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MOTF THOUGHTS: The ability to stir emotions - whether it be laughter or sadness, is the art of the entertainer - Pete Perry 1964
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TURNING BACK THE CLOCK WITH
By Pete Perry
Photographs by NIKKI PERRY
The Bell Public House, Codicote, Hertfordshire UK -30th November 1983.
A new band hits the live music circuit - ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you... ROONY RICKSHAW!
Thirty years later, on 30th November they returned, with the original line-up, and many of the old songs.
True to tradition, lead vocalist and front man RAY CORDELL was presented with the oriental bandana that he always wore at Rickshaw gigs, - and the band let rip!
It took me way back to where it all began, right here at The Bell Inn.
The band were just as powerful now as way back in the day, and maybe a little better, as with time comes experience.
No wonder The Roons (as they were affectionately called at the time) soon attracted a large fan following.
So much, in fact, that it led me to doing a feature titled 'ROONYMANIA!' in Switchboard magazine.
That was at the event at Fairlands Valley, Stevenage, arranged by myself and Jon Ridley, and which was the first ever gig played at Fairlands. Now it is an annual event!
Nikki also enjoyed it of course, hearing them in this line-up for the first time. She would have been eight years old when they originally played at this venue!
An added bit of nastalgia was when the band played the first song they ever played together - WILD THING!
The whole thing was videod, not only by us and others, but also by HITCHIN TV, so we'll share them with you as soon as they are ready.
Speaking of which.... after the nostalgia of The Roons, Ray got together his current band, THE MIGHTY WONDERFULS, which gave me the chance to meet up with more old friends, including my old buddy AITCH (seen in the piccie on the left).
Another superb performance of course from this band, as we would expect, and there were even couples up dancing to the music...
The past few weeks have been one long occasion of meeting up with old friends: Lucy-Sian, Kev Crase and the rest of the guys from Stormchaser, and then this, with the guys, not only from ROONY RICKSHAW, but also from THE MIGHTY WONDERFULS, - and it all started a couple of weeks ago when we bumped into STEVE WALTERS, and then with the guys below, - HAWKLORDS... WOW!!!
WATCH OUT FOR THE VIDEOS
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There's no other word for it
By Pete & Nikki
Awesome is one word we hardly ever use, - but meeting and watching HAWKLORDS perform at Club 85 in Hitchin, Herts, on Hallowe'en (31st October) was exactly that, and no other word will do...
Our old mate, and Club 85 Supremo BOB MARDON (pictured right with Pete and the band) had arranged for us to interview the band, and to video their performance, and to do this review, and we were taken by surprise when the guys sought us out, came straight over and asked 'Pete Perry?'
From there on, we were like old friends, and went immediately into banter, which you can watch on the video.
Nikki was operating the camcorder as Pete was 'Interviewing' them, - but then Pete invited her from behind the camera to meet the guys (see photo above left) who immediately began winding her up... all good fun!
We have to say, these guys are among the nicest people we have ever met.
Of course, we DID talk about the band and it's origins, breaking away from Hawkwind, and also about their new album DREAM, which we highly recommend.
HAWKFANS were out in force, along with their Hawk-head masks and feathers, and they mingled with other revellers, all dolled up for Hallowe'en....
... and of course, we met a few old friends (below) like the enigmatic MERLIN and our old mate, MATT TURNER - The Freak of The Pit (Old Switchboard Online readers will know about him!)
But of course, what we had all come along for was The Music of course!
The support band, DEVIANT AMPS (pictured left, and who had been instrumental in putting us in touch with HAWKLORDS) were superb, and had everyone (including us!) bopping along.
We were very very impressed with this band, so check them out...
AND THEN THE MOMENT ARRIVED, AND THE ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE 'WE PRESENT HAWKLORDS!'
The distinctive HAWKLORDS sound then came out from the amps, and Hawlords were off, at full throttle, with tracks from the past and current albums... accompanied by images, bith story-telling and psychedelic being played out on the backdrop screen.
Nikki was taken aback by the sound, which she was not familiar with, and which took Pete back to that day, in 1969, where Pete's own band, ARCHIMEDES, had been booked at Bowes Lyon House, Stevenage, to support HIGH TIDE.
As it happens, HIGH TIDE's van had broken down on the way there, and the agency sent a replacement: A band that had just changed it's name from BAND X to HAWKWIND! (Pete and the guys of HAWKLORDS chat about this on the video interview).
Like Nikki, Pete was also amazed at the amazing, unique sound that was Hawkwind at the time, - as was everyone else in the club that evening!
IF YOU GET THE CHANCE, CHECK OUT HAWKLORDS FOR YOURSELF, AND YOU'LL BE SURE OF A FABULOUS AND UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE - AWESOME IN FACT!
Love & Peace
Pete & Nikki
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Pete & Nikki's Adventures at THE GRANBY
DEB & BILL
J C McKAY & THE EGG & BACON BAND
Photographs by DEBORAH JOHNSTON & PETE PERRY
Well, officially, it was a birthday party for a relative of JC McKAY at THE GRANBY, North Road, Stevenage, - but Pete, Nikki, Deborah and Bill 'kind of' gate-crashed the event - on the invitation of the lead vocalist of The Egg & Bacon Band himself.
In turn, Deb and Bill had invited our Intrepid pair to dinner at the pub, (see picture right) as Pete was recovering from recent surgery, and Nikki had been worried about him.
As would be expected of one of our local legends, we were treated to some superb Rock Music, spiced up with a bit of humour and tomfoolery.
Quite early in the set, JC spotted Pete filming the band, and told the packed house, 'It's nice to see some of our local pensioners are out tonight...' Then gesturing towards Pete, he added, 'Pete Perry is here with his Child Bride, Nikki. As it's not a school night, she is allowed to stay out late...'
Well, - that's JC for you! It was this off-the-wall sense of humour and superb musical talent of JC and the lads, plus the fact that Pete has known them for over forty years, that led Nikki & Pete to book them for our wedding at Knebworth Barns in 2009.
You can see them in the Nikki & Pete's Wedding Adventure on YouTube.
Another surprise was when JC teamed up with other musicians to do a bit of skiffle, much to the delight of Pete, who played tea-chest bass in The Apostles Skiffle Group in the Fifties.
A highlight of this section was 'My Old Man's A Dustman'.
Another comedy highlight was The EBB's version of Tom Jones' 'Delilah', which is something to be seen and heard to be believed!
ALL IN ALL A BRILLIANT EVENING'S ENTERTAINMENT FROM ON OF NORTH HERTS LEGENDARY BANDS.
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PETE & NIKKI'S SIXTIES GOLD ADVENTURE!
27th September 2013 at THE GORDON CRAIG THEATRE, Stevenage.
WELL! If you like Sixties music as we do, this would have been right up your street: GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS, THE SEARCHERS, P J PROBY, THE FORTUNES, AND BRIAN POOLE & CHIP HAWKES.
WHAT A LINE-UP, HEY?
We were there mainly for our old oppo (and Pete's cousin's hubby) Len 'Chip' Hawkes, (see right with Brian Poole and Nikki) as he has been battling serious health problems, but we found the whole show to be a knockout...
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The evening got off to a flying start with a real party atmosphere, and THE FORTUNES (pictured on the left) took to the stage
All the old hits were there,'You've Got Your Troubles', 'Here It comes Again', 'Storm In A Teacup et al, together with a few new ones, which appear on their new CD.
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Like the rest of us, Texan-born PJ PROBY has matured with age (ahem!) - sporting a very distinguished silver-grey beard, which he seems to have traded in for his Sixties-style Presley-esque sideburns! Forgotten too, is the Sixties scandal of PJ splitting his trousers on stage in 1964 (which may have gone some way to him winning the title of Melody Maker Teen Idol in the same year!) But he still has that rich deep voice that made him famous with hits such as 'Hold Me' and 'There's a Place For us', from the classic musical 'West Side Story'.
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Next on for the first half were THE SEARCHERS, (Pictured left) - one of the most famous bands of the Sixties, along with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Tremeloes and Gerry & The Pacemakers, (who we'll come to later).
Again, all their greatest hits were here, such as 'Sweets For My Sweet', 'Sugar and Spice', 'Don't throw you Love Away' and 'Needles and Pins', along with some new ones.
We thoroughly enjoyed this, and many of the audience got up and began dancing in the aisles.
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After the intermission, it was the turn of our old Oppo LEN 'CHIP' HAWKES of 'The Tremeloes', teaming up, after many years, with Trems old frontman, BRIAN POOLE.
There was laughs-a-plenty, as they reminisced about the old days, when, according to Chip, Brian tucked him up at the back of the stage behind the drums, when he joined the band in the early days.
Since then, of course, Brian and The Tremeloes went their separate ways, and Chip turned to bass guitar, lead vocals and songwriting.
Chip also told us about the DVD he and Brian have made, of them reminscing at the side of the pool. Chip's son, CHESNEY HAWKES joked that it should be titled 'Two Old Farts talking Crap!'
There was a fair splattering of Brian Poole and The Tremeloes, and The Tremeloes as a separate entity, with big hits such as 'SOMEONE, SOMEONE', 'CANDY MAN', 'MR TAMBOURINE MAN', 'TWIST & SHOUT',
'SUDDENLY YOU LOVE ME' and 'HERE COMES MY BABY'
A Wonderful performance indeed.
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Finally, came the cheerful, ebullient GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS, (Below) - the band that actually beat THE BEATLES to the top of the charts, and who were also managed by BRIAN EPSTIEN.
GERRY MARSDEN'S uniqute Liverpool wit came to the fore, along with all the hits, such as 'FERRY 'CROSS THE MERSEY', 'HOW DO YOU DO IT?', YOU'RE THE ONE', 'DON'T LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYING', and the iconic, evocative football anthum, 'YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE', which set a load of Liverpool fans chanting in the audience!
In his usual impish witty style, Gerry almost got the audience crying, when he told them that once, when they played 'Don't Let The Sun catch You Crying', a couple in the audience, Julie and Peter. fell in love, and got married (sob!)
He went on, 'That was 25 years ago, and they are here in the audience tonight.
A big 'AAAHH!!' went up from the audience...
Then came the punchline...
TROUBLE IS, - THEY GOT DIVORCED 15 YEARS AGO....'
WHAT A GREAT EVENiNG OF ENTERTAINMENT!
TRY TO CATCH THE SIXTIES GOLD SHOW WHEN IT COME TO YOUR AREA....
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