Monday, 31 May 2010

Performing in a marquee

This is quite a well known image of Roger playing with 'Reaction' somewhere in Cornwall. Looks like theyre under canvas....but where was this gig exactly???

UPDATE 3/6/10 Richard Prest of Kernow Beat has just contacted me and drawn my attention to an interview with members of The Reaction that is on his helps explain the image...

Roger left Truro in October 1967 to enrol on a Dentistry course at the London School of Medicine. He didn’t return until the summer of 1968, when The Reaction staged a series of gigs dubbed the “Summer Coast Sound Experience”, which took place in a friend’s marquee on various beaches across the West Coast shoreline.

“I remember playing gigs on the beach”, says Ricky Penrose. “The life savers took us across in a jeep. Sand used to get in all the equipment. It was bloody awful”.

“We played on a beach”, recalls Mike Dudley, “with power running 200 yards on a single cable from a farmhouse somewhere, completely unearthed, completely unsafe, all from a generator with it’s associated hum. And it rained a lot that summer! … We did quite a few gigs, got a few hundred people into the marquee and had a lot of fun. It was a captive audience if we went to somewhere like Perrenporth – people had nothing else to do”.

“There’s a wonderful photo”, adds Mike, “of us playing in a marquee, labelled ‘A disastrous booking in a thunderstorm at Trevellas Port.’ Which was close to St. Agnes where I lived. That was September 1968, and it features me wearing disgusting floral flares. We never got very psychedelic. We had a homemade light show with oil-and-water bubbles swirling around, but that was it”. Ricky Penrose agrees: “Yeah, we had dreadful flowery trousers. The worst thing about them was the look you got when you stopped for petrol”.

UPDATE 9/6/10: Ricky Penrose says he was nearly electrocuted that night. Thats him on the left.

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