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Brentwood Festival

Silver Jubillee concert


Bishop's Hall Park

Doddinghurst Road



Saturday 2nd July 1977.

Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias.
Clenen Pull.
Sunday Band.

and DJ Del Stevens.
12:00 noon till 11:00 pm.
Entry £1.50 advance tickets or £2 at the gate.

© Genny Thomas

   I was a member of the Hermit Club along with my boyfriend and crowd we went around in. John Maynard wanted to put the festival on and wondered if we would help. I'd previously named our not very good band Lazy Wolf, so under that name we decided to build the stage (using materials from a company my boyfriend worked for 'Twolyn Hire')

   The boys and girls in the crowd worked equally. Having set out the plans for the scaffolding stage (a model built from dried spaghetti) two weeks was spent hard at work (in between work and or college for most), scaffold spanners became part of us. It was hard but very satisfying to achieve it, after the main structure was finished , around 0400 the day of the event, Bob Satch from the Hermit went and got a couple of crates of beer to celebrate. we went home got a couple of hours kip then went back to the field to sort out the power source.Using a single generator, for the lighting rigs, and sound.

   Although we had been given a budget by the youth club as to what could be spent, we was soon realised it wasn't enough. One of our group noticed the need to make several trips in his Cortina to the local gas station for diesel at 73p a gallon to keep the generator topped up on the day. The scaffolding we used was a bit rough, even bent in places, so when the yet rougher scaffold boards were put down it was like walking on a an old fairground cake walk. To get over the problem my then boyfriend and his mate (now my husband) went off to Powell's builders yard and bought sheets of hardboard, calling in to Twolyn for staple hammers. The boys laid the boards and the girls had the job stapling them in place, this was happening up to the point of the first band going on stage, in between a lot gaffer tape being plastered over cables.

   A Brentwood council inspector turned up at one point, we all held our breath and sighed happily when he passed the work as stable and correct. Us girls then spent most of the afternoon and part of the evening under the stage walking around with our spanners tightening up the couplings as they were coming loose under the movement of over energetic musicians.

    The last part of the evening we were able to climb up the lighting towers either side of the stage to look down on Nutz playing, followed by Alberto, we even had a visit from Jesus, who parted the small but well formed crowd, stood at the front with a few angels in black leather for a spot of head banging. Some of our group paid out (for then) quite a lot of their own money to make it work, but no one cared about that.

   The photos attached are of us (not me I'm taking the photo) on the stage as Bob turned up with the beers - the stage left and right were my then boyfriend left and the other on the right my now husband. They were placing couplings on a pole to help them climb up, a rope was then slung over a pole they attached across the stage to haul a spanning piece up to tie in place. (What health and safety)?

   The only downer for the day was the lack of support by punters, the hermit had limited monies and relied mainly on word of mouth. as this was Silver Jubilee year there were a lot of gigs and festivals on, we've tried to rack our memory who we blamed at the time but a band, whoever it was, despite being big and famous were playing to sell-out crowds. Didn't they know that Brentwood's local youth club were trying to out do them? They just had to hog the lime light.

Genny Thomas


Brentwood festival 1977

all photos © Dave Jeffries, courtesy Clive





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