The Archive.

View at 1280 x1024 min res or higher

For information on today's festivals see eFestivals.co.uk

Last update Jan 2012.


The Eighth National Jazz and Blues Festival

9-11th August .
Kempton Park Racecourse.
Sunbury.

Press Articles .

FRIDAY

    The two most vivid memories I have of the 8th National Jazz and Blues Festival last weekend are Jerry Lee Lewis and his supporters, and Traffic. It was, indeed, due to Jerry Lee's fans' destructive enthusiasm that the Herd would not go on. The main reason was that a six inch long scaffolding coupling pin had been hurled through Andrew Steel's bass drum.

Jerry Lee onstage at Sunbury

       Compere John Gee was told that Herd didn't want to know any more, so the first night promptly came to an end. Festival director Harold Pendleton. said he was at the artists' gate when the incident occurred. Andy Bown replied that it was not a member of the Herd who said that the group would not go on.
What I do know for certain is that three rockers left with bleeding mouths provided by the stewards, a stage assistant lost four teeth thanks to the rockers and several acts were showered with pennies by the rockers because they had the " audacity " to be on before Lewis.
" I don't care about you all dancing on the stage,'' Lewis told his fans during the near-riot, "but some of these people do".
Wearing a shorter-than-usual hair-style, Lewis played a selection of rock and country numbers, the best being " Memphis," " Blue Suede Shoes," " What Made Milwaukee Famous," " Your Cheatin, Heart " and the ever-present " Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On."
A steward was knocked out when a pint beer mug hit him full in the face. It was thrown by a rocker who apparently didn't approve of Lewis going off at all.
    On the happier side, the Marmalade send this message to all readers: " Lang May Yur Lum Reek." Roughly translated, that means' " Long May Your Chimney . Smoke " Which is something to do with having good luck and good fortune for ever. Thanks, lads. Hast ye back.
On stage, they played like one of the better pop groups and impressed me with " Stop In The Name Of Love," " Summer In The City " and " I Can't Explain." Certainly a group who should go far. And thats meant in the nicest possible way.
    Time Box had been on earlier and did some nice musical things. They have a Marquee residency and as that seems to be a stepping stone to success, I expect to see them in the charts ere long. After the show, Jerry Lee told me that he hopes to be able to bring " Catch Your Soul " the rock version of Shakespeare's " Othello " in which he starred in America, to England before the end of this year.
" Ol' Jerry Lee wants all his British fans to-see him rock 'n roll as much as possible," quoth he.

SATURDAY

by Keith Altham

    The afternoon began quite hopefully and pleasantly with jazzmen like Don Rendell and Ronnie Scott blowing a multitude of technical brilliance (emotional negatives) into a fitful Summer sun, underneath which young people lay and laughed and smiled and listened. The evening folded with the collapse of a forty foot covered way on which people were standing to see the stage and ended up with some thirty of them groaning beneath hideous lengths of green and rusted corrugated iron.


    A shuttle ambulance service ran them to Ashford Hospital.

Keith Emerson and flag

" Whose fault was it? " Not I," said the security man whose ]ob it was to prevent such an actuality. " Not I," said the gate-keeper who let in thousands who had paid their money and had no hope of seeing the stage.
" Not I," said the Festival Organiser who had been moved on by the good citizens of Windsor and Richmond who do not like people enjoying themselves after hours. " Not I," said the Kempton Park official who had allotted this rather nasty compound from all the open spaces about surrounded by prefabricated iron works which were an obvious temptation to those seeking a better view.
    It must be the fault of those " long haired youths " who, having paid their money for a ticket, were under the impression they had the right to see what was going on, and clambered onto the roofing for a better view.
The papers were full of the ghastly business next day and the Sunday Times carried a memorable piece on how 2,000 Sunbury Residents had signed a petition complaining of the noise made by " long haired youths."
Banned ?
    They want the Festival banned next year and the " long haired youths " in their garish clothes eliminated.
With a little luck the NJF may be able to secure the exclusive use of a lime pit in which to hold the Festival next year!
I am thoroughly sick of hearing references to young people who chose to dress or wear their hair in a particular style as though it were some form of stigma. When will people realise that the colour of your skin, the length of your hair, the shape of your face or the clothes you wear tell you almost nothing about what sort of person you are ?

    Having got that off my chest let's get on with the Festival and one very good example of what I have been writing about. A man whom some people, having seen his strange act, tend to think of as a raving lunatic -Arthur Brown.

With his long hair about his shoulders and his drooping moustache he presented a not too unconventional picture, strolling about the site on Saturday afternoon as he bared his hairy chest to the surprising sun.
"I don't think people would accept a raving lunatic offstage as well as on ", he said smilingly to me, "That's why I've kept my interviews on as sane a level as possible. "
Arthur is in fact a University man and someone whose bizarre appearance belies the thoughtful mind beneath.

    The night began with Joe Cocker.

    Mr.Cocker is most impressive. He's what you might term a jazz-blues singer with an infectious inbuilt rasp to his voice which at times reminds me of Ritchie Havens- which can't be bad - and sometimes of Eric Burdon who is alleged to have expressed a desire to manage Joe. He has a highly effective pack of electronic exponents about him a highly versatile bass player who hits falsettos which might make Joan Baez envious. Joe sang " With A Little Help From My Friends " and a Dylan number " I ,Shall Be Released." He sang them well and with a feeling of his own - he will, with a little bit of luck, be much more successful.
    Unlucky Tyrannosaurus Rex, I felt were unfortunate to be included on an evening which was not really their scene and on this occasion they were not really mine. Marc Bolan is a clever guitarist and sings mystery songs. Jeff Beck was very much my scene and straight from his long I run in America sounds more like Chet Atkins. Along with the " all weather pianist," Nicky Hopkins, who appears on more hit records than you could count, and Rod Stewart on vocals he ripped through " Jeff's ,Boogie " (instrumental) ', De-Luxe Blues " and the immortal " Rock My Plimsole " which sent colleague Richard Green. in the wings into paroxysms of delight.

Steve "Peregrine"Took

There is no doubt that this group have come back from the States with a harder sound and a much more together act -particularly enjoyable is the vocal guitar play between Beck and Stewart.

    The Nice were just that and some more. Keith Emerson is the Jimi Hendrix of the organ and his acrobatics as he claws and cajoles the musical entrails out of the machine have to be seen to be believed. If things go better for the Nice there is no reason why they should not emerge as the new group giants .

    Ginger Baker and drummer Phil Seamen who are two musicians who have sold their souls to their drums, gave a fantastic performance abetted by the unannounced Eric Clapton. Most of what they did was spontaneous improvisation, most of what they did was bordering on the realms of musical genius and poor Arthur Brown had to follow that.

    Following his first energetic number and wearing that grotesque metal mask he was beginning to warm to his task when John Gee had to announce the " serious accident " at the rear of the audience. That pulled everything down and sadly amongst us; myself included, there were those who thought it might be a hoax for the Crazy World. By the time Arthur had got through " Pull A Spell On You " gyrating his body into unbelievable contortions and was about to launch into his act proper it was painfully apparent that things had really gone wrong.

Da god of hellfire ? . yes -its Arfur Brown

" I am the god of hell-flre " shrieked Arthur.
" Oh no you're not Arthur," said his manager Kit Lambert entering stage right and wagging a demonstrative finger, " You'll have to forget the act and go on singing."
" X?!X XX ??!X " said Mr. Brown and flung his microphone away in disgust before storming off.

   Together with Eric Burdon's manager Terry Slater I made my way back to the rear of the site where ambulances were weaving back and forth through the crowds with their blue revolving lights flashing. Terry held a huge arc lamp and I the cable while ambulance men extricated the unfortunate injured.
There was one boy with a broken jaw and a girl with two broken arms standing painfully awaiting an ambulance.

    Finally we felt our presence more of a hindrance to the scores of volunteers and left to get a good stiff scotch. In the background Arthur had been tempted back on the stage, no doubt by the sensible reasoning of his manager who would have realised a crowd streaming out too early would have hindered the hospital staff and ambulances. But the magic had gone - at least for me.
    I took two young people back to Hampton Court in my car. One was a pretty young blonde called Kate who, it transpired, had a degree in philosophy, and the other w,as her boyfriend who was at university studying to be an architect. He thought the Festival was not worth the fifteen bob he paid and he had enjoyed the film " 2001 " much more.They were just nice young people thumbing a lift. I never got his name-he was just a " long haired youth! "
-
SUNDAY
    Tim Rose put in an unexpected appearance on Sunday and quickly fell in league with Terry Slater (Eric Burdon's manager) and myself. Tim said that he was off abroad the next day, then disappeared to see John Peel and gave an impromptu performance (in the Marquee ) that delighted many.
Tramline, heavily disguised as John McCoy's band played two sets and were good on both. John is promoting a twelve-hour festival in; Middlesbrough on August 31 which will feature, among others, Traffic and the Bonzos and Long John Baldry as compere. That should be something worth seeing. .
    Alexis Korner introduced the superb John Mayall and the band swung into a lovely forty five minutes of uncompromising blues. John stood at the organ wearing a cartridge belt which held a selection of harmonicas, and he also played guitar, The titles of his numbers evaded me but suffice it to say that he was even better, to my mind, than his great recent performance at Zurich.
    Backstage again and a man described by his badge as " Staff H " announced the untrue arrival of the Duke Of Edinburgh by helicopter.A man wearing a striped jersey who last year refused to allow K. Altham into the Press area came up trumps again by telling me that he had never heard of the NME and that I couldn't have a seat in the Press enclosure because it was full up.
I couldn't be bothered to reveal to him that most of the people in there were friends of friends of friends.

    Spencer Davis, still one of the most pleasant people one could wish to meet, arrived and said that he was feeling shattered, Where, I asked, had he just come back from? America? Sweden?
" Scarborough," he replied.

    Of his recent American tour, he commented: " You never seem to play in the same place twice, so that makes it very pleasant. The funny thing is, you can play in an absolute khazi: and have a fantastic audience, then play in a palace and find the audience are hopeless. But we had a great time and found that generally speaking people were interested in us."

    On stage, Spencer's band proved to be far more bluesy than before. Their numbers have got longer and more fluid, but I still prefer the days of things like " Keep On Running " and " I Wash My Hands In Muddy Water." ''Norwegian Wood " I enjoyed most and was happy to listen to the organist who, whether he likes to admit it or not is still very much like Steve Winwood.
Wandering about backstage yet again I met Lionel Bart who came up. with a classic quote.
" I need a publicist who will pay me ten per cent for being my publicist. "

    Topping the final night's bill were the incredible Traffic of whom I have often raved. And here I go again.
Chris Wood played Organ, flute and conga drums and excelled. Steve alternated between organ, guitar and voice and equally excelled. Dave Mason played guitar and joined in making everyone happy. Jim Capaldi played drums like a dervish. It seems that Traffic are leaning more and more toward some sort of Afro-Cuban jazz. An outstanding group indeed. Typical of their freedom of expression, both musically and mentally, was Chris's comment over the mike when told by an official that they were running short of time.
''Back in England."
Which seemed to sum up the whole attitude of ''you've got your set time now stick to it "minds. But Traffic played on and swayed and rolled and were the best group on the bill once again.
   More Traffic next year, please. And Cocker and Mayall. And either more Press seats or less friends of friends of friends.


1968 National Jazz and Blues Festival .

 

  • Pre festival hand out from the Marquee club.
  • Festival Program (added Jan 2003 )
  • Camp site map and regulations. (added Jan 2003 )
  • Festival poster
  • Festival list of acts
  • My account of the festival part 1.
  • My account of the festival part 2.
  • Recollections of attendees
    Photo galleries of the bands.
  • The Nice.
  • Crazy World Of Arthur Brown.
  • Joe Cocker and the Grease band.
  • Incredible String Band.
  • Fairport Convention .
  • Traffic.



  • The early festivals.

    You can find out the complete line ups of the first festivals if you follow the links below, but otherwise information is fairly limited.
     
      1961
    1962
    1963
    1964

    Festivals 65-83

    Most of these have fairly complete documentation .

     
    Richmond 1965
    Windsor 1966
     Windsor 1967
    Sunbury 1968
    Plumpton 1969
    Plumpton 1970
    Reading 1971
    Reading 1972
    Reading 1973
    Reading 1974
     



    Contact us

    Return to Archive

    EN
        Tim Rose put in an unexpected appearance on Sunday and quickly fell in league with Terry Slater (Eric Burdon's manager) and myself. Tim said that he was off abroad the next day, then disappeared to see John Peel and gave an impromptu performance (in the Marquee ) that delighted many.
    Tramline, heavily disguised as John McCoy's band played two sets and were good on both. John is promoting a twelve-hour festival in; Middlesbrough on August 31 which will feature, among others, Traffic and the Bonzos and Long John Baldry as compere. That should be something worth seeing. .
        Alexis Korner introduced the superb John Mayall and the band swung into a lovely forty five minutes of uncompromising blues. John stood at the organ wearing a cartridge belt which held a selection of harmonicas, and he also played guitar, The titles of his numbers evaded me but suffice it to say that he was even better, to my mind, than his great recent performance at Zurich.
        Backstage again and a man described by his badge as " Staff H " announced the untrue arrival of the Duke Of Edinburgh by helicopter.A man wearing a striped jersey who last year refused to allow K. Altham into the Press area came up trumps again by telling me that he had never heard of the NME and that I couldn't have a seat in the Press enclosure because it was full up.
    I couldn't be bothered to reveal to him that most of the people in there were friends of friends of friends.

        Spencer Davis, still one of the most pleasant people one could wish to meet, arrived and said that he was feeling shattered, Where, I asked, had he just come back from? America? Sweden?
    " Scarborough," he replied.

        Of his recent American tour, he commented: " You never seem to play in the same place twice, so that makes it very pleasant. The funny thing is, you can play in an absolute khazi: and have a fantastic audience, then play in a palace and find the audience are hopeless. But we had a great time and found that generally speaking people were interested in us."

        On stage, Spencer's band proved to be far more bluesy than before. Their numbers have got longer and more fluid, but I still prefer the days of things like " Keep On Running " and " I Wash My Hands In Muddy Water." ''Norwegian Wood " I enjoyed most and was happy to listen to the organist who, whether he likes to admit it or not is still very much like Steve Winwood.
    Wandering about backstage yet again I met Lionel Bart who came up. with a classic quote.
    " I need a publicist who will pay me ten per cent for being my publicist. "
        Topping the final night's bill were the incredible Traffic of whom I have often raved. And here I go again.
    Chris Wood played Organ, flute and conga drums and excelled. Steve alternated between organ, guitar and voice and equally excelled. Dave Mason played guitar and joined in making everyone happy. Jim Capaldi played drums like a dervish. It seems that Traffic are leaning more and more toward some sort of Afro-Cuban jazz. An outstanding group indeed. Typical of their freedom of expression, both musically and mentally, was Chris's comment over the mike when told by an official that they were running short of time.
    ''Back in England."
    Which seemed to sum up the whole attitude of ''you've got your set time now stick to,it "minds. But Traffic played on and swayed and rolled and were the best group on the bill once again.
       More Traffic next year, please. And Cocker and Mayall. And either more Press seats or less friends of friends of friends.



    1968 National Jazz and Blues Festival menu.


    The early festivals.

    You can find out the complete line ups of the first festivals if you follow the links below, but otherwise information is fairly limited.
     
      1961
    1962
    1963
    1964

    Festivals 65-83

    Most of these have fairly complete documentation .

     
    Richmond 1965
    Windsor 1966
     Windsor 1967
    Sunbury 1968
    Plumpton 1969
    Plumpton 1970
    Reading 1971
    Reading 1972
    Reading 1973
    Reading 1974
     



    Contact us

    Return to Archive