The Acropolis - Folkestone - Small club
venue - Used to get raided by the police!
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 -
Country Club Click
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.
a ridiculously more hopeful note, would you have any idea if anybody regularly
taped shows at the Club ? Either illicitly or through the mixing
help, guidance or /anything/ you can contribute would be a massive help.
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.
- 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
THE ROLLING STONES,THE RONETTES, SWINGING BLUE JEANS, DAVE BERRY, MARTY WILD & the WYLDCATS, THE CHEYNES (who later became Fleetwood Mac)
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
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.
Town Hall - Lots of bands from Dover/ Folkestone - Lonely Ones / Big
I saw Deep
Purple there. Awesome. - NRA
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
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.
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
Dreamland, Margate. - Not the main ballroom but another
dance hall/bar alongside the entrance tunnel from the seafront. - Lots of holidaymakers
Ballroom in Margate was the venue of Showaddywaddy's
first professional gig on 1st September 1973. Paul Fixter
Ballroom - Pfizers Club
Taylor who kindly supplied these photos and some of the text said.
Social Club was over the Empress Ballroom at 14-16 Dover Road from 1958 to about
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."
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.
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.
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.
See The Travellers
Saw Hawkwind there.
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.
Social Club, Dover Rd Folkestone ( knocked down now )
to popular belief, Hendrix never played Tofts,
he did however play the Hillside Social Club, Dover Rd.
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.
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
Right - The Circuit at The Hilside Club 1966 (Pic. Thanks to Rod Jones)
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
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
are looking for positive confirmation of these events please contact email@example.com
Does anyone remember Hippocampo in Thanet? .............Pat Catt (nee Sellers)
Hole in The
Wall - Dover Rd, Folkestone
Hall - Herne Bay.
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
best gig ever, at The Leas? - contributions please.
have just returned to the site after about a year and am impressed with its growth.
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
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
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
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
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
· Buddy Rich Orchestra (have Buddy's autograph)
Cozy Powell (have autographs)
· Robin Trower
· Curved Air
· Back Door
· A Band Called O (have autographs) (supported
· Steve Hillage
Edwards Magic Theatre
· Pink Fairies
· Andy Fairweather-Low
· Daryl Way's Wolf
· Stomu Yamashta
· Thin Lizzy (4 times! 3 with Eric Bell, 1 with Gary Moore)
· JSD Band (twice)
· Stray (twice, once
supported by Barnacle)
· Woody Woodmansey's U-boat
· 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
· Soft Machine
· Atomic Rooster
· John Hiseman (not sure if this was Tempest or Colosseum II)
Fleetwood Mac (after Peter Green, but before Nicks/Buckingham)
· Marillion (with Fish)
· Marvin Brett & The Thunderbolts
· Suzi Quatro
· Barnacle/Expedition (Topper before the Clash!)
Andy Macpherson (good old compere!!!!!!)
· Henry McCulloch Band
looked at your webpage and it took me back
Just to add a few more names to
Toshs list appearing at the Leas Cliff Hall 1970-71
Idle Race (early Jeff Lynne pre ELO)
Webbs 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 Hisemans Colosseum original line-up playing Valentynes
Suite. He asked everyone to sit down!
surprised at you! Did you not see any of:
Foster Bros. (London rock trio,
had a No.1 in London at time)
Jack The Lad
I do not believe it!.......................................................Tony
All the best and carry
on the good work.
.............................Tony (Germany) e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other bands that played The Leas
Rolling Stones Apr 4 1964
Leas Cliff Hall Folkestone Kent
Freddie and the Dreamers
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
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
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
The Almighty x 2 (fantastic gig)
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)
"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
BURUNDI BLACK ....Tony Webley
17 1964 Odeon Theatre Folkestone Kent (2 Shows)
Stones play the Odeon with The Applejacks and Heinz.....Shacks
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
The Quarterdeck youth club
in Zion place,MARGATE - Could get very crowded with the local mods
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 www.kentgigs.com
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
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
, Walmer,DEAL. - Popular with the marine squaddies and the locals. - Stones played
there just prior to release of "Around & Around".
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?
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.
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.
1962/3 - Pat Barry &The
Travellers - The Sundowners - The
Lonely Ones - The Playboys
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.
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.
best gig ever, at Tofts - contributions please.
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 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.
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
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
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. )
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
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.
THE FANTASTIC FREDDY MACK SHOW (Rayrik TPLMP 142/143) c1966
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 ..it included an advert for Tofts of Folkestone....Chris Selby
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
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
am looking for a copy of a vinyl album recorded live at Tofts in
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?
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.
Hall - Folkestone
This Gig was put on as a benefit for a student that had been expelled
fro the Art School for alledgedly smoking pot.
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)
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?).
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.