Portsmouth Music Scene

The Portsmouth Music Scene

The Beat Cruises

From the NEWS Supplement "Portsmoputh in the 60's June 1993 Beat Cruises Every Wednesday during the summer, weather permitting, an Isle of Wight ferry would leave from The Hard carrying a Radio I DJ and two top-line groups. These sea excursions, known as beat cruises, called at Ryde Pier to further swell the crowd on board. The tiny bar was always packed and after a couple of drinks, dancing on a pitching floor became a near impossibility.

Just a quick memory from me. During the 1960's I worked for British Rail at their Goldsmith Avenue accounts office in the goods yard to the west of the football ground. The staff association secretary knew I had involvement with a pop group and asked us to play on the IOW ferry for one of the staff social evenings. It was the first ever. I had a Hammond Organ, which has a tone wheel that has to run at the correct constant speed to achieve concert pitch. Unfortunately the power lead supplied to us was run off of their boat generator, and power (ampage?) fluctuated and I was out of tune with the rest, so had to stop playing. We did the same gig a few times after, but by then they had sorted the problem. Happy days!
The black and white photo was taken on one of the later trips. The group, called the Original Fortunes, change the name to The Rampant. I think I am hidden behind the front line. In the white shirt Ritchie Peters, guitaist is Ron Hughes, then bass plaer Don Golding, formerly of the Renegades, and on drums, Ron's brother Ken Hughes.
The two colour photos are of "Image." Phil Freeman in the red Tee Shirt.

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Here's a 'grabbed' photo of Alan Williams drumming with St Louis Checks and a bit of singer Chris West on a Beat Cruise.


In early July, the St Louis Checks launched the first of the very successful Solent Beat Cruises.
July, Simon Dupree & the Big Sound who played a Beat Cruise with the Rampant as the floating audience grew “to ridiculous proportions”.

The Beat Cruises began with the Talismen whose show “surprised…many hippies”
17/7 Parlour: Inspiration, Beat Cruise: Soul Society & the Fingers
3/8 Beat Cruise: The Shame & Sons of Man, Parlour: Life
10/8 Beat Cruise: Episode 6 & Wrong Direction
17/8 Beat Cruise: Creation & Mike Stuart Span (Brighton, see Mike Read)
24/8 Beat Cruise: Amboy Dukes (British) & Coconut Mushroom
30/8 Beat Cruise: Amboy Dukes & Coconut Mushroom
7/9 “Coconut Mushroom’s lights wouldn’t work on the Beat Cruise but their black, red & white face paint did” Beat Cruise: Ferris Wheel & Blackout
14/9 Beat Cruise: Carl Douglas Stampede & Wrong Direction
1/8 Beat Cruise (Weds): Skatalites & the Motives
29/5 Beat Cruise (Weds): Eire Apparent
25/6 Beat Cruise: Ohio Express and Hopscotch

1968 September 4th British Rail Beat Cruise, Portsmouth, KILLING FLOOR with The Toast.
1968 September 11th Beat Cruise from Portsmouth, Heaven

1969 September 3rd Beat Cruise from Portsmouth Harbour, Heaven
1969 July 9th Portsmouth, Solent Riverboat, Audience

And on You Tube;-
- Dancing at sea-

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