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Hi Guys Discovered your site today after watching a Lew Lewis video on You Tube. Great site! Lots of happy memories from gigs in Chelmsford especially in the punk era. I've only browsed it briefly, but I am sure I'll be back again.These days I live in Bangkok but for most of my life I lived in or near Chelmsford and grew up going to gigs at The City Tavern (rock club) and Chancellor Hall. Here are a few other bands that played in Chelmsford that are not on your list ( unless I missed them) Joe Cool - the first gig I ever went to in Chelmsford was at the college sports hall (the college changed its name so many times it is hard to be sure but I think in those days it was known as the Chelmer Institute for Higher Education) near the railway station- headlining were Joe Cool. This was probably in 1977 . I also saw Sux at this venue - a spoof punk band that featured Bob Marden on drums who was of course famous as a promoter (amongst other things promoting the punk festival at Chelmsford City football ground)
The reggae bands Black Slate & Invasion both played at the City Tavern in 1978 or 1977 I think Invasioncame from near Colchester. In those days black people in Chelmsford were pretty rare and the audience was made up of out of town black reggae fans and local white punks.
The hippy band Jerry the Ferret played at the City Tavern in about 1978. This gig would have been very forgettable and sparsely attended had it not been for the fact that at the last minute the Adverts who were due to play at the Chancellor Hall on the same night cancelled their show ( singer, throat etc.) Therefore the hippy band whose usual audience was probably about 3 men and a dog found themselves with a lively audience of punks who in pursuit of pleasure had decided on a night out regardless of the music. All went well with lively banter and good humour until the interval when the DJ put on some punk classics of the time- Result > violent pogoing > punk knocks speaker stack over > smashes guitar> punks banned from the tavern! (at least for a while)
At a Caroline Road show in the mid 80's the CBS signed band Terraplane played. The core of this band went on to form Thunder who spent 20 years making records having hits and touring.
No question about this The Clash at the Chancellor Hall 1977. The Clash were just so hot at that time.The Slits were good on that night too and became a favourite. I still somewhere have a cassette of their John Peel sessions. I also still have my ticket from that night as well as the fanzine "48 Thrills" which I bought outside the gig. There was also the Chelmsord produced fanzine "Chemsford's Dead" which I bought around this time too.
Thanks for the site keep it up!
Kind Regards Mark
|Bill Nelson From Be Bop Deluxe
This photo taken by Peter Ball at the Chancellor Hall in 1975.
Click on image to see all Peter Ball's Rock Photo's
|Dumpy's Rusty Nuts
Just found this site and it brought back a few memories. My first ever gig was Girlschool at the Chelmsford odeon in 1981, supported by AIIZ. An amazing night. I just saw Girlschool again on the recent Motorhead tour, and they were just as good. I also had some fantastic times at the radio Caroline roadshows at the Chancellor Hall (highlights were getting our photos at the Chancellor Hall included in the gatefold sleeve of Dumpys live album). The inside of the sleeve was a montage of photo's; with the one of us from Chelmsford included. The album is called "Somewhere in England". I'm the one headbanging over the stage,and my mate Pete Hart is just behind me, looking over my shoulder. Shame all the venues are gone now...the Yo-Yo's were amazing at the Army and Navy as well.
Matt May 2010.
|A Band Called "Elected" Margaretting Village Hall 1980s
Click on image to see all band photo's .
|City Rock Festival
I really like this site. Especially the page about the Outdoor Punk Festival at Chelmsford City Football Stadium in 1977. I knew this guy from my school called Jim Butcher who was in a band called The Gents who played at that Festival. The photograph on the site of the unknown band may have even been them? It would be really great to re-run that festival with the acts that were supposed to appear and those that did. As a day of the V Festival or as a day of The Chelmsford Spectacular if that is ever revived. A "where are they now page" based on all the people involved in that event would be interesting to take a look at. Jim Butcher I know became James Vane and recorded on The Island label. He then moved to London in order to make it on the UK music scene. As far as I know and knowing what a determined and resilient person Jim is he is probably still there. Probably a record producer now or owns an indie label. Unfortuneately I did not make it to The Punk Festival. I went to this Rock Concert at Southend Football Stadium at about that time. Probably couldn't afford to go to both. It was definitely a landmark occasion in the history of the town. Probably didn't realise it at the time. Anyway...I thought that I would share the above with you
Long may your site continue Regard.
Love the site but I just wanted to clarify a couple of points raised in this comments section. The Gents who featured local superstar Jim Butcher, released Get Out of My Be as their first single with Tearing Away as the B-side. They did not play at the Chelmsford punk festival. The only local band who played there if you discount Eddie and The Hot Rods was Solid Waste. Jim Butcher is very much alive and well and still playing in bands in London.
||Bethnal / Chelmsford Folk
Just seen your Youtube posting of Bethnal. I saw them many times in seventies mostly on the south coast in and around the Medway towns. I used to do a bit of DJing and introduced them once at the Navy Base in Chatham. Csapo, Dowling, Michaels and Williams could really rock. Pete Townsend took them under his wing but things didnt turn out for them as hoped i feel. I am sure they did the Reading Festival on the undercard with The Doobie Brothers (i sort of was there if you know what i mean). I have the Dangerous Times and Crash Landing (produced by Pete Townsend and performed on the Mike Mansfield rock show) albums and somewhere out there is a double a side single ! Hope this gives a bit more info for you. They were a great band!
Tom & Lesley-Anne Jan 2010
CHELMSFORD FOLK FESTIVAL 1972 -
I travelled from Middlesbro to the Chelmsford Folk Fest way back in 1972. I remember the Strawbs 'cos they were the main reason we went..but there was also a guy called Harvey Andrews (he's still doing the rounds) who was obviouly memorable! Nice site! Keep up the good (hard) work! DavidJasper Carrott played Chelmford folk club at the Three Cups circa 1972/73
PAUL SIMON Why are Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Bert Jansch, Martin Carthy etc not listed. All played at the folk club more than once in the 60s -- Queen's Head in the High Street -- opposite Springfield Rd/Woolworths, and the White Horse/Dolphin/Spotted Dog in Tindal Street. There was the famous occasion (Queen's Head I think) when Paul Simon had donea few songs, paused and said "I'd like to introduce a friend of mine who sings with me", and out came this curly-haired tall fellow, Art G. of course. Great nights! Roger Perry
A few more names for the 1972 Chelmsford Folk Festival at the Chelmsford showground. I was 15 at the time but still remember it well because it had a great line-up of performers as well as a great mix of jug bands and lesser known bands on the smaller stage in the marquee. On the main stage I remember dancing the evening away to great sets by Steeleye Span and the Strawbs but more laid back folk was supplied by Sandy Denny, Al Steward playing his amazing Nostradamus and Roy Harper sang I Hate The White Man. Topping the bill was going to be Joni Mitchell but she never appeared. word around the field was that she refused to play because too few people attended the festival. It was poorly attended but that gave it a particularly friendly and intimate atmosphere. Great memories.
|The Coltraine Union (Local Band)
60s Local Bands - What a great site! Love all the 60's stuff as that was when I was playing drums with the Exchequers then with Ray Ford and the Statesmen. When the Statesmen were playing in the Essex/Suffolk area in the 60's we supported many of the big names at the Corn Exchange including The Who, Chris Farlowe, Rufus Thomas and many more. In fact the memory listed on the site of Keith Moon in the 'dressing room' with the pews was the night we supported them. I too remember him offering pills to all and sundry. Wish I had kept the posters.
Of all the great acts at the Corno, my favs were Zoot Money (still going!) and Georgie Fame (still going!). Chris Farlowe is still great but Cliff Bennett not so. I remember Georgie Fame strolling along the queue in his trade mark sports jacket as we all waited to get in to see him. We played and also saw loads of good bands at the Odeon too. Anyone remember Jobsworth who was a real pain at the end of the night wanting to close up!
The big names are well represented on the site but what about the other good local bands like the Roulettes, the Fairies, the Mooche all great with a big following. Where is John Gandy (bass player with the Fairies) Where is Dave Winthrop(?) who played sax in the Mooche and Albert the singer. Mike Clarke who played bass with The Mooche is still playing with 60s band fat Old Dad. Steve Marriot and the Moments were almost local before Steve went onto join Rod Stewart and Co. Where is Ted Speakman drummer of the Roulettes now?
Trevor White who played dums before me then keyboards with the Statesmen is in Oz and played with Sounds Incorporated after the Statesmen packed up then played the lead in Jesus Christ Superstar in Sydney in the 70's. I could go on....
Keep it up. Bob Wiffen (now in Lincolnshire)My name is Dave Pickett I was the lead guitarist in The Coltraine Union I played with The Who, David Bowie, Geno Washington, The Brian Auger Trinity, The Steam Packet, Spencer Davis etc in the mid 60's at The Corn Exchange. Other members of The Coltraine Union were Martin Dobson, Bob Bennett, Dick Gowers, Graham Deakin and Philip Shergold. I have a few photos of the band and some newspaper cuttings.
|Wally / The Clash / The Higson
WALLY Just found your brilliant web site. I went to see a band called Wally in Oct 1975 at Chancellor Hall. Brilliant Concert. enjoyed every number they done. Cheers Mark
Just thought I would let you know I was at the Clash gig at the Chancellor Hall and the punk festival where the Damned refused to play. Joe Strummer's closing words at the Chancellor were to " go home in a gang" and I had ringing in my ears for two days due to the volume, but it was a performance that no group I have seen since has come close to matching, the perfect time the perfect place etc..... Highlight for me at the Punk Festival for me was the Doctors Of Madness. The Ecstasy record shop in Chelmsford is something I think you should mention on your site, it was always the place to go to meet people and find out what was going on at the time. Simon
Hi there I came accross your website by chance and just wanted to say how impreesive this is. What a lovely peice of history you have pyt together. I can also add to the list Status Quo played at hylands Spectacular as headliners in Aug 1994 I remember it was my 21st birthday and my boyfriend had just dumped me. Magnum were the support act, both bands were brilliant. Thanks SheilaTHE HIGSON
The Higsons (Charlie Higson) played Mid Essex Tech (Gym) mid 80's, also John Otway and Wild Willie Barret played the Odeon in 80's (can't remember who they supported).
|Y Club / Army & Navy
brilliant to record the bit of local history that was the chelmsford punk festival
Q: do you know if there's any truth to the rumour that the bridge over the can in the park near centrals lake was built specifically for that festival? (not the ornate stone one at bottom of seymour street, next one downstream, well that was rebuilt recently but was a shitty bridge for years?
I admire your efforts, it’s a nigh on impossible task, particularly given the many many bands that played at the Y Club and the Army & Navy in the late eighties and early nineties.
I was at the first V in 96 and Paul Weller was the headliner of the other night on the main stage. The Cardigans also played that year.
I saw Sneaker Pimps play at the Y Club in… um 1996 I think.
I believe Carter USM also played the Y Club (1990-1), as did The Wonderstuff in the late (80s).
My sister Kate spent much of her youth taking photos of the bands that played at the Y Club, she’d be able to provide loads more information. She definitely got a shot Brett Anderson from Suede who attended at gig one night, I think it might have been a gig by a band called Geneva. Kate’s friend Victoria wrote reviews of all the shows for her fanzine, and Kate’s boyfriend John Dunne was the venue’s promoter.
I also remember one night in particular a much-hyped young band played and ended ripping part of the Y Club ceiling down, this was reviewed in the Melody Maker by former Chelmsfordian Everett True. Can’t for the life of me remember the name of the band. This was around 1997 I reckon.
I also saw Gene play a secret gig at the Army & Navy on 25/8/94 prior to their 1994 Phoenix Festival show. They also came back to the A&N on 20th Jan 1995, and V97.
I saw “A” play at the Army & Navy as well sometime circa 1997-8, on a rotating triple header, with ManBREAK and other band whose name escapes me.
There was a great little band called “Salad” that featured a former MTV present on vocals, they played the A&N too probably in summer 1994 – I think I have their setlist from this show
||Bands That Played Chelmsford
Congratulations on a brilliant website. As an exiled Chelmsfordian of 30 years in Cornwall (which incidentally had its own Flamingo Club in Penzance) the memories of the Corn Exchange you provided were marvellous. Do you remember the ultra-violet marks that the doormen placed on your hand so you could go in and out? We worked out that because white shirts were so luminescent under the lamp they used to check the sign, that if you used a washing powder solution to put the mark on, you could get in free of charge. I carried a small bottle of the solution, asked a friendly spirit who had been in what the mark was, and me and friends put it on at the bar of the Saracens Head. We sometimes got bounced out when we got the sign wrong, but most Saturdays we had free entry to the greatest bands the world has ever seen.Fond memories. Regards
BANDS THAT PLAYED CHELMSFORD havent read through all the list but I do know a few that have definatly played here, cos I was at the gigs myself.
Wishbone Ash - Odeon - 1980, just testing tour UFO - Odeon - approx 1977-78 michael schenker/phil mogg/pete way/paul raymond/ White lion supporting. Steve Hackett - Odeon - approx 1980, Landscape - chancellor hall 1981, Girlschool - Odeon approx 1980-81, Bands that played the army and navy: Oasis, Wishbone Ash, Daisy Chainsaw and . Queen Adreena both featuring Katie Jane Garside on vocals Just to many to remember and list. Local bands.. The Gents - released one single (tearing away) later the lead singer went on to become james vane and released two singles on Island records in the 1980's
I have both the original gents single and Judy's gone down his first single as james vane (real name jim butcher) Suzie Quattro and Len (ex hubby) have both played locally as suzie lives locally. Ps if you ever find out anything on the location of jim please let me know.. where old school mates and I lost touch during the james vane days. I hope that helps..
Hi, Richard & linda Thompson (plus Simon Nicol of Fairport Convention) played the 'Three Cups' pub Springfield Road on 3/2/74. Richard Thompson also played solo in the Early 1980's at DJ's Disco Rainsford road on a Sunday Folk Club night. Regards
RT is no. 19 on the Rolling Stone magazines List of all time greatest Guitarists and a very good singer/songwriter.
Found your interesting website. Nice!! One update, DEEP PURPLE didn't plye shire hall in 1971 but on 15th may 1970. DO you maybe have na dvert/ticket/review/poster... whatever for that show??? We're working on a book......... Cheers,
I saw a band called Geordie at the Chancellor Hall I think in 1974/75 fronted by Brian Robson (now lead singer with AC/DC) Round about 1974/75 also I saw George McKrea (hit single "Rock You baby") again at the Chancellor Hall.
really like this site. Especially the page about the Outdoor Punk Festival at Chelmsford City Football Stadium in 1977. I knew this guy from my school called Jim Butcher who was in a band called The Gents who played at that Festival. The photograph on the site of the unknown band may have even been them?
As its the 30th aniversary of that event it would be really great to re-run that festival with the acts that were supposed to appear and those that did. As a day of the V Festival or as a day of The Chelmsford Spectacular if that is ever revived. A "where are they now page" based on all the people involved in that event would be interesting to take a look at.
Jim Butcher I know became James Vane and recorded on The Island label. He then moved to London in order to make it on the UK music scene. As far as I know and knowing what a determined and resilient person Jim is he is probably still there. Probably a record producer now or owns an indie label.
Unfortuneately I did not make it to The Punk Festival. I went to this Rock Concert at Southend Football Stadium at about that time. Probably couldn't afford to go to both. It was definitely a landmark occasion in the history of the town. Probably didn't realise it at the time. Anyway...I thought that I would share the above with you. Long may your site continue<p>
Hi Chelmsford Rocks, Just a note to say Judas Priest played Chelmsford Odeon in 1978, not the Chancellor Hall. It was the Killing Machine tour and we were there at the front. Also Ozzy Osbourne played the odeon 1980 on his first solo tour.
Hi, I am Chelmsford born and bred and grew up in the town during the late 50's, 60's, and 70's, although I moved away in 1980, and now live in Cheshire. I can't remember how I happened upon your site, but at the time, I bookmarked it to come back to when I had more time to take it all in.
I've just been looking at it and must say that it brought back some memories. Also, until I saw them all listed it never occurred to me that so many bands had played there over the years.
Here is a list of some that you may have overlooked, or been unaware of, which includes a few that you already have but I have been able to firm up the dates for you. These are all gigs that I attended. Where I have given a specific year, I am pretty sure of this, either because I remember that they were touring a particular album, and I have looked up the date of its release; or, because I have been able to check the dates against other sources. Some of these were probably the same gig; I can't remember who Brewers Droop were supporting, for instance, but I definitely remember seeing them. I am sure that I have forgotten a few, as my memory of those days, especially from the early to mid seventies is pretty hazy! However, if any more come to mind I'll let you know.
Ace (Paul Carrack's band who had a hit with 'How Long') - Chancellor Hall (C.H.) - 1974, I think, Argent - Civic Theatre - Definitely 1972, Barclay James Harvest - C. H. - early 70's, Be Bop Deluxe - C. H. - mid 70's, Brewers Droop - Civic Theatre - 1971/2, Chicken Shack (blues band had 1969 hit single 'I'd Rather Go Blind') - Chelmsford Technical College - 1970 (1st gig I went to), Kevin Coyne - C. H. - 1973, Deep Purple - Shire Hall - 1971, I think, Faust (Krautrock band) - C. H. - mid 70's, Focus (Dutch band big at time) - C. H. - 72 or 73, Rory Gallagher - C. H. - early 70's, Groundhogs - Civic Theatre - 1971 or 1972, Kokomo - C. H. - early/mid 70's, Man - C. H. - early 70's, Spice (forerunners of Uriah Heap) - Civic Theatre - 1970 I think, Spirit (cult Californian 60's band, a personal favourite) - C. H. - early 70's, Starry Eyed & Laughing (great little band) - Writtle Agricultural College (as was) - mid 70's, Steeleye Span - Chelms. Folk Festival, Essex Showground - September 1972, Strawbs - ditto (Steeleye headlined one night, Strawbs the other, wish I could remember who else was on), Vinegar Joe (Robert Palmer & Elkie Brooks on vocals) - C. H. - 1972 I think, Wishbone Ash - can't remember where or when I saw them but think it was either C. H. or C. T. early 70's. I wasn't a big enough fan of the group to have travelled out of town. I hope this list is useful, and please accept my apologies for any inaccuracies. As I said my memory of those days is pretty blurred at times. Keep up the good work.
|SAHB / Argent, Skid Row, Danbury , Brewers Droop, Genesis.
Grey Whistle test featuring The sensational alex Harvey Band..........dig the guitarist who looks like somone out of KISS. Now realise where KISS got their style. All the best
Radio Redhead Annan
Zal was wearing that clown suit before Kiss were about. Alex Harvey Soul band played the Corn Exchnge twice and SAHB played Chelmsford Collage in 1974. Best Band Ever,
ARGENT, SKID ROW DANBURY, HOME, BREWERS DROOP, GENESIS
helmsford in the seventies thought I give you a few more bands, that I saw at the time, to add to your list - all around the early 70's but can't remember the exact year. Argent - Civic theatre, Skid Row (with a young 17 year old Gary Moore) - Danbury Village hall, Home (a YES style group) Chancellor Hall, Groundhogs - heavy rock band - Civic theatre, Brewers Droop - Civic, Genesis - pre Phil Collins - at the Eyes Sunday club (next to the Cathedral School) If I remember any more I'll send them through
Regards- One of my (Minor)
claims to fame is that about halfway through the set, guitarist Kelly Johnson threw some cans of lager into the audience and i got brained! This was a superb gig, and incredibly loud! Would love to get hold of the whole gig. A friend of mine worked in the music shop "Future Music" which was across the road from the odeon (It's now "Slipped Discs") and he sold the band some guitar strings and drumsticks on the afternoon of the gig. (He says they were great fun!).
I must admit, i hadn't considered my thoughts for the website (more for your information), but i'm perfectly happy to share them with everyone!
I have attached the rest of my ticket, badge, etc scans for you.
By the way, i had a phone call (completely out of the blue) from a friend who i haven't seen for years. He tells me he has a tape of Ozzy Osbourne during his first solo tour at the odeon! Really looking forward to hearing that.
As promised, here's the info i have so far.
I've racked my brains and old diaries (As well as friends and even my dad!) for as much info as i can find. I've attached a word document with all the dates i've been able to find so far (these were gigs that either i was at myself or friends/my dad) and will send an updated list when i have tracked down some more. I've scanned one ticket as requested in JPEG format. If that's ok let me know and i'll send the rest of what i have.I found a few of my old badges from some of these gigs. Would sans of these be any use?
I've also enclosed an mp3 of the 2 Girlschool tracks recorded at the odeon (It was originally the b-side of "C'mon Lets Go" but they are also on a cd compilation i have). If you listen to the end of "Demolition Boys" you can hear guitarist Kim Mcauliffe say "Cheers Chelmsford". One of my (Minor) claims to fame is that about halfway through the set, guitarist Kelly Johnson threw some cans of lager into the audience and i got brained! This was a superb gig, and incredibly loud! Would love to get hold of the whole gig. A friend of mine worked in the music shop "Future Music" which was across the road from the odeon (It's now "Slipped Discs") and he sold the band some guitar strings and drumsticks on the afternoon of the gig. (He says they were great fun!).
Hawkwind played in chelmsford 4 times in all, but they definitely played the odeon (i had a ticket but had to go into hospital for an operation!). This was the "Levitation" Tour. As you can see from the gig list, they played at somewhere called the "Eyes Club" a couple of times. My mate got these dates from his diary, but neither he nor i can recall where it was!
My band was called Sgt. Phallics Under Nourished Kids, and we played our own songs (very much in the pistols/clash/test tube babies vein)at a variety of venues around Essex/Canterbury/Colchester/London.
In Chelmsford we played with the following: Splodgenessabounds - Army & Navy 12.09.96 (This made the chronicle, and i have a cutting somewhere. If i can find it i;ll send a scan). Peter and the test tube babies - Army & Navy 14.11.96, 999 - Army & Navy 05.04.97, Uk Subs - Y Club 09.04.98, The Vibrators - Y Club 13.05.98, The Dickies - Army & Navy 09.07.01, For a full line up of all the V festivals, you could do a lot worse than follow this link which hass all the bands from start to finish:,
|Generation X / Steve Harley / Boomtown Rats / Hawkwind / Dr Feelgood
Played the Chancellor Hall with Billy Idole in 1978, I was there they had regular Sunday night gigs at the Chancellor Hall. The Hall is closed now due to Asbestos in the building shame because it was a great venue.
Probably my favourite concert of all time was watching Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel play at the Kursaal Ballroom in 1975 just as their single “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)” had made No.1 in the charts. The site of Steve Harley dressed in a red suit complete with bowler hat was something else. At that time they were supported by Sailor who later went on to chart success of their own.
The Boomtown Rats played the Chancellor Hall when there single Looking After Number One went to number 1 in the charts. The band had a drink at the bar during the support act.
Hi there. Loving the website. I've lived in chelmsford all my life and have seen many, many bands locally. If it's of use to you, i have several concert tickets and badges (from the old odeon mostly) from the punk and Very early 80's rock era which i'd be happy to scan for you. I also played in a Punk band (Chelmsford Based) in the mid 90's and we supported many of the classic punk bands at the Army & Navy, 'Y' Club, etc. I've got photo's , dates and info if you want them. If this is of use, let me know what format would be best to save them as and i'll get them to you. PS: were you aware that the 'B' side of girlschool's "C'mon Let's Go" Single was 2 tracks recorded at the Chelmsford Odeon 1981? Cheers,
MISSED GIGS XTC HAWKWIND
I may be wrong only having had a quick look ( I will spend some time on your site soon) but what about the gigs at the old Odeon Cinema in the 70's - XTC, Hawkwind and a few others that I can't remember. I will see if I can fill in a few gaps, if you are interested that is.
Dr Feelgood played the Chancellor Hall on the Naughty Rhythms Tour in 1975
CLASH & PUNK FESTIVAL Just thought I would let you know I was at the Clash gig at the Chancellor Hall and the punk festival where the Damned refused to play. Joe Strummer's closing words at the Chancellor were to " go home in a gang" and I had ringing in my ears for two days due to the volume, but it was a performance that no group I have seen since has come close to matching, the perfect time the perfect place etc..... Highlight for me at the Punk Festival for me was the Doctors Of Madness. The Ecstasy record shop in Chelmsford is something I think you should mention on your site, it was always the place to go to meet people and find out what was going on at the time.