The Pretty Things Seduced Me!!!
Yes!! I was seduced!! I went along to the Sixties Festival in Skegness. I blame it on the Pretty Things, PP Arnold, Geno Washington, Chris Farlowe, the Searchers and the Crystals featuring La La Brooks.
It seemed like a good opportunity to catch up with a number of blasts from the past. There were a lot of other acts on too!! – Mainly some of the Mersey Pop. It was like reconnecting with my fourteen year old self – a big dollop of nostalgia with Dave Berry, the Mindbenders, Swinging Blue Jeans, Merseybeats, Marmalade and other lesser lights.
I did go along with a little trepidation. The first thing I noted was that for a lot of people the festival presented an opportunity to dress up. They didn’t seem to go along to see the bands or listen to the music so much as put on some grotesque fancy dress. That was a little salutary. There were groups of Teds in colourful drape jackets and brothel creepers. Girls in 50s flouncy dresses. There were Mod Dolly girls in black and white plastic mini-skirts (demonstrating quite clearly that what looked stunning on a stick thin seventeen year old was not quite so coquettish on a rather plump seventy year old). There were men with long wigs and headbands wearing garish paisley loons. There were even guys in wizard hats, capes and a handful of Elvis’s.
I found all this rather sad and more than a bit disquieting but Liz told me off and said they were just having a good time – out for a bit of a life. Music’s a bit more important than that to me.
The second thing I noticed was that the sixties seem to have become equated with Pop. It seemed like the whole thing stopped in 1965 and was dominated by the early Pop of 1960-63. There was a tape loop that seemed to endlessly churn out Dion. Del Shannon, Roy Orbison, Shadows, Cliff, Chris Montez, Brian Hyland, Bobby Vee with a smattering of Merseybeat! Even the harder sounds of early Who, Stones and Kinks seemed to be treated with suspicion. But the punters were lapping it up.
I was wondering what I had let myself in for. What had happened to all those sixties Freaks? I was beginning to think that a good blast of Hendrix, Cream or the Grateful Dead would have finished half of them off!
Well as the Weekend progressed I was pleasantly surprised. Some of the bands were quite loud and beaty. Besides a fabulous acoustic cameo of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters performed by Phil May and Dick Taylor made it all worthwhile. In the end I did not drown in Pop trivia. I enjoyed it.