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02/07/2009

Comments

Keith Glazzard

Hi - I was at the Lanch from 66 to 69 and was the union social sectetary during 67/68.  Ted Little, who I knew well, took over from me Sept. 68.  Ted was in his mid-twenties (a mature student as opposed to the immature rest of us!), a soft-spoken Irishman with experience in the jazz world.  The LAF was very much his idea.  Many of the lads who had worked with me to organise our gigs went into Ted's and they put on a good range of stuff in their first go in 69 - I particularly remember Pentangle in the cathedral.

I'm trying to piece together information about the gigs I was involved with and I found a list at deanocity3 which is very patchy and probably inaccurate in parts.  For example, I had Cream and Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac (with a guest appearance by Jimmy Tarbuck no less!) during the 67 rag week.  Amen Corner then Soft Machine started the 67/8 season which included Julie Driscoll and The Brian Auger Trinity, The Jeff Beck Band and The Kinks.

If an archive of the student newspaper - Phoenix - from the period exists, which I doubt, there would be loads of information about all of this and the early days of the LAF in there.  If I find anything I'll let you know.

Keith Glazzard.

Keith Glazzard

Hello again - I've been looking at the acts listed above and some memories return.

A poetry/acoustic night in the first LAF I think might have included Ivor Cutler.  There was certainly a wild mad scot whose name I will eventually remember (banjo player), and the amazing Davey Graham (having a not unusual bad night).  Poet Christopher Logue too.

The Bonzos gave a superb night at the Lanch for Ted (68?) a few months after they had done at Warwick University a few months before.  Germaine Greer, already a bit of a celebrity, was at the gig (a lecturer at UW that year).

Speaking of Gibbet Hill, the first time I saw Cream was in the bar of the UW student union about October 66.  Excellent - no stage, just set up on the floor at the end.  Had a chat with Eric and Ginger at half time.

The house band at UW was called New Economic Model and supported the likes of Chickenshack and The Crazy World of Arthur brown.  Their drummer was Guy Evans who became a full-time member of Van der Graaf Generator when he graduated (a more or less local lad I think).

Colosseum almost seemed to be a Cov house band at the time - on everywhere.  Founder John Hiseman was a mate of one of our lecturers at the Lanch (citation needed) but I first encountered him, I think playing in the Graham Bond Organisation (having replaced Ginger Baker) at the blues club at the back of the pub up Highfield Road (or Harnall Lane?) just across from the football ground - Thursday nights. Dick Hextall-Smith, cap, clogs, two saxes and all was very memorable.

Meanwhile, back at the Lanch, in 67/68 I had to organise two formal balls.  As a 19 year old working class kid I had no idea, but they went well.  Humphrey Lyttleton's band were superb, and brought Danny Thompson, also of Pentangle, back for another night in Cov.  The other was headed by a a jazzy trio called The Peddlers who, I have since been told, actually recorded that bloody awful Telstar hit (Tornados) for Joe Meek (citation needed).

Something I am very sure of was that the folk club organiser - Steve Kurrein - asked me if he could put Alexis Korner on next week.  I had to make sure the bills were paid, which they were.  About 30 of us had a wonderful evening with the founder of British blues.

We had Simon Dupree and the Big Sound on the main stage one Saturday night.  They went on to rebrand as Gentle Giant.

One panic which I remember was having booked Marmalade.  A few days before, I got a call saying they would break the contract due to a better offer.  We had to promote Julie Driscoll, second on the bill, to top it.  Wheels On Fire was in the top 5 or so about then.  We couldn't sue for loss of income as we made more on the night than we would have done (money, which in my time went back to subsidising the folk club and other good ventures  Ted Little, of course, took this to a higher level).

One band we had on more than any other was the local Ray King Soul Band.  When TwoTone exploded I was sure that I was hearing echos of the Coventry I knew back then.

Great days.  When I left I though they would never be better.  But incredibly, they have been for me, and I can guarantee that they have been for Cov as well.

 

Colin Richardson

[this is good] Hi Keith,
Trevor signalled me that you had posted some interesting stuff on those halcyon days of the LAF.  A lot of it connects with me...and I can tell the name of the mad Scot was (is?) Ron Geesin, who was good mates with Ivor Cutler. They were both booked by me and I even had to drive Ivor Cutler and his little harmonium to the gig as he had no transport at the time, which was great, because we became friends on the journey.  Unquestionably, the proudest achievement for me was the 'coup of all coups', getting Monty Python for their first ever live-on-stage appearance.   As you so rightly say..."great days".

A Facebook User

I've only recently come across this site, and of course it brought back lots of memories. I was at the Lanch (officially from 1965-70, but heavily involved in the music scene there for some time after that). I can claim to have changed the type of music being played, as when I first arrived all the then Social Sec was interested in was mainstream pop groups. I managed to persuade him to book Cream, and will never forget the look of amazement on his face at the queue round the block to get in.

I knew Ted Little well - I stood against him (and lost) for Social Sec. It was during his year in the office that he did indeed found the Arts festival, and he asked me to look after all the press side of things, as well as the staging. I well remember this formidable female, who turned out to be David Bowie's wife, arriving one day asking for me to discuss his appearance at one of the multi-media events (this was before his fame). I had to gently persuade her that Bowie had not actually been booked, and her response was unprintable. I believe this led to his changing agent, just before his career took off.

I also persuaded the Students Union Council that it would be a worthwhile investment to buy a sound system, decks etc rather than paying someone else - I ended up running the discos myself using largely my own record collection. The once-weekly discos, held in the main hall, when the "townies" were let in proved to be a huge money-spinner (costing effectively nothing to put on), the cash being used to underwrite all the band bookings.

During the Arts Festival, Ted somehow managed to persuade Chuck Berry to fly over for a gig, held in the Locarno. I have fond memories of shaking the great man's hand as I introduced his show. What we didn't know was that he was having it recorded, and out of those recordings came a live album (called "The London Sessions" paradoxically) and single - My Ding-a-ling, which of course went to No.1. The festival never received a penny in royalties, which would have gone a long way to repaying the Council the £18k they had to spend underwriting the losses. Incidentally, once the Chuck Berry gig was finished, we had (with great difficulty) to clear the hall so Pink Floyd could set up for Act 2 of the evening's entertainment (which finished at some time about 4 in the morning as I remember - the Locarno management had to be bribed not to pull the plug.

Nice to see the comments from my old mate Keith. Happy Days.

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