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Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?

The Shambles 26 Apr 00 - 03:05 PM
Lanfranc 26 Apr 00 - 05:20 PM
The Shambles 26 Apr 00 - 06:32 PM
Micca 26 Apr 00 - 07:02 PM
GUEST,art 27 Apr 00 - 10:55 AM
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Subject: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 03:05 PM

Does anyone out there remember the 'all-nighters', the 'orrible' coffee, the hard wooden seats and the music?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 05:20 PM

Yes, I too was there. Preferred the Troubadour though - the seats were just as hard, the music was often as good, if not better, and the coffee was drinkable!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 06:32 PM

The Troubadour is still going, is it not? Do you know exactly when Cousin's close it's doors?

I remember an awful faux pas, when I saw someone behind the counter and asked her for a coffee. Only to find out that she was on her way to the stage, as she was the main guest.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Micca
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 07:02 PM

Yeah, I remember it well, I learned a lot about music and singing there, I threw Paul Simon out one night at the request of the organiser (for singing badly and being boring). Noel Murphy after the pubs shut on a Friday, and about 2 all the rock and rollers and R&B guys from the Marquee and Flamingo coming to hear acoustic blues.. Great days.. Jansch, Renbourne, Jackson Frank...Al Stewart, Davy Graham, Cliff Aungier, Roy Harper, Sandy Denny,.A horrible place raised up by the music to pure magic.Shamb. The BBC did a program about it a few years ago, I dont think it was " Folk off Two" but it was quite long, I may have some on tape....


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,art
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 10:55 AM

yeah i remember les cousins

the owmers ran the soho grill above the club,they fell on hard times during the war in Cyprus,i think they lost nearly everything because of it.

Andy(?) the organiser of the club then went into the wet fish business but i think that came a cropper too.He married a girl from my locale and still lives in greek st, i was in touch about 18 months ago when a mutual friend died.

shambles can you send me an email addy i'm at artnsole1@aol.com

micca what part of the country are you in?

anyone have an email address for any of the people who got their start at les cousins?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 01:29 PM

Oh great, a thread about my lost youth. Les Cousins and don't forget Bungies but what about les Macabre? Anyone remember that? Oh glorious times. Anyone remeber the Pheonix folk club at the back of Piccadilly/Leicester square? Spent many a night around that area. Oh yes and the Soho beer keller which sold Lowenbrow in the 60's before most people even realised that the were foreign beers. How about the Purple pussy cat? And Cafe' des Artistes? I've just got homesick for London- 1st time in 30 years!!! Any one remember the "Meltin pot" folk club in Blackhorse road? Let's go down memory lane........... Cheers. Nostalgia rules. Eric


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 01:34 PM

Just a thought... Who are you all? yeh I know on the mudcat, but I mean really? I was in and out of those places all the time, most evenings were spent up that area and most weekends too. I lived in West Norwood so it was easy and you could even wlk it home if nescessary. Eric Lackford.(Went to Kingsdale school Dulwich, Paddington technical college, and then on to Yorkshire in 1972.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Micca
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 08:34 PM

Eric , what did you do at Paddington? Lab Tech??? contact me by private message, if you like, Art, I am in London. Les Cousins... I can smell it now.... and Bunjies, and they used to hold folk evenings and all-nighters in Ken Colyers jazz club in Little Newport St.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 06:03 AM

As my main interest is Jazz I was usually in the 100 Club in Oxford St when I lived in London in the late '60s and '70s but I did see Bert Jansch at the Phoenix once,in 1967 or 1968, he played as well as you'd expect,but sang incoherently and kept falling off his stool ("tired and emotional"- as a newt!).
RtS


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Kernow John
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 07:02 PM

Eric
Les Macabre wasn't that fairly close to the Two I's (with Tommy Steele) I seem to remember sitting downstairs in the dark on artificial gravestones.
At the mention of the Troubador (immortalised in Tom Paxton's 'Leaving London') I've dug out an old LP and as I write I'm listening to Martin Winsor and Redd Sullivan with Jeannie Steele, Alistaire Mcdonaldand banjo, Ian Campbell bass.
On the back of the LP is a sticker saying 2/9d!!
Those were the days
Baz


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,ART
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 08:28 PM

how sad is this one of the greatest folk venues of the "revival" attracts 8 replies i wish that those people who benefited from exposure at les cousins could benefit those who ran les cousins perhaps they could hold a benefit?

i don't know, but there should be some sort of celebration

bert jansch. davy graham, martin carthy,

and a 100 more

don't want to let this thread die


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,scouse
Date: 29 Apr 00 - 04:36 AM

One night I met a character at the old "Les." I sang "Little Tim McGuire." This guy liked it so much He swapped it for a song he had called "Just give me a twelve string Stella like Leadbelly used to play." Any-one ever heard of the song?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 29 Apr 00 - 09:32 AM

Baz, your right, Les Macabre was near the two I,s.(Was it Greek st? The years play with ones memory!!!) Anyone remember Der Fledermouse at the back of Oxford Circus-I think. yes Micca it was SLT 1967-1969. Cheers. Eric


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 01:07 PM

Well I don't know makes me feel 100 years old all this reminiscing. Les Macabre was off Wardour St as I remember and the coffee was crap. Any minute now someone will mention The Student Prince and the infamous [ notorious?] Curly Goss, who went to New Zealand to escape god knows what or whom. Ballad and Blues - The Scotch House - The Borscht and Tears, bin there done that loved it.

Jock


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,jayohjo
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 02:48 PM

Huge amounts of envy....my parents (in separate places, mind) and all their friends, who I've started running into on my own at festivals etc, all reminisce about Cousins, and how it all was....so I'm very jealous of you all. Jayohjo XXX


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 10 Jul 01 - 06:35 AM

Hell yeah! Les Cousins, the Student Prince, Bunjies, the Scots Hoose, the Partisan … etc etc… Alex Campbell, Noel Murphy, Davy Graham, Bert Jansch, Doris Henderson & John Renbourn etc etc... they were great times (I remember, I was there, too).

Nevertheless, while nostalgia is a good breakfast, it makes but a poor supper – so what are we doing tonight guys? Nothing much, in my case, but tomorrow night (Wednesday)I'll be at the fortnightly singaround at The Old Tannery, in Hexham, Northumberland (England, UK). Any catters within range are welcome to drop in. And I hope to see some of you at Whitby next month.

Wassail


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,michael batory
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 07:32 AM

yes - all great venues. Amory Kane and Brian McKay at Bunjies are good memories too. The Lavender Cowboy (Dennis O'Brien) who ran that really good club at Whetstone, the Black Bull I think; and what about The Witch's Cauldron at Belsize Village? Great Modern Jazz on Saturday afternoons and a pretty mean spagbol for a shilling.


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Subject: Les Cousins
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 04:26 PM

Anyone out there got any interesting memories of Les Cousins ( cult 60s London, Soho, Folkclub). I'll start with this one:-
    One time, I was in Cousins, (67/68? ), and Davy Graham was running the evening. He was in a very talkative mood - which wasn't always the case- and at some point he starts attacking the then current - and new - trend for writing long songs, Davy finished his attack by saying that if a songwriter couldn't get his message over in 3 minutes or so then he was lacking vital skills. He had barely finished his tirade when Roy Harper pops his head round the door ( he was wearing a woolly hat a la " Gengis Smith * photo). Davy invites Roy to do a few numbers, and , of course, the first number Roy did was a lenghty 8min plus job. Interestingly, I don't suppose either Davy or Roy saw the irony of it all, as Roy missed Davy's comments and Davy disappeared during Roy's mini-set.
I moved this message here from another thread on the same topic.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Les Cousins
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 05:21 PM

I remember Martin Windsor picking up a large milk churn lid that did duty as an ashtray, and without stopping singing, crept up the club to where some eedjit was talking to someone behind him in a loud voice. He raised this "weapon" above his head, and shouted the next line of the song in the guy's ear, [and he had very loud voice] Well this guy spun round, saw the raised arm, and I think his sphincter failed, I've not often seen anybody scared quite so shitless.
Giok
I moved this message here from another thread on the same topic.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Jim Ward
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 05:56 AM

Les Macacarbre (actually Le Macarbe) was in Meard Street which ran between Wardour Street and Dean Street. It was at the Wardour Street end almost opposite The Roundhouse pub, where Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies ran a skiffle club and later one of the first blues clubs in London. Back in the skiffle days it had coffins for tables with candles inside skulls on top. The building now houses up-market offices.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 07:21 AM

Les Cousins had a large and rather noisy fan as its only form of ventilation. Roy Harper once called for it to be to be turned off but some wit warned him that wasn't a good move as it was the only one he had in there.

Does anyone remember Judith Piepe and Stefan Gottlieb who used to ask people back for coffee until the tube started running on Sunday mornings?

Or did any of you head for Cornwall in the summer and hang out at the Folk Cottage, Mitchell?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 09:05 AM

countess richard: Ah, the Folk Cottage, only visited it once in 1967. I was staying in Looe with some folkie friends, and I decided to hitch to St.Ives ( that was the "hippie" summer ). That evening, hitching back to Looe, I got a lift from a guy, and he told me he was heading for the Folk Cottage, Mitchell. He was in the resident group, and I rememeber him telling me all about Ralph McTell who had been playing there. I got up and did a floor spot that night at the Folk Cottage. A guy from St Austill put me up that night. He was a pottter, and heavily into the Incredible String Band. Great memories.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,alinact
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 09:15 AM

Serious question - is it Les Cousins as in Lez Cuzzins or Les Cousins as in Lay Coozeens, and how did it get its name?

Allan


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 09:33 AM

I'm pretty sure it was generally called simply "cousins" , in the normal English way. Read the Bert Jansch biog " Dazzling Stranger" for detailed info on the club.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 09:45 AM

I see Kernow John, from April 2000, had an LP from the Troubadour which I suspect is the one I produced, photographs by my wife Alison Chapman. She took a lot of pictures in the early sixties of all the folkies. Great times.
Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Micca
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 11:03 AM

As I recall, someone told me it was so named because a bloke called Les Cousins owned it, and it wasnt French at all!!! tho' often pronounced as if it was!!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 11:20 AM

I never got to Cousins as I was in the R A F in the sixties and seldom
in UK very much at that time.Got to The Macabre a couple of time and
to The Bastille which also had 'odd' Folk nights.Got to be a good mate
of Dis Disley when he was running all night jazz sessions at the Ken
Colyer Club,and got heavily into the Troubadour in the later days in
the seventies,when i used to gig in London quite a bit and get down to do a spot at the Troubadour on my wasy home.Incidentally saw Doris
Henderson only a few weeks ago at The Brewery Tap. She can still put a song over!!!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Jim Ward
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 08:12 AM

I used to go there when it was the Skiffle Cellar but my spies tell me that it was started as 'Les Cousins' by Andy Matthews whose folks ran a nearby resturant. He called it 'Les Cousins' to give it a french slant. Later on in it was advertised as just 'Cousins'


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 11:11 AM

What about McColls "Singers' CLub"?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 12:04 PM

The Singers' Club had surely far too many venues around Holborn and Clerkenwell for anyone to remember them all. The Princess Louise, Pindar of Wakefield, Union Tavern and New Merlin's Cave I can picture - others of a less inebriate tendency might recall others.

Who remembers the Enterprise in Chalk Farm or Roy Guest's Howff?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 12:38 PM

Oh, and after MacColl's Critics group finally fell apart, Sandra Kerr and others including Ron Elliott, Michael Rosen and John Faulkner took off to the Knave of Clubs in Bethnal Green to run a truly amazing venue combining both traditional song and agitprop theatre. This came to mind because I was watching Sandra's daughter Nancy last night .


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: boglion
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 12:43 PM

I remember Cousins only too well. We'd often do both sessions on a Saturday night.

Sitting in the back corner by the Ladies toilet and using its door as a fan operated by foot.... We'd see Harper, Jansch, Renbourne, and dozens of other legends.

We'd tip out into the Soho air at 6am and walk back across the river. We'd stop at St George's circus for breakfast and then home to bed.

Great times.

About the same time we'd go to the Marquee and see bands like Taste and Nice.

One night at the Marquee the Doors turned up to see the Nice and just mingled with the crowd.

Ooh I'm feeling all nostalgic....

Terry


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 12:45 PM

Back to Les Cousins, I think I chap I went to school with used to go there, name of Wallace-Hadrill. That would have been about '65. I was into electric then.

Anyone remember/know him?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 02:22 PM

And what about turning out at some exciting hour(probably dawn) and going to the Golden egg in Leicester square


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 02:48 PM

Yes The Enterprise at Chalk farm run by Terry Gould, Heady days, I saw Maddy Prior do a clog dance there, in the days of Tim Hart & Maddy Prior, and I nearly had a stand up row with Jimmy McGregor there, over his calling Prince Charles Edward Stewart a poof,{and in front of Englishmen too!!].....Giok


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Lanfranc at the orifice
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 04:34 AM

Speaking of the Enterprise, my old friend Dom Bonito (who was a resident there)has a tablecloth signed by most of the guests who appeared there in the late 60s and early 70s.

"Those were the days ..... "

Alan


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 04:57 AM

Ah, Don Bonito. I heard he was still picking his banjo somewhere in Essex? And another resident, Marian McKenzie, well-known in every haunt mentioned above as well as singing in the Three City Four with Leon Rosselson, Roy Bailey and Martin Carthy...last heard of in Dorset married to a Yettie. Anyone got more news?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 07:39 AM

Don Bonito + Don Wallis(?) + Maureen Seaton made up the resident group "The Northwest Three" (the Hampstead post code). Sometimes Maureen's sister Frances would join them. Maureen was Don Wallis' wife and Francis was Don Bonito's (I'm sure it was that way round). They did a wonderful version of "Queen Eleanor's Confession". I was only living off Haverstock Hill at the time and it was therefore my nearest folk club. Terry Gould used to run a Tea/Coffee shop in Flask Walk, Hampstead and Martin Carthy lived just round the corner.

I heard virtually all the big names on the folk scene there.

Sheila Finn of Folk London collected the entrance money for many years.

Met up with Frances the other year when Linda and I were running a West Gallery workshop at Walton-on-the_Naze.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 09:00 AM

Flask Walk, Hampstead. One of my many watering holes was the 'Flask'. Lovely drop of Youngs Ramrod & Special, or if I was feeling particularly good, a pint of Export & Special. Bit like your Knockholt Knockout Dave!!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 09:10 AM

There used to be a lovely old blue-stocking style lady who "held court" in the Flask. One evening there was a rather snobbish couple attending who kept appending "for people like us who live in Hampstead" to all their statements. "Oh, what part of Hampstead do you live in ?" the old lady enquired. "West Hamstead" replied the couple. "Is that British West Hamstead ?" was the retort.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Kevin Sheils
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 09:20 AM

Hi Dave Bryant

Your memory of the Enterprise residents is spot on for the earliest years, later after Don and Maureen Wallis moved away Marian McKenzie (mentioned elsewhere is the thread) became a resident and then she and Don B were joined by Clive Woolf (Terry Gould was still involved). I'd sung a few years earlier with Clive (resident at the Cellar C#H) and when he left the Enterprise I became a resident, probably '72 - '75 singing mainly with Don B although we all did solos as well. Don and I tended to share the MC'ing and Don and I were also resident at the Cellar. Good days, Don and I revived a couple of songs at the Cellar Upstairs birthday celebrations a couple of years back after about 25 years since we'd sung together. The only place I think your memory has failed is that Sheila Finn did not collect the money at the time you're recalling, but probaby after all the originals had gone an Mike Butcher continued the club but it was really a different club post 1977'ish I guess.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 09:34 AM

Hi Kevin, I didn't mean to infer that Sheila collected the money in the days of NW3, and of course I can remember both you and Clive at the club. By that time, however, I was living in SE London/Kent and my visits were more sporadic.

Mention of the original "Three City Four" prompts me to ask if anyone knows what became of Ralph Trainer - he had a lovely light tenor voice. As mentioned of course, Marion married Pete Shutler of the Yetties, and Leon and Martin are still on the scene of course.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 09:51 AM

Mention of The Cellar remind me of Jack and Margaret King, who were the residents at The Cellar in CSH, back when I used to go there about 1964.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: boglion
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 06:09 PM

Does anyone remember Old Meg - a lady of the streets - who would call into Cousins and sing a song with an excellent voice before trundling off with her carrier bags? Al Stewart who was compere there for a lot of the time I went there always seemed to encourage her.

Terry


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 06:21 PM

Yes, Meg Aikman.
Anyone remember Mox, a blues guitarist with a mane of red hair and a beard to match?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 06:40 PM

Mox used to work in a shop in Kingly St, next door to The Bag-o'-Nails, I remember him primarily as a blues harp player.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,JOHN in Germany
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 04:56 PM

I remember "Les Cousins" played there in a band "PANAMA LTD" same bill as Stefan Grossman,1967. Anybody got lyrics for DOLLY MOUNT STRAND. I heard JOHN BASSETT sing "Give me a 12 string Stella like Leadbelly used to play" in the TROUBADOR, he had been on stage in a show called Golden Boy starring Sammy Davis Jr.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 06:33 PM

Meg, she was a character. She was even invited on stage by the Dubliners at the Royal Albert Hall. 1968/69. They recorded Navvie boots live at that gig, still have the single.Funny enough, I used to go to Les C's a lot and was talking to Al Stewart when he was in Leeds a couple of years ago about the place.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 05:59 AM

Rumour has it that Meg was the 'old girl' - who was 'carrying her home in two carrier bags' - imortalised in Ralph MacTell's Steets Of London.......

Probably true, I think.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 06:17 AM

I guess the 'old girl' is a generic character but, I agree with Shambles, probably inspired by Meg whom I'd forgotten but the thread brought her memory back.

Now, any suggestions for the 'old man outside the seamen's mission'?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 06:53 AM

Cyril Tawney?

I read something about Meg Aikman recently, that's how I remembered. When I find the piece again, I'll post.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 07:08 AM

Now, any suggestions for the 'old man outside the seamen's mission'?

It wasn't me - honest.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 07:54 AM

Meg: she features in a retrospective of 60s London

http://www.thepurplegang.co.uk/history.htm


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 09:23 AM

Thanks for the link countess it brought back loads of memories.

And a picture of Meg as well.....nostalgia


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 10:53 AM

I was talking to friend recently about Les Cousins and the conversation jogged a half-forgotten memory. I first visited Cousins in the summer of 1966. I went to an all-nighter featuring Alexis Korner ( with Danny Thompson on bass). At some point during the night, I was talking to a couple of young women who had been at the evening session which had featured John Renbourn, and I asked them what they had thought of John. " We were disappointed", they replied. I said that I'd heard that he was a great player. "Oh, his playing was fine", they replied, and then added, " but he wasn't as scruffy as we had hoped!". This remark was obviously an allusion to John's bohemian appearance on his first album cover.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: breezy
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:09 PM

did Mox play with Murphy? So who was Shaggis? Yes I too recall meg, vaguely

OK now come to St Albans for a Friday or Sunday at the legion, the chairs are more comfy.

All those venues and no beer!!!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 01:01 PM

Moxy of the long auburn hair played with several people, he used to work in a boutique sort of shop in Kingly Street next door to the Bag O' Nails club. I used to run a record shop in Carnaby Market and saw him around quite often, Shaggis is/was Davy Johnson who played banjo with Noel Murphy as Murph and Shaggis,and with Ron Chesterman on bass they performed as Draught Porridge. At that time he shared a flat in Richmond Surrey with Johhny Silvo, but he went on to play lead guitar with Elton John, and last time I saw Elton on TV Davey was credited as Musical Director. A mutual friend is desparately trying to get in touch with Davey.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 06:19 PM

Does anyone have any memores of The Ballads and Blues Club during the late 50's and early sixties?

H.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 07:18 PM

Didn't go that often as it was always an epic. We were at college in Grantham and on a Friday afternoon, we'd hitch down. For the 7.30 doors opening - then we'd sit in the tube going round the circle line for a lot of the night and walk around London the next day, spend time hanging round the National Porttrait Gallery or some fleapit cinema for the Saturday early show and then the all nighter. Then the next morning we got the tube out to High Barnet and hitched back. Stinking like a pig and snoring like an elephant, some drivers just kicked you out.... Baldock was the worst place to get kicked out, cos you couldn't get on the A1 there to hitch. You had to walk miles.....

Saw Spider John Koerner, Stefan Grossman, Wizz and Clive, that was the first time I heard Derek Brimstone tell the   - I told you it would take more than two red indians to shag Cheyenne Brodie joke, Davy Graham, Mudge and Clutterbuck, Al Stewart, Ralph of course, did I see Gerry Lockran there?.....and loads of other interesting people.

It was hopelesss trying to explain to grown ups why you were putting yourself through that kind of hassle and shit - just to go to a folk club. but if it were still there, I'd do it again tomorrow.

I think that was why it was so very painful to see folk music become so much a province of the terribly competent and politically correct curators of tradition. My heart still yearns for those wild coffee bar cowboys - who drew my generation in with their bohemian style, wit and above all ....passion for the acoustic guitar.

all the best

Big Al


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Jeff Green
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 07:29 PM

Maybe thread drift - but I used to work at Lord Kitcheners Valet in Carnaby Court - and was an occasional visitor to the Folk Club at the Shakespeares Head(?) on the corner - wasn't Shaggis a regular there (late 60's early 70's)


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: breezy
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 07:40 PM

The most politically incorrect now runs folk clubs in s w herts!!!!

I remember long intervals, very long intervals.

Used to do the Troub, then the Prince of Wales wasnt that the B and Blues? the Black Horse was my first ever folk club.

Thanks Giok, didnt he do well!!!

One night had my car broken into and some tealeaf took my briefcase with a lot of college notes, Still passed though.Got the label back.
Waiting for the notes now. 1965.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 10:27 PM

I think that was why it was so very painful to see folk music become so much a province of the terribly competent and politically correct curators of tradition. My heart still yearns for those wild coffee bar cowboys - who drew my generation in with their bohemian style, wit and above all ....passion for the acoustic guitar.

Oh, some of the truest words Mudcat's ever given us!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Mike of Northumbria, sans cookie
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 07:12 PM

"Ah yes, I remember it well!" (Maurice Chevallier)

"Tread softly, for you tread on my dreams" (W B Yeats)

Yes, they were golden days ... I was there too, and I still treasure the memories. But life goes on ... where's the action now? What are we all doing tomorrow night?

The best homage we can pay to all the heroes of yesteryear who are no longer with us is to keep the music alive - not to sit around reminiscing about how good it used to be.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 07:39 PM

Well said Big Al, I'm of the opinion that too many festivals is largely to blame for the arrival of the Uberfolkie, and the demise of the all round good fun folk club.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 01:55 PM

LES COUSINS REOPENS [09/02/05]

Legendary London music club Les Cousins is to reopen at a new venue on February 11th. The club resurfaced for two dates last November at its original venue of 49 Greek Street, Soho, more than thirty years since it closed its doors, but now moves to a new home at Bush Hall, 310 Uxbridge Road, to take advantage of the venue's grand piano and excellent acoustic environment. Veteran guitarist Michael Chapman tops the bill, supported by rock and roll band Easy Tiger and Behind The Sun, who play a mixture of original material and late sixties English folk-rock. Remembered as the cradle of the singer-songwriter-guitarist explosion of the mid to late sixties, Cousins' existence spanned April 1965 to the early weeks of 1970 and witnessed the early careers of Bert Jansch, Sandy Denny, Nick Drake, John Renbourn, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, Davy Graham, John Martyn, Al Stewart, Roy Harper, Michael Chapman, Wizz Jones and many others. More details at the Les Cousins and Bush Hall websites

The above from the BBC Radio 2 folk site.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Scouse (Cookie's gone walkabout)
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 02:18 PM

God, I remember the place.. I saw Paul Simon down there and a young Bert Jansch.. and a fellow I swapped a song with he wanted "Little Tim McGuire." And He gave me a Song called "Just give me a 12 string stella like Leadbelly used to play." This guy told me he was understudy for Sammy Davies Jr. who was doing a Musical at the London Palladium... something to do about Boxing if I recall.. I know where the first two are.. but I always wondered about the guy who gave me the song.As usual I lost the damm song but never forgot the title!!   As Aye, Phil


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Fidjit
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 03:48 PM

Is the troubadour still going. Who said that? I know Red's gone poor soul. But is Martin Winsor still around? Played there a lot in the 60's Johnny Silvo broke my guitar strings. Well he would. After 30 years I caught up with him in Norway where he now lives. Oh happy days.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: jimmyt
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 09:35 PM

I have to say this is one of the best threads I have ever read here on Mudcat. I guess I am either a hopeless romantic or an ardent student of history in musical forms, but this has been a blast to read about the experiences you have had in London in the 60s folk scene. I will be interested to see if we could get similar threads about some American venues in the same time period. I probably should do a search before saying any more, but again, thanks for the memories, Brits! Great stories


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 12:36 PM

I seem to remember that a young Nick Drake played floorspots at just about every all-nighter I attended. But I may be wrong - as it was a long time ago.

I seem to remember that we were all pretty serious about the music then - or was it just that were not drunk?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 01:21 PM

Nope don't remember no Nick Drake, isn't he too young?
Giok


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 02:11 PM

Just out of interest, did anyone go to the Phoenix folk club at the back of Oxford St. I used to go every week. Bruce .....?ran the club in his other life he was a debt collector. That was a nice little place. There was guy there called Brian Flax, anyone know him?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 09:05 PM

Perhaps it was only me that wasn't drunk?

I also remember a night when the members of Dr Strangely Strange managing somehow to squeeze their harmonium down the stairs and over the heads of the audience.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 09:40 PM

And Mike Cooper.....slide guitarist Extraordinire. I remember one night Mike Chapman said < I'm going to do a song called See the Fish, now Mike Cooper will be in later after his gig, and he can play it properly, but it will give you an idea if I have a go at it now.....


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Tobyjug
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 05:35 AM

Do I ever.
Imperative stop on the Saturday nights of late sixties.

"Shaggis" was David Johnson when he accompanied Noel Murphy, before he went on to play in the backing band for a small piano-playing singer called Reg Dwight, otherwise known now as Sir Elton John.

Great come-all-ye sessions with the folk estabishmnet, or is that a contradiction?

The list of artists go on and on.

Incidentally, I also appeared as a resident at the Enterprise and even did a Swiss tour with Don Bonito just after Easter 1977.

Lots of nostalgia in this thread.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 06:02 AM

Lots of nostalgia in this thread.

Indeed but has anyone visited the new club yet?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 06:06 AM

http://www.lescousins.co.uk/


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 06:26 AM

I went to the Phoenix on a visit to London in 1968 (moved down late 1969) and saw a very good (but very drunk) Bert Jansch. Played brilliantly, sang & spoke unintelligibly and kept falling off his stool!

RtS


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 08:37 AM

Ah the Enterprise Chalk Farm, Terry Gould et al, remember it well, saw Maddy Prior do a clog dance there, and had an argument with Jimmy McGregor. Anybody remember Terry Masterson, Piers ???, and of Colin Wilkie and Shirley Hart who are still going strong.
Web site
Giok


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Tobyjug
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 10:41 AM

Piers Hayman?
And don't forget Tom Paley practicing his newly acquired fiddle, instead of his very accomplished banjo and guitar playing.

Tom was also a good photographer who occasionaly used to take photos at Les Cousins and C.Sharp House as well, just to stay on thread.

Wasn't it Dennis Norden who used to say
"Nostalgia isn't what it used to be"?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 01:03 PM

Piers hayman; that's the man.
I remember Spider John Koerner turning up and blowing my mind with his 9 [?] string guitar, and Alexis Korner with a scarf round his head, Diz Dizley arrived driving a Rolls Royce hearse. Long John Baldry tried to pick me up once, [I was younger and prettier then]! The late lamented Redd sullivan threatening to brain somebody, using the metal milk churn lid that did duty as an ash tray on the stage, 'cos he wouldn't stop talking. Phil and his dad on the door. Oh happy days.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 07:11 PM

Please send me emails with further reminisces, esp if anyone has any photos:
Bw
info@lescousins.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 07:01 AM

okay here's one:-

Anyone know what happened to Xavier Coudril?
He played a nylon strung guitar rather well, I remember a rather nice version of teddy bears picnic?

I saw him credited as something to do with the music on a kids tv programme in the 70's but I never saw him


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 12:38 PM

Someone asked about Martin Windsor but I'm afraid he's dead too.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 12:57 PM

Yes I knew about Martin, do you know if Jeannie his wife is still with us?
Giok


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 04:03 AM

I see Mike Cooper gets a mention in one of the previous postings. My "Les Cousins" memory of Mike is rather weird. One night ( late 60s?) Mike was doing his spot when an harmonica player asked if he could join Mike. I assumed that Mike knew the guy, and they proceded to tune up. About 30 seconds into the first number, the harmonica player stopped and said that they weren't properly in tune, and so, once again they went through the tuning up process. They then launched into a song whereupon the harmonica player stopped again complaining that they were not in tune. At this point, Mike lost his cool, raked his tumb-pick across the strings of his guitar and said, "I'm in tune, man!". And that was the end of the duet. I was surprised at Mike's reaction , as, of course, it's the guitarist's responsibilty to tune to the harmonica. I've always wondered what Mike's version of that incident would have been


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 07:45 AM

twas a long time ago, and the tiny fees reputedly paid by Cousins for a six hour session surely absloved all those performers of every obligation except survival.....

all the best

Big Al Whittle


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,John Rogers
Date: 04 Jul 05 - 02:54 PM

Name: John Rogers
City LONDON
Sent: 18.46 - 27/11

Add 2nd/3rd paras. to earlier message sent prematurely in error: some is obviously written to a friend. I am obliged to John Etherington's e-mail for the correct title to Nick Drake's 'Black-Eyed Dog'.

________________________________________
Sent: 16.31 - 27/11


It is a pity that you weren't able to stay for the Cousins gig, but it did go on a bit and Chapman didn't go on until fairly late. As you will know the evening was a Nick Drake tribute, so the large audience was very different from that earlier. Variously louche and sophisticated young people (many clearly-commited Drake fans) with some older men were engaging reverently but intermittently with the varied musical offerings, then turning to talk, exuberant drinking etc. so it was quite noisy.
It had seemed a pleasantly-amateurish evening from the late time we had arrived, with a range of people contributing musically. Chapman opened again with the Nick Drake song 'Which Way' then 5 or 6 of his own, duplicating much of the earlier set. The opening intro hushed and seduced most of the long, narrow room into attentive silence, and we were off on what became a musical tour de force. Chapman opened with a long, complex guitar intro. into Nick Drake's 'Which Will' that I thought was spellbinding. This was followed with his own 'Shuffleboat River Farewell' and a range of songs that included 'Little Molly's Dream', 'Rabbit Hills' (which, as Michael explained, was not really about rabbits or hills but a seaside venue!?) before finishing the set with a powerful 'Something To Hang On To'.
The second set was equally impressive, with powerful songs like 'Vanity and Pride' and 'That Time Of Night' contrasted with what was described as a musical homage to Les Dawson. The performance was rounded off with an elegaic 'The Mallard'. Chapman may not have the voice that he used to, but he sings with feeling and experience. His guitar playing is still hypnotic: he can conjure from his instrument a depth and resonance of sound that few can match, while overlaying this with virtuoso dexterity. He can, at times, make it feel as though time itself is flowing to the pulse of his guitar-playing. Not all this songs worked as well I thought gloomy angst-filled songs were more attentively received than the couple of chirpy instrumental-type, but Fully Qualified Survivor ended a great set to enthusiastic applause. I thought he would have benefited from some stage-lighting, but the sound was good.
Later Mark Pavey the young organiser; performed a nice final set, including a powerful 'Black Dog' to end at about 2.30am. I left to walk home after saying goodbye to Michael and John.
It was remarkable being back at Cousins. The two floors have been turned into a Bar, with the music now played on the ground floor. Mike and I had waited downstairs having a drink and trying to work out the plan of the old basement club.
________________________________________
Name: Christian
City Kallinge/Sweden
Sent: 13.58 - 27/11

Hi! This is the chords for Anniversary, the way I play it. It sounds right to me. I thought this might interrest you... Tune the guitar DADGAD and play these chords. Intro: 300030 / 000200 Verse: 000430 / 000200 Refrain: 500050 / 000200 Hope this helps, not an exact tab but you get the picture. Have fun/Christian!
________________________________________
Name: John Etherington
City London
Sent: 21.29 - 26/11

Well, last night was certainly a memorable one! Since the other Chapman fans that I know were not around, I went to the gig in Camberwell on my own. The venue was a very bleak room at the back of a pub, and there were about seven people there apart from myself, plus
the guy running the gig and a couple of musicians! Despite this, Michael played a great set and completely changed the atmosphere there. The set included a long and stunning version of Nick Drake's Which Will, Anniversary, Shufflebaot River Farewell,
Only Pretend, Vanity and Pride (first time I've heard it live), Memphis in Winter, Rabbit Hills, Sometimes,
That Time of Night, Ponchatoulah and The Mallard).
Mike's chat between the songs was as lively as ever, and he talked about the setting for Rabbit Hills (an unwelcome place where he sometimes went on holiday as a child). The great surprise of the evening was when Michael mentioned that he was playing at Les Cousins in Greek Street later on (the legendary club was re-opening there, with a Nick Drake night to commemorate his death thirty years ago to the day). On the spur of the moment, I decided to go along. Another guy named John who was also going, and we shared a cab. The club has been modernised and has a generally young audience, and young musicians playing. Virtually every Nick Drake song was played, and the main man, Mark played a striking Black-Eyed Dog among others. It was great chatting with Michael, and the other people there (including the friendly barmaid), and Michael's set was very well received. He played a similar but shorter set to the earlier one - the sole Nick Drake song being Which Will, once again. The club didn't wind up till gone 3am, and afterwards a group of us, including Michael, went to a coffee house in Soho until 4am. So, after numerous glasses of Stella and bottles of Red Stripe (plus three hours sleep) my theme song for today is (happily)wrecked again! Amazingly, I remembered upon waking, that a couple of weeks ago, I dreamt that I went to two Michael gigs in succession in London...in fact my dream was an uncannily accurate representation of what happened - apart from the fact that in the dream the concerts were in an outdoor setting. I had absolutely no previous knowledge that the Nick Drake event was happening, or that Michael would be playing there. Greetings to everyone that I met at the gigs, by the way. I look forward to seeing you all again.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 04:41 AM

sounds like it might be fun, he heard himself saying dubiously. we've all passed a lot of water since then.

so is this a regular venue where you can arrange a spot/gig?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 05:06 AM

The old Cousins venue probably wouldn't be permitted as a public venue these days, as far as I know the only way in and out was by those stairs, the fire brigade would object to any licence application.
Ah the nanny state, thank god it wasn't around in those days!!
Giok


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Sophisticated Beggar
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 09:21 AM

Often wondered what became of the faces.

They talk about Meg, but what about the other half, with the squeezebox?

Bumped into Andy Matthews, years later, somewhere not far from Oxford Street.

"Still around then?"

"Where do you think I'd go" says he, "... to the Moon?"

Looked just the same as ever, no worse the wear for the all-nighters.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Sophisticated Beggar
Date: 14 Oct 05 - 03:55 PM

Stevie Bromfield? Duffy Power? Sam Mitchell? Al Stewart? Stephen Delft? Andy Fernbach? Al Jones? Jo Ann Kelly? Wizz Jones? John James? Gasworks? Incredible String Band? Jo-Ann Kelly? Jackson Frank?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 14 Oct 05 - 04:14 PM

Al Stewart is having his 60th birthday gig @ the Barbican on 25 October.
Stephen Delft lives in New Zealand and I hear (from someone who visited him recently) that Judith Piepe - another 'face' - died there a year or so ago.
Al Jones is still in the swimming pool.
Jo-Ann Kelly died sadly some years ago.
Wizz Jones same as ever, still gigging a lot.
ISB Clive's back in, Robin's out.
Jackson Frank also died sadly some years ago.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 05:57 AM

I consider that "my work here is done" in the classic B-movie phrase.

Please now close his thread?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 06:28 AM

Why close it? Someone else might come along in another year who remembers other things, other people . . .


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Scrump
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 07:21 AM

In the light of the recent postings, I'm not sure whether I should prolong the life of this thread, but I will for a short while anyway. I well remember several London venues from the late 1960s/early '70s, including those mentioned so far, but there are a few others I can remember well: the Country Club at Haverstock Hill (compered by Karl Dallas, then writing in Melody Maker IIRC) which had a folk club for a while - I even did a floor spot there in 1969 (guests were the Johnstons and Jug Trust - later to become Bronx Cheer). JT's Brian Cookman (now sadly no longer with us) kindly lent me a harmonica with harness as I didn't have mine with me.

Another not mentioned so far is the Three Horse Shoes in Heath St, Hampstead. Many memorable evenings spent there, with acts including Famous Jug Band, Murf & Shaggis (and Murf on his own after Shaggis moved on), Alex Campbell (who on one occasion semmed to have had a fair amount to drink and only got round to singing a couple of songs amid his hilarious anecdotes), Pete Atkin (first seen there by me doing a floor spot) and many others.

I was also a regular attendee at the Holy Ground, Bayswater. Again saw many fine artists there. For some reason I can remember a resident singer there who used to write topical songs every week. The only one I can recall in any detail was a song about candles, written during the power cuts of 1971 (? not sure of the year). Does anyone else remember him or know who he was?

I could go on but better get on with other stuff...


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 07:48 AM

Roger I can put up with your moaning at the slightest sign of censorship, real or imagined, justified or unjustified.
Just why does the anti censorship guru of Mudcat want to close a perfectly legitimate and to some very interesting thread.
Could it be because you have nothing to contribute to it?
Giok


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 10:00 AM

Why close it? Someone else might come along in another year who remembers other things, other people . . .

Why indeed? How about because I am the thread's orginator and my wishes must be now respected and everyone else's must be ignored......?

Subject: RE: The fRoots Messageboard...Do you post?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jul 06 - 11:02 AM

shambles, the originator requested that the thread is closed a few posts ago. Please respect her wishes.


The fRoots message board – do you post?   and Mudcat's stated goals threads have now been closed for this reason - so why not this one?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Scrump
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 10:04 AM

Ooerr, perhaps I should have started a different thread then?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 10:24 AM

I see it's your 'dog in the manger' act again, sorry I didn't notice you had a new grudge to air.
G


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 10:43 AM

I can remember going to les cousins   about 1964 1965, and seeing Stefan Grossman amongst others      , Iwas only 13 0r14, it was a great place.Didnt the owner play Barrelhouse piano .


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: David C. Carter
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 06:25 PM

Seems like a lot of people here were in the same places at the same time.I played a few times in The Moon And Sixpence with a friend of mine.The Witches Cauldron and the Loft,in Belsize park were also part of that time.
Used to see the Yardbirds/The Downliners Sect/Georgie Fame,Zoot Money & the Big Roll Band,all that stuff going on in town.
And it didn't cost much either.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 15 Jul 06 - 04:03 AM

Used to see the Yardbirds/The Downliners Sect/Georgie Fame,Zoot Money & the Big Roll Band,all that stuff going on in town.
And it didn't cost much either.


Sounds like Klooks Kleek in West Hampstead, happy days! I was chatting about the old Witches Cauldron in Belsize Park just last week


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: David C. Carter
Date: 15 Jul 06 - 04:29 AM

Anybody know Vanity Fair,Hampstead?Good place to meet before going off to crash a party!
Thanks for reminding me about Klooks Kleek.
As you say Kevin..
Happy days!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 15 Jul 06 - 04:56 AM

Last night BBC4 tv repeated the John Martyn piece from Folk Britannica broadcast earlier this year, quite a few mentions/shots of Les Cousins.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Micca
Date: 15 Jul 06 - 10:12 AM

I always remember John Martyn doing a S**t-hot version of Djangos "Nuages" in between acts, so to speak, at Les Cousins about 1970 or thereabouts


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 15 Jul 06 - 05:29 PM

After The Halliard had recorded "It's The Irish in Me" in one afternoon session in a North London studio (liberally lubricated by the record company), we went on to a local pub & finished up at some ungodly hour at Les Cousins, where we were invited to sing. We were subsequently thrown out for being too rowdy!
                               Nigel Paterson.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Jul 06 - 07:44 PM

I think it was Derek Brimstone who played the piano boogie woogie style at Les Cousins. He used to wear a little trilby hat in those days as opposed to the big one he wears nowadays. Possibly the hat and the fact that he was a little older than most of us, made you think he was the manager.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Rick S
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 03:49 PM

Just found this thread - I remember accompanying Mike Cooper up to Cousins one night when he had a gig there - he had Stefan Grossman's 12-string to return, as well as his own 2 Nationals to carry, & needed a roadie; as well as Mike, that night, there was Al Jones, Duffy Power, & I think Sam Mitchell - Cooper also ran a fine club in Reading, where we got to see most of the bigger acoustic-blues names of the time, good memories to have..


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 04:26 PM

would that be the Shades coffee bar with Derek Hall? - at the back of Hellas's store somwhere round there. the Shades is an Indian restaurant these days. i did a sentimental journey to Reading las year.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 04:45 PM

It's a strange thing, but Il Cooper was just posting from Rome on fRoots.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 05:21 PM

Was Duffy Power the one that used to recite the Lord Buckley story 'The Naz' ?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Rick S
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 04:42 AM

Hey,Drummer - ah, the Shades - I also did a trip back some years ago, it was still standing (morphed into an Indian restaurant);oh yeah, Derek Hall - master guitarist, should have been up there with Davy Graham et al (I still have the Kennet-label EP he did with M Cooper, somewhere), best ragtime player I ever heard, waay better than the likes of R McTell, would love to know what became of him - The Elephant (located in the Market Place), that's the club that MC ran, got to see JoAnn & Dave Kelly, Jug trust, Tony (TS) McPhee & many others; other remembered clubs; the Crown, & later on, the White Horse (down on Caversham Road) where I first overcame my nerves enough to get onstage with a guitar - many fond memories..


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 05:58 PM

AND WHAT HAPPENED TO RON GEESIN


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 06:10 PM

Gosh I booked him a few times, he was contemporary of mine we went to schools about 100 yards apart in Hamilton. One of the weirdest off-the-wall pianists I ever met. Don't know where he went though.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 06:16 PM

I've seen his name on tv and film credits - though I can't remember for the life of me which ones.

Derek Brimstone has one or two stories about Ron. One called THE ULTIMATE GIG.

Another involving the time Ron was a witness to a traffic accident.

You better ask derek.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 06:26 PM

Yes I remember a story that he was doing a gig in a restaurant, and nobody was taking any notice of him. so while he was doing his set, he went outside the window and leered in at the eaters, waved them goodbye, they thought it was part of the act and continued to ignore him. then wondered where hed disappeared too. meanwhile hed gone home to bed. nice one.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 06:36 PM

He did a gig at the Dungeon Club in Tower Bridge road which was run by Cliff Aungier, and Ian Grant the BBC producer of Country Meets Folk was involved in it too. He had the piano in one 'cell' and would play a few chords on it, pluck the strings manually from the front, and then rush down into a lower dungeon and bang a pot lid on the floor while singing something totally unintelligible, Crazy guy.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 04:50 AM

I believe that Ron lives down in Sussex and has a studio doing mastering/re-mastering etc among other things. He used to do work for the Flyright stable of record labels, maybe still does.


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Subject: RE: Jackson C. Frank memories
From: GUEST,Curtis Delisle
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 11:59 AM

I am directing a documentary on Jackson C. Frank's life and was curious to hear any and all stories for the film. If anyone here has something of substance to add to the project please contact me at:
cmichael42003@yahoo.com
Sincerely,
Curtis Delisle


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 08:13 PM

Try derek Brimstone


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Malc Cooper
Date: 07 May 07 - 04:55 PM

Looking back to a post from Countess Richard in 2003 I can confirm that I remember Judith Piepe.

Judith was a social worker with close Church of England ties (I was never too sure who paid her) and she had a flat in the East End of London. The flat was a home from home for some of the singers who appeared at Cousins (including Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel).

Judith used to invite people at Cousins to church on Sunday morning at St Annes (Soho) which was the province of Father John Hester.

In the imortal words of Max Boyce "I know because I was there" :-)

Regards

Malc


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 May 07 - 05:50 PM

Hello Malc Cooper, I'm trying to remember if I remember you, it's so long ago.
Yes, I went along to St Anne's with Judith Piepe once or twice.
On other occasions some of us went to her flat for breakfast.
Last news I had was from someone who had met Stefan in New Zealand who said Judith had sadly died.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 07 - 06:35 PM

Ron Geesin collaborated with Pink Floyd in 1969


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 May 07 - 06:44 PM

Al Jones.... for about five minutes he had a folk club in Exmouth, with a beautiful Yamaha PA system. There was an article about him in that magazine Fred Woods used to run. Folk Something.....sorry its gone. Only met him the once, just as I was staring out as a singer mid 70's - he seemed a nice guy.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 May 07 - 07:08 AM

Al Jones: Swimming Pool, issued on Weekend Beatnik, a label run by fRoots.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 08 May 07 - 08:44 AM

Fred Woods magazine was originally called, IIRC, Folk & Country but later Folk Review.

Loads of back issues in a box in the storeroom.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Eldronzo
Date: 08 Aug 08 - 07:37 AM

Where was the Witches' Cauldron in Belsize Park? Obviously, I was there, because I cannot recall its exact location.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 08 Aug 08 - 11:39 AM

I `ad that Martin Windsor in my cab once. `e was a strapping great bloke then. I said "Where to, Martin?"
`e said "Les Cousins club"
I said "I didn`t know they was `aving you as well tonight. I thought that Red Sullivan was doing the gig all on `is own"
`e said " That`s right. So `e is. I`m the bouncer!!"
Whaddam I like??


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 08 Aug 08 - 11:46 AM

Good question Eldronzo, I spent a lot of time there, and in the Indian restaurant next door but even looking at multimap I'm having a bit of difficulty remembering.

I've got a feeling it was along Ornan Road where it meets Belsize Lane.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Eldronzo
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 10:29 AM

Someone who lived in Belsize Square around that time - late 1960s/early 1970s - tells me that the Witches Cauldron was "almost opposite the Belsize Tavern". If that is so, then I suppose it was on the site of what became Conrad's Bistro or of the restaurant to the right of it, or both. I forget the name of the other restaurant; perhaps it was called the WC...
   The two restaurants shared the same proprietor, a
formidable Ulsterwoman called Daphne, who ran it with her toyboy Joel, a deserter from the French army. They also shared the same kitchen and the same chef, 'Elvis', but not the same prices. Conrad's Bistro had an upstairs section, and the whole of the cellar area, so the other place was quite small in comparison. These two restaurants were there when I first went to Belsize Park in 1970 and still operating in the late 1970s, so I presume the WC preceded that...


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 10:43 AM

The Witch's Cauldron was well before 1970. Mid 60's as I remember and long before Kevin Sheils should have been allowed out on his own. My recollection is that it was close to the Belsize Tavern, that it served up bowls of spaghetti and that Martin Carthy was usually there.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 11:19 AM

Yup I think you are right Diane, you must be almost as old as me mate.

JM


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 03:24 AM

You're right Diane, I should have been home in bed.

Happy days, passing my Dad as he set off to work as I ambled home from my nights out!

The Belsize Taven was/is on Belsize Lane I believe, so my first thoughts were fairly close.

Mind you, some say I still shouldn't be allowed out on my own!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 02:01 PM

I used to go to the Witches Cauldron back in the 60's. It was a coffee shop/eaterie and a whole bunch of us hung out there. Downstairs was a cellar club where groups used to play, I think it might have been next door to the Cauldron. We all just drank coffee in those days.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 02:14 PM

People forget about 1960's food. Wall's s and k pies. spaghetti meant Heinz on toast.

Lyons individual fruit pies in a box, with a bit of paper wrapped round.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Ron Fox
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 10:32 AM

I've just been playing the first Savoy Brown album which got me thinking about "the Witches".I am sure they used to play there & there was a guy called "Moxy" who played a mean harmonica,ring any bells anywhere?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Will Fly
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 10:39 AM

Mox was a fantastic harmonica player with long red hair and a long red beard. He usually had a bandolier of harmonicas strapped around him. As I recall (and I jammed with him a couple of times), he used to hang around and look for somewhere to stay after a gig - no fixed abode. Last time I saw him he was playing with the Alex Harvey Band (Lancaster University Summer Ball 1968).


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 11:03 AM

He also used to be seen around the 'Bag 'O Nails' in Kingly St, which runs parallel to Carnaby Street. He either worked for, or was friends with, a guy who ran a boutique almost next door to the club too.

JM


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: David C. Carter
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 11:19 AM

Mox Gowland lives here in France about 60 kilometers from me.
He sometimes plays with a Bluegrass band,and I sometimes do a few things with them.
He and I used to knock around Hamstead in those days.
We were great friends,still are.
He's still got that red hair,but no beard now!
That reminds me,I got to call him.

David


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Will Fly
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 02:29 PM

That's great news - I thought I'd never hear of Mox again - he just seemed to drop out of sight. Regards to him from all the old Cousins groupies.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Fleggy
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 02:42 PM

I new Moxy, we used to play in the early 70s as a duo in Earls Court at a late night cafe just for tips and spare ribs; he had a belt with a load of blues harps in different keys and played a bass flute, enormous thing it was; he replaced me with Isaac Guillory which really pissed me off because I needed the money, being a starving student at the time. The red hair was waist length and he had a matching moustache; his name came from wearing moccasins. I remember offering him a gig in a pub which he refused because there was not a proper stage; OK I'll stop rambling now.........


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,RON FOX
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 05:31 AM

Great to hear that Moxy is so well remembered & still going strong.He played with Alex Harvey eh? didn't know that,the Sensational Alex Harvey Band were one of my favourites from the era,a sad loss.But what about SAVOY BROWN at the "Witches Cauldron" does no-one remember them there? They were contemporary with Mox.I must point out that I was very,very, young at the time.
RON FOX


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Peter Billam
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 05:18 PM

I just discovered this great thread. Al Stewart lining up an all-nighter when Simon and Garfunkel were playing the Royal Albert Hall, and Paul Simon calling in about 3am to sing a couple of his new songs, like Save the Life of my Child which sounded so rich, so dramatic, so strong and even, so beautiful, that I could barely believe he was just a voice and guitar like everyone else - a Martin, but other people played Martins - or Davey Graham's all-nighters when he just got back to London from Greece, playing Monk, Indian ragas, blues, Bulgarian shepherds' bagpipe tunes, old English, every imaginable style, with Roy Harper calling in about 3am wearing a green and orange check three-piece suit and battered top hat, singing his asylum song Committed, chorus: life is such monotony without a good lobotomy; everything new, or unsuspected combinations of old things showing that they worked too. Right place right time, great to be there then.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,John Field
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 12:06 PM

Great thread.....going back to the Ballads and Blues in Rathbone Place....anyone remember the Malcolm Price Trio ? They played there a lot in the early 1960's, and I was with them on banjo for a couple of 1964 gigs in that club.....I played with them for about a year in 1964......John


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Micca
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 01:25 PM

Guest Peter billiam, funny you should mention Roy harper, i remember him from those times too, he wrote one of the most memorable(in a song callled "Nobodys got any money in the summer") and weird lines ever....
" ....and looking No cleaner than a Chinese wrstlers jock strap cooked in chip fat on a greasy day..."


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 03:50 PM

that track was on the CBS sampler The Rock Machine Turns You On. Along with Moby grape, tim Rose, The Zombies.....

It was about twelve bob when a real album was about 32/6d


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 05:18 PM

I seem to remember Paul Simon complaining in 'Cousins'about his record company releasing 'The Sound of Silence' when he was in the UK. Then it did well in the charts, so somebody did a parody, called, 'The Sound of Finance'


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 05:32 PM

I seem to remeber The Bachelors having the main hit with it.

there was a band called the Tea Set or somesuch and they nearly aced S and G with Homeward Bound which was paul and artie's breakthrough single in England.

i saw the The Tea Set at Boston Gliderdrome the week they made no 48 in the charts with Homeward Bound.

Whtever happened to the Tea set. they played those early electro acoustics.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 05:50 PM

Burns electro acoustics!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 05:29 AM

Le Macabre was indeed in Meard Street, number 23.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: theleveller
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 08:01 AM

I enjoyed the clips shown on the Beeb 4 programme on John Martyn on Friday. Especially poignant was the fleeting glimpse of Jackson C Frank. Brought back long-forgotten memories.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 08:09 AM

John Martyn at the BBC


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 06:29 PM

I regularly used to go to Les Macabre and Cafe Des Artistes. Also the Troubadour in the Earls Court Road which I think, is still there. Halcyon days.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Piers Hayman
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 07:15 PM

Jeez! This takes me back! Early 60's? I shot off to Holland in '73 and teamed up with Dutch guitarist John Kuiper as a duo. We made three albums of our 'contemporaryt folk' music in the late 70's. Mox came by on his travels and played harp and flute on the third one!All three aqlbums are still available online as downloads here and there - google my name) Now living happily in NZ (since 1982)
Cheers to all.

Piers


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Lucy Allen (was Hubbard, Jordans Ear ly 1960
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 07:03 PM

H Piers,

Don't know if you'.ll read this. I was at a gig tonight of John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett.They are both from Aylesbury originally but when I told them I was from Jordans Willy told me he knew Piers Hayman and asked if I had your e mail address. If you want to get in touch with Willy you can get him at more@musiczoo.co.uk

Cheers,

Lucy


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 07:19 PM

I used to go to Les Macabre and Cafe Des Artistes regularly. Also the Troubadour.Late nights in the golden egg in Piccadilly.Living in Dulwich/West Norwood it was so easy and life was sweet.The Purple Pussy cat. The Phoenix folk club. Anyone know a guy called Brian Flax? Played a Left handed Levin. Oh, you can reminisce for hours. I used to love the cafe Des Artistes, you never knew who you'd bump into or who was there. The Marquee, saw tons of superb music there as well. Where did those years fly past to?

The rock machine turns you on !! Superb sampler, silver cover. Introduced me to some great music. It's the time of the season...................... (Well it was)


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Claire (Bonito) Allen
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 01:42 PM

Several years ago Alan wrote:

Speaking of the Enterprise, my old friend Dom Bonito (who was a resident there)has a tablecloth signed by most of the guests who appeared there in the late 60s and early 70s.

"Those were the days ..... "

I currently have that tablecloth to launder and lend to my Mum (Frances) having seen Dad at the weekend. We hope to photograph it and get it up on the web for all to see.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Sue
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 06:16 PM

Conrads Bistro. I worked as a waitress there for a few yars in the mid 70s for the formidable Ulterwoman Daphne who sadly died in Spain a few years ago aged 69. She was a great partier after the bistro closed and would have parties with all the late nighters from theatres and the Belsize Tavern. Spag bols were a favourite, gammon with pineapple and Negresse en Chemise desert.   Al Stewart used to go there. Anyone remember those times.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Chris Scheybeler
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 10:23 AM

Does anyone remember the guitarist John Lamont? I remember jamming with him and Mox in Cousins one evening. John and I used to hang in St Ives in the summer, where he taught me the basics of folk-blues guitar. He didn't have a guitar at the time, so he borrowed my then new Harmony Sovereign while I played harp. I still play the Harmony which, like me, miraculously survived the 60's & 70's. Is anyone still in contact with him?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,PiedPiper
Date: 02 Mar 10 - 10:32 PM

Sue,

Do you know Al Stewart's song that reminisces about Conrad's bistro and Belsize in the 70s? It's called "Belsize Blues".

http://www.alstewart.com/lyrics/belsizeblues.htm

It's available on a 2001 reissue of the "Year of the Cat" album.

Al does namecheck a waitress, but her name is ... Annie!

I would like to read more about your memories of that era.

PP


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Rick Norcross
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 04:49 PM

Sure have enjoyed reading the Mudcat accounts and memories of those all-nighters at Les Cousins! I played there many times during late '65 and the first two months of '66, emceeing the midnight to 7 am sessions on Saturday January 15, February 5th, 19th and March 11th. Pay was 10 Quid and I was glad to have the bookings. One of the February bookings was Paul Simon's "Going Away" party when Paul was finally going back home to work the "Sounds of Silence" success (under duress from Columbia). That was an amazing night, Derroll Adams, Sandy Denny, Jackson C. Frank, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn and the usual suspects. Meg came down and sang her "I'll Fly Away." I lived in a house in West Dulwich owned by Hylda Simms where Diz Disley also lived and we cruised around the folk clubs in his 1929 red-label Rolls. I arrived in London from my home here in Vermont (New England) in June of '65 and went directly to the Troubador where Redd Sullivan kindly allowed me to do a few tunes as a floor singer and immediately booked me from there on a regular basis. I worked for Graham Wood at London City Agency (Paul Simon and I were his "American folk singers"). There has been reference to Art Garfunkle living in London at that time but that was not the case. He was still in college back in New York. Artie came over for two weeks in the late fall for a visit during that period. Once Sounds of Silence put them into the big time, then of course they came back many times. Yes I am still working/singing after all these years with my western swing band, Rick & The Ramblers (www.rickandtheramblers.com) and unfortunately have not played back in London since 1974. I am heading to Murcia, Spain on May 6th to play for the Brits who live there by invitation from Hugh Aldous who ran a very successful folk club in Bedford back in the 60s. I thoroughly enjoyed my years playing the folks clubs, over 50 of them all over England from Haverford West, Carlsile in the north all the way down to Cornwall and Devon. I will never forget the kindness and the friendships I made, particularly Noel Murphy, Redd Sullivan, Weston Gavin, Derek Sarjeant, Diz Disley, Sugar Bill Robinson, Brian Leake, Dana Gillespie, Bill Clifton, Luthier John Bailey (who built me an 18-string guitar), the aforementioned Hugh & Nancy Aldous and so many more wonderful musicians and characters who took me under their wings.

Thanks so much for sharing your memories of Les Cousins!
Rick Norcross


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 05:58 PM

Remember you well Rick, nice to hear from you.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Ben.
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 05:17 PM

Hi there,
I am looking for the Jimi Hendrix connection with Les Cousin.
Anyone out there can give me some information on that ?.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Ben.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,jim abbott
Date: 03 May 10 - 11:18 AM

Anyone have specific memories of Jackson Frank paying in London, whether at Cousins or elsewhere? Working on his bio and eyewitness accounts are a good thing! Also if anyone has any pix of Jackson that aren't already viral, please let me know

jim abbott
jimbob12404@gmail.com


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,PiedPiper
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 07:22 PM

I have just read about a reunion Les Cousins tour to happen in the UK in April of next year (2011). I gather that it will feature Ralph McTell, Bert Jansch, Roy Harper and Al Stewart.

I wonder if they could get Paul Simon to take part?

Should be great, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,adrian
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 04:24 AM

thanks you guys for the great memories of days long gone and nights far longer...


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 03:31 PM

I was standing outside Nos 49 this afternoon, first time in the best part of 45 years. Wow. Anybody reading this that spent their Saturdays - midnight to 7am, sitting on the floor down in that truly magical hole in the ground doen't need me to remind them of the wonder of those glorious days of our youth.
Sandy Denny's first set at at 4am. Long John Baldry on a 12 string playing Jack Frank's Christine. Spider John Koerner whacking his 7 string and telling those awful, wonderful jokes. And on, and on, and on. I've a cassette tape somewhere I recorded at the time of one of Spider's sessions.
I've still got my membership card tucked away, just in case . . .
Off now to tuck the grandchildren in.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Dave D.
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 07:50 AM

I spent many an allnighter in there in the late 60s. The Pillars of Hercules pub was close...a friend told me he saw Bert Jansch drink so much in there one night that he couldn't stay on his stool...then went down Cousins and played brilliantly all night!

I saw Stefan Grossman down there several times too. One character I remember as always being there was a blues playing accordionist who dressed like a frenchman in Breton T shirt and beret...I think he was called Paris Nat but I've seen no mention of him in the previous memories. Anyone know anything about him?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,carole
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 02:30 PM

I do have a few pictures taken in the witches. one of mox and john playing. if anyone wants to see mail to tufnall@yahoo.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 05:31 PM

To guest Tony--you mentioned seeing long John Baldry playing Jack Frank's Christine at Cousins. Was that a song you remember anything about, or are you thinking of Jackson' version of Kimbie?
Please let me know if you recall anything about Jackson. Im working on a book about him. Someone out there using my name has been causing some confusion about a book about Jackson, but Ive been working on one for a few years now and just need to wrap it up. Recently acquired a tape with 7 new recordings, studio quality, from sessions in the early seventies--absolutely lovely stuff for the most part, and so the story keeps evolving. Anyway, if anyone knows Tony or if Tony himself sees this please let me know at jimbob12404@gmail.com

Thank you

Jim Abbott
Accord, NY


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,jim daking
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 05:19 PM

i remember when i was 14 thank you


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 05:32 PM

JIM AGAIN IM 61 NOW AMSTERDAM I SAW MOST OF WHO YOU ALL TALK ABOUT NOTHING TO ADD OH ROUND THE CORNER WAS A CLUB CALLED LE DUCEE MOST LIKLY GOT IRTT WRONG WENDSDAYS ALL STERERT J FRANK SOMETIMES NOTHING IMPORTANT BUT WITH ALL YOU MIGHTY MEN THOUGHT I MIGHT MENTION IT THANK YOU LES COUSANS


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Bredda
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 06:20 AM

worked at Les Cousins from its inception for about 4 years on and off behind the bar, inbetween working at Ronny Scotts when I had rows with Andy or his parents. Les Cousins was started as a french disco by a couple of french student cousins. Andy was 17 and used to act as dj. His parents owned the restaurant above and supplied all the sandwiches for the allnighters. I went in one night with some friends (I was 16) and got involved. After a short spell as a rock venue we went over to folk music. I hears some phenomenal music over the years, worked my socks off and adored it. The first night in England Jimi Hendrix came in with Chas Chandler and Alexis Korner was playing & chas asked if Jimi could jam with the band &when Jimi played with his teeth better than most can play with their fingers we were all gobsmacked. Memories of hearing some wonderful artists -Bert, Jackson C Frank, Sandy Denny Martin Carthy Watersons Paul Simon.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 06:35 AM

That name rings a bell, I know I met someone called Bredda a long time ago, {senility you know]it's such an unusual name.
I do remember Andy on the door though.
Come to think of it, that place was a death trap, what on earth would have happened in an emergency?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Bredda
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 08:07 AM

Looking back at this thread the memories of the wonderful music are still with me - Noel Murphy singing a patriots game - Bert singing blackwaterside, pentangle playing with Jackie McShee's truly beautiful voice singing Jack Orion, Sandy Denny had such a lovely voice. So much good music. - Andy took over when the french boys went back to uni & as he was still only 17 his dad had to bring in Phil, who moxy introduced to Andy. He left after a couple of years and andy took over. I worked 6 nights a week there behind the bar including all nighter, usually singlehanded, unless I could get my friend Didi to help. Incidentally the coffee was terrible but the sandwiches were pretty good.
Reply to previous posting - it wasnt that much of a deathtrap - the entrance to the club was down a flight of stairs from street to a very small hallway where Andy & Phillip used to sit. a door opened up beside them into the club. Behind where Andy sat was a corridor running the whole length of the club which led to another stairway, which ran up to the kitchen of andy's dads restaurant.Just by the foot of the stairway up to the restaurant was a door leading into the club which was the 2nd exit in case of fire! There were also lots of small barred windows that end, which was oppisite the bar where I worked. that was really our only ventilation.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Gypsy Annie
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 11:12 PM

Mr. Mathious, Andy's father used to call me Gypsy, but no one else does any more. I found Les Cousins after being at Bungies, and going with the crowd from Bungies roughly around 1966. I worked there behind the counter for about a year or so when I was still in grammar school ( called high school in the USA). I remember that Al Stewart was very friendly, and we used to go and eat at the "As You Like It" restaurant between the evening and overnight shifts. Artists that I remeber hearing were: The Young Tradition, Stephan Grossman, John Martyn, Sammy Mitchell, Alexis Korner, Victor Brox, Long John Baldry, Ralph McTell, Noel Murphy, Davy Graham, Ian Anderson, Al Stewart, Roy Harper,John Renbourne,Champion Jack Dupree, and many others. I also remember Old Meg and Paris Nat Schaffer, and Mox. A reunion might be depressing as about half of those artists have died.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Bredda
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 10:46 AM

Gypsy - we must have known each other but can't place you at the moment, although the nickname rings a bell. I don't remember getting breaks in shifts! used to work straight through. We all used to go to Ronnie Scotts after a late night. The Young Tradition, Ralph McTell & Martin Carthy, Long John Baldry, Duffy Power, Al Stewart,Davy Graham and of course Donavan at the beginning-so many memories of evenings of great music. On of Andy's school friends was Cat Stephens - hence Mathew & Son. (Matheou & Son does not quite have same ring)

I didnt always get on with some of them it has to be said.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 02:58 PM

I managed to answer my own question.

The English cover version of Homeward Bound was by a band called The Quiet Five - not the Tea Set, as I previously said.

The main mover seems to have been a geezer called Kris Ife.

Kris's website is here:

http://www.craftweb.org/web/kris/index.html

On his website is the version Homeward Bound (and quite good it is) and also a lovely picture of him and the Burns Acoustic which I also mentioned, but had totally forgot about. As you can hear - he's no slouch on the old guitar either.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 11:13 PM

Hi Breadda. I think that you were before my time by a little bit. I was working there at about age 17 in 1968 but I first started giong to Les Cousins when i was 15 in 1966. I remember someone called Toby selling coffee behind the counter when I first started to go there. I worked the evenings and then the overnight, so there was a break in between, but I was rather young for hanging out at Ronnie Scotts. It would have been amazing to go to all of those famous clubs like Ronnie Scotts, the Bag O Nails, but I did get involved in the amazing UFO Club, MiddleEarth, and the like at the time. It was just such an amazing time and place in history -- now that I look back.The British Blues musicians were like a huge interconnected family, because if one knew one blues musician, that person was connected to a bunch of others, and each of them was connected to others, so it was like a gigantic family.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Bredda
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 10:08 AM

I have just watched on i player the bbc4 programme about folk clubs in the sixties and relived so many good memories. I feel so lucky to have been there and listened to so much good music. I have to admit I was in tears during the programme quite a lot of the time, especially watching Bert singing "Needle of death", and seeing Sandy singing. There was a sequence about Les Cousins showing Judith Pieppe walking along greek street and going down the stairs into Cousins, and then Jackson Frank was shown singing - and then I nearly fell off my chair when a clip showed me behind the bar talking to Judith. Judith lived in a council flat in Shadwell, and I remember groups of us going back to her place after sessions to talk and argue about life, politics etc.   We were all very politically aware. The Jackson clip was very short - it didnt do him justice. He had such a beautiful voice, and as a songwriter he was superb, his lyrics were so full of poignancy and wisdom.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 10:19 AM

I watched it too, and enjoyed all of it. I think I have met almost everybody that was in the programme, including Judith.
Made me feel very happy, and very very old too :)


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,David Wheatley (of David and Barrie)
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 10:51 PM

I used to play (banjo) and sing regularly at Les Cousins with Barrie Webb (guitar). We moved into the London circuit from playing a season in Bournemouth.

We played with Noel Murphy and with Mox with his leather wallet full of harps in every key. Also played at Bunjies and at The Round House. I met and jammed with many of the other famous names mentioned above.

Also played at The Cock, St Albans with Donovan, Tin and Maddie and Micky Softly and 'Cuddles' before moving on to Edinburgh and Aberdeen folk circuits.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 07:44 AM

to Gipsy Annie....Thank God someone remembers Paris Nat at last...beginning to think he was a figment of my imagination.
Schaffer? Didn't know his surname but wonder what happened to him. No longer with us I imagine. Do you know any more about him? Schaffer's not a very French name but then I think he just liked the clothes and then, of course, the accordion.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,roderick warner
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 09:36 AM

Paris Nat was English from a Jewish background, as I remember. The 'Paris' bit came about because he busked in Paris in the early sixties or maybe even before. He used to knock around with a man called Ralph Levene who wrote a cult classic book called 'The Camel's Back.' He was a great guy with a sharp - if mordant - wit and brilliantly compered the Albert Hall Buskers Concert in 1969 (put on by Don Partridge). Some time afterwards he won a lot of money on the horses and bought a house in Colchester where he had been living with his wife, Jane, when he wasn't out busking in Paris and in London (where he used to play a lot with Meg Aikman). Sadly he died sometime in the early seventies - don't remember the exact date as I was out the country a lot during that period.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Dave.
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 04:42 AM

Roderick...thanks for all that. Fascinating stuff.I shall try to find that book too. I had never realised there was any kind of link between Paris Nat and Don Partridge. Before I met my wife, she and some friends stumbled across Don P. on holiday in Wales. He was post 'Rosie' then and a bit poorer again. They all ate pigs trotters over an open fire outside Don's horse drawn caravan. Such a small world!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,roderick warner
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 07:17 AM

Nat was a big friend of Don's - and mine. He frequently used to stay with me and my late wife Barbara when he was up in London busking - as that's what I was doing as well. Nat was from an older generation than us, had fought in WW2. But he was more of an old bohemian than a lot of the older buskers round the West End. Don's friend and onetime busking partner Pat Keene met him in Paris circa 1960 when he started busking there - Nat was part of the scene with Derroll Adams and Alex Cambell and others. In London, Nat used to busk a lot with Meg - well known down the Cousins, of course. They had a weird relationship as they seemed to hate each other but made money together! All this is fresh in my mind because Don Partridge, Pat and myself were/are writing a book about the busking scene as it developed in the sixties and we have a section on Nat. Don's recent sad and unexpected death slowed things down a bit - but the book is almost finished...
Re Ralph Levene, he was Nat's lugubrious sidekick for some years. They were knocking around in Amsterdam at one point with some peripheral involvement with the Provos there (the Dutch anarchists not the Irish terrorists!) - white bicycles etc. I don't know what happened to Ralph - I met him in Amsterdam in the 80's when I was playing a gig and had a few meetings afterwards over drinks - he seemed on good form but I lost contact. 'The Camel's Back' is a good read - there are still copies around on Amazon.

A lot of the West End buskers used to go to Cousins on the weekends especially, when we had finished doing the late night queues.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 04:37 PM

Roderick...sorry to hear about Don. Please do the book though. That's two you've sold me!... be fascinated to read about all that.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Steve Bromfield
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 02:03 PM

Do I remember Cousins!! The memories below are as they come

I started playing at Cousins in 65 and I think then the youngest muso there (17) I played instrumental guitar and was introduced to Mox who was looking for a regular guitarist to play with we played at cousins most nights virtually lived there also taking out the rubbish for Andy's dad for a free meal upstairs in the kitchen. We had our own night on Tuesdays (like an open night) Jackson C Frank was a wonderful guy 'Blues Run the Game' and many more. He arrived all-of-a-sudden at the club in his Aston Martin DB5 which he'd just bought silver I think. I was amazed. So folk singers really make money (little did I know). Jackson and Sandy Denny hit it off at the time. I remember the first night Sandy came down to the club and was practicing in the passage and was very nervous.

Bert and John were my biggest influence at the time, John would invite me over for Sunday lunch to go over tunes that I was playing. They lived in a communal house with Les Bridger who had a Martin which Bert used on all his gigs and on his first album (and which Les used to busk on!). They had a reel-to-reel which they used to record all their instrumentals prior to going to the studio. Les Bridger and Noel Murphy used to alternate in running the all nighters at Cousins. At one time I played with a girl named Terry Redwing a blues singer we did a few all nighters at Ken Colliers and during the night we'd pop across to Cousins where Bert & John were playing and do a set whilst Bert & John would help us out at KC the all nighters were very long and we needed guest artists to make it to 7 in the morning at both clubs. We would then have breakfast in a cafe at Covent Gardens fruit & veg market, hitting daylight out of the club was the worst part!

I'll sign off for now if there are any old friends out there please get in touch
they were the times of my life

Steve Bromfield
Rochester UK
stephen.b@btinternet.com


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,roderick warner
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 07:42 PM

Hi Steve - you wouldn't remember me, possibly but I saw you with Mox many times down the Cousins and you were very good! We had a mutual friend - Frank Brown - who was also a busker. I knew Les Bridger as well - used to crash at his place just off Marble Arch in 1966 with my girlfriend Babs, a Soho character, indeed - whom I married later on.
Don Partridge told me (before he died) that Les was still about in Scandinavia...


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Steve Bromfield
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 04:57 PM

Hi Roderick and friends from Cousins ,

I think I do remember you and possibly Babs, did she work in Soho? do a fire eating act? no maybe not. Frank Brown and I were very good friends we shared a bedsit around Mornington Cres. He used to busk with a Gibson 12 string with six strings on which I liked (giving a wide neck) I used to borrow it to play at the Abbey Rd. Studios.

I use to 'crash' at Les Bridger's place as well, he was a very hospitable chap. Are you still in touch with Frank? I would love to get in touch with him again also with Les.

I have much more to write about Cousins, Al Stewart, Judeth Piepe, Alexis Korner, John Baldry and many more.

I'll write again soon.

Steve Bromfield
stephen.b@btinternet.com


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,roderick warner
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 07:32 PM

Yes, Babs did the fire-eating. I haven't heard anything about Frank in years - there was a rumour that he had gone back up north to Manchester but I don't know. Les is living in Scandinavia somewhere - will try and find out for you. Don Partridge told me some months ago that Les had not been well but was still knocking about. Do you still play? I remember some mighty fine guitar picking. Babs and I actually got together via Judith Piepe - we stayed at her place in the East End for a while before we got our own place. We moved out to Shepherds Bush later and Frank Brown crashed there a lot but I left London in the seventies for France and Ireland so lost contact. He never showed up on the European circuits. Don Partridge (up to his recent sad death), his old mate Pat Keane and myself have been writing a book about the busking years and Frank is mentioned a bit in it, especially at the Buskers Concert at the Albert Hall where he and I spent most of the first half sitting high up and smoking his favourite substance. A crazy night...


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Haddenham John
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 10:44 AM

I was at college in Walsall of all places 67 - 70. Used to spend most weekends hitching down the A5 and M1, getting to Cousins in time for the all-nighter and hitching back at 7 the following morning.

As well as the usual suspects: Bert & John etc, I particularly remember John Lamont, immaculate and subtle guitarist, wish I knew if he was still going, Davy Graham being very condescending but brilliant at the same time and Duffy Power, one of the most absorbing and intense singers you will ever see! And of couse Mox, who I remember was pretty good on the flute as well as the harps.

After Laura Marling and Mumfords it looks like folk is finally cool again, but why does it all have to be so corporate nowadays? We will never see such freewheeling times as the old Cousins days, or so many uniquely talented people all breaking through at the same time.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Max Johnson
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 01:27 PM

Used to see the Yardbirds/The Downliners Sect/Georgie Fame,Zoot Money & the Big Roll Band,all that stuff going on in town.

I was roadie for the Downliners Sect for a while! When they were playing with Elmer Gantry.
Their Album 'The Rock Sect's In' should win a prize for the decade's wittiest title.
Sorry everyone - back to the thread...


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Bredda
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 06:39 AM

Was it John Baldry who did the Naz? I think it was. A post above mentions Duffy Power - beautiful voice and such a lovely bloke. There was so much creative energy in Cousins, and so much talent was there. Magical evenings of warmth and hope. Somehow we all had faith in the future, that things were getting better, and that we had a part to play in it.

After writing the above I am sitting here feeling very sad for the world we are in now.

The music business has been dominated by money and groups for so long - real creativity hasn't been needed or wanted. Make money is the mantra for the industry. My brother Paul was in a band - Orang-Utan. Never paid a penny - got ripped off. Do kids these days still start there own bands, or are they all stuck in front of a computer living a fantasy life, instead of getting out and creating a life for themselves. I am so sorry for kids today. I was so lucky.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,roderick warner
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 08:28 AM

I think it was the American singer/actor Weston Gavin who used to do the Nazz and a very good Lord Buckley impersonator he was. He also used to sing 'They call the wind Maria!' But it worked... He used to get down Cousins a fair bit.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
From: Bredda
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 09:39 AM

Roderick - you may be right! I remember Weston and "they called the wind Maria". apologies to all for my grumpiness in earlier posting. I have osteoporosis and a very painful frozen shoulder and can get a bit mawkish. But seriously, further back in the thread someone said we should be going out and supporting the music and not sitting in typing and they were right. But with pubs closing all over the place, which were the usual starting point for live bands /acts it is going to get harder for new acts to get started. Next folk gig I see I will go to.

Its lovely reading this thread now with so many people posting now who remember great nights and great artists.


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Subject: Les Cousins of Soho (London)
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 20 May 11 - 04:54 AM

I wonder if there are any Mudcatters from the 1960s that remember Les Cousins, nay even performed there?

For those in London - sorry about that - the latest free 'Soho Clarion' (issue 144) has a two page spread article with photos of Les Cousins and well known folk singers. This was one of the most important and influential venues of the folk music boom of the 1960s.

Beatle along to Soho and you'll probably find a copy in one of the shops say in Compton Street. Look for a magazine with the Les Cousins' cartwheel on the front. See pps 8/9.

Non-Londoners could see Wiki instead:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Cousins_(music_club)


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Subject: RE: Les Cousins of Soho (London)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 May 11 - 05:00 AM

Ah! The evil apostrophe!

Click here

Regards


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Subject: RE: Les Cousins of Soho (London)
From: GUEST,John MacKenzie
Date: 20 May 11 - 05:21 AM

Previous thread


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 May 11 - 05:50 AM

200


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 21 May 11 - 06:21 AM

On Friday and Sat'day was Les Cousin
Ralph, Bert, Davy Graham - it was buzzin'
Seven and Six - remember that
To the bloke in a hat
That's one place I'm glad that I wuzzin'.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,WESTON GAVIN
Date: 25 May 11 - 04:10 PM

hOW SWEET IS TO BE REMBERED.YES I PERFORMED THE NAZ AND OFTEN SANG ALL NITE IN COUSINS.JACKSON FRANK WROTE/PERFORMED 'TAKE A BOAT TO ENGLAND BABY , TAKE IT TO SPAIN,WHEREEVER YOU GO THE BLUSES HAVE RUN THE GAME][PARAPHARSE]THE STORY CICULATED ABOUT JACKSON WAS THAT HE HAD COLLECTED A LOT OF INSURANCE LOOT FROM A DREADFUL INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT HE WAS CAUGHT IN. NOT THRU FOLK SINGING. HE WROTE COMPELLING SONGS.JUDITH PIEPE HAD I BELIEVE BEEN A AMBULANCE DRIVER IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR.SHE WAS A DEN MOTHER TO SCENE. I ATE AT HER PLAC.STILL SINGING AND PLAYINGE A FEW TIMES.SEEMS LIKE IT WAS IN OR NEAR THE BARBICAN.WHEN I ARRIVED IN LONDON IN THE SIXTIES I WAS THE LAST PAID PERFOMER AT THE ESTABLISHMENT DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET.I PERFORMED A ONE MAN SHOW OF LORD BUCKLEY AT EDENBURGH.HAAVE RECENTLY RETURNED FROM TWENTY ODD YEARS IN THE U.S BACK TO STAY.IF THERES A REUNION COUNT ME IN.MY E MAIL SITE ;WESTONGAVIN@GMAIL.COM.AL STEWART BRILLIANT SONGWRITER.DAVY,ALEXIS,A LOT OF GREAT NITES.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Pete
Date: 28 Jun 11 - 06:54 PM

Great thread, thanks for the memories.
I used to work at the Witches Cauldron in Belsize Lane NW3 during the 1960s, on the coffee machines and on the door. Also worked in a late night place called the Moon and Sixpence run by a wonderful Indian aptly named Mr Wise. I knew Mox really well - he used to crash at my place on a regular basis; usually coming in through the window in the early hours of a morning. He carried his harps in a small battered leather doctor's bag, and his toothbrush was tied round his wrist.
He played often with a mate of mine, John Lamont - who was a regular down the Witches. Other singers and groups who frequently played there were Alexis Korner, Jo-Anne Kelly, Champion Jack Dupree, Martin Carthy, Teddy Brown (also known as Johnny Christian), the Frugal Sound - who had a small hit with the Beatles' Norwegian Wood, Hampstead Ray Charles and the Jet Set, the 2 of Clubs (Bob Grant and Don), C-Jam Blues. I remember Savoy Brown playing there, and Duffy Power.
The Witches used to close quite early - after midnight, and everyone used to peel out to the Moon and 6d - and if the mood was right the musicians and singers jammed together along with anyone else who wanted to join in - like Rod Stewart when he first turned up on the streets of London well before joining the Faces, and a singer called Jimmy Justice.
I liked Klooks Kleek in West Hampstead- heard some great music there; Graham Bond's band, Long John Baldry, and a special evening when Jimi Hendrix dropped in on a John Mayall's Bluesbreakers' night and took up his guitar and played!
Anyone else out there from the Witches days and nights?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,DD
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 05:56 PM

Jackson Frank's accident was while he was in school (about age 13, I think) when a furnace exploded burning him badly.

At age 21 he received his compensation money and came over to England to buy a sports car- possibly that DB5, though I'm not sure.

He also performed (a lot) at Cousins along with all the other great folks mentioned here (Bert, John, Al, Mike, Long John, Wiz, Ralph, Paul, Sandy etc, etc, etc) and wrote Blues Run the Game which everyone played (and many still do: the last time I saw Bert Jansch at the Troubador in LA he played and sang it after a loving intro about Jackson) and Simon recorded for the Sounds of Silence album. His voice and songwriting were magic.

An all-nighter with JCF would usually bring out the best performers; plus Cousins was the place to be after a major folk act played in town. It wasn't just Paul Simon who came late after playing the Royal Albert Hall. So too did Bob Dylan and others.

Great days, er nights.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 06:18 PM

I used to read about you in melody Maker gavin. Does that qualify? I was a nerdy provincial at the time. Ban I be at the reunion?

al
http://www.bigalwhittle.co.uk/


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: pavane
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 01:49 PM

I went to the Witches Cauldron several times around 1967-8 but don't remember much about it at all, unfortunately


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Brenda
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 12:14 PM

Devastated at the news of death of Bert. He was part of my many happy memories of wonderful music and good times.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Lon
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 03:29 AM

Bert is gone. Many a Cousins allnighter with Bert, living on sandwiches and lager. Roy's in Ireland, Al is in Los Angeles. John was last in Ohio, I heard. Judith died in New Zealand. Who knows where Andy went. What am I doing here?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: theleveller
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 04:15 AM

I was listening on YouTube to Bert singing Jackson C Frank's Blues Run The Game and I had a sudden moment of deja vu. Does anyone else recall Jackson singing this with Bert adding guitar accompaniment one night at the Cousins, or is it my imagination?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 04:52 AM

My memories of the Cousins start around 1964 - when I used to hitch down to London from college in Leeds, mainly to see Jansch and Renbourn - and principally Davy Graham. The all-nighters were a must and became a regular feature of life when I moved to London in '68. I had the good fortune to jam with Davy at the club - Al Stewart serving coffee behind the bar, Andy on the door, etc. Other nights I jammed with Mox - harmonicas strapped like cartridges in a big leather belt over his shoulder, and long red hair and beard (Mox lives in France now and we exchanged greetings not so long ago via YouTube) - plus sessions with Alexis Korner and Duffy Power. Being young and innocent in those days, I always refused the little pill box that was passed around...

Other memories include performances by Mike Chapman, Wizz Jones, John James, Keith Christmas (who dated my sister briefly), the wonderful, unforgettable Jo-Ann Kelly (sometimes with Mike Absalom), a very rude and swollen-headed John Martyn, Mike Cooper, one Ian A Anderson, the Pigstye Hill Light Orchestra.

We got chucked out around 4am, if I remember rightly and were allowed to go around the corner to sleep in the Crypt until the tubes started running, around 6am. (For those who weren't living locally). When I then lived in London - in Bayswater - an early morning sunshine walk up to Marble Arch and then through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens back to the bedsit was always a pleasure.

My abiding memory is of going to the Cousins for the very first time, with my old Otwin guitar in its case, to see Davy Graham (my then hero) for the very first time. I hitched down and got into Soho in the late afternoon. Andy let me stash my guitar down in a corner by the bar while I went for a sandwich and a beer. When I got back - about 7-ish - there was Davy in the club by himself, tuning up and practising. He asked me to show him my guitar - bless him! -and we spent over 30 minutes playing and chatting. It's a moment I'll never forget - he was kind, encouraging, sober and a complete gentleman. Other things happened to him over the years, but that was a time to cherish.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: theleveller
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 06:18 AM

Will that is a remarkable coincidence. I moved down to London from Yorkshire in 1967 and must have been at the Cousins at the same time as you - I remember most of the people you talk about. I would also walk back to my flat in Bayswater afterwards (well, Notting Hill Gate, in Clanricarde Gardens, just off Bayswater Road). Happy days!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 06:26 AM

In my dim and distant, quickly fading memories, I seem to think that when I first went down to Cousins, the stage was facing you as you walked in the door, directly abutting the end of the bar counter.
Then it moved to be on the left as you walked in. Or am I mistaken?
I do remember that there was the lid of an old milk churn, the galvanised semi dome-topped type, which did duty (upside down) as an ash tray. I remember it because redd Sullivan threatened to crown a member of the audience, who talked all through his song, with said article.
I remember Jackson C Frank well, and still play and sing Blues Run the Game. I also remember him playing along with Bert, but I can't remember what they played.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 06:33 AM

Small world eh, Leveller? I know Clanricarde Gardens well - we used to live in Queens Gardens before we eventually moved out to Sudbury Hill. Did you ever get to the BBC Folk Club (Clanfolk?), which was held at the Marquis of Clanricarde in those days? I ran it for a year or so and booked people like The Thamesides, Ian A Anderson, Martin Carthy, the Yetties and many others. The pub was run by a big tough Irishman called Danny and the club was in the upstairs room.

My regular playing venue (and local hostelry) was at the Redan pub on the corner of Queensway and Westbourne Grove. We used to walk down to Portobello Road market every Saturday morning, then have a beer and a sarn in the White Swan on Bayswater Road and then fall asleep in a boat on the Serpentine in the afternoon if the weather was good!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 06:35 AM

John - forgot to say - in my day you went down the steps at no. 49, paid your cash to Andy, turned left into the clubroom - bar on the right and stage immediately left. There was a piano at the back of the stage that I never saw played - though I did see it fallen on to a few times by performers slightly the worse for wear...


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 06:40 AM

I think Ron Geesin played that piano there, once.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 06:44 AM

Quite right John - he would have done. I never saw him at the Cousins - always in other venues.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: theleveller
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 06:52 AM

Will, I went to the Marquis of Clanricarde a couple of times (it was in Sussex Gardens, near Paddington wasn't it? For a time I worked in Eastbourne Terrace)and I used to drink occasionally in the Redan and quite often at The White Swan (bit posh!) but our main local was The Mall Tavern in the corner between Bayswater Road and Ken. Church Street (when I got married for the first time I had the reception there). Moved out in 70/71 but it was a great time and a great place to live.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: theleveller
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 06:56 AM

Oh, and I remember playing on a couple of occasions at a folk club in the Royal Oak in Bishop's Bridge Road where I had a memorable (and subsequently very drunken) encounter with Alex Campbell.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 07:05 AM

Hmm, had a few of those.
Do either of you remember the Holy Ground in Bayswater? I used to go there occasionally. The aforementioned Mike Absolom played there regularly.
Yes, wasn't the young John Martyn an annoying bugger. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,roderick warner
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 07:32 AM

Re the beat up old piano - I saw Champion Jack Dupree play it a few times.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: theleveller
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 08:00 AM

John, I can't remember the Holy Ground, but then I did spend most of my time in a drunken/stoned haze so memory isn't all that reliable :).

Will, I've just remembered that my old friend, the writer and filmmaker, Roger Deakin, lived in Queens Gardens at that time. Do you remember seeing a very nice blue Morgan Plus 4 parked there? That was his.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 08:40 AM

I do indeed recall a very nice Morgan in Queens Gardens! They weren't that common at the time - or now for that matter - and it did stand out. We lived at no. 57, in a bedsit on the ground floor back. Before that, we lived in Westbourne Grove Terrace, in a block of bedsits owned by Michael Winner's father, a property owner and developer. Just down the cul-de-sac from us was Dave Dee, of Dozy, Beaky, etc. fame.

Across the road from the Redan, on the opposite corner, was a block of '30s flats with balconies. John Mayall lived on an upper-floor corner flat and could regularly be seen lowering his amps and gear down by rope to the old blue Transit van parked below. Just down from the flats, in Queensway proper, was the very first coin-operated launderette in Britain - and it's still there. We used to do our washing there on a Wednesday evening, after work, and drummer and singer Ray Ellington would often be sat next to us, reading the Evening Standards, while his smalls went round and round. His underpants had "RE" embroidered on them!

The Redan, of course was the then home of Diz Disley - the landlord (Johnny Watkins) was an ex-singer and guitarist employed by the Tito Burns agency - and Diz would often come down and sit in with us for the hell of it.

I also recall seeing Mike Absalom at the Holy Ground - sometimes with Jo-Ann Kelly. And as for John Martyn, he was extremely unpleasant on many occasions. He was singing Jelly Roll Morton's "Winin' Boy" at the Cousins one night and announced, in a very smug and knowing way, that "winin' really means FUCKING! Yes - FUCKING!" One of my mates who was a drummer and of tough Cypriot descent, went up to Martyn and whispered in his ear. Don't know what he said but it quietened him down a bit... Nevertheless, annoying as he was, he was a fine guitar player!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: theleveller
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 09:11 AM

Ha ha. What a trip down memory lane this is turning out to be (apologies to everyone else)! Roger subsequently broke his Morgan in half whilst transporting a load of reclaimed bricks in it whilst rebuilding his derelict 15th century Suffolk farmhouse. John Mayall was a great bloke - he built doll's houses in his spare time- there was a certain groupie who I.....but that's another story. I also recall (a couple of years later) visiting Alexis Corner who lived somewhere in Queensway (can't recall where now) - he was the godfather of another friend and colleague and a truly nice bloke. I also remember the laundrette - went there on a couple of occasions when the one in the Gate was out of order. And the amazing Standard Indian Restaurant in Westbourne Grove. And, of course The Sun in Splendour pub......enough already!!!

Strangely, the one person I don't ever recall coming across personally was John Martyn. Mixed blessing!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 09:25 AM

Yes - apologies for all the reminiscing and name-dropping - but they were memorable days for a young chap in his early twenties, and it's nice to be able to mumble over them, through, my drool, on Mudcat, 45-odd years later...

Alexis Korner was a good bloke (didn't know he lived in Queensway) and a very influential blues man. He wasn't a particularly good guitar player - very average - but he did good work in the name of the music and helped many, many people. Also did a good radio show on the blues, after Mike Raven's stint on Sunday afternoon radio.

John Mayall trained as an architect in Manchester - probably built very smart doll's houses! I used to see the Bluesbreakers (with Mick Taylor at that time) at Klooks Kleek and at the old Marquee in Wardour Street. The band was the nucleus of Jon Hiseman's Colosseum, with people like Hiseman, Tony Reeve, Henry Lowther and Dick Heckstall-Smith in it. What a sound that was!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: theleveller
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 09:57 AM

Oh no, don't get me going on The Marquee....or it'll start the Soho reminiscences...lost days and nights in The French, the basement of the Amalfi restaurant, George Melly throwing up without getting off his bike, buying homemade pasta from I Camissa, jazz at The Pizza Express, oysters and Guinness at The Toucan Bar, hours, days and weeks in grotty film editing suites and recording studios, being thrown out of his guitar shop by the unpleasant Ivor Mairants, and a lifetime in bookshops in Charing Cross Road to say nothing of the music stores in Denmark Street.......(warning: nostalgia overload!)


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 10:09 AM

hours, days and weeks in grotty film editing suites and recording studios

Now... you didn't by chance know of film editor/producer/mover-and-groover called Al More, did you? Had a flat in Maida Vale and a studio in Wardour Street - a great pal of Bob Gofrey (who's 40th birthday bash we played for in a first floor room in some gaff by Cambridge Circus).

Soho... Soho... remember Gypsy Larry? the man selling roses who sold them from a tray while wearing a rose behind each ear, and then staggered around all afternoon pissed on the proceeds, while wearing the same roses?

Gawd, I'll be off on The Happy Wanderers next, and the drunken crowd in the Coach & Horses in Poland Street.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: theleveller
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 10:32 AM

Don't recall Al More but I probably met him, but I did meet Bob Godfrey from time to time, but I don't think I ever worked with him. Also worked with Nick Roeg, Alan Parker, Ridley Scott (whose partner, Sandy Watson, was TV Producer where I worked - just looking at a photo of us taken at a friend's wedding!) and collaborated on quite a few scripts with my good friend, horror film director, Gary Sherman.

Gypsy Larry - oh yes, now you mention it I do! Didn't go in the Coach and Horses after a....disagreement....with the landlord (me and a million others!). I spent many, many hours in the pubs of St. Martin's Lane: The Two Brewers, The Sussex, The Green Man and French Horn, The Trafalgar (which was burnt down by an IRA incendary bomb whilst I was in it), but not in The Salibury (too touristy).

I warned you not to get me going..........


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: theleveller
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 10:50 AM

"Didn't go in the Coach and Horses after a....disagreement....with the landlord (me and a million others!). "

Sorry, I'm thinking of the Coach and Horses in Greek Street - don't think I ever drank in the Poland Street one.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,keith degroot
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 05:33 AM

Searching for anything about my dear friend and lifesaver Judith Piepe and discovered this thread. I knew most of the folks mentioned .Amongst other things lived with Bert in Chalk Farm Rd.I wrote the notes on his first lp.My first allnighter ? Ken Colliers in Gt Newport St aged 13.Anyone recall Billy Mc Guiness from Finchs ? Love to read this stuff if a little tearful at the sad news of so many mates now gone .


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Guest-John James
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 12:15 PM

Great to read these fond reminiscences of Les Cousins. Our memory can get a bit fuddled thinking back..but great to read such spot on stuff from Bredda, Will Fly & Rick Norcross. I played at the club many times from '68 on, ran all-nighters spent many an afternoon upstairs in the flat with Mr & Mrs Matthew (english spelling!) leaning out the window, with Mr (Andy's Dad..Andy still in bed..it's after lunch!)Mathew telling me about the soho police and what was going on. Of course it all came out in a big Met Police scandal.

One Mic.One Leak hifi amp. great performers.great music. great audience.great times.great memories.
All the more poignant now, having attended Bert's funeral last friday.

John James
ps I've posted some cuttings from Andy's Melody Maker ads for Cousins on my website.
www.johnjamesguitarist.com


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 12:54 PM

Just visited your site John, wow that took me back. Ian Shircore, AND Frank McConnell, names from my Richmond days.
Thanks for the link.
(Saw Ian a year ago)


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Lon
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 04:54 PM

If anyone has a contact for Andy, I would be very grateful. And at this point, I will add in a hello from Perin, who I'm certain would not wish to be left out of this thread. Cheers. --Lon


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Bredda
Date: 11 Dec 11 - 05:48 PM

Remember John James very well - v good guitarist and v nice bloke. Although I can remember you having a row one night with a guy who sang falsetto! Will check out your website.
Its a pity we haven't got a facebook page for Cousins on which we can post photos of the days of our misspent youth. I have looked at a lot of the postings and think I can place people in my minds eye but photos would be such a help. A couple of postings mention a piano - no chance! remember that narrow stairway - no way we ever had a piano in Cousins. Before its inception as a folk club it was for a time a rythm and blues club. I well remember the cursing of the poor benighted players trying to get their amplifiers down that tiny stairway - drums used to have to go through the restaurant upstairs, the Soho Grill, and down the wider back stairs into the club. The restaurant was owned by Andy's Mum & Dad. They were very kind to a lot of people - a lot of free sandwiches passed over my counter at their behest. And I can remember a group from Leeds? being put up in the basement for a week when they ran out of money and were waiting to go to an audition with a big promoter. We would have been closed down if anyone had found out. (elf and safety!)
Another posting mentions Bert and Jackson C Frank playing together - yes , I remember it. I was so very lucky to be there listening to stonkingly beautiful music every night.
Another posting mentions Alexis Korner, not my favorite person must admit -I have to say my favorite memory of him was when Chas Chandler brought Jimmy Hendrix down on his first night in London and asked if he could sit in on a set. I still remember Alexis's face when Jimmy started to play. It was a picture. Bliss.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Dec 11 - 06:49 PM

The piano ,for there was one,in Les Cousins was behind the stage, against the wall.Champion Jack Dupree played it for one, as did Ron Geesin.As you went in thro the door the stage was on your right and the piano behind that. Above the door on a shelf was the Leak amplifier..stand on the stage and stretch up.One mike stand,one mic, one spot light and swivel chair or stool. I remember sitting on the edge of the stage legs up on the guitar cases,knees jammed under the piano keyboard for the whole of Nick Drake's first set on our first gig together down the Cousins. I was under orders from our mutual pal John Martyn to "look after Nick,man". I didnt have to do that for the second set ..I could never get him to do one.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Will Fly
Date: 12 Dec 11 - 07:16 AM

Oh, the piano was certainly present at the Cousins - as GUEST above says - at the very back of the stage, to the left as you went in. The very last time I ever saw Davy Graham play there was when he fell backwards off a high stool on the stage - right on to the closed piano keyboard...


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,roderick warner
Date: 12 Dec 11 - 08:53 PM

Definitely a piano - I mentioned above somewhere I saw Champion Jack play it.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Hokumsheik
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 09:57 AM

So it is true..
and it did happen
it wasn't just a dream
people say that I was there
so I must believe it's true...

I lived to tell the tale
thanks for all the memorys

Mox

BTW Still got the hair
regrown the mustache
never stopped playing

you can see what I've been up to here :
http://www.youtube.com/user/hokumsheik
http://www.youtube.com/user/harmopoint
(I'm the fat one in the middle!)


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Will Fly
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 10:12 AM

Hi Mox - good to see you here! Do you still have bandolier belt for the harps?

Keep on blowing!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Hokumsheik
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 10:14 AM

Waists too large !!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Maggie
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 01:58 PM

I don't remember Les Cousins but I do remember the Witches Cauldrom in Belsize Park in the 60's. I spent many an evenings eating spaghetti, lovely memories.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 08:49 PM

funny, i remember going down the stairs then turning left, and the stage being on the left.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 02:51 AM

I recall going down the stairs, turning left and the stage being on the right; but I can't recall where you paid to get in! At the bottom of the stairs?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 04:47 AM

As you went down the stairs at the Cousins, there was Andy, sat behind a small table, taking the money. There was a door to the left - going into the club. The stage (with piano) was on you left, facing the back wall. The coffee counter was on the right, leaving a space to mill around in (or kip in if you fell asleep at the all nighters...).


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 04:49 AM

Somewhere in my dim and distant memories, I seem to remember that they did move the stage. First off it was almost directly ahead of you as you went in. Perhaps slightly to your right, with the coffee bar/counter immediately behind it. Then they moved it to on the left of the door. However, even as I type this I have doubts creeping in. It was all so long ago. 50 bloody years FCS!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: David C. Carter
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 05:43 AM

Hi Mox,glad to see you"came out"at last!

Give me a bell,come to lunch,we"ll do the same as last time.

David C Carter


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 09:53 AM

will fly has it how i remember it, i reckon i wa going there about 66 or 65 or 67


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 10:00 AM

Dick - same period as me. I stopped going in '76, when I moved down to Sussex.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Bredda
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 05:51 PM

Good to see Mox on the thread.   We had such good days and he is so part of my memories.   He may remember me as being very very slim. Regretfully I am no longer so slim.

Yes the stage did move. It was originally one room with the restaurant kitchen behind. When we started getting so packed it coincided with the restaurant business taking a dive. They had just changed the licensing laws. so the restaurant kitchen was moved upstairs, into the back area which had been a dining area used for parties when they were busy.   The stage, which was originally on the right as you walked in the door, with the bar running along the end wall, was moved to where the bar had been and the bar moved running along the left hand wall of the extension. The wagon wheel was moved to the side of the bar so became sort of the side wall of the bar and back of the stage.   They reused some of the red banquette seating from the restaurant in the new area, much nicer for people to kip on. I am sure Moxy will remember that - he used to come and sit and play and talk to me there.
I wonder what happened to Phil and his german girlfriend? She was working at I think, the Blue Angel?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 08:44 PM

When I was a kid at Leighton Park School in Reading,   my posh middle class friends had nearly all visited Les Cousins folk club in Greek Street, Soho - they had seen guys like Donovan, Paul Simon and Bert Jansch

By the time I got to college, I was aching to go there.When I started visiting Cousins as a college student - the star turns were ragtime guitarists - people like Ralph McTell and Stefan Grossman. Usually with a couple of trusty friends we would hitch up to London down the A1 on a Friday night - about 100 miles. We'd catch the 7-11.30 show.   Then walk round London all night and all the next day, until Cousins opened its doors again at 7pm. From midnight there was an all night session til 6am.

We slept in National Porttrait Gallery, or went endlessly round the circle line on the tube, trying to sleep a little.

Nearly everybody assumed we were there to get out of our heads on drugs. I don't say we weren't quite stupid enough to do that - if we'd ever been offered drugs there. However - the intoxication was more to do with being near something important happening. Personally I hoped by some kind of osmosis, I would become an artist like the fabulous musicians that I saw there - people like Wizz Jones, Davy Graham, Ralph McTell, Stefan Grossman, Al Stewart, Spider John Koerner and Derek Brimstone.

Excerpt from Grantham Days Page on my website http://www.bigalwhittle.co.uk/


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Hokumsheik
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 10:15 AM

I remember Mox

In fact I saw him this morning
shaving.................


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 12:49 PM

The Mox I knew never went in for shaving. I think you're fibbing Mr Shake. :-)


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: David C. Carter
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 04:28 AM

But John,he did not say WHAT he was shaving!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,PiedPiper
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 07:11 PM

Some time back, an issue of the Soho Clarion magazine with a feature on Les Cousins was mentioned. For those who may be interested, you can download it here:

http://www.thesohosociety.org.uk/soho_clarion/PDFs/Soho_Clarion_144.pdf

Note: it takes a while to load.

Enjoy.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 02 Mar 12 - 08:17 AM

AND Frank McConnell, names from my Richmond days.
Anybody have any information on Frank? He originally hailed from Felling on Tyne and I met him in the middle sixties as he was a mate of Terry Kelly who was a bandmate of mine and who now plays around the Newark area. Although Frank was very much of the contemporary folk scene i.e. Hanging Lamp etc whenever he was back in the North East he would hang out with us ultra traddies as a diversion from "the humourless south" as he put it. I stayed at his flat in Hendon back in 1969 and I think that I only saw him a couple more times after that.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 02 Mar 12 - 10:12 AM

I remember Frank from the Hanging lamp too. I still see Ian Shircore who ran it; occasionally. Wasn't Frank at Simms in Strawberry Hill? If so I assume he went on to teach.
His name came up in a conversation I had not so long ago, if only I could remember who it was with!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 06:25 PM

Dear Bredda,
I cannot believe seeing the posts from you - I stumbled on this site just now and couldn't stop reading it! We shared a flat together in Westbourne Park Road for several months in 1967 with Meg Rees-Jones and Hazel. (I still see Hazel, she came to see me a few days ago). Meg used to go out with Noel Murphy. After we left that flat we lost touch with each other but I would love to know how you are getting on. What happened to Andy - is he still alive? Would love to have contact details for you so that we could have a chat.
Anna xx


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Bredda
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 03:46 PM

Dear Anna
So pleased to see your message. I have vague memories of when we all went our seperate ways - I think I was working at Ronny Scotts and Hazel went to South Africa? and Meg went to join a modern dance troupe in Italy and you got married! We were all so different - except we all wore the shortest skirts possible. Did we only share a flat in Westbourne Park Road? Vague momories of a flat in Notting Hill Gate as well. I remember cooking Sunday lunches for Noel and various visiting performers at Cousins after all of us working straight through all night at Cousins, and everyone quietly winding down sitting on the floor playing and singing. I don't know about Andy - He never posts anything on sites. Love to hear from you. xxx
bredda4primrose@hotmail.co.uk


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Subject: UNACCOMPANIED YOUNG BLACK GUY ON SOLO BASS!!!
From: GUEST,Derbyshire, now London
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 07:13 AM

Hi, I was on the streets around the Square & Dilly & somehow ended up seated in Cousins though I seem to recall lying on mats too.My agenda would also be to get inside & possibly crash too. I wasn't just a dosser & though not too clean had Brian Jones hair & self made 60s gear on so looked good for the times. I had no dosh so must have been let in for free somehow.. I recall Alexis & being blasted by his guitar (Gretch?) through Burns combo that was painfully sharp. I wasn't impressed & he didn't seem the real deal. I saw Harper there but also at the LSE sit in & I remember a long college scarf, Tombstone blues & him singing into the guitar sound hole & a miserable uptight persona. The main reason I Googled |Cousins is because one night I saw an UNACCOMPANIED YOUNG BLACK GUY ON SOLO BASS!!! I always wondered if it was Stanley Clarke though Funkadelic were around. I saw Moxey around & also Kossof around the music shops. It was around 66/67 & though I was carrying a BM classical around I had been playing electric awhile & my leanings were heavy, not folk. I saw more bands down Middle Earth later.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Lyn Field
Date: 21 Aug 12 - 04:59 AM

I went to Greek Street just last weekend and tried unsuccessfully to find the location of Les Cousins which I vividly remember visiting - it must have been April or May 1970 - I was 14 at the time. My brother took me to see our then idol - Al Stewart. I remember standing on the seat with my head just below the ceiling so I could see Al and of it being very hot and sticky. Al was fantastic (he still is in my opinion) and was singing songs from his latest album - Zero She Flies. I particularly remember him asking if "Anyone had seen Mandi?" - I guess they had just split up at that time. I remember having my hand stamped when I went upstairs to get some air and being given a membership card - which I still have somewhere. A lovely memory I will always cherish.
I now know that Les Cousins was 48 or 49 Greek Street so I will have a better look next time. Loved reading the entries on this website. Huge fan of Roy Harper too - looking forward to seeing him at the End of the Road Festival in September this year.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,BrendanB
Date: 21 Aug 12 - 06:43 AM

Re Frank McConnell - he did attend St Mary's College (Simms) in the late sixties and, what is more, he played guitar at our wedding! We were extremely right on and wouldn't countenance an organ! Sadly, we lost contact with him but he was and no doubt still is a belting guitarist.
I used to go to Cousins occasionally but my wife Chrissie was a regular before we met, she seemed to know everyone.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Nov 12 - 08:09 AM

I still have my membership card dated..available until Sept 1970.
I treasure of my younger days


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Nov 12 - 08:13 AM

I have also have photos of the location as it is now.......very sad to see


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 13 - 10:42 AM

I can remember sitting about 2 feet away from Arlo Guthrie at les coz while he sang Alices Restaurant and Roy Harper having a break and telling us it was our chance to go and get hosed down oh joy the combined smell of corduroy and roll top sweaters


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Bredda
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 07:49 AM

Another great musician who was the soundtrack of my early teenage years has just died. Phil Everly. Such wonderful harmonies. I count myself so lucky with my musical life. I worked in Les Cousins from the age of 17 when Andy was starting up the club and listened to so many memorable sets from wonderful musicians. Then at 21 I moved on from there and went to Ronnie Scotts. How lucky was I!!

This thread has gone so quiet since Bert died. It seems fitting somehow.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,PiedPiper
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 08:04 PM

Hi Bredda,

Yeah, another legend gone, but his music remains.

Would you mind telling us more about your early days at Les Cousins? Who did you see play and who impressed you?

In case you are interested, this web site features 'lost' London music venues, including Les Cousins. No Ronnie Scotts though.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kmlivemusic/5430715598/in/photostream/

Best wishes,

PP


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Bredda
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 05:31 AM

So sad to not that Duffy Power has died. He sang and played at Les Cousins. Lovely lovely bloke with a bloody beautiful voice. Some people you connect with and you know they have good souls. Jimi Hendrix was another.   

Wonderful days full of music and a lot of fun.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Lorrie
Date: 29 Mar 14 - 12:50 AM

Can't believe all this! How wonderful. I practically lived in Cousins from 68 to 70.
Saw nearly everyone. Remember Sallyangie? The brother and sister, the brother being the then unknown tubular bells composer. Very young he was!
Have been to Paris to see Mox, just as good.
Duffy was my brother in law, very sad to see such talent go.
Saw Wizz jones and mike chapman in Cornwall.
Jonathon Coudrille is still living there and very active on the Art and Music scene.
Also met up with Ian Anderson and he was asking about Gypsy Annie, could not tell him anything, but here she is!
Must stop now and make myself a list of all I saw there.
Also Bunjies and Macabre.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Sexton
Date: 29 Mar 14 - 04:50 PM

So finally I got to Cousins on a night that Bert Jansch was booked and what happens? Roy Harper takes him out and gets him so loaded he can't hardly stand up let alone play!
One night I was there when John Renbourn appeared with two blonde singers I assume one was Jaqui was the other Sandy?
Was the floor always wet?


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Tim Dennehy
Date: 13 May 14 - 10:34 AM

I remember Les Cousins in the sixties,especially the Sat, night all nighters,they were great times.So many folk greats played at Les Cousins.I still have my membership card[prized possession]I have great memories of Les Cousins and all the best folk music,ever.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 May 14 - 10:51 AM

What a fascinating thread!


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Bredda
Date: 16 May 15 - 09:17 AM

Still grieving over the loss of so many great Musicians over the last couple of years. I am so lucky to have so many good memories. There were some truly spellbinding evenings when you could listen to beautiful music played by great people.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,David E.
Date: 16 May 15 - 05:57 PM

I was never there, but feel as I had for all the wonderful stories that I have heard through the years. When Bert Jansch had his tribute concert a couple years back the stage was decorated to look like Cousins. At least that's what I was told. Someone really should put a book together don't you think?

David E.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 May 15 - 09:23 PM

i think i prefer it that we disappear into history.

i can connect with nobody on the subject - the idealism, the love of music, the bohemian style of the artists, the brilliance of individual musicians, the individuality of the of approach.....there was no one Cousins style.

its all gone. it never had much interest or recognition from the adult world. it was a young persons adventure...

and we are old now....

there is a thing in John Donne's Nocturnal on St Lucie's Eve. Somehow the old bereaved lover shows young lovers the graveyard, and of course what he's trying to say is incommunicable.

it was our youth, our ideals and now its gone. gone forever. it was the glamour of youth that made it special. and now we are old.

rhythm and blues nowadays is the pussy cat dolls. folk music is the transatlantic sessions - aly blain smirking away for fifteen minutes to a circle of fellow traddies. its all gone.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 05:57 PM

This article was in the Soho Clarion in Sept. 2011

Les Cousins at 49 Greek Street, London, was one of the most important and influential venues of the 1960s. Diana Matheou remembers listening to Donovan and chatting with Cat Stevens.

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Chris B.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: GUEST,Tim Dennehy
Date: 09 May 16 - 12:57 PM

Hi I was a member of Les Cousins in the sixties and remember the all nighters it was so exciting saw all the big names in folk.I still have my membership card [prized possession].I live in Ireland and when I visit London,I always pay a visit to 49 Greek St.great memories.I am glad I was there.


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Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 10 May 16 - 11:16 AM

Back to Mox - I'm sure that he performed with an R & B band (1964 British R & B) called the Taverners Guild, who always remained in my memory because the lead guitarist played a Harmony solid guitar which I think our rhythm guitarist bought from him, and used a Selmer Selectortone amp - the one 15" speaker variety, which although was only 20 watts or so was very loud indeed.

I had one of those which a friend of mine modified to be as loud as a Vox AC 30 when used with 2 Celestion Blue speakers (still in my attic).


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Mudcat time: 22 September 3:21 AM EDT

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