March 4 2015 Latest news:
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
It’s a walk which will put a spring in your step and revive magical musical memories. Evening News writer Kingsley Harris has produced the first Norwich music map and would love your suggestions for the follow-ups.
Are you ready to walk to the Norwich beat and discover the places where we were entertained by the music makers of the day?
Big bands, jazz, folk, skiffle, rock, punk and indie – great music provided by talented music-makers – local, national and international artists who played such a big part of our lives.
From Albert Cooper, king of the blues and boogie, and our very own American soul singer, Lucas, to The Rolling Stones and The Beatles – we all have our reasons to remember them.
And we had some great Norfolk bands – many reformed for the Evening Years Golden Years and are sounding better than ever.
Garry Freeman and The Contours, Malcolm (starring the late Malcolm Hooper) and The Jet Blacks, Mervyn & The Falcons (Starbeats), The Continentals, Barry Lee & The Planets and the rest.
They and so many others played the halls, the pubs, the clubs and the cellars of Norwich over the decades. We grew up with them.
This is a city which has always had a reputation for producing skilled musicians and appreciating people who head our way... from Bill Haley in 1957 to Coldplay in 2011.
There is one man who knows more about the Norwich music scene than most and he is Evening News writer Kingsley Harris, left, the man behind the East Anglian Music Archive.
If you want to know anything about local music from way back, or from last week, Kingsley is your man and, under the new Music from the Eastzone banner, he has produced the first Norwich Music Map.
Now he is working on two more maps and would love people to get in touch with their own favourite venues.
The map has been produced by Kingsley and Nick Stone with picture support from Leo Reynolds and Jonathan Plunkett – his father George was the great city photographer.
If you would like a copy you can pick them up from the Tourist Information Office at The Forum or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address.
Where was your favourite place for music? Drop Kingsley a line at email@example.com
Key to the map (above).
1. The Orford Arms – Red Lion Street
Described as the most famous venue of all. Opened as a jazz/folk/skiffle club in 1957 by Norman Guest. The Ronnie Hanton skiffle group played on the opening night with teen sensation Mireille Grey. When Howard Platt took over it attracted the likes of Hendrix and Bowie plus locals Lucas, The Continentals, below, and the evergreen Garry Freeman and The Contours, bottom, who played more times than anyone else.
2. The Bedford Arms – 13 Bedford Street
Not to be confused with Bedfords of today. Now the home of Engravers World. In the 1960s this was the Norwich Jazz Club run by “Pops” Garner and his wife, parents of Al, trumpet player with resident group, The Mustard City Stompers.
In 1963 the Downbeat Club opened attracting local acts including Eyes of Blonde, Malcolm (the late Malcolm Hooper, left) & the Jet Blacks and Mervyn & The Falcons, below – now The Starbeats.
3. The Red Lion – St George’s Street
Now The Dog House. A great venue in the early days of skiffle and rock. Run by Jimmy and Beattie Beales. Close to the art school it attracted the likes of The Alleykats and Tony Sheridan, the rock ‘n’ roll rebel who went on to play with The Beatles.
4. St Andrew’s Hall
Dating back to the 14th century this became one of the first concert halls. In 1824 the Triennial Festival, now the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, started here. Slade, Hawkwind and the Troggs played in the 1960s – later on people complained about the noise. It is still a great music venue and at the heart of city life.
5. Norwich Lads Club – King Street
Now the King’s Centre. The first club of its kind in the world – set up by the police to keep city boys out of trouble and give them a purpose in life. It worked. Queues formed to see the likes of Lonnie Donegan and Chris Barber. Bands to follow included Pink Floyd, and The Who.
6. The Grosvenor Ballroom – Prince of Wales Road
Now KFC restaurant and an office block. At the forefront of the teen beat in the 1960s. The Beatles, below, played in 1963 backed by our own Ricky Lee & the Hucklebucks, bottom left. It was a good looking building but it stood in the way of progress – and was demolished. Such a shame.
7. The Jolly Butchers – 125 Ber Street
Now the offices of the Norfolk and Norwich Families House.
This was run by the one and only Black Anna from 1935 to her death in 1976. This was the centre of blues and jazz. Albert Cooper, below with Anna, launched his career here. A wonderful pub run by an extraordinary woman. Nobody messed with Black Anna.
8. The Gala Ballroom – St Stephen’s Road. Now Quasar Elite.
Built in the 1950s as a ballroom it has also been a theatre, restaurant, night club and synthetic ice rink during its lifetime. It had its own resident band in the 1950s – Bob Barbour was one.
Always a popular spot – Ray Aldous ran it for while in the 1960s attracting the likes of The Kinks and The Move. Later on acts included The Smiths.
9. The Federation Club – Oak Street
Now The Talk and out of the first selection of venues this is the only one still hosting regular live music nights.
The home of the first skiffle contest won by Tony Sheridan & The Saints. The Jailbirds and The Zodiacs were also young bands making a mark.
It has been The Industrial Club, The Melody Rooms and The Talk of East Anglia. Run by the Fisher family for most of its life until they stepped down.
It was the first working men’s club in the city – some of the biggest rock stars and cabaret acts/comedians have played The Talk over the decades. It is a place to cherish.
10. The Jacquard Club – 134 Magdalen Street
Originally the old White Lion it was turned into a jazz, folk and blues club by brothers Albert and Tony Cooper in 1971 – they had already run the Jaquard Folk Club at The Mischief Tavern in the 1960s. Ronnie Scott, George Melly, Paul Simon, below, and bands such as The Vintage Hot Orchestra loved the place.
It went on to became a popular club for punk and indie bands in the 1980s, hosting gigs by the likes of The Farmers Boys and The Higsons. It had such a special atmosphere.