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Midsummer Nights Dream.

Burton Constable Hall Nr Hull .

June 21st 1968.

Geno Washington,The Move, Marmalade, Family , Fairport Convention , Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera, Spooky Tooth ,Tramline, Savoy Brown Blues Band , Baron Richtofen, C.G Morris.

Burton Constable Hall © Creative commons Peter Church

      Presumably held in the grounds of historic Burton Constable Hall , with a very mixed bag of soul, psychedelic and pop acts ,this all nighter was not repeated , although the Humberside Pop Festival was held at the same venue in 1970.


Hi, I’m David.

Yes ,I and many other sixth formers from High School Withernsea were at this event. Many of us travelled together in several vehicles. I was in a Landrover with at least six others. Before going, I was without doubt a Mod, proud of my scooter and fur hooded parker, which I still have to this day. It was Geno that pulled us to the gig, but that night my life changed forever. Geno was great as ever with the crowd shouting ‘Geno, Geno, Geno’. Marmalade were the bubble gum pop, The Move were great, but it was not they that changed my life.

It was Family, we stood next to the guys from The Mandrakes, a local covers band, with a young Rob Palmer their vocalist equally amazed by Family. I knew Rob a little as he’d recently come to my 18th birthday party in search of a female friend of mine, who he’d taken a shine to at a dance/ Gig in Withernsea a few weeks before. Roger Chapman, the vocalist in Family completely blew us all away, we stood transfixed as his vocals grated and soared around Ric Grech’s violin and Charle Whitney’s guitar. Wow! After that Gig The Mandrakes put two family tracks into their set, See Through Windows & Hey Mr. Policeman both from the Family album ‘Music In A Dolls House’. I bought it on the Monday during school lunch break. I guess Rob Palmer was also highly charged as it wasn’t long before he went down to London to join Vinegar Joe and become Robert Palmer.

But Family were not all, I was also completely knocked out by Fairport Convention and Spooky Tooth, also buying Spooky Tooth’s ‘It’s All About’ and Fairports ‘Fairport Convention’ on the Monday. [More than a weeks pocket money was scrounged off my mum]. As a learner guitarist at the time I couldn’t believe how good Family’s Charlie Whitney and Fairport’s Richard Thompson were, to this day they are guitar heroes. That night was effectively the end of my career as a Mod and the beginning of being a ‘Freak’, grow my hair, dress down and live the life! Wow, what an amazing time it was.

We left the Gig in the early hours and headed back towards the coast stooping at an old quarry used as Water Ski Centre and went skinny dipping before heading back to an old Manor House for breakfast. The first time boys and girls in our peer set stripped off and swam naked. I remember feeling thrilled , a little self conscious and all too aware it would not be cool to stare at my female friends, fat chance!

Such vivid memories of a brilliant Saturday night out in the Sixth Form, forty one years ago. The atmosphere, the vibes, the sense of being at a moment of change in a young life. It all still seeps into my minds eye as I refocus for this email.

David Ford

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