Back in the Sixites


The Shades at Laughton Village Hall (1965), From left: Ray Lloyd, Trevor Gale, Dave Charlwood, Bob Lowry and Barry Ellis.

For decades rumours have swarmed through the Lewes grapevine about a time when the town played host to some top pop groups in the Town Hall as a way of raising money to help buy new floodlights for Lewes football club. Now, for the first time, thanks to a lengthy LME investigation, we have a much fuller and more satisfying account of what went on and who played when. It’s a great story with lots of dangling threads and holes waiting to be linked up and filled in with your help.

Read on [and on]: Pages 12-19

5 thoughts on “Back in the Sixites

  1. Robin Steadman
    May 2, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Michael Ashdown in his comments in the article ‘Back In The Sixties” mentions the band Hieronymous Bosch, with lead man Rog Lacey. The Band was in fact myself: Drums , The late John Whippy : guitar, and Simon Blyth : Bass. Rog joined later and fronted the band in many different incarnations: Nan Kemp, Corn in Egypt, Strangewater, with Dave Langridge, and finally in the early seventies as Beezer.
    John went on to be the main man in The Elevators blues band before passing away from cancer in 2006. Other bands/ players at the time ( late 60s /early 70s) were The Grobs( Pete Davis, Paul Skinner and Pete Thomas- later to join Elvis Costello and the Attractions) . Graham Frost/ Nick Patching/ Bob Palmer, Doug Sanders( later and still with The Lambrettas) with Oakendlode and later Shakedown.
    Really enjoying the publication, keep it up!

    Robin Steadman, Alfriston

    1. Jonathan Smart
      November 24, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      I well remember the Lewes bands in my teenage years – perhaps I was easily impressed at the time, but the musicianship seemed to me generally to have been of a high standard. John Whippy was an excellent guitarist and a ‘natural’ – the sounds of Hieronymous Bosch regularly rang out from St Mary’s Social Centre in Christie Road, with covers of such numbers as ‘Cat’s Squirrel’ (Jethro Tull). My only musical aspirations at the time were to play the flute like Ian Anderson, though these hopes received a setback when I failed to turn up for a private lesson and was summarily dumped by the teacher.
      The two particular memories I have are firstly of seeing a local band called The Grobs (at…yes…St Mary’s Social Centre…), whose drummer, unlike most local bands at the time, surrounded himself with a battery of congas and was clearly a cut above the average man with the sticks. Clearly being more one to spot musical talent than to display any myself, my hunch proved correct – it was Pete Thomas (later with Elvis Costello).
      Secondly, the band that I think was Nankemp, did a brilliant cover of two numbers rolled together; Simon and Garfunkel’s America would suddenly explode into the driving rhythm of The Nice’s version of America. I’m not sure of the keyboard player’s name (can anybody help?) or what (if anything) happened to his musical career, but the idea was quite inspired and worked very well. Even Keith Emerson himself would have been impressed
      The music scene in Lewes was a thriving one in the late 60’s and one which I was able to refer to in a recent documentary ‘Oh You Pretty Things’, in which the film crew interviewed me in Kingston (a village just outside Lewes, boasting a crossroads called ‘Nankemp’s Corner’ after the local witch, who was allegedly partial to eating her children and after whom the local band named themselves).

  2. Alan Terrill
    November 24, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Nan Kemp’s keyboard player was Hugh Bedford who was in the same year as me at school (ie same age as all three Grobs) and was several years younger than the rest of the band. As far as I know he became a music teacher.

  3. Justin Lewry
    December 23, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Robert (Bob) Lewry (or lowry as it’s misspelled) was my dad.. I think I still have a reel to reel recording of the shades.. never seen a picture of the band til now!

  4. Claire Duc
    January 25, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I remember many of these people and bands, it was a great time. I was also at school in the mid teens with Pete Davis, Paul Skinner, Pete Thomas and Hugh Bedford.
    Andy Rankin, Steve Wood and Eric Goulden were in the same year too. Just hearing the names of the bands brings back all sorts of memories.

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