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Sixties/seventies gigs in the Charlton, Bromley area

I was born in 1956, and being a young music fan living in Bromley/Sundridge Park in the sixties and early seventies meant that I was aware of exotic and, for me, out of reach gigs 'happening' in the area. Chistlehurst caves was one venue where Hendrix, The Stones and Pink Floyd played, but I wasn't allowed to go, being too young (and the Cave gigs were know for illicit substances being abused).
Left Bromley in about 71/72 for the delights of the army base in Didcot. So this is all about the pre punk era.

Finally my mum ralented and gave me and my next door neighbour Stephen Coombes a lift to see the following gig in the wilds of Croydon:
25th April 1969 Pentangle, Fairfield Halls, Croydon
And after the gig she was waiting outside to give us a lift home. Thanks mum! But I guess we were only 13.

Then there was:
1970 Traffic & If, Fairfield Halls, Croydon, again, a lift from mum.
If were jazz rockers. Traffic was Stevie Windwood's band of course.

We might have gone to this one on the bus, I can't remember:
Jan 10th 1971 Uriah Heep & Groundhogs, New Theatre, Bromley
I just remember my ears rang for about two weeks afterwards, and the PA was a massive stack of Orange cabinets.

Did any Lifers get to the Chistlehurst Caves? Or to any other interesting gigs in that period?

My first two 'gigs' were:
Russ Conway at the army base in Cyprus. I told my dad he was smoking too much. Russ Conway overheard me and said somethinglike, "Cor, too right!" I was only 4 or 5.
And the family went to Billy Smart's circus when I was about 7, and the Barron Knights played in between the clowns and the tightrope walkers. Not sure where the circus was, I'm guessing somewhere near Bromley though.

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Comments

  • Thames Poly was good early 70s.
    The Saxon Tavern?
    The Black Bull, Lewisham was good for local bands.
  • yep, remember seeing Colosseum at the Poly - they were brilliant
  • I saw Stray a few times at Woolwich Poly in the 70's, also Pink Fairies if I recall correctly.

    The Clash at Lewisham Odeon were superb.

    As you mention Croydon, I saw The Jam at Croydon Greyhound, great gig.

    Most of the gigs I saw in those days tended to be in Central London, Camden, North London - there was a real dearth of venues in SE London.
  • edited April 23
    Desmond Dekker & The Israelites - Lewisham Odeon

    Labi Siffre - Lewisham Odeon

    Plenty of Ben Sherman's, Crombies, and two tone suits at the DD gig!
  • Essex_Al said:

    Desmond Dekker & The Israelites - Lewisham Odeon

    Labi Siffre - Lewisham Odeon

    Plenty of Ben Sherman's, Crombies, and two tone suits at the DD gig!

    DD and the Aces surely
  • Errrrrm.......Jesus, where do I start!
  • yep, remember seeing Colosseum at the Poly - they were brilliant

    I bought their album Valentyne Suite, probably in Bromley from the department store that had a record section. Forgotten what the department store was called.
  • Yeah, i bought Valentyne Suite too (probably on the back of the gig), I would have it now if it wasnt for my ex deciding to burn all my vinyls !
  • I remember seeing Stray and The Pink Fairies at the Poly. Also Saw them at the Harrow Inn and Avery Hill College. Then the rest of the seventies was a blur apart from Who at The Valley. Later in the eighties remember Mungo Jerry at he tramshed.
  • Yeah, i bought Valentyne Suite too (probably on the back of the gig), I would have it now if it wasnt for my ex deciding to burn all my vinyls !

    I was trying to think of the big booming front man they had and all i could think of was Joe Cocker , but of course it was Chris Farlowe.
    I notice they were still touring until 2015.
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  • T Rex at Lewisham Odeon about 1971

    Brinsley Swartz at the Harrow Inn Abbey Wood 1972

    Van der Graf Generator at Bromley College 1973
  • edited April 23

    T Rex at Lewisham Odeon about 1971

    Brinsley Swartz at the Harrow Inn Abbey Wood 1972

    Van der Graf Generator at Bromley College 1973

    Wow would have loved to have been at those. Particularly the T-Rex and the VdGG.

    Embarrassingly perhaps, my mum Gladys Seed used to play Ride a White Swan on Jimmy's piano (I bought the sheet music), and I would sing. Aaaagh!
  • edited April 23
    Sweet memories, James Seed; this has the makings of a fascinating thread.

    The first proper band I saw live was Atomic Rooster, with Vincent Crane on Hammond organ, in the Great Hall of St Dunstan's College in Catford. This was about 1970; I was a young teenage pupil and was deeply impressed. For the end-of-term gig the following year, the school hosted Sutherland Brothers & Quiver, with the excellent Willie Wilson on drums.

    I soon gravitated to the Greyhound in Croydon for prog bands such as Caravan and Camel; Sunday nights there gave me a musical education. I drummed on this stage twice in the mid-1970s, in a band supporting Canned Heat and The Pink Fairies. Our band was paid £5!

    The archives show that Cream played the Bromley Court Hotel – sadly, before my time. Heavy rock was a staple of the Black Prince in Bexley, a rambling roadhouse and now a hotel; I recall enjoying Trapeze, with bassist Glenn Hughes, who later joined Deep Purple. Up in town, the old Marquee in Wardour Street was my favoured venue for packed intimacy.

    My pal remembers seeing Fleetwood Mac play the Fellowship Inn, a pub next to Bellingham station, in the late-60s!
  • Yeah, i bought Valentyne Suite too (probably on the back of the gig), I would have it now if it wasnt for my ex deciding to burn all my vinyls !

    I was trying to think of the big booming front man they had and all i could think of was Joe Cocker , but of course it was Chris Farlowe.
    I notice they were still touring until 2015.
    James Litherland was the singer?
  • Saw a pre-debut album Roxy Music at the Black Prince in '72.
  • Acab said:

    I remember seeing Stray and The Pink Fairies at the Poly. Also Saw them at the Harrow Inn and Avery Hill College. Then the rest of the seventies was a blur apart from Who at The Valley. Later in the eighties remember Mungo Jerry at he tramshed.

    My uncle was a regular at the poly and was/is a fan of stray and the fairies. Stray are still about and I went to see the pink fairies with him at the beaverwood a couple of years ago. Would love to have been around then, he went to loads of fantastic gigs, both Who concerts at the valley, Humble Pie, the stones at Hyde Park etc.
  • edited April 23

    Saw a pre-debut album Roxy Music at the Black Prince in '72.

    That must have been a bit special? Were they all glammed up?
    I met Ferry in 2012 and he told me he was really into cycling in his youth, which surprised me for some reason. He was in a cycling club up north. Doesn't tie up with his glam image I guess.
  • JamesSeed said:

    yep, remember seeing Colosseum at the Poly - they were brilliant

    I bought their album Valentyne Suite, probably in Bromley from the department store that had a record section. Forgotten what the department store was called.
    The store might have been Medhursts, at the top end of the high street, Primark are there now.
  • The Heartbreakers,999,Fruit Eating Bears @ Stockwell college in Bromley.

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  • Essex_Al said:

    Desmond Dekker & The Israelites - Lewisham Odeon

    Labi Siffre - Lewisham Odeon

    Plenty of Ben Sherman's, Crombies, and two tone suits at the DD gig!

    DD and the Aces surely
    Of course it was, I struggle to remember the gigs, let alone get the names right!
  • T Rex at Lewisham Odeon about 1971

    Brinsley Swartz at the Harrow Inn Abbey Wood 1972

    Van der Graf Generator at Bromley College 1973

    I bought a Brinsley Scwartz album JB. Were they any good live? coz their album was a bit tepid if i remember correctly
  • Paladin was another band i remember seeing at Poly.
  • JamesSeed said:

    Saw a pre-debut album Roxy Music at the Black Prince in '72.

    That must have been a bit special? Were they all glammed up?
    I met Ferry in 2012 and he told me he was really into cycling in his youth, which surprised me for some reason. He was in a cycling club up north. Doesn't tie up with his glam image I guess.
    To be honest JS I can't remember for sure - I'm thinking that Ferry was all in black leather like an ageing rocker more than a glam star.
    I recall the sound was very poor and I didn't really rate the band or the venue at the time!!
    A few months later I heard Virginia Plain and soon changed my mind :smile:
  • edited April 23
    As I have mentioned before, I was into R&B, so I saw many concerts at Woolwich (Odean and Granada. I think) and also at Lewisham. Ray Charles, Bill Hayley, Duane Eddy, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, The Animals. Had tickets for an up and coming group called The Beetles, but did not fancy it. Sorry, just noticed you said Bromley area, unfortunately? I was born and brought up in Charlton
  • Thames Poly: Darryl Way's Wolf, Van der Graaf Generator, Sharks and more

    Woolwich: Henry Cow... great gig but didn't go down well with most of the audience who'd expected a rock band

    Greenwich Borough Hall: Man, Groundhogs, Soft Machine... all within a few weeks in magic Autumn of 74.

    I remember posters for a whole load of other great bands (Black Widow, Steamhammer, East of Eden) that I didn't manage to see.
  • I saw Sweet at Greenwich Borough Hall when I was still at school, around 1973?
  • T Rex at Lewisham Odeon about 1971

    Brinsley Swartz at the Harrow Inn Abbey Wood 1972

    Van der Graf Generator at Bromley College 1973

    I bought a Brinsley Scwartz album JB. Were they any good live? coz their album was a bit tepid if i remember correctly
    Good live band imo. That gig at the Harrow was very poorly attended, but Nick Lowe stood out with his cropped hair and denim jacket, at a time when everyone else had long hair.

    Saw them again at the Roundhouse about a year later, along with Man and Hawkwind.
  • All this has made me have a nostalgia afternoon, and currently watching a band i never saw live but wish i had....Jethro Tull.....

  • Most of my friends from the estate, were into reggae, while I was into 'progressive rock' and later the guitar bands of the early 70s when at art college. To my regret I never saw Bob Marley, that some of the guys went to at the Rainbow.

    Remember seeing the Amen corner at the Greenwich theatre, after the bend me shape me hit in 68. While in the 6th form at Bloomfield the place was the Woolwich poly and went to most of the gigs, including The Strawbs, Wild Turkey, a Jethro Tull breakaway, and I am pretty sure Edgar Broughton. Locally in Bexley the Black prince, Rory Gallagher, Uriah Heep, and the Groundhogs at The Harrow Inn

    When I had the money at art college, The Marquee, The Lyceum in London. Greyhound and Fairfield halls across the road. The Greyhound used to have gig's in the lunchtime, and remember Roxy music playing there.Think half the art college went to that gig.

    Probably was a golden age, as the music press was stuffed with gigs every day of the week,in Melody Maker, and Sounds. Used to spend Wednesday lunchtime, planning out the gigs for that week. Festivals most weekends of the summer. The free concerts in Hyde park, were particularly good, First time I saw Pink Floyd.
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