Portsmouth Music Scene

The Portsmouth Music Scene

Student Projects

Very Occasonally I get local University students contacting me about these pages and ask if thay can use thm for a project.
I have no object and usually ask for copies of their work. Here is one from Ben Roe,(Drummer in a local band called WEB.)

ben1 ben2

RETRO STORIES Ingrid : “The Birdcage was the place to go. Nick van Hoogstraaten ran it. Fancied himself and always had a blonde on his arm. He was a rogue landlord too. He was imprisoned for throwing a bomb at a synagogue and was later implicated in the death of a business associate. A thoroughly horrible man, but the club hosted big names like The Who, Jimmy James, Genocide Washington, Julie Driscoll, Chris Farlow plus many more. It was a dump, but the all-nighters were brilliant. Awash with drugs too.”Lesley : “Yes crazy days indeed, with many big names playing there!! But looking back it is hard to understand why it took the police so long to raid it. But there were no drink/drug driving laws either..different times”Ingrid : “I was too young to drive and had to walk home bleary eyed in the morning all the way to North End!”Lesley : “Hahaha...the walk of shame”
Kathleen: OMG The Savoy Ballroom. Don’t have any photo but I went every Friday night for radio band night. Memories still vivid and I was sad to see a big hole from demolition that would be 2014/5 thereabouts. Last trip 2018 now a block of smart apartments. The Savoy lives in my heart forever. Great dances to great radio bands.
Patrick: My father was apart time evening ‘bouncer/doorman’ at the Savoy. I was sixteen when my mother was in hospital having given birth to my sister, over New Year. Dad took me to the Savoy, the only thing I had to wear was my school uniform, I must have looked very odd.A bit later I did see The Beatles there at about the time when their second record was out and they were just becoming famous.Used to go to the Tricorn in late evening/ early morning in a dinner suit that I wore as a part time croupier at the Casino above the Shaftesbury Bingo.
Tony: The tricorn club a most popular venue for those who thought that it was the style of the future alas sadly mistaken, does anyone remember the soundbarrier in goldsmith avenue used to play progressive rockLesley Sheldon: Oh yes...Good old Sound barrier. Gary Buck on the decks playing great music. Bar ..ankle deep in beer sloppings. Girls queuing in the toilets to roll joints for the blokes. But it was full of friends and a good night on the dance floor. That would have been around mid 70s.
Neville Bonner: The band I was in rented the upstairs of Martha’s @92 .. we were a 12 piece called Big Brother Soul .. we used to leave our gear there and practice . It was cheaper than renting .. it still has signs of being a pool club and a brothol .. we had a management agency called « Flip Top » and they invested the money and put a stage in , lights .. jumped through all the liscence hoops and we opened it up as the R.I.P club .. we had to stop at 11 but found out that if we served food ( min 6 tables ) we could get a late liscence so we opened up the kitchens .. not sure if anyone ever ate there though .... we played once or twice a week and rented it out for blues / disco / gay nights and private rehearsal and gig space . We had a couple of bouncers on a Yts schème ... it ran very successfully and with great fun for about 4 years ... unfortunately it was « stolen » from us and shortly after reopened as Orviles .We had connections there then as well apparently ... with a prostitutes called Penny .... so according to my mum looked like Bella embourg .. I’ve no idea how that’s speltWe didn’t have an alcohol liscence yet so each raffle ticket « won » a drink ... I was 16 and technically not old enough to be in my own club !We opened it as « Martha’s Attic » but when flip top ( Paul and laurelle Johnston) got involved it became the R.I.P club.Orvilles was promoted as a « gay » club after we had it . But I did go there a few times with friends and the wife as they had a good goth and disco night.I met my wife in the RIP club ... she came to see us play.

PRESENT DAY STORIES Adam: I remember seeing gorrilaz at the guildhall. They played a warm up show before their arena tour. So the stage had none of the big screens or fancy hollograms of the animated characters. Was just Damon Albarn and the band on stage going mad. Also saw The Murder Capital at The Wedgwood rooms. One of the best live gig I've seen. First song in the singer jumped into a mosh pit and from then on had the crown in his hands. Even for the nearly 9 minute 'Slowdance I & II' barely anyone moved, just watching the performance Ben: We played a gig at the wedgewood rooms once. because the doors to the venue open on the street , te owners had a ‘no opening the doors whil the bands playing policy.’. WELL id invited a bunch of new mates from uni. most of which who had never been to this part of town before. so we’re gonna be late, which meant arriving during our set. a set that we a had planned on jamming for 20 minutes straight with no breaks! safe to say i had a word with the promoter and he made sure my new friends were alowed in. We played terribly might i add....
Lucas: Southsea fest 2016. We were in a die-hard grunge band at the time and were all under age. We were booked to play the Deco at 12 in the afternoon - a total non-slot but didn't care. When we arrive the organisers are visibly concerned by our appearance and, after a good long whisper between themselves the geez comes up and asks how many of us are under 18."Uh... All of us" His response was that we could play but would have to leave the festival immediately afterwards as the whole event weas 18+We proceed to play a particularly disastrous set. The only people in the 'crowd' were a couple of our dads and Drug Store Romeos with whom I'd had an exclusively internet friendship with up to this point facilitated by mutual friends.2 songs in one of the amps goes and I think we manage 15 minutes before giving up. No matter, we leave with wristbands defiantly on-wrists and go out to the fest.We accompany Drug Store to The One-Eyed Dog where they were set to go on last - not sure if you'd call this a headliner but it felt like a big deal.Tragedy would again strike, as, laden with guitars amps and various drum bits, our entry to the pub was refused on the grounds of no ID."B-but we're playing!" someone said. "No dice" (paraphrasing)The bookers were contacted to see if stuff could get moved around. Meanwhile we took a whistle-stop tour of every venue in town - the first time any of us had been to most of them.We saw the Big Moon at The Pyramids - a vast space/scarce crowd made their audience seem smaller than ours.We saw heaps of bands with Honey in the name. Honey Blood and Honey Lung I think - one at trinity church which was cool and one at LJR.We ran into a very early days HMLTD who drug store knew but didnt see them play.We saw black honey at wedgewood rooms and then run into the rhythm section and hung out with them for a bit which was cool. They bought K and I beers at LJR and we watched Inheaven and The Amazons there - which is actually pretty mad thinking about it.Weirdly during Inheavens set about 14 fights broke out and bnlokes went flying out the front door and were scrapping in the street. I believe K has video footage of it. It was actually mad.Drug Store had been absent tho tryna sort out their sitch. We met them at birdcage and turns out nobody wanted to switch venues with them which was pretty peak.They left having not played at all but in them I found friendships that I treasure. It was a magical day all things considered.

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