canterbury and then becoming a milkman with Abbots Dairies in Canterbury) Peter was in the original Shadows line-up with Bruce Welch and they were called the Five Chesternuts. He also co-wrote a Cliff Richard hit "Please don't tease" - Mervyn Harding

Strand Palais , Walmer,DEAL. - Popular with the marine squaddies and the locals. - Stones played there just prior to release of "Around & Around".

St Thomas Hall ,Canterbury - Large church hall near Iron Bar Lane - A few hard rock bands like Johnny Kidd and the Pirates - Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages.(Funny gigs seemed to stop after the aforementioned) - I wonder why?

Tofts was originally a Dance Studio & Youth Club operated by Harold and Doris Toft next to the old Pleasure Gardens Theatre on Bouverie Road West. The building was pulled down to make way for the Orion Insurance building in the early 1960's. the club was later called theTofts Jazz Club and had over 6000 members.



Resident bands
1962/3 - Pat Barry &The Travellers - The Sundowners - The Lonely Ones - The Playboys
The club moved to Grace Hill and as well as being the first Disco in Town, it also became probably one of the best music club venues that Fokestone - No, Kent, ever had. The Opening gig Featured Georgie Fame.

When Harold and Doris retired the building became a Disco calle The Toby Bar which gradually faded into oblivion.and is now the base for a buildin company
Around 9 years after the sale of Tofts to Bass Charrington, sadly, Doris died.
In 1987 Harold remarried
2009 In an interview with Harold he said was 87 living in Surrey and enjoying rounds of golf. ( Harold the gentleman as ever, was polite about those he played against.) He is is fit as a fiddle and spoke like a young man with much enthusiasm about the days of Tofts, the bands and Folkestone, he wanted us to thank the club members for their respectful behaviour over the years that led to the good reputation of the club. When Tofts closed there were over 10,000 registered members. Membership cost 1/- (one shilling- 5p) The reason to operate as a club was to allow gigs on Sundays.
Harold does keep in touch with some local musicians and Jeff K.. who worked with him for many years.

Tofts in the 60's was a challenge to play as there was a very small stage (more like a platform for drums) with a low ceiling, rumour was that Long John Baldry put his head through it. Harold Toft says it is not true.
P.A. speakers had to be placed on shelves down the side walls. No alcohol was served and the bouncers were tough and quick to deal with any disturbances whic were very rare. The police and community we alway impressed with the reasonable behaviour of the attendees.
The atmosphere was electric, all of the top bands wanted to play the venue. There was an Ultra Violet light above the dance floor which Illuminated the girls' underwear (and dandruff) whilst they danced around their handbags.

The best gig ever, at Tofts - contributions please.

Geno Washington and The Ram Jam Band - Chris Ashman 1968/9
Geno once appeared with a heavily bandaged had due to the fact he has caught his finger in the ceiling of a venue the night before. Did you see that?
We (the End) supported Gino (and many others) at Tofts as we were the resident band for some time (can't remember the year) but after the gig Gino and loads of us went back to a house in Hill Road to party (possibly Spud Taylor's - bass with the End).  I remember sleeping on the floor with some girl along with loads of others, Gino as well. Spud will most probably recall it better than I can...... Rod Jones

Canned Heat
Canned Heat toured the UK on I suppose what you would call an exchange deal with the USA who took in John Mayall. A part of the deal was that they also swapped road managers/engineers. On the occasion that Canned Heat came to Tofts, they turned up with an enormous truck and were upset that the stage was so small. John Mayall's engineer calmed the band saying the accoustics were superb and he would reduce the equipment required to do a great show, which it was.

Four Tops
Space was sometimes a problem - as a part of the contract for the Four Tops tour there was a need for an extetion to the stage. On the night, the Four Tops arrived too late to perform due to an earlier Independence Day gig at the American Embassy where they wouldn't let the band leave. As usual, Tofts had a policy that if a band "no showed" the audience were given a ticket for the next show or retun. In this case the Four Tops manged to squeeze in Tofts to complete the contract at the end of the tour.

Derek and the Dominos - were awful, this was during Clapton's drugs and booze binge time - left very early to go see Ten Years After at the Leas. They were excellent, having stood in for Jethro Tull at short notice. - Nick Ashman
Hi Chris...
I'm sure above is a mistake
I went down to Folkestone that night from Ashford to see Van Der Graaf Generator at the Leas Cliff Hall with a couple of mates & the train was full of people going to the Toff's for Clapton's Dominoes gig & the Leas for VDGG was nearly empty. - Dave Sheather

14-May-1966 John Mayall's Blues Breakers 3 months bfore Eric Calapton left to join Cream


During 1966 - 67 - Wilde Flowers

28.1.1967 - The Who
Tofts policy was to give good value to their members. In the case of this historic visit, Harold and Doris subsided the gig to the tune of £500.00 That was a lot of money when the average wage was around £10 a week. and gig ticket 3/- to 15/-
( Incidentally a ticket for this gig recently sold at auction for £300 to an Australian who bidded by telephone. )

18 Feb 1967 - Cream

1967??? - Jimi Hendrix - Hendrix never played Tofts, he played the Hillside Social Club, Grace Hill.( knocked down now ) 31st Dec 1966 .
The Experience also rehearsed there on the 1st Jan 1967.

Noel Redding who was a a member of The Lonely Ones, a former resident band, did turn once up in a Rolls Royce with a dog and a bunch of muso cronies but on this occasion was thrown out...... Harold Toft
Those were the days........Shacks

19th January 1968 - Freddy Mack Show.
I still remember sitting on the kerb outside Tofts after one concert talking to Freddie.
I also remember that his 2 tone Jaguar car being parked next to us.
I still have a copy of the album recorded at Tofts, it is signed by Freddy Mack and dated 19th January 1968 - Graham Wright
Note... Reputedly recorded live at Tofts.. Harold Toft says if it was it was without his knowledge. Prince Buster was the the only artist to officially record a live album at Tofts....... Chris Ashman
14 September 1968 - Alvin Lee & Ten Years After

Who can remember Mod band Dave Amboy & the Amboy Dukes ?? 1968 ? loads of the mods on the stage singing into Dave Amboy's microphone..ha!! - see Dec 1969

What about the Edgar Broughton Band Tofts gig around 1969/70'ish...great days indeed !! ...Dave Sheather

Guess this is a mater of taste, but Fleetwood Mac for me (1969)
Black Sabbath were pretty good. We tried to persuade them to come up to Bluie's Playgound (formarly the Beehive) with us after the show, but they wouldn't believe that there was an all night club in Canterbury. Nice guys though. .....Molly

.Ambrose Slade were appearing there on 9th August 1969.....
Melody Maker for August 1969 included an advert for Tofts of Folkestone....Chris Selby

Zoot Money

Sat 27th September 1969-Max Romeo

Sat 27th December 1969-Dave Amboy

11 April 1970 - Black Sabbath

Sat 4th July 1970-Steve Millers Delivery not THE Steve Miller btw

09 May 1970 - Hawkwind

15 Aug 1970 - Derek & The Dominoes

Sat 3rd October 1970-Daddy Longlegs

Sat 10th October 1970-Head Rock Circus Tour

What about the "Acropolis", With "Archie", Wasn't he a bouncer for Harold and Doris ? No Archie was never a bouncer at Tofts Harold disliked him and Archie never went there

Best gig at Tofts?. So many. Canned Heat, Moody Blues, Geno Washington, Freddie Mac, Fleetwood Mac, Who. Those were the days ....Shacks

Hi Chris
I am looking for a copy of a vinyl album recorded live at Tofts in
Folkestone by Laurel Aitken around 1968/69
I think it was called Laurel Aitken live at Tofts. The front cover showed a
load of my skinhead mates crammed onto that tiny stage
Can anybody help?

Ray Smith
Reputedly recorded live at Tofts.. Harold Toft says if it was, it was without his knowledge. Prince Buster was the the only artist to officially record a live album at Tofts....... Chris

There was a band we supported called the "In Crowd" . 
I remember lending all our gear (The Circuit) to Alexis Corner who arrived at Tofts without and equipment as his had all been nicked...Rod Jones

The Trapezium - Strand Street, SANDWICH. - Always very popular with the rockers and their motorbikes from around east Kent.

Tudor House, Bearsted

Van Gogh

Woodward Hall - Folkestone
July 1969

This Gig was put on as a benefit for a student that had been expelled fro the Art School for alledgedly smoking pot.

Noel Redding tuned up with the band in a gold Rolls Royce with one amplifier and a guitar in the boot. The other equipment was supplied by Tree, a local band who also played the support spot.

At this time Noel (Guitar) was in his "Fat Mattress" period, the musicians he brought with him were Jim Leverton (Bass), Neil Landon (vocals), Eric Dillon (drums) ...Sez Les.
So far the drummer has be reported to be Ginger Baker (someone said Mitch Mitchell but research so far proves him to be in the USA until October - any clues?).

Neil was surprised to find that he was again using his old hand built Vortexion 50 Watt PA amplifier that his mum had sold to Tree's vocalist Chris Ashman 2 months before.

The student, he was given a job as roady for the band but wasn't very grateful as he called them 'a bunch of capitalists'. So, sacked he was.


Bridge Country Club

Bridge Place Country Club is situated in an old Manor House the village of Bridge just outside of Canterbury.
The house was converted in the 60's by Peter Melkin and his brother into a succesful club. It was host to some of the best acts in the world in it's time as a live music venue.

Below is the 1968/69 programme in real money - Average national wage about £15 a week.

Local bands were paid £16 - £18 and expected to play 2-3hrs.
The Moody Blues a chart album band with an American tour under their belts earned just under £400 for 1 hour and toured in a long whee -base pale blue Transit ( quite rare at the time)
PA about 250 Watts and Valve based 100W Marshall 2x4 speaker stack backline amps.

  •   Interesting - one of the Bridge flyers mentions the Johnny Young Band. When I was in Manchester in the early 70's, my mate was a rep for TransAtlantic Records. He got a couple of copies of every album they marketed, which he swapped with record shops. His collection was HUGE! On one our favourite albums - around the time of Steely Dan,etc - was a Johnny Young album. We thought they were a great country rock band and always played the album. Almost a decade later, I found out they were a 15 quid a night band from the SE! My mate, incidently, is a guy called Tony Michaelides, who now owns a huge promotions company and handles promotions for major acts. Paul Mlynarz




Hi Chris,
I travelled all over Kent in the 60s, does anyone remember the G Ranch in Maidstone? I saw Maxine Brown there in an allnighter, she was awesome.
I lived near Sittingbourne, our local was The Cedars, no one famous but the resident band were really good on most  fridays, they were called the Manaics.
Dreamland Ballroom in Margate was a great Saturday night.Some of the bands I saw were Small Faces, Yardbirds, Fortunes,Alan Price Set and many more, the most memorable being Geno Washington.
My favorite Sunday night was The Central in Gillingham, where I saw Jackie wilson, Edwin Starr, and lots of great soul bands. Does anyone rememberAmboy Dukes from Kent? they had to change their name, I think, they became The Dave Amboy Band.My claim to fame was at the Central where I took my clothes off on stage at one of their gigs.
My most memorable gig of the 60s was at Dreamland, the band was either The Pioneers or The Upsetters, we were stood right at the front, the stage being head high,I saw this guy with a guiter round his neck hopping accross the stage,I turned to my mate Eddie Witt and said `he's a f***g good dancer', when he landed on top of Eddie.After we picked them up from the floor it turned out that his guitar was wired up live and he was being electrocuted.The poor guys hand was badly burnt but he got back on stage and played, they finished up with the biggest ovation I ever witnessed there.
...Roger Herne

Also how about Maidstone Fiesta festival 1970 with Fairport Convention and Matthews Southern Comfort
Maidstone College also went through a phase of good gigs – worth adding that? I only saw a band called Daddy Longlegs there in 1971, but they had better!

Can you help Brian ?

Hi can you help please

I am a local musician and am currently writing a book concerning venues that I have played since I began in the early 60's

In particular - I am trying to get some info on places that I rembember playing - but can find little or no no reference to in local archives

Here are some of them - the year could be one adrift either way

49) Headcorn Youth Club Headcorn Kent (1966)
50) Silver Palms - Maidstone Barracks, Maidstone, Kent (1966)
51) Regency Club - Rochester, Kent (1966)
52) (Queen) Carolines Bedroom - Rochester, Kent (1966)
53) Galahad Club - Strood, Kent (1966)
54) Cardijn Club - Chatham, Kent (1966)
55) The Big 6 Club Tonbridge (1966)
56) HMS Pembroke - Chatham, Kent (1966)
57) The Central Hotel - Chatham, Kent (1966)
58) Lenham Carnival - Village Hall, Lenham, Kent (1966)
59) Brompton Barracks - Chatham, Kent (1967)
60) Chuff Club - Wigmore, Kent (1967)
61) Hook & Hatchet - Walderslade, Chatham, Kent (1967)
62) The Seaview Hotel Sheerness - (1967)

Also the Supreme Ballroom Ramsgate and Micks Flamingo in Tontine Street Folkestone - both in 1967
Here are some clues .......

51 and 52 were the same venue - closed and reopened with a change of name
They were - I think - on th left as you come down Strood hill into Strood heading east
The Cardijn was behind Chatham station

I think I played downstairs at the Central - would that be right in those days or was that at Central halls ?

The Chuff Club may have been held in a pub ??

Were the Pembroke and the Brompton Barracks 'the same gig'?
When did 62 close ?

Ive got to cover around 400 in all mainly in London and the SouthEast but this early period has got me a bit stuck

All contributions gratefully received

Email : Brian Brockie

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