RE: Thanks for that brilliantly detailed reminiscence (#12807)


Black Sabbath 1970

I saw Black Sabbath at Tofts in Folkestone but the gig was in April (11th) "1971" - not 1970. I didstinctly remember seeing Ozzy and the band tucked into a small corner at the back,in the upstairs room of the venue. Most of the time, it seemed, Ozzy was huddled over the mike with his back to the audience. However, the music, I recall, was both dark and powerful and for the relatively small audience it was awsome; almost anarchic and somewhat akin to those smokey jazz-clubs of an earlier age, I suppose?

Tofts was a fairly small club/venue where the main performance area was upstairs in a darkly-lit red and black room. A few 'booths'were dotted around the perimeter and 'pillars' were also dotted about here and there. At the time of the Sabbath gig, I don't think there was a 'stage'-as such- The band performed and set-up on the floor in a corner at the far end of the room. I doubt if the venue could cope with an audience of much more than a 100 or so but it used to get 'packed' and really 'steaming!' - However, on that night, If I recall correctly, there wasn't a huge crowd, but "IT WAS SABBATH, MAN!!" - It was 'manna-from-heaven' for my 'Head; mates and I, dressed in our 'LOONS;' Tie-Dye T-Shirts and Iron Crosses etc.

Outside, TOFTS was painted the same red and black as inside and had a TOP-HAT & CANE painted on the outside above, or below, the venue name. This was a kind of logo for the place. Downstairs, was a bar and 'quiet-area' where you could go to chill-out if the music got too much or you'd imbibed too much or too many 'other optional and recreational substances[?]' - Amazingly, being only 16, we never seemed to have any problems in those years with getting a drink at the bar etc and I don't remember ever being questioned about my age either?

Going back to that night... As I recall there weren't a huge amount of people at the venue and, in fact, my mates and I were only there because we'd missed-out on getting into the Leas Cliff hall to see another Heavy/Prog band... probably someone like GONG? - So, it was really a bonus that we saw SABBATH that night. However, seeing such bands at TOFTS was nothing unusual for that time. I remember if we weren't at the Leas, we'd be at TOFTS and it was quite often a toss-up where we'd go as the 'quality' of bands playing either at the Leas Cliff Hall or TOFTS was equally as good. During this period in the 1970's, I remember seeing at TOFTS: Fleetwood Mac; Stray; Deep Purple [I'm fairly sure?]; Skid Row, and many more. Whilst, at the Leas, we saw: Atomic Rooster; Judas Priest; Curved Air; Uriah Heep; a Very early GENESIS; P.F.M; Rennaissance; and again, many, many more.... Great days!

TOFTS... a Fantastic venue; fondly remembered and sadly missed!
Comment / reply

Thanks for that brilliantly detailed reminiscence

Don't suppose you have any dates for any of the other shows?

I remember seeing at TOFTS: Fleetwood Mac; Stray; Deep Purple [I'm fairly sure?]; Skid Row, and many more. Whilst, at the Leas, we saw: Atomic Rooster; Judas Priest; Curved Air; Uriah Heep; a Very early GENESIS; P.F.M; Rennaissance; and again, many, many more.... Great days! TOFTS... a Fantastic venue; fondly remembered and sadly missed!
15 Jul Comment / reply

RE: Thanks for that brilliantly detailed reminiscence

Hi Pauly.... Sorry but my brain's a little befuddled about exact dates. However, I can tell you that it would have bee arounf the period 1970-1971-ish to around 1976-77ish? During this period I was also in a local (Dover) band myself: "Father Luke" - We headlined at the Leas twice on local-band-nights which were promoted by Andy MacPherson, if I remember rightly? These 'local' nights used to be quite a regular occurrance and featured bands from all around Kent such as: Back Van Nasty; Barnacle; Dead Dogs Don't Lie... We also supported "The Pirates" at the Leas ('post' Johnny Kidd) in their nouvau-punk era, and played in and around London; The Music Machine, Covent Garden; Hornsey Art College; The Cartoon, Croydon and various and many other non-descript pubs etc., as well as in and around Kent in paid and unpaid gigs; like many other local rock bands who were 'chasing-the-dream!' We also won the Southern heat of the Melody Maker Competition at Canterbury, getting through to the competition Final at the Marquee Club, Wardour Street in London (around 1978-79, I think?) where we were 'trounced' by the eclectically brilliant band: "Splodgednessabounds" and their anarchic song: "Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, please!"

Hey-ho! Annother one of life's 'moments' or 'If only!' - Still never mind eh? It was a great period of my life not only for what I did but for the 'time' itself... Fantastic music; amazing bands and musicians and great friends...

Going back a bit to my earlier post and a consequent reply.... Yes, the Skid Row I referred to WAS the one 'a la Gary Moore' - However, Skid Row were NOT the forerunner of Thin Lizzy.. According to Gary Moore, on last week's Planet Rock Radio, he was playing with Skid Row and was asked, during a break from Skid Row, to replace the guitarist from Lizzy who played on the Whiskey in the Jar single who couldn't make (not sure of the reason?) a subsequent American Tour.

Moore rehearsed with Lizzy (he was only around 17 or 18 at the time, I think he said?); was 'picked' and did the tour and then went back to Skid Row upon his return to the UK. It was only some time after this that he eventually joined Thin Lizzy.

There ya go!

Great site and great to see that there are some other old (Prog) rockers still out there... Maybe some younger ones too?
18 Jul Comment / reply

Thanks for even more detail

Great to hear, nice story of nearly "making it" too, that's a lot further than 99% of bands get!

Just thought, I wonder if Black Sabbath played twice in Folkestone around that time? As the first gig I added here for 1970 was supposedly at the Art College. Not sure where I got that info from, possibly Marmalade Skies... lots of folkestone there...
18 Jul Comment / reply

RE: Thanks for even more detail

Hi again. Not sure where you got your info about Black Sabbath playing at the 'Art College' - The only 'Art College' I can recall, at the time, was in Canterbury ( we played there sometime in '74), not Folkestone...?

Also, according to the Black Sabbath website: SABBATH ONLINE, which lists Sabbath 'archive' gigs: - from 1968 - 1971, only Tofts in Folkestone is listed in April 1971. The only other gig nearest is in Lewes, Sussex.... But perhaps others know more? - Steve
26 Jul Comment / reply

RE: Thanks for that brilliantly detailed reminiscence

Nice write up!

Pauly,the "Skid Row" in your link is not the band yer man mentioned - it'll be this Skid Row the original brilliant Irish rock trio!
16 Jul Comment / reply

Ha I knew that about Skid Row, let me explain!

The links were just links to search this site for previous mentions of those acts, as I thought I already had Skid Row in the listings somewhere - wasn't it Gary Moore's band, or some other connection with Thin Lizzy? I think Thin Lizzy used to be called Skid Row.

I have only seen the American '80s cock rockers Skid Row (not once, not twice, but three times) , and someone's responded to that, and unfortunately that's the top result that came up here when you search for Skid Row. Aha, knew I had it somewhere, I have them down as playing the LCH in 1970.


Look, I even made your youtube post into an embedded video. Always good to have you back here Mick!
16 Jul Comment / reply

RE: Ha I knew that about Skid Row, let me explain!

Cheers P! 3 times eeewwwww, once is unforgivable but thrice!

I got to meet Gary (nicked his guitar strap - well the one he was wearing, not his personal one you know, just perchance it would magic up my guitar playing...)!

I got to know Brendan (I bet you didn't know he was voted bassist of the year in the NME in 1971ish)? Great guy. Skid Row were hot as hell, we used see them at the old Marquee any time they were playing - happy days...

Btw, I played in Folkestone circa 1970/71 in a band called 'Rockin Pneumonia', yer really, I dunno what venue, nor I bet anyone remembers us? ah well
16 Jul Comment / reply

RE: Ha I knew that about Skid Row, let me explain!

Errata alert!!! The band I played with in Folkie was 'Grease Lighting' not the aforementioned 'Rockin Pneumonia'. I played with the latter, but not in Folkestone.

All written with the aid of Sainsburys Chilean Merlot
16 Jul Comment / reply

did deep into your fading memory

Come up with some dates or something so I can put them on the site!

I've got one of Justin Hawkins t-shirts. How did that work out with the guitar strap, are you amazing now?
17 Jul Comment / reply

RE: did deep into your fading memory

Trust me - I'm amazing now, lol

Fading memory, um yes, well I was 18/19 so it would have been 1971. We did a brill gig in Ramsgate around that time, loads of French students chanting our name outside the venue, which was called.....I'm afraid we were a flash in pan and therefore forgettable If anyone remembers seeing us though, then the Merlot's on me!

Sorry to drag the above post o/t!
17 Jul Comment / reply

RE: Skid Row


16 Jul Comment / reply

Skid Row (Gary Moore) rare vinyl

See here, revive those memories for a tenner! If you have a record player still...
19 Jul Comment / reply

RE: Skid Row (Gary Moore) rare vinyl

Still got my original copy pauly! Also got "34 Hours" the follow up but I left the cover on the lounge floor overnight where our cat, who had a case of sh*ts, emptied it contents all over the gate fold! Nice.
19 Jul Comment / reply

Paul Clarke's - I live and work in Seabrook near Folkestone, Kent. wed to Clare and father to Harry and Tommy, I am a software engineer, and I do js, nodejs, php, and ruby. I like pubbing, restaurants, home automation and other diy jiggery-pokery, history, genealogy, TV, popbitch, squirrels, pirates ☠, lego, and time travel...

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