history one of the South East of England's most successful entertainment
It Was a Brewery Folk Club ran every Friday night for
approximately nine years from 24th September 1976 at The Kings
Head Hotel, High Street, Rochester, Kent. The people involved
with the initial launching were Bill and Jo Vincent, Colin and
Linda Reece, Eynon and Fran Price, Colin and Gill Sinclaire, Paul Carr and the
late Carey Roberts.
It has to
be said that the success of the club lay largely due to the
adventurous guest booking policy of Bill Vincent, and the high
standard of presentation by the resident performers.
following pictures are taken during club events, either in the
club room itself or at events organized by or entered into by the
club members. They are not in chronological order. In fact, where
possible, they have been put in alphabetical order.
thank you has to go to Eynon and Fran Price here. Not only for
laboriously sitting at the door collecting entrance money week
after week, but for the upkeep of the albums from whence most of
the following photos came.
|Some members of
t'committee of t'Brewery
left Colin Reece, Linda Reece, Heather Shaw, Fran Price, Eynon
Price, Dave Bubb, Bill Vincent with daughter Friday, Mike
Harrison and Garry Owen
|Medway Carnival float probably
float was covered in hops from top to bottom and took about three
days to construct. What dedication eh?
the left we see a very young Julia Stone, Dave Morris on
mandolin, Colin Reece on banjo, Damien Aked on guitar, Dave Bubb
peeking through and Gary Owen on mandolin. Down the front with
his back to the camera is Ray Kiddell (a hard working member) and
to one side in the yellow tee shirt is the late Stan 'Bob' Hope.
annual Boxing Day football match
It was customary every Boxing Day for
all the local folk clubs, ie The Brewery, Faversham, The Medway Little Theatre
and Dartford, to claim a field somewhere in the Medway Towns, lay a few coats
down as goalposts and kick a ball around for an hour or so in an attempt to
convince everybody that they were fit and healthy sporty types. No-one was
really convinced, and it was eventually recognised for what it actually was, a
good excuse for a bunch of like-minded people to get together for a good
Christmas piss-up. We reckon this picture is around 1977/78 judging by who
is still with whom. If you've got a more accurate idea, please let us
residents and local talent
fine singer and guitarist much in the style of Nic Jones. Still out there
doing it as far as we know.
known local singist, banjoist, dulcimerist, spoonist, Hartley
Morrisist and, with his wife Kaye, member of the duo Vulcans
is also famous for repairing the guttering at the back of Colin's
house when the hurricane of '87 tore it down.
........ And here is
Phil's wife Kaye.
quite sure what the lower microphone is meant to be picking up,
but, knowing Kaye's talents, I'm sure it was rhythmic.
boy from Snodland, Jon was one of the first residents the club
acquired. A great singer and songwriter of songs like 'Rise Up',
'I Can't Put It Down' and 'Fall Into Your Arms'. An irrepressible
enthusiast and giggler and the man that Colin always tips his hat
to as the one who egged him on to start songwriting.
of The Brewery's top resident acts - Dave Bubb and Damien Aked.
originally came along with Dave Morris as Dave and Dave, but when
the call of sky-diving lured DM away, DB teamed up with DA (you
can make your own jokes up there!!) to create one of the foremost comedy duos, not
only locally, but on a national level as well.
went on to tour-manage Richard Digance, bouncing ideas and virtually co-writing much of
Richard's material along the way. By suggesting Colin's name to Richard, he was more than instrumental
in getting Colin his job with Jim Davidson.
Dave died of lung cancer in January 2003, and words can't express how deeply he
is still writing but has now moved to a town near Grenada in Spain, where he
lives happily in cave with his lovely wife Sue. (and we're not joking!!)
|The Parish Notices
week, just before the second appearance of the main guest, the
'parish notices' were read out. In other words, the audience were
told what else was on of interest in the area during the
following week. This duty usually fell to Colin's wife Linda and
here we see her in all her glory with compare for the night the much missed Dave
always wondered what was going on just below camera shot. Dave never
admitted anything and Linda still isn't saying !!!
Hall duo Penny Gaff comprised of Paul Carr and Gill Hoare.
was one of the founder members of The Wish It Was A Brewery Club.
As a music hall act, singer, songwriter and busker his is a face
long known to many around the Medway acoustic music scene. He is
still active as a singer and songwriter.
eventually left the Medway Towns to marry Martin Allcock of The
Bully Wee Band and Fairport Convention. She now fronts her own band Gill
Allcock's Blue Coyotes, more details of which can be found by clicking here.
of the founder members of the Brewery Folk Club, Colin and Carey had been
involved in the 60s & 70s folk scene since their days of singing together at
The Fox in Islington, London.
eventually moved to Leeds and Carey has sadly since passed away.
Rats are Pete 'Blossom' Currie on accordion and vocals and Barry
Lang on fiddle and vocals. They were, for many years, residents
at the magnificent Farningham Folk Club.
pic was taken at The Brewery New Year's Eve party 1979-80. Hence
Blossom's kilt. We've tried maximum zooming on the photo, and you
can't see whether he's wearing anything underneath or not, so
don't waste your time. Nice knees though Pete.
& Jo Vincent
already been mentioned that the success of the club lay largely due to the
adventurous guest booking policy of Bill Vincent. It has not however been
mentioned that some of it's success was also largely due to the fact that we
managed to stop him singing.
then wife Jo had a magnificent voice and partnered Colin during the late 60s and
early 70s around the London folk scene. Bill would be the first to admit
that he didn't share his wife's vocal talents. However here is an early
picture taken before we managed to persuade him to concentrate on
I think Jo's face says it all.
Some guests and not
so local talent
Wee Band, Fairport Convention, Jethro Tull, WAZ and currently with Swarb's
information on what Maartin is up to now, visit his website at www.maartinallcock.com
the best songwriter of the era. Tuneful melodies with intelligent
lyrics will never go out of fashion and Harvey was and still is a
master of both.
Arizona Smoke Revue
One of the
club circuit's first 'supergroups'. The Arizonas had a repertoire
which included everything from bluegrass to Beatles.
left Phil Beer (now Show Of Hands), Bill Zorn (now The Lime Liters), Paul Downes
(now The Joyce Gang) and Pete Zorn (everywhere)
Christie Minstrel and Kingston Trio, Arizonan Bill came to
England around 1977. He had a hit record called 'Car 67' with his
brother Pete and formed The Arizona Smoke Revue a couple of years
is now back in the States with The Limeliters.
brother Pete. A true multi-instrumentalist, he plays everything
from guitar to saxophone. Which has put him much in demand as a
session musician over the years.
| Phil Beer
projects Phil has been involved in over the years are far to
numerous to list on this page so the best thing to do is go here to find out more.
with Show of Hands, Phil also tours once a year with Colin's Bully Wee Band buddy Ian Cutler in 'The Feast Of Fiddles'.
forming the Arizona Smoke Revue, Paul toured the clubs with Phil
as Downes and Beer. Now doing very nicely thank you as a solo act and The Joyce
Gang. He plays basically anything with strings on.
poet and one time member of The Mrs Akroyd Band. Sadly Mrs Akroyd
went to that big kennel in the sky so Les had to go solo.
Sometimes works with Keith Donelly as 'Idiot and Friend'.
Class Ragtime Guitarist and funny man from 'Emel 'Empstead.
|The Bully Wee Band
was Colin's first appearance in front of his home crowd in his
new role as vocal guitarist for the Bully Wee Band.
the left are Ian Cutler, Jim Yardley, Colin and Fergus Feely
|The Bully Wee Band
through history just slightly, this was The Bully Wee Band's last
folk club appearance (for nearly 21 years). The band decided to call it a day when Ian
chose to settle into the more domestic role of husband and
father. Not wanting to go out with a whimper, they chose the
Brewery for their final club appearance.
left to right are Ian Cutler, Colin Reece, Fergus Feely and
big man from Barnsley. Smooth of voice and the same in manner.
a look at the fingers on his left hand, lets hope he's given up
smoking by now.
grandfather of folk song. The influences this man has had on the
British music scene are too many to mention. His mellow voice and
particularly his guitar style have been emulated throughout the
world for the last four decades.
to Norma Waterson and father to Eliza Carthy, the tradition goes
and Dave Sealy. Simply the best in music hall.
Al (with arms raised) is no longer with us, but his time on this
planet is justified if only for the nights he gave at The
and songwriter of The Strawbs, Dave visited the Brewery with his
partner and fellow Strawb, Brian Willoughby on several occasions.
glittering seventies saw Dave and The Strawbs find fame in the UK
charts with 'Part Of The Union' and the fantastic 'Lay Down'.
half of vocal/fiddle/guitar duo Robin and Barry Dransfield. This
picture was taken after the brothers had split and Robin came to
the club for a solo night.
of the funniest men Newcastle ever produced.
a while Mike moved to Rainham in Kent and at one time even served
behind the bar at Bill Vincent's real ale bar in Rochester. He
was infamous for doing his entire act from behind the bar.
Unfortunately the customers were too busy laughing to drink their
drinks, so Bill had to sack him.
large lady with a large voice and personality to match. This
can't be the first time Rosie has been described thus, and it
surely won't be the last.
emailed us recently to say she's happy to be remembered so long after
retirement and can be found here.
Anderson and Maggie Holland.
publishes fRoots magazine and Maggie has hopefully grown into her
can you say about Dougie that hasn't been said by himself
songwriter, guitarist, journalist, world
traveler, nude radio interviewer, clothed football
commentator, and drinking partner of
Colin's. Doug is one of those people that things happen to. Don't
ever get on a plane with Dougie. It's likely to be hijacked!!
the 70s and 80s with his then wife Sue he was one half of Tundra.
Local to the Medway area, they were as popular nationally as they
were at home.
were founder members of the local Ceilidh band Jezreels and after
Tundra split, Doug later formed The Hot Rats with Ian Cutler,
Tony Rico, Tim Constable and Mike Peters. For more info on Doug
and The Rats click here.
here's the lovely Sue.
the split of Tundra, Sue carried on for a while in The Jezreels
Ceilidh Band, but later left to form a new band with a more
country feel called Small Town Romance.
experience and knowledge of Kent, acquired during her Tundra
years, later came in very useful when she landed a plum job with
the Kentish Tourist Board. (Or is it the Tourist Board of Kent???)
and Valerie Cutler
Cutler and his sister Valerie.
rare appearance on the Brewery Folk Club stage by Valerie Cutler.
Colin's partner both with and after The Bully Wee Band, Ian would
occasionally pay a visit to the club. Valerie's presence,
however, was unfortunately more rare.
name 'Jezreels' apparently comes from one James Jersholm Jezreel
who, being convinced that the world was coming to an end,
attempted to build a tower to Heaven. Unfortunately he ran out of
money and only got about four stories up before abandoning the
band has seen several members pass through (including from 1985
to 1990 a certain Colin Reece).
must be one of the earliest though, and are, from left to right:
Geoff Barnard; guitar and banjo, the late Alex Shaw; guitar and voice,
Steve Moreham; fiddle and Tim Baker; accordion and trombone.
latest line-up still includes Steve and is led by Doug Hudson. To
get more news on the band click here.
the North East of England, Jez was, and still is, one the most
respected songwriters in the traditional vein on the scene.
you can see Mechanical Horsetrough displayed the more serious
face of folk music.
Trowbridge in Wiltshire, Alan Briars on the left and Pee Wee Hunt on the
right had an act that could only be described --- That's it. It
could only be described.
time to time Mechanical Horsetrough would team up with another
comedy act Cocky as Mechanical Cockup.
was an act that couldn't even be described.
Nicol and Richard Thompson
original members of Fairport Convention reunited as a duo.
Needless to say this had to be a 'ticket only' do.
Prior with her band which included fellow Steeleye Span members
Rick Kemp and Nigel Pegrum. Another ticket only do.
of the first entertainers Colin ever saw in a folk club. A man
with a massive voice who's repertoire would include anything from Negro spiritual to Scots traditional.
Johnny now lives in Norway.
guitarist, Martin seems to have been around forever, in fact, these days,
doesn't look a lot
different from the picture on the left, which was taken in
Swarbrick and Simon Nicol
more one time of Fairport Conventioners reunited as a duo. A
ticket do yet again.
songs such as Jobsworth, Belle of Barnstable and Red Velvet
Steering Wheel Cover Driver, South African, Jeremy Taylor was
always guaranteed to pack The Brewery.
and Sue Hudson. Most of what can be said about Doug and Sue has
already been said under their individual captions.
picture shows the more serious side to their act.
lovely, talented people. From the left they are Martyn Oram, Gilly
Darbey and Keith Donnelly. In the main they sang Keith's songs,
but Martyn and Gilly are no mean songwriters themselves.
three are still doing 'their thing'.
find out more visit their websites. Gilly at www.gillydarbey.co.uk, Martyn at
and Keith at www.keithdonnelly.com.
Oldest Swinger In Town'. Fred may have been a one hit wonder as
far as the charts were concerned, but that was never the case
when it came to his visits to Rochester.
accompanied by guitarist supreme Chris Newman, Bristolian Fred
was always popular.
he now makes a fair little living as an after dinner speaker.
you have any pictures from those heady old days at The Kings
Head, and you would like them to be included on this page, please
mail them to me here.
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