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.

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Take a look at the “Regular Bands” page for a great posting from James Shand or “Shannies”. I love his story about supporting David and Jonathan. It’s always amazes me the things that support bands saw and had to put up with. Shannies’ posting just goes to illustrate this.

I’m heading for the library in Nairn again and I’ll get my listings extended up to 1972 at least. The listing for 1969 will be online some time tonight.

Ballerina Flyer Day

August 16, 2008

Maybe it’s me being here but the rain has stayed away and is giving Nairn its first dry Highland Games in three years. It’s a quick visit to get flyers passed out in various places in town and what I’d like to call “posters” for the blog but they’re nothing more than A4 sheets that I’m hoping will get input from anyone that sees them.

It’s also a great opportunity for you to stop me in the street and tell me some of your stories or give me advice on how to get a better blog experience up. Okay, I know the answer to that one – TIME! I really will get round to adding some of the gig adverts, pop columns from The Northern Scot and pictures of the North East bands that played here.

Seriously, if you want to, just stop and say hello. You probably can’t miss me. One of the women in landbrokes (honest, I wasn’t betting but asking about their old shop) said she thought John Lennon had walked in. If that isn’t enough of a give away I’ll also be carrying a silver carrier bag full of flyers. Of course, I may not be carrying it if I get rid of them all but I digress.

Failing that, you’ll find me in the library for some time before they shut staring at the microfiche reader and getting the dates for 1967 that are missing from yesterday’s listing. Please don’t call me John, my name’s Roy!

Talking of the pop columns, there’s one fantastic piece around the time that Cream played the Ballerina. Eric Clapton had given an interview to one of the music papers in which he decried the fans in Scotland. On reading it, or more likely hearing of it, Albert Bonici, the promoter defiantly stated that he’d make sure Clapton never played here again! Little did he realize the status Eric would achieve.

Okay, that’s it for now. I’ll see you in town or you can catch up with the missing dates later.

1967

August 15, 2008

1967

This year is incomplete. I’ve been relying on The Northern Scott for listings of Albert Bonici‘s events but they missed out all the Ballerina gigs until May 1967. Since then, I’ve discovered the Nairnshire Telegraph which did list everything. The first part of 1967 will be up as soon as possible. Anyway, until then, enjoy what’s here.

May 05 The Alan Price Set plus The T-Set. The clip above comes from the German TV show “Beat Club” and features Alan Price performing “Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear”.

July 07 Cream plus Newton’s Theory with its Go-Go Girls. The gig was cancelled when the van carrying the band’s equipment failed to turn up.


July 10 Cream return to play their concert. The rare footage above is from the Paris Pop Festival staged last month, the track is “We’re Going Wrong” and shows the band at the peak of their career.


July 21 Pink Floyd. “See Emily Play” was climbing the charts and here the band are miming to it on a Belgian TV show.
July 28 Gino Washington and The Ram Jam Band plus The Copy Cats

August 18 The Small Faces – concert cancelled.
August 31 Zoot Money and his new group Dantalion’s Chariot plus The T-Set

September 08 The Freddie Mack Show
September 15 The Throb plus The Life N’ Soul
September 22 Tony Merrick plus The T-Set

October 06 The Who plus Gideon’s Few. The Who were in the charts with “I Can See For Miles” and here it is In Colour from The Smothers Brothers TV Show.
October 13 The Beatstalkers plus The Rebel Sound

October 20 The Four Shades Of Blue plus The T-Set
October 27 The Tamala Express plus The Beatroute

November 03 The Rhubarb plus The Barons
November 10 Clock-work Orange plus Last Chapter
November 17 Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

December 01 The Delroy Williams Show plus Keith Taylor


December 08 The Troggs plus The Throb. Here are the Troggs with their original version of “Love Is All Around” which got to number 5 in October. The promo film is typically surreal for the time but gives great glimpses of the band on stage and in transit to gigs.


December 15 Symon Dupree. Ok, you and I both know that it should be Simon Dupree but the adverts carry a “y”. Here he is with The Big Sound performing “Kites” which hit the top ten last month. The video’s a bit jumpy but it does show exactly how the band were on stage.
December 22 Cash Boutique Queen For 1967. Grand Final
December 25 Aberdeen Students’ Charities’ Campaign present Their Xmas Beatnik Ball with The Circle plus The T-Set
December 29 The 1967 Last Fling with The Middle Earth plus The T-Set

1967

December 31, 1967

January 06 – The Washington D.C.’s plus The Rebel Sounds

January 13 – Big Three Star Show – Tomorrow’s People plus Neil Christian plus Chatz and the Scatz-Katz. Here’s Neil Christian with “Two At A Time”. 2m 16s.

January 20 – The Flock plus The Circle plus Go-Go Competition

January 27 – The Magic Lanterns plus The New Jacobeats

February 03 – It’s the “45” all over again, with the sassenachs The In Crowd adainst the Highlanders themselves, the New Jacobeats

February 10 – Valentine’s Queen. Who will be Nairn’s pin-up for 1967? The Throb plus The T-Set

February 17 – The Web plus Oreogons

February 24 – Beatstalkers plus The Style

March 03 – Night Of The Op-Arts. 3 Bands. The Regent V plus The Circle plus The Blues Union

March 10 – The Luvvers plus The T-Set

March 17 – The Facells

March 24 – Hear the beat of the ghostly group with their devilish sound. If you like what’s ‘way out’ then try this spine chilling night of !HORROR!

March 31 –   Fortunes plus The Winston G-Set. Here are the Fortunes with “You’ve Got Your Troubles” from last year’s NME POllwinners Concert. 6m 17s.

April 07 – The Wild Flowers plus a special event for the Mod Man – prizes for The Miniest Shirt. My guess is that tonight’s band was actually The Wilde Flowers, who would see one member from this line-up join Soft Machine and the others form Caravan. Despite their progressive future, the band at this time had a strong soul sound.

April 14 – A 3D ‘Freak Out’ In Weird World Of Psychedelic Sounds And Scenes. No groups listed.

April 21 – The Throb plus The King Pins

April 28 – It’s – Heat Two Of This Year’s May Queen with The Tony Merrick Scene plus The Beatroute

May 05 – The Alan Price Set plus The T-Set. The clip above comes from the German TV show “Beat Club” and features Alan Price performing “Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear”.

May 12 – The Steeple-Jacks plus Chatz and the Skat Kats

May 19 – The Pride And The Passion plus The Beatroute

May 26 – Haydock’s Rockhouse plus The Rebel Sounds

June 02 – Wimple Witch playing at the dance to find nairn’s M.D.E. (Modern dancing Enterprises) Queen.

June 09 – Wimple Witch plus The T-Set

June 16 – The Shireens plus The Throb plus The Copycats

June 23 – Final of the Modern dancing Enterprises Queen for 1967 with The Ashley Kaye Group plus The Rebel Sounds

June 30 – Honey Band plus The Tiffany Shell

July 07 – Cream plus Newton’s Theory with its Go-Go Girls. The gig was cancelled when the van carrying the band’s equipment failed to turn up. Above is the M.D.E. advert announcing tonight’s scheduled gig from The Northern Scot.

July 10 – Cream return to play their concert. The rare footage above is from the Paris Pop Festival staged last month, the track is “We’re Going Wrong” and shows the band at the peak of their career.

July 12 – The Nairnshire Telegraph carries an advert for The Pink Floyd for this day but the actual date was July 21.

July 14 – The Rebel Sounds

July 15 – The Beatroute

July 21 – Pink Floyd. “See Emily Play” was climbing the charts and here the band are miming to it on a Belgian TV show.

July 28 – Geno Washington and The Ram Jam Band plus The Copy Cats. Here’s Geno with “Michael (He’s A Lover” and “Que Sera Sera”.

August – 18 The Small Faces – concert cancelled.

August 31 – Zoot Money and his new group Dantalion’s Chariot plus The T-Set

September – 08 The Freddie Mack Show

September – 15 The Throb plus The Life N’ Soul

September – 22 Tony Merrick plus The T-Set

October 06 – The Who plus Gideon’s Few (pictured below). The Who were in the charts with “I Can See For Miles” and here it is In Colour from The Smothers Brothers TV Show.

October 13 – The Beatstalkers plus The Rebel Sound

October 20 – The Four Shades Of Blue plus The T-Set

October 27 – The Tamala Express plus The Beatroute

November 03 – The Rhubarb plus The Barons

November 10 – Clock-work Orange plus Last Chapter

November 17 – Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. Seen here on Top Of The Pops with “Zabadak”. 3m 41s.

December 01 – The Delroy Williams Show plus Keith Taylor


December 08 – The Troggs plus The Throb. Here are the Troggs with their original version of “Love Is All Around” which got to number 5 in October. The promo film is typically surreal for the time but gives great glimpses of the band on stage and in transit to gigs.


December 15 – Symon Dupree. Ok, you and I both know that it should be Simon Dupree but the adverts carry a “y”. Here he is with The Big Sound performing “Kites” which hit the top ten last month. The video’s a bit jumpy but it does show exactly how the band were on stage.

December 22 – Cash Boutique Queen For 1967. Grand Final

December 25 – Aberdeen Students’ Charities’ Campaign present Their Xmas Beatnik Ball with The Circle plus The T-Set

December 29 – The 1967 Last Fling with The Middle Earth plus The T-Set