January 29, 2010

To navigate through the site, please use the tabs above. I’ve changed the layout and the navigation, hopefully you’ll find it easier. The years which were previously blog postings are now fixed pages. Due to some misuse, I’ve disabled comments. Any images or information relating to the Ballroom, the bands that played there or Albert Bonici would be much appreciated. If you still want to add stories, info, photos or anecdotes, please mail them to info@rockmine.com. Anything relevant to the blog will get added.

Since this blog was created, it’s been viewed more than 40,000 times. I thought you’d like to see where people have been visiting from. Everything in pink on this map is a country that someone’s visited from. It makes the old British Empire globes that I grew up with pale into insignificance!

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I know you’ll probably think I’ve been neglecting this blog but it’s been a time issue. That and the ease with which I seem to have spent far too long trying to stage this memorabilia exhibition at the Ballerina’s sister venue in Elgin. The Two Red Shoes was Albert Bonici’s first venue and played host to The Beatles on the first night of their first tour in Scotland. I do wonder what would have happened if the weather had not caused the cancellation of the scheduled gig the night before at the Longmore Hall in Keith!

I imagine I would have put up a blog for the Longmore Hall but instead I chose to add the Two Red Shoes blog to this one. Maybe it’s a crazy idea but Albert’s Elgin venue seems so totally different from the Ballerina. After The Beatles played there, the Two Red Shoes had three years of attracting some of the best bands on the circuit and then it slumped. By late 1966, when the Ballerina was really starting to take off, the Elgin venue was failing. In 1967, only two big name bands played there. Okay, one was Pink Floyd but Nairn attracted 10 major acts that year. By 1968, things were even worse with Albert presenting “exotic dancers” instead of name acts. Exotic dancers, in case you wondered, were strippers. Albert, ever the svengali, failed to tell the dancers that they couldn’t strip until they actually got to the venue and, needless to say, never even considered telling the press who he was really having onstage.

Still, it’s a legendary venue. Whether it deserves that status is anyone’s guess. My many weeks trying to set up the memorabilia exhibition did at least mean I could research all the bands that played Elgin but it doesn’t really make up for the wasted time. I think I’ve consigned the exhibition to history and have started to list some of the stuff on my main site. As I get more stuff up, I’ll add it to a page here so anyone that’s interested can look without fear that I’m using the main part of the blog to sell stuff.

Talking of blogs, I’ve decided to add a few more. Having been a compulsive list maker for more years than I care to mention, I have dates for most of the appearances at London’s Marquee Club, The Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, Fillmore East in New York and Glasgow Apollo. The only one with anything on it as yet, is marqueeclub.wordpress.com.

Back to this blog, just in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve added 1970 to the listings and have another three years that I just need to type in.

One last thing. Does anyone know where the bands that played the Ballerina stayed? Did Albert use an hotel or like Elgin, did he have a favourite boarding house? I was recently told that the Elgin landlady was shocked and totally disgusted at how dirty The Beatles were when they stayed with her but I didn’t manage to get her name, so couldn’t follow it up.

My apologies to anyone who looked in last night or earlier today expecting to see 1969 online. A long day and maybe a tad too much white wine took its toll. Anyway, it’s up now and can be seen by clicking on December 1969 in the Archives box to the right.

As before, I’ll be adding the video clips along with more photos either later today or early tomorrow.

Shannies has added a few more thoughts about his time with the Rebel Sounds. You’ll find it in the comments for About This Blog. I’m looking forward to hearing more from him. His comment about playing two gigs a night is something I think we forget. Everyone did it. The Beatles would sometimes play 3 different gigs a night and one at lunchtime in their days of playing The Cavern and even headlining bands would do it. I once had a poster for a Rolling Stones performance at the Flamingo Ballroom, Ballymena which they travelled to after playing the Ulster Hall in Belfast. Crazy days!


December 31, 1970

January 01 – The Lucky Charms

January 02 – My Dear Watson plus The Grey Wooly Affair

January 09 – The Royal Teens

January 16 – The Happy Ever After

January 28 – It’s A Phantasmagoria

January 30 – The T-Set

February 06 – Archemedes Principle

February 13 – Whisky Martin’s Poker Orchestra

February 20 – Writing On The Wall plus The Stack

February 27 – Marjorine plus The T-Set

March 06 – The Variations plus Argus Butterfly

March 13 – Power Vane

March 20 – Spiggy Topes plus The T-Set

March 27 – My Dear Watson plus The Grey Wooly Affair

April 03 – Skipping Rope ‘n’ Bangles

April 10 – Wild Oats

April 17 – Picketty Witch plus The Grey Wooly Affair

April 24 – Spiggy Topes

May 01 – Gollum The Underdog plus The Grey Wooly Affair

May 08 – Sunshine plus Sockitombe Disco Light Show

May 15 – Magic Roundabout plus My Dear Watson

May 22 – Dance moves to Forres Victoria Hotel for one night only. Toe Fat plus Spiggy Topes

May 29 – Gollum The Underdog plus The T-Set

June 05 – No Dance

June 12 – Twilight Zone

June 16 – Juicy Lucy

June 19 – Hot Cottage plus The T-Set

June 26 – Mr. Blues Band

June 28 – Fanny’s Scene plus The T-Set

July 03 – The Toy Shop

July 05 – Fanny’s Sunday Scene with My Dear Watson

July 10 – Slade plus The T-Set

July 12 – The Foundations

July 17 – The Foundations plus Cody High

July 20 – My Dear Watson plus Grass

July 24 – My Dear Watson plus Grass

July 31 – Freedom Train

August 02 – Fanny’s Saturday Scene with Shallow Justice

August 07 – Status Quo plus Bones

August 09 – Fanny’s Saturday Scene with My Dear Watson

August 14 – Agatha’s Moment plus Hot Cottage

August 16 – Fanny’s Saturday Scene with Spiggy Topes

August 21 – Beggar’s Opera plus Mr. Fantasy

August 23 – Fanny’s Saturday Scene with Bones

August 28 – My Dear Watson plus Bones

September 04 – Ceremony plus Grass

September 11 – Gollum The Underdog plus Sunshine

September 18 – String Driven Thing plus Julian’s Garden

September 25 – Agatha’s Moment

October 02 – The Royal Teens plus Rock Machine

Ovtober 09 – Spiggy Topes plus Badge

October 16 – Hot Chocolate plus My Dear Watson

October 23 – Chuckles plus Wide Horse

October 30 – Beggar’s Opera

November 06 – Lucas And The Ragged Edge plus Cyril Plugg

November 13 – Geno Washington

November 20 – My Dear Watson plus Shallow Justice

November 27 – Agatha’s Moment plus Spiggy Topes

December 04 – Billy Steele Combo plus Woodstock

December 11 – Royal Teens plus Jynx

December 18 – Writing On The Wall plus My Dear Watson

December 25 – Gully Foyle


December 31, 1969

January 01 – The T-Set

January 17 – Impact

January 23 – Marmalade. Here they are with “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” which hit number one in the U.K. charts last month.

January 24 – The T-Set

January 31 – The Rogues

February 07 – Archimedes Principle

February 13 – Symon Dupree (sic) plus The Charge Of The Light Brigade

February 14 – Valentine Queen Special starring The Charge Of The LIght Brigade

February 21 – Spectacular 3 Band Rave. The Royal Teens plus The Probe plus The Grey Wooly Affair

February 28 – Marjorine

March 07 – Krisis

March 14 – Power Vane

March 21 – The Whiskas plus The T-Set

March 28 – Skippin’ Rope ‘N’ Bangles

March 30 – The Lucky Charms

April 04 – Gully Foyle

April 11 – The Albert Fish

April 18 – Taste Of Honey

April 25 – The Power Vane

May 02 – Pearl And Dean Boogaloo Band plus The T-Set

May 09 – The Elizabeathans

May 16 – The Mixture

May 23 – The Candy Carnival

May 30 – Due to Nairn Golf Week, regular Friday night dance will take place in the Victoria Hotel, Forres – Klooks

June 06 – The Illusions

June 08 – Girl Talk

June 13 – The Rogues

June 15 – My Dear Watson

June 20 – The T-Set

June 22 – 10% Butter

June 27 – Mother Hubbard

June 29 – The T-Set

July 04 – The Land Of Love

July 06 – My Dear Watson

July 11 – Russ & Johnny plus My Dear Watson plus The T-Set

July 13 – The Riot Act

July 18 – Chesters plus Bohemians

July 20 – The Riot Act

July 25 – Power Vane plus My Dear Watson

July 27 – My Dear Watson

July 30 – The Tender Plenty plus The Roosters

August 01 – Writing On The Wall

August 03 – The T-Set plus Les Oiseaux

August 08 – Frigsby Dyke and The Rising Sun

August 10 – The T-Set plus disc jockey

August 15 – Illusions

August 17 – Tangerine Atmosphere plus Little Jinny

August 22 – The New Art plus My Dear Watson

August 24 – My Dear Watson

August 29 – The Pram plus Soul Purpose

August 31 – The Rising Sun

September 05 – King Size Keen

September 07 – The Twelfth Night

September 12 – Glamour Night starring Nancy with The Candy Floss

September 14 – Copperplate Movement

September 19 – Writing On The Wall plus The T-Set

September 26 – My Dear Watson plus The 5-Piece London Variations

October 03 – The Aries plus The Facells

October 10 –  “It’s Krazy Night” Marp and The Tes-T

October 17 – The Sugar plus The Spiggy Topes

October 24 – The T-Set

October 28 – The Herd

October 31 – It’s A Hippy Happening For Hallowe’en with Sunshine (ex-Rogues) plus Mother Hubbard

November 07 – My Dear Watson plus The Grey Wooly Affair

November 14 – Treacle

November 21 – The Fabulous Motown Review

November 28 – The T-Set

December 05 – My Dear Watson plus The Grey Wooly Affair

December 12 –  Writing On The Wall

December 19 – Gods Squad

December 24 – Twilight Zone plus Sour Mash plus The Grey Wooly Affair

December 28 – The Trunk Line


December 31, 1966

January 21 – Grand Opening. Sounds Inc. plus The Ballerina Band.

Considering the promoter,  Albert Bonici, had a well established series of venues for many years, it’s odd he should have waited so long to open at the Ballerina. He had regular dances at the Two Red Shoes Ballroom, the Assembly Rooms and the Town Hall in Elgin, Victoria Ballroom in Forres, the Public Hall in Craigellachie, the Fisherman’s Hall in Buckie and Longmore Hall, Keith.

He had also used the Regal Ballroom in Leopold Street back in 1960 when The Beatles (then known as The Silver Beetles) played as support to Johnny Gentle for his tour of Scotland. I’d be interested to know how much Bonici used the Regal before the opening of the Ballerina and if he was staging regular dances there.

January 28 – The Highland Press Club presents Malcolm Clarke and The Cresters

February 04 – The Caley F.C. Supporters Club featuring The Mindbenders. Seen here, as they were at the Ballerina – without Wayne Fontana – with “Groovy Kind Of Love”. If the guy on guitar and lead vocals looks familiar, it’s because he’s Eric Stewart who made it to mega stardom in the 70’s as a member of 10cc.

February 11 –Johnny And The Copycats

February 12 – The Facells plus The Graham Nairne 7 with guest, ex-Jacobeats singer, Terry Russell

February 18 – North of Scotland 2nd XI presents The Stramash Show with The Bell Sisters, Peter London, Sol Byron and The Senate

February 19 – New Style Saturday Night Dancing featuring The Flock with guest, ex-Jacobeats singer, Terry Russell

February 25 – The Poets. Here they are with “Now We’re Thru”.

February 26 – The Royal Teens plus The Graham Nairne 7 with singer Terry Russell

March 04 – The Facells plus The Graham Nairne 7

March 05 – The Souls plus Terry Russell plus The Graham Nairne 7

March 18 – The Four Pennies

March 25 – The Klansmen

March 26 – Ballerina Big Beat Nite with The Oreogons plus The Graham Nairne 7

April 01 – Neil Landon with The Colin Anthony Combo

April 02 – Ballerina Big Beat Nite with Size 4

April 15 – The Habits

April 22 – Stramash with Sol Byron plus The Senate plus The Rebel Sounds

April 29 – The Applejacks. While I was looking for a live clip of the band, I found this. It’s the Pathe newsreel of the wedding of two members from last year. Crazy to think that you might have watched this at the cinema back in ’65!

May 06 – St. Louis Union

May 13 – McKinlay Sisters

May 27 – The Honeycombs plus The Rebel Sounds. Here are The Honeycombs with “Have I The Right”

June 03 – Julie Grant plus The Graham Nairne Set and The Flock

June 10 – The Foundations plus The Graham Nairne Set

June 17 – David and Jonathan plus The Graham Nairne Set and Deirdre Cameron. Here’s David and Jonathan with “Lovers Of The World Unite” which will peak at number 7 in the charts on July 7th.

June 24 – The Truth

July 01 – Winners of the South of Scotland Festival Beat Championship 1966 – The Beachcombers

July 08 – Sounds Incorporated. Here they are from the NME Poll Winners’ Concert later in the year.

July 15 – The Rebel Sounds plus The New Jacobeats

July 22 – Two Band Show – The Quantrelles plus The Size

July 27 – Boutique Dance with Mannequin Parade – The Copycats

July 29 – Cliff Bennett and The Rebel Rousers, seen above with “I Can’t Stand It”.

August 03 – Special Summer Dance also featuring Beauty Queen Contest – The Copycats plus The Rebel Sound

August 05 – Neil Landon And The Burnettes

August 10 – Contest Special with ‘Miss Mod Gear’ – The Copycats plus The Soundcasters

August 12 – Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours plus The Soundcasters

August 17 – Miss Mini Skirt – The Facells

August 19 – Heinz plus The Soundcasters and Me And The Others

August 20 – The Oreogons

August 26 – The Drovers plus The Flock

August 27 – The Soundcasters

August 31 – The Raging Storms

September 02 – The Chuckles plus The Soundcasters

September 03 – The Oddity

September 09 – Swinging Blue Jeans plus The New Jacobeats

September 16 – The Beatstalkers plus The Rebel Sounds

September 23 – The Drovers plus The Phantoms

September 30 – The Klondykes plus The Soundcasters

October 07 – The Flintlocks plus The Flock

October 14 – The Chris-Do-Lynns plus The Rebel Sounds plus The New Jacobeats

October 21 – It’s The fabulous Sandie Shaw’s Backing Group – The Escorts plus The Phantoms

October 28 – The Quantrelles plus The Soundcasters

November 04 – Times plus Bootleggers

November 11 – The Crazy Late Nite. Admission only costs 1d, if the penny is dated 1951, 1952 or 1953 – Normal Price Of Admission 6/11 1/2d. The Dawn Breakers plus The Klansmen plus The 3 Blind Mice

November 18 – The Koobas plus The Throb. This is the Koobas on the German pop show, “Beat Beat Beat” on September 23rd, playing “Shake” and “Take Me For A Little While”.

November 25 – The Honeycombs plus The Mike Curtis Set

December 02 – Wayne Fontana and The Opposition plus The Rebel Sounds

December 09 – 1) The Beatstalkers 2) Garry and The Highlanders 3) The T-Set

December 16 – The Mojos plus The Soundcasters

December 23 – ‘The Krazy Xmas Kappers’ Show’ with The Royal Teens plus The New Phantoms

December 26 – Aberdeen Students’ Charities’ Campaign Punch Ball present The Agents plus The Blue Stars

December 30 – Phase Five plus The T-Set