Portsmouth Music Scene

The Portsmouth Music Scene
The Personal Histories

A to F

Dave Allen

HARLEM SPEAKEASY: Jon Edwards (V), Dave Allen (V/S), Keith Shilcock (G), Geoff Gunson (BG), John Lytle (K), Pete Gurd (Tr), Phil Jones (S), Sam Eddings (D). 1967-68. See also Speakeasy.

ROSEMARY: Dave Allen (V), Steve Farrow (LG), Mick Legg (BG), John Lytle (K, G), Brian Grice (K), Dave Pittard (D). Late 60s.

SPEAKEASY: Dave Allen (V), Keith Shilcock (LG), Mick Legg (BG), John Lytle (K), Alan Williams (D). 1968 – from Harlem Speakeasy

Gilbey Twiss: Dave Allen vocals/harmonica Denny Barnes guitar Bernie Fox drums Mick Legg bass guitar

Skys is cryin: 1975 Pete Stradling violin Nik Tetley harmonica Martin Bond 12 String guitar Denis Reeve-Baker guitar Bob Cooper Grundy guitar Roger Easey washboard/percussion Dave Allen vocals

Reds The 1985: Steve Browning bass guitar Dave Allen vocals Steve Cole guitar Brian Kemp keyboards L Tench drums Jim Zimmer guitarist

Reet Petite and Gone: Denis Reeve-Baker guitar/vocals Dave Allen washboard/harmonica/washboard and Pete Clark jew's harp Nick Evans Stuart Carr

Steel Mill 1985: ‘Joe’ Brown Mick Eveleigh Dave Allen Jim Zimmer guitar Keith ‘Mook’ Matthews Bob Manley Steve Cole

Notorious Straw Boys The 1990: Nick Evans steel guitar Steve Cole lead guitar Mick Eveleigh guitar John Higham bass Dave Allen vocals/harmonica Jim Zimmer lead guitar Doug Keating drums

Reet Petite and Gone 2014: Dave Allen, Denis Reeve-Baker, Nick Evans and Stewart Carr

Scarlet Town: Sue Dobbyn clarinet/violin Sue Ryder-Morgan flue Dave Allen vocals/harmonica Nick Evans mandolin/Hawaiian/lap steel Denis Reeve-Baker guitar/vocals

Nigel Baker

1 Highbury college (1964 ish) Nigel Baker Rhythm guitar Terry Crump Bass Guitar Dave Green Drums Roy ? Guitar

2 The Legends Nigel Baker Rhythm guitar Voc Dave ? Bass Guitar Jim Handley Drums Butch [Terry] Moss Guitar Voc Had a residency at the Hayling club,

3 The Bondsmen [I think] Im ashamed to say I cant remember anyones Name except we had a residency at the Beach Club. I

4 Jamies Kin 1 Nigel Baker Rhythm guitar Fred Carter Bass Guitar Jim Handley Drums Barry Sutton Guitar Cliff Stafford Voc

5 Jamies Kin 2 (1968) Nigel Baker guitar Alan ? Bass Guitar Jim Handley Drums Mick Cooper Hammond Cliff Stafford Voc

6 Bob Pearce Blues Band Nigel Baker Bass ??? Drums Denny Barnes Guitar Bob Pearce Vocal Harmonica

7 Lord Maurice Group Nigel Baker Bass Butch [Terry] Moss Guitar Voc Peter Forrester Vocal Fritz [Brian] Carter Drums Mick Hackett Hammond Voc

8 Horizon Ian?? Voc Les Pope Drums Steve Smith Guitar Mick Hackett Hammond Voc Nigel Baker Bass

9 Horizon 2 Pete Forrester Voc Mick Burns Drums Dave Fulford Guitar Mick Hackett Hammond Voc Nigel Baker Bass

10 Autumn Leaves 1 Mick Hackett Hammond vocals Nigel Baker Bass Vocals Derek Day Drums John Lines Drums ?? Drums

11 Autumn Leaves 2 Mick Hackett Hammond vocals Nigel Baker Bass Vocals Ron Hughes Guitar Voc Ken Hughes Drums

12 Jean Leslie and Country Gold Jean Leslie Vocs Ken Guitar Drums ? Pedal Steel ?

13 Harlequin Bob Downes Guitar and Vocal Nigel Baker Bass and Vocal ? Drums Ken Hughes Drums

14 Dutch Courage Jerry Holland Vocal John Holland Guitar Mick Knight Guitar Tony Upfold Drums Nigel Baker Bass

15 Brian Frost and the Rave ons 1 Mick Knight Guitar Brian Frost vocals Nigel Baker Bass John Mulleady drums Dave Javins Drums

16 Sleeper Charlie Keenan Vocs Alan Earpe Guitar Paul godwin Drums Nigel Baker Bass

17 Brian Frost and the Rave ons 2 Mick Knight Guitar Brian Frost vocals Nigel Baker Bass Ken Hughes drums

18 Reflections Dave Fewings Guitar Phil? Rhythm Guitar Ken Hughes Drums Bob ? Keyboard

19 Hat Trick (from 1994 to 2016) Ron Hughes Guitar, Vocal Ken Hughes Drums and Vocal Nigel Baker Bass and voc Chris Hughes Drum and Voc

20 Parallel Lines 2019 Teresa Lyford - Lead Vocals, Eddie Brown - Lead/Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals, Nigel Baker- Bass, Steve Turner - Drums/Percussion.

plus the 'Shaddres' band at the Heroes Waterlooville, and the 'Shaddrers/Beatles' band at the Fountain, Rowlands Castle

Ray Baker in Australia

"My old mate Ray Brook (ex The Royals tenor sax) and I put together a band with Ray Todd ( Ex Metors UK Bass Guitar ) Nobby Glover on drums and I recall a gig we did at HMS Mercury one night. ) I had an old Standard Atlas van and had picked everybody up and on our way driving through the dark country lanes to the gig when we caught sight of a mouse in the headlights. There was no chance of me stopping in time and I ran over it and killed it.
The group all called me "The Mouse Murderer" that night and somebody swore that the spirit of the mouse would come back to haunt me. We did the gig and on the way back home in the early hours of the morning we all heard a strange squeeking noise coming from under the van. Of course the boys all said it was the curse of the dead mouse haunting me. This noise went on for some time until I noticed the van started to labour and it wouldn't progress very well so I pulled over, got out and looked underneath and to my horror saw not the mouse, but my complete front offside wheel hub glowing red hot in the darkness.
The wheelbearings had seized up. I managed to nurse the van back to Nobby's Mum's place at Bedhampton where we all dossed on the loungeroom floor that night. Everybody inventing songs and verse containing titles like "The Curse Of The Mouse" until we all eventually collapsed into sleep. It was my van, and I was an engineering apprentice so no guesses as to who had the job of fixing it. So this band which contained me as an ex "Furie", one ex "Royal" and an ex "Meteor UK" member with the later addition of Ray King (Baritone Sax) and Dave Gautrey (Trumpet) morphed into "The Frenzy" and eventually evolved into "Heaven".

Another very notorious gig haunt of ours was "The Shoreline Club" at Bognor Regis. New Years Eve 1967/8 saw me playing with two ex Royals, Ray Brook on Tenor Sax and Rick Semark on drums plus the "Gentle Giant" Ray Todd on Bass.
Just after midnight a huge 'on stage' brawl broke out between us and some drunken locals who wanted to get up on stage and sing and they demanded that we give them our instruments to play. Tenor sax player Ray Brook was quite a big guy who rode a Vincent Black Shadow motorbike and I can tell you now that it is a very unwise thing to demand of a very stroppy young guy like Ray Brook that you want his saxophone, particularly if you are standing looking up from the dance floor and he is standing above you on stage. Ray was pleased to oblige but "bad accidents' can (and sometimes did) occur …… Have you ever seen the damage that the vertical flange joint under a saxophone can inflict upon a guy’s forehead if he should suddenly jump up onto the stage and the sax "accidentally" strike his head with great force? I can tell you that it's not a very pretty sight to see a guy slowly slide down off the stage as his forehead opens right up between the eyes. . . . . Ooooh! very nasty and in that horrible key of B flat as well !
After several minutes of bloody battle that night, I ended up with an old-style solid glass Coke bottle smashed into the back of my skull which rendered me unconscious and during which time I had my night's earnings of about five quid stolen out of my trouser pocket. Fortunately I'd had the very good sense to put my Strat safely away before launching myself into the melee. Further punishment of several hours at Bognor hospital emergency unit with a very unsympathetic, typically obese Matron shaving my long locks off and digging glass out of my skull with a scalpel and pick without any anesthetic brings back very nasty and painful memories. I think I got off lightly compared with the two poor buggers that were "Selmered" in the head by Ray Brook's Tenor sax. Fortunately there was no police follow-up at all although my Dad was absolutely furious at the theft of my wages and he swore for weeks afterwards, " I'm going to pour 5 gallons of petrol round that bloody Shoreline Club and set light to the f*****g place". I think it did eventually burn down a year later. . . didn’t it? Oh the joys of being a young muso eh? I can still feel that scar on my head to this day. "

I was born in St Mary’s Hospital on My 6th 1947 (at a very early age) I lived and grew up in Tangier Rd then in 1968 moved to Dover Rd Copnor. I attended Westover Rd Infants School; Langstone Rd Junior School; Copnor Modern School in Copnor Rd then did six years as a Mechanical Engineering apprentice at The Metal Box Co in Burfields Rd Copnor attending both Portsmouth Technical College at the back of the Guildhall and later Highbury Technical College when that opened.
Around 1967/68 I was at Highbury College studying Engineering and in the evenings/weekends playing guitar. I had been playing with Colin Broom in “The Memphis Five” a great group who didn’t seem to do a lot of local work but were employed in Europe and were just about to go back to Germany, then up to Scandinavia and finally on to the USA. At last I thought! I’ve made it, I’m going big time. The only thing in my way was my legally binding indentured apprenticeship with The Metal Box Co. I fought them for many weeks to release me and just as I had finally won approval to leave, the group’s singer had a massive row with his Dad (who managed the band) and they split up. Lucky me eh? Just in time to save my arse. I had egg on my face at Metal Box, but I was at least still employed and relatively safe from Dad’s cursing bloody guitars and rock and roll. ( “It won’t last more than another year you’ll see” Metal Box never let me forget it though, neither did Highbury Tech as my attendance and grades had really faded. Year later I never let my Dad forget it either and in the 80’s on one of my UK visits, I caught him listening and singing along to The Beatles and UB40. “This lot are quite good” he said to me. So here I am with my VOX AC30 amp , Klempt Echolette and a 62 Strat but no group to play in, so I joined up with my old schoolmate Ray Brook on tenor sax ( ex The Royals). I had also been playing earlier with The Meteors UK who had split so I got hold of their ex bass player Ray Todd and Ray Brook persuaded Rick Semark (also ex The Royals) to join us on drums. We did OK and were doing the usual local circuits plus some gigs in Southampton; “Portsmuf Gild-aw” Bournmouth; Bognor; Brighton; Wantage Town Hall; Newbury Town Hall; sometimes up to Luton also to London at Tiles Club in Oxford St.
We played mainly the then current soul material plus a few novelty numbers that were also commonly played by “Sounds Incorporated’ a band that you may recall. These guys were a band that we knew fairly well and often crossed paths with. As you probably know ,Sounds Incorporated also became quite big and supported the Beatles on their Australian tour. Our Tenor sax player Ray Brook was quite friendly with Sounds Incorporated’s tenor sax player, Griff West who had a really wicked sense of humour that I will tell you about later. Ray Brook’s secret ambition was for us to have a similar line up to “Sounds” so we needed a keyboard player and Baritone sax player. Keyboard OK but a baritone sax player we all said …. no chance! An younger apprentice that worked with me at The Metal Box Co had an older sister Jenny that played piano so I went to see her and we got her along for a session one rehearsal night. Jenny joined us and bought a VOX continental organ and a Gretsch Amp. We were on our way, the sound was thicker but we were still short of that Baritone player so I put an ad on the notice board at Highbury Tech.

We played for quite some time with that line up then Drummer Rick Semark left us and we got Nobby Glover, Ray Todd left to get married so we got Mick Gover to join us then we received a call from Ray King (Baritone sax) who had seen my ad at Highbury. He came to an audition with his mate Dave Gautry who happened to play trumpet. Nobody had asked for a trumpet until we all started playing something like ‘Knock On Wood’ and he joined in. Well that was it ! The sound was what we’d all been looking for and “The Frenzy” was now well and truly on it’s way. So to get back to (Sounds Incorporated’s) Griff West’s sense of humour. We were playing one night at RAF Tangmere in West Sussex as the support group to Sounds Incorporated, a job we sometimes did when they were in the area. We are onstage playing and right in the middle of a song when our Drummer Rick and keyboard player Jenny Miller burst out in absolute stitches of laughter behind us. Ray Brook and I turn around to see that Griff has come into the wings of the stage and just out of view of the audience. He has dropped his trousers and underpants and has what we now call: “Chucked a Brown Eye” or “Mooned” us. His bare arse is there with his balls dangling for all of us to see. Well as you can imagine it wasn’t easy to continue playing with that sight behind me and I certainly couldn’t sing. We decided that we would do it to him when they went on but there was a bit of a fuss with somebody backstage so we couldn’t reciprocate. So as I said I thought by then that we were on our way but every morning when I awoke, the middle two fingers on my left hand wouldn’t open up. It got worse by the day and to the point that my playing was really suffering as I couldn’t hold down a chord or move my fingers quickly as I had been able to, over the fretboard without a lot of pain and bum notes. I desperately needed an operation.
At that time the name Frenzy was associated with a perfume so we also needed a band name change. We were rehearsing in pub somewhere behind Commercial Rd I think and for a joke I said: “What about The Universal Trash Band” There was no laughter, but a lot of mumbling and I couldn’t believe it, here I was taking the piss then everybody suddenly agreed with the name. I then left to have my hand operated on and that was that! This band shortly thereafter became “Heaven” (a name I had nothing to do with) and the rest you know. Shortly after becoming The Universal Trash Band, my hand had become worse and I needed that operation. I left the group around June/July 68, had the operation and was told by the surgeon that I probably wouldn’t be able to play properly again for many months, possibly even years. There was no such thing as free physiotherapy then so feeling absolutely disheartened, I sold all my gear and bought a Mini Cooper to pursue my love of cars . I had now ceased playing, other than at home on an old acoustic which hurt like hell. I got married in May 1970 ( yes we are still together ) I had been working hard getting my hand back to a level of fitness where I could play again and in the summer of 1971 my wife Dee and I went over to the Beach Club on Hayling Island to see my brother Bryan(deceased) and Pete White playing with “Blue Sand”

They were doing old 60’s rock and in the second half the stopped and announced that a well known local guitarist would be joining them for a rock medley. I thought “Oh this will be great, it’s probably Mark Tuddenham or Geoff McKeon”. But no! Out of the blue that bastard Pete White, my lifelong friend from school, suddenly announces my name. I said ‘sorry Pete I don’t have a guitar” but you cant pass Pete off just like that. He said “ don’t worry Ray, Ive got my brother Jeff’s Fender Jag here, you can play that”. Next thing the crowd is demanding so Im up and playing again. We stayed together as Colours doing Sinah Warren winter and summer gigs as well as other local country gigs up until Pete shoved off to Florida in 1975. Pete was replaced by Graham Wilson ( where is Graham now?) Graham left after a year when I managed to get my old mate Pete Bugg (deceased) to come and play. The band finally split up when Dee and I came to Australia at the end of June 1979. Many trips back to UK and visits to Pete Bugg’s house found me suddenly thrust into an impromptu position as bass or guitar player with one of Pete’s many collectables slung around my neck for
a gig he had on that night somewhere in or around Portsmouth. I would be introduced by Pete Bugg as the stand in new guy for the night. With Pete grinning from ear to ear and my back turned towards local icon keyboard player Rodney Watts (who would at that time have thought I was in 12000 miles away in Australia) I would grunt an “alright mate"

Colin Campbell, sax player with the Jack Hawkins Band at the Mecca Locarno.


The Jack Hawkins Band, Trumpets: Terry Porter Tony Lindford. Trombone Harold Price Sax’s: Ray Nabarro Alto/Violin,
Colin Campbell, Steve Kennal, Tenors and Tommy Hawkins(brother of Jack), Baritone sax. Piano Joe McMillan, Bass t. b. a. Drums Kenny Duff Vocals: Elaine Hope and Barry St. Clair. M. D Jack Hawkins

The photo on the right was probably taken June 1964. I was an original member of the band, coming all the way down from Edinburgh in 2 cars, the drivers and passengers were Jack Hawkins and me, the passengers were Elaine Hope the singer and Jack's brother Tom who also was a vocalist and played baritone/alto sax. I left in Spring 1965 to go back to Edinburgh for The Andy Stewart Show –the musicians were supplied by Geraldo-- which ran through the summer until the Edinburgh Festival started from Aug-Sep 1965. --- which put all the local musicians on the dole. After September 1965, I played in the Kings Theatre Edinburgh with the touring company of The Black and White Minstrels—two shows a night starting at 6. 10 and 8. 40 six nights a week. We did his for 5 weeks non-stop---we soon memorised the complete pad—and whilst we actually played the music, we were also reading The Edinburgh Evening News—that is quite a memorable thing to be able to do. I remained in Edinburgh for Xmas 1965 but rejoined Jack in Feb 1966—i stayed for all the summer, but for the winter I again returned to Edinburgh to play in a nightclub in an Octet led by Andy Doolen ( I forget how he spelt his name). I remained in Edinburgh until Geraldo offered me the job on the Q. E. 2 so I came back down for March 1969 to rehearse with the Orchestra which was going to play in the 1st class lounge leader Basil Stutely. We rehearsed in London with Geraldo in attendance, We sailed on the Q. E. 2. 3rd May 1969. And travelled back and forth from Southampton to New York on a fortnightly basis. On the last forthright of the transatlantic crossings—I became the bandmaster and then led the orchestra under my name The Colin Campbell Orchestra in the 1st class lounge ( still have the programmes to this day. ) After the New York crossings I went cruising to the West Indies for 6 months but became seriously ill with peritonitis which developed into having to be operated on the ship late Jan 1970. I was ill for 18 months having had several operation in Barbados and Southampton. But after that the rest is pretty much history playing with the Fabulous Southampton-All-Stars up until recently. Incidentally Jack Hawkins introduced me to the lady who become my wife (Val) we've been married for nearly 39 years now.

Colin also now plays regularly with the Dave Pearson Big Band which can be seen on some Sunday lunchtimes at the Blue Lagoon, Hilsea Lido.

Pat Collins

Pat got together with some school friends who were trying to form a band, no one wanted to play bass so Pat asked Mum for a Bass Guitar for his birthday. He received a Hofner Senator Bass that year,
band members were:
Patrick O'sulivan Drums Dusty Miller Vocals John Kenevey Guitar Pat Collins Bass

Pat didn't have any clue how to tune his guitar and continually tried to tune the guitar with a torque wrench, the strings were wound so tight that they broken after a few weeks, he was always calling into the "Sound of Music" in Havant to buy new strings until the shop owner finally gave him some tuning tips after realizing that the poor boy was counting how many turns it took to unwind the string and then winding the new string with the same number of turns . Pat used a 5 watt Solavox value amp purchased with a provident cheque but later Mum bought him a True Voice Selma bass amp with crocodile skin.
Pat's first serious band was know as "Him & Only Us"
Dad manage to secure their first gig at the Bedhampton Railway party. Their performance of Screaming Lord Such song, Jack the Ripper was a constant topic at the Collins dinner table for years after that gig as Dad delighted in his rendition of the song.
The line up was:
Bill fletcher guitar John miles (salvation army bass drum, snare and cymbal) Pat Collins bass

1.5 years later when Pat was just 15 years old, he was introduced to Roger Renalds by his friend Barry Sutton and decided to join his band. Roger was 27 years old which meant he had gain quite some experience and Pat managed to learn a lot in a very short space of time. He wanted to buy a beige coloured 70 watt Fender Bassman amp but Dad wouldn't sign on the dotted line, he didn't like anyone getting into debt. Roger came to the rescue and Pat bought the amp for princely sum of £120.00 and paid him back at £5 per week from the proceeds of his paper round. The band was known as Mood Five and
the line up was:
Peter Roadnight Drums Ken Cornish Vocals Pat Collins Bass Roger Renalds Guitar Dave Atkins Rhythym

The entered a few beat contests and played gigs at the Grey Hound and the Rover in Leigh Park as well as some weddings and parties.
Next Band was Indigo mood with
the line up:
Keith Durramt Drums Ricky Gauntlet Vocals (Bunty went out with him for a while) Brian May Sax/Guitar Derrick Wickham Sax Andy Scarisbrick Guitar

This band played at St Francis church Leigh Park, the Leigh Park community center and a few other gigs.
Birth was then born:
Bill Darling Drums and vocals (Sang like jack bruce) Pat Collins Bass Barry Sutton Vocals/Guitar Paul Smith Roadie who also played the harmonica on "out daemons out" Edgar Broughton Band Manager, Dave Martin who played for the "Tea Pots" and later "Wrong Direction" Colin Simpson joined Birth on Rhythm later from a band called "Time Dynasty", only because he wanted to perform with Bill, he did ask Dave Martin very politely if he could join the band.

Birth did play a support gig at Wem Shropshire with Picksttywitch of No1 "Same Old Feeling" fame. Polly Browne turned up in her brand new Orange VW wearing her high fashion trendy gear and look down her nose at the scruffy boys from Havant. The organist had a Hammond which proved to be very awkward to manage and asked if Pat and the boys would help him up the stairs with it, he promised a beer which they never got.
Pickettywitch asked to go on first since they were double booked and had another gig at Oswestry shropshire the same night. So it was so that Pickettywitch support Birth that night and Pat was finally famous. The Bassist had a rare 6 string SG shaped Gibson Bass that Colin managed to kick over while setting up.
Ultimately Barry Sutton left the band and then Birth broke up.
Pat's next band was called Country Jam with line up:
Brian Kemp Keys (replaced by Graham Mckewan later) Pat Collins Bass Bill Darling Drums Barry Sutton Vocals/Guitar

This band only played a few gigs such as Barncroft school TA center in Havant.
Martingale was then formed with line up:
Colin Simpson Guitar Pat Collins Bass/flute John Lyons Drums/Vibraphone (from "Village Magician") Dave Upton Vocals

The band didn't really perform any major gigs.
Pat Collins then joined Ray King from Heaven playing sax Derrick Summerville sax/flute Nigel Sydell from coconut mushrooms on keys and Dave Barfoot on Drums who later went on to be a session musician, Colin Simpson on Guitar. The band never really performed any gigs.
Ray King who knew the band Spook arranged for Pat Collins to stand in on bass a few times when their bassist went on holiday.
Later Ray King decided to form an Electric Folk band which featured:
Ray King on clarinet/(sax/flut/obo Pat Collins Bass Wilber West Guitar Pete Bug Guitar/Mandolin Colin Simpson Guitar

This band become know as "Moon Mist" and Pat Collins traded in his Gibson EB2 for £80 and purchase a Fender Precision for £140.00 to achieve the right sound. They did a Sunday night residency at the Center Hotel on the corner of Pembroke road Southsea for two years during which time they met many famous artists including Jasper Carrot, Ralph Mctell and Billy Connolly.

County Line

county line.jpg

Russ followed Alan Partridge, who then followed Russ again for a second stint.
County Line drummers were in order of appearance:
Tim Sullivan 84 -86
Van Norris 86 - 88
Alan Partridge 88 - 90
Russ Mahoney 90
Alan Partridge 90 - 2003
There were/have been a few brief get together a since then, but since Al sadly passed away, Van came back to play. County Line remains a band, but doesn't work due to other commitments.

Mark Sheridan, Karl Rudziak, Andy Lea, Russ Mahoney and Gary O'Donnell Photo taken about 1990 in the RIP Club above Martha's

County Line formed in 1983/4. The original line up was: John Damp - vox, Andy Nixon - Bass, Mark Sheridan - Gtr, Karl Rudziak - Gtr, Tim Sullivan - Drums.
This line up never gigged and spent most of their Sunday evenings locked in Raspberry Rehearsal Studios in Goldsmith Avenue (now Acadia).
In early 85 Andy Nixon left and was replaced by Andrew James (AJ) Lea. In May 85 John Damp left and Gary O'Donnell came in. We played our first gig at The Salutation on Thursday 5th September 1985.
The band was completely different from the outset, playing a form of Southern style rock, based around bands that had had a modicum of success in the UK, but by no means really household names; 38 Special, Molly Hatchet and Foghat were some of the more unusual names, alongside some Lynyrd Skynyrd covers and our own material.
Nothing much happened in the first year, apart from trying to find a stage identity. Tim was replaced around about 86 and we got Van Norris in and that's when the fireworks lit up. I think the energy and chemistry of the band was almost instantaneous and that welded itself to the camaraderie that again became completely natural. Couple all that together and the stage impact was quite explosive. I think people would come to see us more, because it looked as though we were about to implode at any second and yet there was this brotherhood of "wanting to play the right thing, in the right way".
It appealed to working people around that time who were glad of getting rid of some pent up work or life frustration through our shows; a bit of dancing, a few beers. Always one of the most loved and yet musically despised bands at the same time. I've never been in another band like it and I don't suppose I ever will again. We cared, but we didn't care and that just got up other bands noses who were put together to achieve "a deal!"
The amount of time one of us (even now) has been to a party and County Line has come up, there have been other players there, from that time, spitting feathers at the fact we'd won some Battle of the Bands competition or whatever. 87 to 90, were the most rewarding; adored by the biking community we played massive open air shows to 30,000 people, did The Marquee a few times, almost got a publishing deal and we've sat in the board room of Moving Pictures to talk about video concepts. We did it all, but didn't do anything. In the end, the 5 frontmen in a band formula exploded and we did implode because of it. We were a stunning, shambolic live band, but it reached into people souls, especially blokes, for some reason.
I remember playing The Fleece in Bristol, which has a cobble stone floor. When we'd finished and the crowd had cleared there was just a sea of smashed glass on the floor, with one regular Fleece goer looking in disbelief; "I've been coming in here for ages and I've never seen anything like this!", he said.
The next time we returned to Bristol, there were Fleece ad boards along the main roads that just said, "They're Back!"


Pete Crew

Beginning back in the mid-sixties to current. I began my musical career in a couple of ‘house-bands’ (The Solents ; The Medallions) literally playing covers at private parties for friends in the Paulsgrove and Cosham area. To be honest we weren’t that good even though we had a loyal following. (Drunk I think)
After a few personnel changes we developed into the MOOD. We were gaining a decent reputation but it wasn’t until we merged with another local band to play in a musical festival contest in Weymouth that it all came together.

MOOD (66-68) - Steve Wyllie - keyboards; Pete Crew - Lead vocal, guitar; Steve Phillips - g; Steve Mitchell D; (replaced by John Lines D;) ; Fran Galloway v (replaced by Dave Hill bass) In Weymouth we played some original songs written by me and some well known ones arranged by Steve Wyllie that brought us to the attention of a guy from EMI. After the contest - which we didn’t win - the two halves of the new group decided to stay together. But I wasn’t totally happy with our new music style and left the line-up. It was around this time that I decided to audition for a soul band. I liked soul - still do - but as the audition proved, I couldn’t give it vocal credit. However I enjoyed it as far as it went, since at least it gave me the opportunity to sing with Mr Cooper and friends. I wasn’t too disappointed at not getting the gig because shortly after I got a call from EMI. They asked if I had any more songs. I did, but I didn’t have a band to develop them. So I formed Baxters Art Of Tomorrow which was a really good and under-rated group. We could have gone on.

BAXTER’S ART OF TOMORROW (68-70) - Pete Crew -lead vocal, guitar; Dave Fisher - lead guitar; Clive Held - drums; Gordon McKerrow - bass BV; John O’Donovan rhythm guitar; (replaced by Paul Brown guitar) Baxters played a mix of my original songs and pop and rock including ironically Smokey Robinson’s ‘My Girl’. Sadly much to my disappointment the group split due to exterior influences . When John left Baxters I helped him put his own group together - even sitting in with them too. The Strange Case Of Watkins World had a teenage Andy Hamilton (later to work with Duran Duran and Paul McCartney) on guitar and saxophones. Unfortunately I can’t remember the drummer.

THE STRANGE CASE OF WATKINS WORLD (69) - Michael Charlton vocals; John O’Donovan lead guitar vocals; Andy Hamilton guitar saxophone Pete Crew - guitar, vocals; A N Other - drums I then concentrated on a solo career playing every major venue in Hampshire and West Sussex as a disc-jockey and as compere of entertainment shows. Then I was invited to join a six piece band Brown Split. Reluctant at first, I agreed and we morphed into October Hill.

octoberhill OCTOBER HILL - pictured right (71-73) - Lynn Gaylard vocals; Graham Harding lead guitar vocals mandolin; Nick Bryant bass; (replaced by Graham Beech - bass) Pete Crew - vocals, guitar, drums; Geff Coats - guitar, vocals, violin We played many pubs in the area including the Black Prince, The Viking and Spread Eagle among others. I was offered more solo work so took on more discos playing resident gigs at the Oasis, Rendezvous, lots of private work and then I began radio presentation. pictured

twomanband TWO MAN BAND pictured right (mid -late 70s) Pete Crew - vocals, guitar, drums; Terry Dowes - vocals, lead guitar; Martyn Harris - guitar; Doug Watling - flute; Nick Bryant - bass.

In the late seventies I opened my own record store on Fratton Bridge (October Records) where lots of local musicians gathered becoming a popular meeting place. interior pictured With my interest in how music and recordings came together I became a music researcher, historian and archivist for Radio Victory often appearing as a guest on different shows.
Whilst running the shop I also became the British Music Editor for two overseas magazines - one in Canada the other in Japan. My stage reputation was also growing and among the diverse gigs I did during that time was supporting punks Sham 69 at Clarence Pier and heavy metal Samson at the Mecca. In 1981 I joined Chichester Hospital Radio where I continue to be the Head of Programmes. Among my duties are teaching radio techniques and scheduling 24/7 programming. Many of my trainees have since forged successful careers in radio and television broadcasting. I too followed a similar path.
After passing an audition for the BBC I was given a free hand to produce my own shows. During the first Gulf War I did the graveyard shifts - sometimes seven or eight hours at a time. As a broadcast journalist specialising in music I have since worked on several commercial radio stations in the UK and in America. For ten years I was the Local Channel Manager for cable television where I produced sixteen nationwide television programmes each week. I believe in giving others an opportunity so I devised a community show showcasing student talent.
Currently I present the Book of Records - a two hour award winning specialist music show, every Saturday morning for Express FM. I compered all of the original Gosport Festivals, when we had a galaxy of top names appearing over a ten day period. During that period we had the likes of Take That, Kool and the Gang, Osibisa, Bob Geldof, Roger Taylor (of Queen three times) Roger Chapman, John Martyn, Richard Thompson, Squeeze, Jools Holland, Julian Lloyd, Webber and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. The list is long and impressive but my favourite has to be the brilliant BB King who I worked with twice. pictured For the past four years I have fronted the Gosport Waterfront Festival (pictured) and will be back again this year. I’ve also hosted the Christmas Lights switch on in the town during the same period.
Over the years I have played most of the major venues in the city even many of the Bandstand concerts every Summer. And that virtually brings us up to date.
Regards Pete

peteguitar petedrums peterecs
petestage petefest

Pete Cross at the Tricorn Club

When I did my first night at the Tricorn I insisted they dispensed with the handle to the gramophone! The Club was initially an out-and-out cabaret venue with not a hint of disco- when I was taken on, in late 1967, as a token DJ to please the many regular punters who wanted more up-to-date music to dance to, I was positioned on a stool facing a double turntable in a mounted box affair on wheels- the unit was originally used to put on records enabling the resident trio to have a break or two.
We had 2 x 100 watt speakers perched either side of the stage- no mixing decks, echo units, reverb, speeded up and down turntables, cross fades etc which are taken for granted nowadays. The mic was attached to a foot long goose neck bendy affair. If the dancers got a little excited and jumped up and down in front of me one had to place a half penny on the top of the needle frame to stop the records jumping.
As more and more people requested discotheque (what a lovely old word) music, the trio were phased out (sorry musos – nothing to do with me!) and the Tricorn become a club/dance venue. To boost the sound we hired a 6 channel Sound City Amp from Alan Clarke Sound (still going young Alan doing the PA for Des O`Connor) and suddenly we sounded superb – a separate channel for the mic, one for the turntables and one for a “jingle machine” which was actually just a tape deck Alan rigged up with Radio jingles copied onto it. We had at least 200 watts to blast out- how this must have sounded up against Slade, Uriah Heep, Mud, Alex Harvey Band etc goodness knows but we were all youngish- this is what we had to “play” with and we were more than happy with it – plus who can recall the Beatles small PA battling with the screamers at The Guildhall in `63.
The Tricorn then bought its own Sound City valve amp from The Image (I hope Cmdr. Ford paid them) and apart from Nigel Grundy adding a personalised front box this is how we continued for years.The only problem we sometimes had was when cabaret acts turned up expecting to use the in house PA (still happens today) and the sight of a comic bending over my DJ consul performing his act using my 12” goose neck mic was a joy to behold.Pic attached of aforementioned turntable with my hi tech lighting way before LED`s came into existence.

Mike Devon, from the NEWS 23rd December 1995


From Paul Emery

This picture, Brian Picton, Nigel Collins, Paul, Steve Gould, Pete Collins, colectively known as The Steve Gould Band, was taken at the Radical Club 1977 we used to play in there a lot. . . The band is The Steve Gould Band. Pzul Emery playing drums in platform boots and massive flared trousers with 3 button high waists. . . the bass drum beater used to find its way up his trouser leg until he started rolling the hem up. We made maybe 35 pounds a night in there.

From Colin Dowsett in NZ,;-

I think Fossy is right- he's got a great memory! It must be the same Steve Gould. He was one of the singers in the first band I ever played live with called The Aim which played a mixture of RnB, Motown, Souls and Blues. Steve was one singer and Brian Foster whom I met again in later years and still lives in Copnor, I think, was the other. They were both at school at the Tech. They were particularly good at the Sam and Dave bit. We played one biggish gig at South Parade Pier called "Swinging Summertime With the Aim" (!) and playing with us were the much more accomplished father and son from Bennetts music shop in Fratton Rd with their combo. Apart from me (on lead and sometimes bass guitars) the other members of the band were my old mate (to this day) Steve Guy on bass and sax and a really nice West Indian guy named Russ Celestine on drums. I heard later that Russ died at a tragically young age from cancer. But later the lineup changed and Steve Guy and myself went over to playing exclusively blues. It looks like Steve Gould went into the glam rock scene from the outfits of his band.

From Chris Fossy Fosbrook

Thats it, I couldn't remember The Aim, should have done because I used to drive them around for a while. I was the only one with a car. Of course Colin went on to form Chicago's Insolence.


George East

The only bands I really knew when I started the Rockin' Hot Rods was Mick Glover and Digger Hart's band and Mark Tuddenham's Renegades and Chris Ryder and the Southern Sounds. I either taught people to play the guitar, got them into music or recruited at least 20 people in the early Sixties. MIke Beacon lived round the corner from our shop in Frensham Road when we were about eleven and he would sing along to my home made guitar. He used to sing in the choir at Milton and always had a wonderful voice. Nice bloke too. It was a great time to be into music in the Sixties in Portsmouth.

Phil Freeman

phil4 phil

“I guess I was no different from any other 11 year old schoolboy in 1959…. After nervously completing the ‘11 plus’ exam, there must have been a certain trepidation as to what the next part of your future would be like……………………. Well I was ‘graded’ to become a pupil at the ’Portsmouth Technical High school’ (sounds posher than it was), where by the grace of the ever curious Reg Wassell I was deemed good enough to be an alto voice in the school choir
At home, I vividly remember the sessions under the bedclothes listening to Radio Luxemburg on the ‘cigar box’ crystal set and becoming ‘hooked on Glasgow’s Chas McDevitt / Shirley Douglas / Nancy Whiskey’s ”Freight Train” followed of course by the great Lonnie Donegan singing about his old man who was a refuse operative…..From rock and roll to skiffle to blues seems to be how it went as around the corner was the blues of Bo Diddley ….
Here I think was my first mad leap into the world of music making and I made a rectangular bodied guitar (a la Bo) from marine ply and a lump of mahogany strip found in my dad’s shed, strung it with catgut, and with willing (but I feel somewhat mad) personnel who I have no memory of with the chest & broom handle bass and gran’s old washboard, we tried to make something happen!!!!!! ……..I don’t think it was all that good, but I have Reet Petite in my bones…….. (thanks Phil)”
“Having found and discarded the usual hobbies during the early secondary years, I have vivid memories of a group of us around the table in physics lesson when the best ever idea was hatched: to ‘make up a rock and roll band.’ Now let’s face it, nobody knew much about any of it, except maybe me…..I had credentials to be the singer eh…..
1964, answer advert in the evening news for vocalist in local band (the Concords)………succeed in ‘landing the job’. At this time of course, I had no P.A. equipment but was able to persuade the guitarist (Stewart Ward) to use the ‘home’ built unit for his guitar amplification, and eventually got the rhythm guitarist (John Davis) to buy the second-hand tenor sax, and only use the rhythm occasionally plugged in with the lead guitar amp…..I don’t think this happened very often.!!
VOILA!!!! Now there were two Vox AC30 cabinets…One was used for main amp and the other with amp disconnected was the other half of the system…. Microphone cables trailed to one side of stage and there was my P.A. (I think I got this idea from early days of Manfred Mann)……….
This was excellent for a time, and then I decided I would use my woodworking skills and construct a pair of columns (2 x 12” celestions), and combine this with the very popular Linear Choncord (amp in a cage), which I found in the back of that wonderful shop that used to be opposite The Fawcett Inn, where you could get all manner of electrical gubbins………….
Next was me breaking my dad’s rule about hire purchase items and waltzing into Minns Music , and purchasing on credit the Selmer treble and bass fifty system and Shure unidyne mic and stand that I was so proud of and looked so cool at the time………………….
A mention here for those interested in transportation of gear at that time: How much gear can you transport to local gigs in Dave’s mini-van? Answer: all of it if you make two or three trips , with the back doors open and tied up with the obligatory length of rope.
It made for a long old day. Begin apprenticeship as carpenter / joiner, and have found new hobby—MUSIC . Now, as then, I am an ardent fan of Soul Music—-heroes like Otis Redding/ Bobby Bland/Joe Tex/Eddie Floyd /Clarence Carter (the list goes on), Stax / Atlantic studios house band,the big brass section /the rhythms/the ‘good vibes………I instigated a lot of the musical changes from blues style to soul and the name change,whilst being able to pre-order records from Weston Hart,and being able to rehearse a lot of material and have it in our play list before it was on general release here,served as a bonus toward our popularity I feel….During our ‘best year’ 1966, we managed to win the beat group competition at Weymouth with just 2 points short of the 100..(5th place in final),I think we got voted # 2 local band,and there was talk of us jumping into the spot locally that was vacated by the hit parade commitments of Simon Dupree…….. What ever happened to that idea?
My brother Roger had gotten involved as our ‘roadie’ , and being 3 years older than me, I felt pretty good about having his ‘interest’ For something else to occupy his time, he got involved with Ernie Sears and The Rendezvous Club as doorman/refreshment stall operative/and paste and bucket person on the night run putting up the posters……How good was this. I had connections and could get into the club for nothing (apart from maybe manning the refreshments sometimes,and helping out on the poster run…
Through those grand doors,down the grand hallway, up the grand staircase,into the grand hall…..this is where it kind of changed as it turned into a gathering of teenage souls in various states of being gathered to enjoy THE MUSIC….(my hobby)..Not only being able to soak up the ‘sounds of the sixties’ from some of the best at the time, but of course along with the best of our local groups of the day, actually playing support spot on many of those shows in what in its early days was probably THE place to go for a good night of…MUSIC.
Great days , great memories, and very possibly I may soon be able to return, as they are planning to turn it into an old peoples’ home …….I can’t wait……..”

bernie fox1

Bernie Fox

In the late 70s Bernie was in various Bands including Truth with Gary Twigg, Terry Holland and the Lundquist brothers.
Grand Union with Steve Farrow, Gary Twigg. Bryan Grice and Terry Dugan, Mark Andrews, Julie Williams plus Horn section.
Fritz a rock band with Gary Webb, Dave Jeffries and Steve Geary.
Very late 70s Was Propaganda with Dave Saunders, Rob Vick, Bob Ross, Cliff Chapman and Steve Grainger.
The 80s started with Propaganda which morphed into the Dodgers, same line up as Propaganda just swap Rick le Page for Dave Saunders.
Next was the Scratch Band an instrumental band same line up as Dodgers minus Rick le Page.
Also throughout the 80s Bernie worked with Accolade a club band with Kenny Mayes and Terry Mills.
During the 90s he worked with Bop with a Stranger, a jazz type outfit with Matt Little and Ricky Eastman augmented with Gary Shaw and Steve Grainger.
Hunter 1991. Toured and did T.V. with blues great Jimmy Witherspoon, recorded and toured with Sherman Robertson, both th ese projects via Mike Vernon.
Recorded with Steve Roux for Virgin records in Memphis, Also recorded album with Eric Bibb along with live dates.
Fomed the White knuckle Blues band with Steve Roux and Rob Vick.
2000s White Knuckle Blues band, Brass Knuckle Blues band, Dave Raphel Band, Fritz, Men from Montgomery, Teed Up, Sensational Jonny Depps soul band, Scratch band and Dodgers re unions. There is a whole lot more but it would take a long time to remember it all, says Bernie.

Return to the previous page