Fringe Box



Time Travel Back to the Musical 1950s and 60s at The Keep Pub

Published on: 25 Jul, 2017
Updated on: 26 Jul, 2017

It was standing room only for a nostalgic evening looking back at Guildford’s music scene in the 1950s and 60s at the Keep pub last night (July 24, 2017).

The evening, led by The Guildford Dragon’s David Rose, started with a presentation of images showing local bands and how they evolved musically and sartorially in those musically revolutionary decades.

Local music legends Mick Douglas (white shirt) and next to him Johnny Kelly added comments on the images presented. Photo – Robert Clayson.

Comments were added by Mick Douglas and Johnny Kelly. Mick said he was inspired by the film Blackboard Jungle, learnt guitar and became a member of local bands. Over the years he has played with a wide range of famous musicians even Acker Bilk when he was short of a banjo player at a gig in Guildford!

David Rose talks about the famous 1963 appearance of the Beatles at the Odeon in Guildford. Photo – Robert Clayson.

A number of local venues – including the Wooden Bridge, where the Rolling Stones appeared five times in 1963 – were mentioned and recalled by the audience.

These included the original Guildford Odeon, where the Beatles famously played, also in 1963, and the Civic Hall which, although planned as a venue for classical concerts, soon realised that pop and rock was the way to increase takings. Many leading artists appeared over the years with much-remembered concerts in the 1970s by David Bowie and Elton John.

The band for the evening: from left: lead guitarist Johnny Kelly, Kyd Douglas, on bass, David Rose on vocals, guitar and harmonica, Ben Darnton drums, and Mick Douglas on vocals and guitar.

After a break, in which free food was provided by The Keep, a composite band featuring Mick Douglas and David Rose, along with another local music legend, Johnny Kelly, on guitar, Mick’s son Kyd on bass, and on drums Ben Darnton of Ben’s Collectors Records.

Ben, who also hosts the popular Facebook page Guildford Past & Present, arranges talks based on history and nostalgia at The Keep with landlady Jane Lyons.

Having live music to round off one of these talks was a first – and the audience loved it  – with songs from the era in question that included such classics as Waterloo Sunset, Hey Good Lookin’, I’m A Believer, I Saw Her Standing There and to finish with, Let It Be.

Ben Darnton drummer for the evening and events organiser thanks the audience. Photo – Robert Clayson.

Many of the audience seemed transported back to their earlier years, happily singing along and showing great appreciation for the entertainment.

Standing room only. Photo – Robert Clayson.

Mick Douglas was also selling copies of his autobiography. For more details see previous story. 

Share This Post

Responses to Time Travel Back to the Musical 1950s and 60s at The Keep Pub

  1. Jackie Montague Reply

    July 26, 2017 at 10:56 am

    I am really sorry I missed this event, will it ever happen again?

    Looks like it was a fun evening had by all.

    [David Rose replies: The Guildford rock ‘n’ roll years illustrated talk is one of many different ones I give to anyone, groups, societies, etc, who book me.

    I have presented it with live music at the end with Mick and Johnny, etc, several times, and we will do it all again as and when asked, but no dates yet.

    We all may present a part two – looking at the music scene in the late 1960s and into the 1970s. This will be at the Keep, but won’t be until next year.

    Other local history talks coming up at the Keep are: Monday, August 21, Aldershot & District buses with Peter Trevaskis; Monday, September 11, Guildford History Question Time with me, Matthew Alexander, Gavin Morgan, Mary Alexander and Martin Giles; Wednesday, October 4, A Night of Terror – the story of the WWI Zeppelin raid on Guildford, presented by Martin Giles and me.]

  2. Geoff Burch Reply

    July 26, 2017 at 11:22 am

    A brilliant evening and a refreshing change to being able to listen to live music without fear of receiving GBH to the ears!

    The venue was just right for this type of entertainment and I’d like to thank everyone involved for organising the evening.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *