PICTURES: Bands: 1967-69

A new band featuring Pete Balcam, Gerry Harrington, Graham Lumb (Lummy) and Steve Huelin were about to play at the once popular Bal Tabarin, which was situated on land above L’Etacq. Plans to develop the site prompted controversy before the States stepped in in 2001 to buy it for £800,000. The buildings were demolished and the plot was returned to nature (37575517)

JERSEY has produced many bands over the years and welcomed visiting talent. In the second in an occasional series, here are a few of the groups that graced the stage in the late 60s.

The Pontiac 1967 (37498029)

The Pontiac – Roger Norman, Leon Channing, Paul Troalic, Merv Watkins and Bob Leach – staged a mock 1920s-style gangster “killing” in King Street in November 1967 and were eventually tracked down for a photo at the Gas Works. The band were determined to be different. As Roger told the JEP in an interview in February of that year: “People are used over here to watching a group stand and play. We want to put over movement to the music and create an atmosphere. We try to get the crowd to work with us, to lose their inhibitions and let themselves go.” The JEP’s pop correspondent, John Averty, said: “Certainly these five boys provide the most visually exciting act in Jersey. Apart from body and instrument gyrations, they frequently smash up old televisions.” They described their music as psychedelic, but were keen to stress that, unlike some UK bands, there was no association with drugs.

People’s People 1967 (37537416)

People’s People – Graham Lumb, known as Lummy, Bob Frampton, Rob Whitbread and Colin Alner – performing at The Tropicana on the Five Mile Road (where Sands is now) in 1967. The band formed in March of that year in the UK and arrived in Jersey two months later, where they were considered slightly exotic by Islanders because of their UK connections. They became the resident band at The Trop (“the place where your mother didn’t want you to go…” as one former patron remembers it) and had a good two-year run before going their separate ways.

Clockwork Strawberry 1969 (37497648)

Clockwork Strawberry – Steve Huelin, Gerry Harrington, Merv Watkins and Brian Hardy – pictured in October 1969. The JEP’s Tony Webster said of them: “When Clockwork Strawberry was formed some ten months ago, the four members decided to incorporate harmony singing into their act. And now they have reached a stage where their act is acceptable to practically any ear.” Gerry told the JEP: “Everyone is doing their nut about volume. [Harmony is] pleasant to listen to and we think we have reached the stage where we could play anywhere in the Island.” Earlier in the year he had described what he saw as the four styles of music available to a group: “There are the old-fashioned standards done Simon Raverne-style with a chunky beat; out-andout noisy pop as played by The Pontiac, which appeals to teenyboppers; Tamla-cum-soul bands like The Crescendos, which have possibly the best overall sound; the Love and Poetry-type which is extremely loud and totally undanceable, but still very listenable; and then there is our type of general pop music made up of Tamla, soul, Top Twenty material and the odd Drifters’ number.”

Small Faces 1969 (37497977)

Steve Marriott of Small Faces makes his way to the stage at Springfield in March 1969, where the band were performing one of their last venues before splitting up. Formed in London in 1965, Small Faces were one of the most acclaimed Mod groups of the 1960s evolving into a successful psychedelic band as the decade wore on and there was a packed audience at Springfield for the band’s swansong. “They were extremely loud but they still received plenty of screams and applause,” the JEP’s less-than-impressed entertainment correspondent, Tony Webster, wrote afterwards: “Most of the songs were unintelligible, so I can’t tell you what they played. But I did hear the words of All Or Nothing and Tin Soldier emerge from the conglomeration of sound.”

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