Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lanchester Polytech Arts Festivals ( Now Coventry University) - Early 1970's


LANCHESTER POLYTECH GIGS AND ARTS FESTIVALS IN THE 1970'S

First a Little History of 'The Lanch' from Pete Clemons

Photo by William Arnold
The Lanch as it was known back in the 1970's referred to The Lanchester Polytechnic, now called Coventry University, "can be traced back to when it was known as Coventry College of Design back in 1843. During 1852 it became Coventry School of Art which then became a College of Art in 1954. During 1960 the college's city centre buildings were erected and housed the newly created Lanchester College of Technology. The art college also shared the buildings.

Finally, during 1970, these two institutions merged with Rugby College of Engineering in 1970 to create the Lanchester Polytechnic. During 1984 'the Lanch' became Coventry (Lanchester) Polytechnic and finally went on to gain full university status in 1992, ie Coventry University.

Besides having a great reputation as a provider of education, the university buildings, or to be more precise, the downstairs gymnasium across from the new Cathedral, also has an incredible legacy as a music venue. In fact I cannot over emphasise how important this venue was when bands were taking their music up and down the country through the different universities and colleges." Pete Clemons.

About the Lanchester Poly Arts Festivals

From c1989  to the early 80's, The Lanchester Polytechnic Student Union, Priory street Coventry, organised a Winter Arts Festival for a whole week in February. These were amazing multimedia events mainly centred around some of the best upcoming underground bands and artists in many genres and solo artists. There were also poetry, theatre events etc as you will see for the programmes here and included the first ever Live Performance by Monty Python's Flying Circus.

The Lanch of course had regular Friday night band sessions in the Main hall for students and non students. Most of the budding musicians and fans would have gone to see these bands at the time. Sometimes you could see three top name bands quite cheaply by today's standards.

Lanch Social Secretary Ted Little, summed up the festival in 1970 -

"The Lanchester Arts Festival is different from most of the other leading festivals in that is aimed to be progressive, and not just in the 'Pop' sense of the word. Basically the aim of the festival is to bring together people who do not normally perform on the same stage,and get them to do something out of the ordinary. For example, Sir Adrian Boult has very rarely played with Nathan Milstein, and is likely not to do so again in the near future. Similarly what Ron Geesin and Ivor Cutler do on stage at the end of their evening will be worth seeing."

From this piece kindly contributed by Alan Willis -




Pete Clemons tells us some of the early history before the festival began - 

"During my research I came across the odd jazz date held at the Lanch during the early 1960s but the first true rock / beat event I could find evidence for was held during November 1965 and involved a group called Silence who were supported by Coventry band The Sorrows. Now I do know that Mott the Hoople were once known as Silence but I didn't that think they went as far back as 1965 so that one has left me wondering somewhat.

Further significant events followed throughout the mid-1960s period with several visits by John Mayalls Bluesbreakers along with gigs by Cream, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, The Kinks and The Jeff Beck Band complete with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood
."

A comment from (I think) Chris Porch from an earlier post in 2012 throws some light on this early part -

"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."

SOCIAL SECRETARIES  - Keith Glazzard
The first Social Secretary I know about is Keith Glazzard, who wrote to this site when it was on Vox Blogs in 2009, Keith told us "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 'Lanchester Arts Festival' in there."

Keith was at the Lanch from 66 to 69 and was the union social secretary during 67/68.  He says "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. 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. " These are just some of the bands / acts that Keith remembers.

Ted Little

TED LITTLE - Social Secretary Sept 1968 - 71
Keith Glazzard tells us that "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 (Lanchester Arts Festival) 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.".

Not sure who sent this message to the original site as the name wasn't attached "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."

Ted Little,who created the LAF, elevated it into a major festival. From a flyer contributed by Alan Willis we learn "The outlay for the festival has gone over the £12,000 mark, which puts the Lanch festival right at the top of all University /College festivals. A great deal of money has been spent on advertising in the form of press, carrier bags, posters and circulars. for the first time, the organisers have used a London Public Relations firm to handle the great demand for news of the festival.Both BBC,sound and television, will be covering the events in their arts programmes, and the Birmingham Post will have a permanent representative at all events. This in itself indicates the scale of the festival is considered 'across the causeway'!

Colin Richardson with
Paul McCartney
Ted Little not only engaged a London Public relations firm but also engaged Colin Richardson, a booking agent with the BRON Agency, to book many of the acts for the festival 1970 - and 71. Colin is a very interesting man and in 2007 contacted the Hobo site to tell his story. Colin began as a Jazz bassist in the early 60's but discovered his talent was in organising and promoting. He ran a London Jazz club, which gave Manfred Mann an early residency, helped form and then managed Colosseum and the New Jazz Orchestra - who much later he booked for the Lanch Festival in 1970, became the night manager for the Marquee club in 1965 and then worked as a booking agent for Bron, with a remit to provide bands and acts for the LAF. It was Colin that procured Monty Python's Flying Circus for their first ever live performance,which took place at the Belgrade Theatre, for the LAF in 1971. He also booked the Edwin Hawkins Singers who performed in Coventry Cathedral, Ralph McTell, Ivor Cutler and many more acts. I have interviewed Colin extensively about his musical career - a very good read for those who like the kind of music performed at the Lanchester Poly. The interview is in 7 parts on this site - find Colin Richardson in the sidebar or index here.

This is a link to Part 5 which deals with the performance of Colosseum, Jack Bruce and The New Jazz Orchestra at the Lanch Festival in 1970
http://covdiscoarchive.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/colin-richardson-interview-part-5.html

And this link is the story of how Colin managed to procure Monty Python for the LAF in 1971.
http://covdiscoarchive.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/colin-richardson-interview-part-6-monty.html

You can see Colin Richardson's name at the bottom of the 1971 LAF Programme for 1971, here

LAF 1971 Programme

Again there was no name on this comment but they recall "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."


Ted Little passed away in 1999 at the young age of 56 but after leaving the Lanch in 1971 "became administrator of what turned out to be the longest-lasting of these collectives, the Birmingham Arts Lab. In 1974 he staged an international performance festival, taking over Birmingham city centre in a marvellously anarchic celebration which provoked a delighted, if sometimes bemused, response from the public. After Birmingham he headed London's Institute of Contemporary Art later in 1974. His three-year tenure, burdened by a struggle for adequate Arts Council funding, marked an important stage in the ICA's development." You can read more of his career history in his obituary in the Guardian here https://www.theguardian.com/news/1999/aug/12/guardianobituaries

Jennifer Jones - Social Secretary LAF organiser 1976 and 1977
Jennifer wrote with the following comment-
"This is a bit of a blast from the past. I ran the Lanchester Arts Festivals in 1976 and 1977. The 1976 one I ran with Sheila someone (sorry - can't remember her surname) who was a Fine Art student. I do still have a copy of that programme and I remember typing the content on a golf ball typewriter in the LAF Office. My highlights from 1976 were definitely Ivor Cutler - who I know appeared more than once at Lanchester - George Melly, who was a real character and who I met several more times before he passed, and probably the Sex Pistols - who appeared at the LAF just before one of them said 'fuck' on television which ricocheted their career into the limelight. I do remember them inciting the audience to riot! The Tierra Buena Jazz band were a group of local jazzers who I knew too. We didn't have the budget of the earlier LAFs and our programme wasn't quite so high profile, but a great time was had by all, I'd say, nonetheless. I don't know if I have the 1977 programme off hand - will have to search through my old files. The 1976 programme cover was designed by another Fine Art student - Jim Morris. Happy memories!"

Music Journalist Pete Clemons has written -
a number of articles on the Lanch for the Coventry Telegraph, using some of the information from the original HoboVox site alongside his own research. This first one gives some of the history of the Lanch and its development as a major Coventry music venue.



Pete Clemons Coventry Telegraph article  on the Lanchester Poly Gigs link http://coventrygigs.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/the-lanch-lanchester-polytechnic-gigs.html


Pete Clemons has also covered PinkFloyd and Chuck Berry playing for the LAF at the Locarno in 1972 - follow the links for more.





Some more LAF Programmes

1974 Lanchester Arts Festival Programme



1976 Lanchester Arts Festival Programme





Chuck Berry's Set List for the Locarno.

Sweet Little Sixteen 
Roll 'em Pete 
It Hurts Me Too 
Around and Around 
The Promised Land 
Reelin' and Rockin' 
My Ding-a-Ling 
Bye Bye Johnny 
Johnny B. Goode 



From Hobo 1974




1969

1975 adverts from Hobo Magazine


Paddy Prescott (dancing below) pioneered the Lanch Folk Club in the 1970's,
readmore about it here 
Paddy at Lanch Disco

Lanch Bar downstairs
From Hobo magazine  November 1973 - Lanch gigs at the bottom of the page top ones Warwick University.


Leon Russell / Osibisa / Indian Summer poster 1971

My Leon Russell Poster is currently in the Coventry Music Museum and can be seen here behind Pauline Black with some of the Lanch programmes on the wall too.


Another poster from the 1971 LAF was sent by Alan Willis.






The Lanch produced some brilliant posters for gigs in the early 70's.

This is the only one we've managed to source apart from the plainer Leon Russell one. This poster was preserved by Coventry musician Lee Dorrian. If anyone has any more Coventry Lanchester Polytech posters from the late 60's early 70's let us know. This one is for the Dr Strangely Strange / Pieces concert. 



Lanchester Polytechnic Bands include -

Amazing Blondell / Adrian Henri and Liverpool poets / Arthur Big Boy Crudup / Arthur Brown / Amen Corner / Asgard / Atomic Rooster / Adrian Mitchell / Arthur Lee / Andre Previn / Alexis Korner /Andy Fairweather Lowe /  Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band / Blue Mink / Bridget St John / Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts / Blackfoot Sue /  Blodwyn Pig / Barclay James Harvest Brewers Droop / Big Idea / Big John Wrencher / Brownsville Banned / Brinsley Schwarz / Bad Manners / Caravan / Chuck Berry / Coliseum / Can / Curved Air / Cream / Centipede / Canned Heat / Claire Hammill / Cousin Joe Pleasant / Climax Chicago Blues Band / Cockney Rebel / Christopher Logue /Duster Bennett / Dada / Drought Porridge / Daddy Longlegs / Dando Shaft / Dexys Midnight Circus / Doctor Ross the harmonica Boss / Danny Abse / Davey Graham / Don Fardon / David Bowie / Elton John / ELO / ELP / Erasure / Eddie Playboy Taylor / Eyeless in Gaza / EMF (US) / Edgar Broughton band / Edwin Hawkins Singers / Fairport Convention / Fleetwood Mac (Peter Greens) / Flying Hat Band / Fresh Maggots / Furious Apples / Free / Groundhogs / Gentle Giant  / God's Toys / George Deep Jackson /Goliath / Grimms / George MAcBeth / George Melly and the Feetwarmers / George Chisholm and Johnnie Patrick Trio / Gordon Giltrap / Hatfield and the North / Heron / Humphrey Lyttleton's band / Izzy the Push / Indian Summer /  Instant Sunshine / Ivor Cutler / Jake Thackery / Jack Bruce and Friends / Jo Ann Kelly / John Silken / John Williams / John Hewitt / Jethro Tull / John Dowie / John Mayall's Bluesbreakers / Jesus and Mary Chain / Judy Dyble and Penguin / Jeff Beck Band / Jackie Wittren / Jimmy Tarbuck / Julie Driscoll and The Brian Auger Trinity / Jans Duke De Grey / Kevin Ayres and the Whole World Kinks / Lindisfarne / Love / Liverpool Scene / Lesley Duncan / Last Fair Deal /  Larry Johnson / Leon Russell / Mead (Neol Davies band) / Medicine Head / MC5 / Mott the Hoople / Magic Lantern / Monty Python's Flying Circus (not a band obviously!) / Mr Fox / Moon / Mike Absolom /  Nice / Nashville Teens / New Jazz Orchestra / Nucleus / Neil Innes / National Acoustic band / Osibisa / Oasis / Pentangle / Pink Floyd / Pink Umbrella / Pete Brown and Piblokto / Pink Fairies / Principal Edwards Magic Theatre / Pete Aitkin / Patto / The Peddlers / Paul Jones / Roy Harper / Ray King Soul Band /Roxy Music / Reluctant Stereotypes / Ra Ho Tep / Ralph McTell / Ramrods / Ronnie Scott / Ron Geesin / The Ring / Slade / Strawbs / Scaffold / Sticky George / Skin Alley / Skid Row / Selecter / Sorrows / Simon Dupree and the Big Sound / Supergrass / Sex Pistols / Silence / Smiths /  Stone the Crows / Suzi Quatro / Spirit / Specials / Tyrannosaurus Rex / T. Rex / Tu Pac / Trees / T. Apache Indian / Tom Pickard / Tiera Buena New orleans band / Tsar / UB40 / Urge / Vandergraff Generator / Wandering John / Wild Turkey / Wild Angels / Who / Wizzard / Whistler / Yes

HAVE NOW CREATED A SPECIAL SITE FOR THE LANCHESTER POLYTECH BANDS WITH YOUTUBE WHICH CAN BE FOUND HERE
 http://lanchesterpolybands.blogspot.co.uk/

14 JANUARY 1967 - CREAM - LANCHESTER ARTS FESTIVAL 

Find Lanch / Cov University gigs in the 80's on this site. http://www.last.fm/venue/8934845+Lanchester+Polytechnic


Kraftwerk at the Lanch poly Friday Oct 8th

From this interesting site  - Spirit at the Lanch 1973



1973 with Thin Lizzie / Greenslade and Man etc at the Lanch Poly

Edgar Broughton Band Lanchester Polytechnic circa 1972





THE WHO AT THE LANCH 
"The first concert I went to was The Who at the Lanchester Poly in November 1970. Tickets we were £1 each! There were only 900 tickets available as The Who insisted on having a special stage built which reduced the capacity. By all accounts the Poly made a loss on the concert as The Who were paid £1200 for the gig.
It is reckoned that there were over 1000 people outside the hall listening to the show.
The headline in the Coventry Evening Telegraph on the Monday read..........'The why of the loss from The Who'" Beesman

"I was one of them outside, couldn't get in. Outside on on Priory street were their Rolls Royces and we watched through a small open window at the back of the stage (near the halls of residence). The stage was much larger than normal and some early synth intro was playing as they began. Dressed in patched up jeans jeans, we heard the trademark cresdo of Townsend and the deep bass of Entwhistle. It was cold outside but there was plenty of heat escaping from the Lanch gym which doubled as the concert room." Trev Teasdel

BROADGATE GNOME REVIEW OF THE WHO CONCERT AT THE LANCH.
"The WHO concert at the Lanchester proved to many (including our friends in blue) that a full scale show with a top name group can be put on in Coventry without the expected rough and tumbles that are associated with it. When the Who arrived, they were more than pleased with the layout of the place, including the extra power supply and the drinks in the dressing room. They gave a gig that lasted about an hour and a half, starting with a couple of warm up numbers, one of which was called Water. and should be released on a single before Christmas.

The WHO are never really appreciated unless they are seen live, they really are a visual thing. They struck me for some strange reason as being a very clean and hygienic band, no sooner than they were on stage and they were playing away - a sure sign of good management on the side of the Roady.

The gig was good, very few breaks for farting about with the equipment as is so prevalent with some groups. Very professional. They do live up to their big band name as one could judge by the amount of equipment taht was used (a quarter of the hall was taken up by the special stage etc.) The gig never really got going until they broke into My Generation and from that point onwards there were people seen standing up from the well seated crowd doing their own thing and generally causing a bit of hysteria. The light show that was used was effective with the audience and the music, including a feeling that if you looked away then you were sure to miss something. It was good and well worth the money."

TWO TONE AT THE LANCH

Rat Race was recorded at the Lanch in the Main Hall.


The Two Tone Plaque on the Main Hall entrance Coventry University erected by Pete Chambers of the Coventry Music Museum.
Horace Panter, Pauline Black and Jerry Dammers all studied there.


Pete Chambers and Horace Panter sharing Lanch and Two Tone memories at in Main Hall entrance c 2009.

Photos and material contributed by Alan Willis.


Lanch- Gym/hall Nov 16th 1968 Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.





Below The Who at the Lanch Feb 14th 1969





Priory Street Blues 1968

Alan Willis says

"During the late sixties, early seventies I assisted Discotheque Services provide Discos in the upstairs refectory and support for groups in the hall/ gym. " Below Upstairs Refectory Disco's







History

1843 College of Design
1852 Coventry School of Art
1954 Coventry College of Art
1960 New buildings in centre of the city and became
Lanchester College of Technology (Art College shared buildings)
1970 Merged with Rugby College of Engineering to become
Lanchester Polytechnic
1992 Became Coventry University

As well as a great reputation for providing education the downstairs gymnasium, (and the refectory above it) across from the new Coventry Cathedral, has an incredible musical legacy.

1960’s The occasional jazz night held

1965 Nov 1st A rock event – featured group called Silence, supported by a local band called The Sorows
Mid sixties also saw concerts by
John Mayall’s Buesbreakers
Cream
Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac
The Kinks
Jeff Beck Band( featuring Rod Stewart & Ronnie Wood)

1968 Discotheque Services (DJ’s Ted Doyle & Johnny T started providing Discos in the refectory above the gym)

1968 Friday 11th October -Priory Street Blues Night (8 shillings) featured
John Peel
Savoy Brown Blues Band
Alexis Korner
Pete Brown’s Battered Ornaments
Jo-Ann Kelly

1968 Nov 1st Coventry Art College had The Gods playing
( included soon to be a Rolling Stone Mick Taylor)

1968 Nov 2nd Lanchester gym/hall Love Sculpture
1968 Nov 16th Lanchester gym/hall Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band

1968 Nov 28th Coventry Art College Ball featured
The Nice
Joe Cocker
Love Sculpture

1968 Dec 6th Lanchester Disco in Halls of Residence (Tower block)
1968 Dec 7th Lanchester gym/hall featured Colosseum

1969 Jan 18th Lanchester gym/hall featured Idle Race (included Jeff Lynne)

1969 Lanchester Arts Festival (Jan 24th- 29th)
24/1/69 In the Hall (Gym) Priory Street Blues Night featured
Fairport Convention
Alexis Korner
Duster Bennett
25/1/69 The Family & The Eclection
29/1/69 Pentangle at Coventry Cathedral

1969 Feb 14th On the new stage (they demanded) at
The Lanchester gym/hall THE WHO

1969 March 14th Lanchester gym/hall featured Colloseum

May 1969- The Art College’s May Ball at The Locarno in Coventry featured
Joe Cocker
Spooky Tooth
Pink Floyd
Wellington Kitch

1969 Oct 14th Lanchester gym/hall featured Pete Brown & Piblokto

1969 Oct 25th Lanchester gym/hall featured Keef Hartley Band

1969 Oct 30th Lanchester ‘Shelter’ Disco, upstairs Bar, take the new wem system to the volume limit- floor starts to shake!

1969 Nov 15th Fairport Convention due to appear in gym/hall but group breaks up so soon to be famous T Rex step in ( Mark Bolan & Micky Finn)

1969 Nov 22nd Discotheque Services get over 400tthe upstairs Disco, floor shaking & bending

1969 Nov 29th Lanchester gym/hall featured Soft Machine

1969 Dec 6th Term ends with a bang! Lanchester gym/hall featured Graham Gigantic Bond’s Initiation and The Taste (Rory Gallagher, Richard McCracken & John Wilson)
1969 Dec 11th Final Upstairs Disco of the year, also appearing were Indian Summer along with Danny & The Heartthrobs

1970 January 10th Lanchester gym/hall featured The Family

1970 Lanchester Arts Festival (Jan 23rd- 31st)
(Rumoured to have cost £12,000. Coped with the break up of King Crimson who were due to appear)
23/1/1970 Priory Street Blues Night (10 shillings entry) featured
Chicken Shack
Duster Bennett
Jo-Ann Kelly
Bob Hall
Mike Cooper
24/1/1970 Jack Bruce (Mitch Mitchell on drums, Larry Coryell on lead guitar, Mike Mandel on organ)
Colosseum
NewJazz Orchestra
25/1/1970 John Peel
Ivor Cutler
Ron Geeson
Principal Edwards Magic Theatre
27/1/1970 Salena Jones & Barbara Thompson at Belgrade Theatre
28/1/1970 Edwin Hawkins Singers
30/1/1970 ‘Mothers Night’ ( a famous Birmingham Club) featured
Yes, Atomic Rooster, Free, Mott the Hoople &DJ Erskine
31/1/1970 Folk Festival featured Roy Harper & The Strawbs

1970 March 7th Lanchester gym/hall featured (for Rag Week) The Nashville Teens and The Wild Angels
The Rag Ball features Love (including Arthur Lee) Juicy Lucy

1970 May 2nd Lanchester gym/hall featured Fleetwood Mac supported by Room

1971 Lanchester Arts Festival (Jan 29th- Feb 7th)
29/1/1971 Priory Street Blues Night featured
Big Boy Crudup
Climax Chicago Blues Band
31/1/1971 Curved Air
Ivor Cutler
Adrian Henri
2/2/1971 Andre Previn & London Symphony Orchestra in Coventry Cathedral
31/1/1971- 2/2/1971 Monty Python’s Flying Circus Live at The Belgrade Theatre
3/2/1971 Leon Russell & Friends
Osibisa
Indian Summer
5/2/1971 Elton John
Caravan
Skid Row
6/2/1971 Ralph McTell
The Strawbs
Mr. Fox
7/2/1971 Ronnie Scott’s Jazz night

1972 Chuck Berry (recorded ‘My Ding a Ling’ & Pink Floyd at The Locarno

Gym /hall also hosted appearances by
MC5
Spirit


1976 Sex Pistols( as part of Arts Festival)

Lanchester Gym /hall featured in the video of The Special’s ‘Rat Race’

Gym /hall hosted appearances by
The Smiths
Erasure
Housemartins

1992 Stopped using the Gym and moved most events to The Planet Nightclub
Oasis
Supergrass


Comments by former Lanchester Polytechnic Social Secretaries
Some of which have been incorporated in above text.
From Keith Glazzard
Hi - I was at the Lanch from 66 to 69 and was the union social secretary 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.
Posted by: Keith Glazzard | 05/06/2009 at 05:15 PM

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.

Posted by: Keith Glazzard | 05/08/2009 at 09:47 PM

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".

Posted by: Colin Richardson | 05/09/2009 at 12:38 PM


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.

Posted by: A Facebook User | 02/04/2012 at 06:01 PM

For Trev Teasdel
I tried taking a pic of the 1972 Arts fest poster with my iPad but it's too large, 35 by 24 ins. Would be happy to let you have a look at it sometime. It lists the pink Floyd concert taking place before Chuck Berry but it was actually the other way round, and Slade were bottom of the bill even though they were doing very well at the time!

Posted by: Chris Porch | 07/21/2012 at 06:30 PM



This is a bit of a blast from the past. I ran the Lanchester Arts Festivals in 1976 and 1977. The 1976 one I ran with Sheila someone (sorry - can't remember her surname) who was a Fine Art student. I do still have a copy of that programme (photo above) and I remember typing the content on a golf ball typewriter in the LAF Office. My highlights from 1976 were definitely Ivor Cutler - who I know appeared more than once at Lancester - George Melly, who was a real character and who I met several more times before he passed, and probably the Sex Pistols - who appeared at the LAF just before one of them said 'fuck' on television which ricocheted their career into the limelight. I do remember them inciting the audience to riot! The Tierra Buena Jazz band were a group of local jazzers who I knew too. We didn't have the budget of the earlier LAFs and our programme wasn't quite so high profile, but a great time was had by all, I'd say, nonetheless. I don't know if I have the 1977 programme off hand - will have to search through my old files. The 1976 programme cover was designed by another Fine Art student - Jim Morris. Happy memories!

Posted by: Jennifer Jones | 04/23/2013 at 11:21 PM



Thanks for your interesting comment Jennifer,

That would be great if you had the 1977 programme. If you find you can send it via hobozine@googlemail.com

Shame the funding was curtailed - they were always great events and influenced not only students but a lot of budding Cov musicians. A lot of us appreciated the work that went into organising them.

It was at the Sex pistols Lanch gig that a Cov friend of ours Scon became a roadie with them and later Clash - better known as Roadent. He went on to appear in a German TV play and went out with Barbara Grogan of the Passions - who wrote the 80's hit I'm in love with a German Film Star. As a result he introduced the Specials to the infamous Bernie Rhodes at Mr Georges and as Mr Rhodes is the subject of Gangsters inadvertently influenced another song!

Thanks again Jennifer - Trev Teasdel

Posted by: Coventry Music Archives | 04/24/2013 at 04:24 PM








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