The (Jazz) Cellar, Kingston Upon Thames

The (Jazz) Cellar in Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey was an important music venue in Southwest London from 1962-1966. Many notable local bands played there in their formative years, most notably The Yardbirds and The Nashville Teens. The Animals also played there regularly in the early months of 1964 after moving down to London from the Northeast.

I have started to compile a gig list and would welcome any additions in the comments below:

1962
14 July – The Nashville Teens
21 July – The Nashville Teens
28 July – The Nashville Teens
6 September – Mike Berry & The Outlaws
1 November – Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages

1963
20 February – The Stormville Shakers
8 March – The Stormville Shakers
21 March – The Stormville Shakers
12 April – The Stormville Shakers
2 May – Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
3 May – Neil Landon & The Burnettes
2 July – The Stormville Shakers
17 July – The Roosters (with Eric Clapton)
24 July – The Roosters (with Eric Clapton)
8 August – The Hi-Fi and Tony Kaye
10 August – The Stormville Shakers
13 August – Colin Shane & The Shannons
29 August – The Stormville Shakers
12 September – The Rolling Stones
12 October – The Stormville Shakers
21 December – Steve Marriott & The Moonlights
28 December – The Stormville Shakers

1964
5 January – Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages
11 January – The Stormville Shakers
28 January – Neil Landon & The Burnettes
11 February – The Stormville Shakers
16 February – Gene Vincent
13 March – Steve Marriott & The Wandering Ones
27 March – The Stormville Shakers
17 April – The Stormville Shakers
20 April – The Yardbirds
22 April – The Tridents
8 May – Steve Marriott & The Frantic Ones
11 May – The Yardbirds (not confirmed)
16 May – The Stormville Shakers
25 May – The Yardbirds and The Grebbels
27 May – The Tridents
8 June – The Yardbirds
22 June – The Yardbirds
27 June – The Stormville Shakers
29 June – The Yardbirds and The Grebbels
20 July – The Yardbirds
5 September – The Plebs
7 September – The Mojos
14 September – The Roosters
18 September – Linda Crane & The Cosmic Sounds
26 September – The Roosters
7 October – The Roosters
16 October – The Roosters
28 October – Unit 5 (Teddington, Middlesex band)
31 October – The Roosters
4 November – The Roosters and XL5
7 November – Cosmic Sounds
13 November – The Impacts
16 November – Jimmy Reed, The Plebs and John Lee Groundhogs
18 November – Carl Perkins and Cosmic Sounds
20 November – Themselves
27 November – Unit 5
12 December – The Roosters
18 December – The Roosters
26 December – The Roosters

1965
3 June – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
3 July – The Stormville Shakers
7 August – The Small Faces
15 August – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
10 September – The Moody Blues
11 September – The Valkeries (and others)
2 October – The Valkeries (and others)
15 October – Steampacket
19 November – Phil Wainman Sound
24 November – The Small Faces

1966
8 January – The Anteeks
16 February – The Small Faces
18 February – The Loving Kind
25 February – Jimmy Winston’s Reflections
4 March – Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours
29 April – The Protest
30 April – The Silence
6 May – The Troggs
4 June – John Brown’s Bodies and Jesse Hector
11 June – Jo Jo Gunne
8 July – The Troggs and Wild Uncertainty (debut)
16 July – The Wild Uncertainty
22 July – The Wild Uncertainty
6 August – Jo Jo Gunne (took part in London Palladium competition around now)
12 August – Jo Jo Gunne
13 August – The Missing Links
19 August – Cream

Sources: New Musical Express (advertised on page 11 in 1966)
Surrey Comet (1962-1965)

Thanks also to Andy Neill and Mick Capewell for help with gigs

36 thoughts on “The (Jazz) Cellar, Kingston Upon Thames”

    1. I saw the Rolling Stones at the Cellar Club. I had only heard that they were supposed to be very good from a work colleague (Bentalls) who saw them in Richmond. They arrived in an old Bedford Dormobile and looked very strange. They did not wear a uniform – pretty much compulsary for bands until then and their long hair and bad complexions made them seem to belong to a different society and culture from middle class Kingston.
      When they started I could hardly distinguish the sounds because of the high sound volume in the low roofed club. I managed to tune in by about the third number which was one of my favourite Chuck Berry songs : Jaguar and the Thunderbird. I remember that throughout the performance Keith and Bryan continually broke their strings and cursed at the poor guy who didn’t restring the guitars quickly enough for them.
      I wanted to see more of them after that but they moved on away from clubs and toured cinemas with the Everly Brothers.

      1. I remember listening to Clapton at the Celler in Kingston in the 60s – standing room only and so steamy the walls were running with condensation. Brilliant.

  1. Found more gigs in NME for 1966

    7 January – The Lonely Ones
    14 January – Anzacs
    15 January – Next of Kin
    22 January – Flashbacks
    28 January – Big Jump Band
    29 January – Anzacs

    4 February – Big Sound
    5 February – Group Survival
    11 February – Jimmy Winston & The Rebels
    12 February – The Lonely Ones
    19 February – Rey Anton & The Peppermint Men
    26 February – The Marvels

    5 March – The Night Society
    12 March – New Jump Band
    18 March – Jimmy Winston’s Reflections
    19 March – John Warner Sound
    23 March – Nashville Teens
    25 March – Jo Jo Gunne
    26 March – New Jump Band
    30 March – John Warner Sound

    1 April – The Lonely Ones
    2 April – Jo Jo Gunne
    8 April – The Lonely Ones
    9 April – Beat Syndicate
    10 April – The Silence
    15 April – The Sons of Fred
    16 April – The Night Society
    17 April – Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages
    22 April – The Silence
    23 April – New Jump Band

    7 May – Page 5
    8 May – The Jaguars
    13 May – Jimmy Winston’s Reflections
    14 May – Jo Jo Gunne
    20 May – The Voyd
    21 May – Time-Flys
    27 May – The Legend
    28 May – The Void

  2. Final 1966 ones that I found from NME. It didn’t list them from early September so perhaps the club closed?

    3 June – The Daisys
    10 June – John Hilton Starr & The Savages
    12 June – Froy Talbot
    13 June – The Small Faces
    17 June – The Voyd
    18 June – The Anzacs
    24 June – John Hilton Starr & The Savages
    25 June – Rick ‘N’ Beckers

    1 July – The Lonely Ones
    2 July – The Anzacs
    23 July – The Flashbacks
    29 July – The Night Society
    30 July – The Subjects

    20 August – The Night Society
    26 August – Graham Bond Organisation
    27 August – 4 Plus A Bit

    1. Cellar – I think was at this gig – I am sure it was Graham Bond with maybe the first time Jon Hiseman played with Dick H-S perhaps even the first show for Coliseum

      1. Graham Bond also played at the Kingston Hotel opposite the bus station. Fondly known as punch-up night with Rock & Roll.

  3. I used to go to the Cellar Club (owned by “Dad” was his nick-name) most weekends in the early to mid 1960’s. I met lot of people and still friends with Julian (used to be in the cleakroom). Ray & Mike Piercy. Iloved the Yardbirds and Heinz (very blond!) was great too!

  4. The owner of the Cellar Club was Hugh O’Donnell and I worked for him for some years. You will see my name mentioned among the other groups. I used to get Musicians together to play one offs. My best was getting Steve Marriott, John Entwhistle, (My favourite Bass player) and Ginger Baker to do a gig.

    1. Hello all,

      I am part of a small group that is currently investigating doing a project to collect the fascinating stories and history of music in Kingston upon Thames in the 1950’s and 1960’s – everything from the Cellar Club to Decca Records. We are in the really early in the thought process of this project and would really like to talk to anyone who was a part of the scene at that time to help us formulate the best way to run this project. If anyone would be happy to meet up for a chat over a beer then please feel free to drop me an email at yellyellyell @ gmail . com

      Cheers!

      1. Aniela.
        Has anyone yet mentioned to you the J&A club. It was run in a hall next to the then Liverpool Arms pub, at the north end of Kingston town just before you get to Kingston Hill. I recall it was a Friday night venue early 60s.

  5. Another of my regular Saturday night ‘drop-ins’ in 64-66…best all night tranny cafe outside of the Ace! I remember one night I was playing some vinyl when a punter asked the resident jock for ‘Al Capone’ – the reply was instant – ‘We don’t play jungle bunny cr*p in here mate’………..Hugh surfaced a bit later on, fronting Hatchetts in London…nice guy, ran a good venue.

  6. Was talking the other day about the days at the Cellar, and the night I was sent out by Gene Vincent to get him a crate of Brown Ale, not sure if he drank it all but what a memorable night, Hughie O’Donnell was a real gent as well. Great Club that was, I don’t think people believe me when I tell them the bands we used to watch, your list above is magic, proof at last?
    It started in the Cellar in Ashdown Road, must be 1962. Then moved to a upstairs club in High Street backing on to the River. Probably Late 63-64?
    Great Site.

    1. Yes you are right, it got it’s name because it was actually in the cellar of a house in Ashdown Road opposite the main post office. It transferred to the riverside site and became a bingo hall and casino in 1967.

  7. Our Rock Band used to play here between 1964 and 1966. We were either The Original Orbits or The Beat System . At the time . Had a red headed singer called Ted. Well remember Hugh O,Donnell.

  8. Re the Jazz Cellar
    I think you may have missed some events from your list.
    I’m sure I saw the Animals there some time early 60s. Chad Chandler was certainly there because I can recall him talking to my mother, who worked in the kitchen Saturday nights.
    There was also an evening when Screaming Lord Sutch split the seam in the rear of his silk trousers on stage a my mother did a ‘running repair’ on them.

    1. Hi Paul,
      Dads told me lots of stories about Nanny Mary working at the Cellar Club. Hope to hear from you soon. Joanna

  9. Hi Joanna
    Your note absolutely amazed me, and after all these years.
    Give me a call sometime on my mobile 07921 407684 a we’ll arrange to keep in touch.
    Great to hear from you and I hope all is well.
    Paul

  10. a few more dates for August 1964 taken from a flyer that is up for sale on ebay –
    5 August – The Animals plus The Plebs
    7 August – The Plebs, The Denims
    8 August – Four Plus One (Unit 4+1 ?)
    9 August – The Nite Shift (Jeff Beck ?)
    10 August – Mike Cotton Sound
    12 August – Nashville Teens

  11. Hi All,

    I played lead guitar with JoJo Gunne in the 60’s and we played Kingston Jazz Cellar many times. We played with the Nashville Teens and with Cream on I believe their first public gig.

  12. Jo Jo Gunne was a rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1971 by Jay Ferguson (keyboards, vocals and guitar) and Mark Andes (bass guitar and vocals) after they had left Spirit.
    Cream’s first gig was an unofficial performance at the Twisted Wheel Club in Manchester on 29 July 1966 before their full debut two nights later at the National Jazz and Blues Festival in Windsor.

  13. Jerry Lee Lewis played at the Cellar club on March 26 1964. Surprised it isn’t on the list. He was touring with Gene Vincent and the Animals but appeared at the club on his own + support band. Arrived well over an hour late and everyone was getting very agitated then suddenly walked in from back of club in camel hair coat over shoulders, enormous cigar. and went straight to the piano and played. Unforgettable evening!

  14. The Animals had regular Wednesday bookings in early 1964 until they joined the Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry tours and then found international fame. The booked dates were:
    5,12,19,26 Feb. 1964
    4,11,18 March (Possibly 26 March if anyone can confirm)
    8 and 30 April
    Possibly 3 June (if anyone can confirm)
    5 August with the Plebs. The Plebs were Jerry Lee Lewis’ UK back-up band as seen on RSG and included Danny McCulloch on bass, Danny joined Eric Burdon and the Animals in September 1966.

  15. I remember well the cellar club part of my many happy Saturday nights and having good friends to hang out with from 65 to 66 seeing all those fantastic bands

    Jean

    1. Saturday night at the Cellar Club was an all nighter. You used to see them staggering out at six o’clock on a Sunday morning stones out of their minds.

  16. Thank you very much for your work and effort, appreciate this journey down Nostalga Road. So glad to hear about this great club again, tried many times in the past to recall this great club, seemed to have vanished in the mists of time.
    My musical awakening as a young kid The Roosters and later the Yardbirds just knocked me out. Great days thank you.
    Sincerely Alec
    Montreal. Canada.

  17. I wonder if perhaps someone here can tell me what “Kingston Hotel’ signified, as a venue in the late 1960s? I run a site chronicalling the history of the band Yes. There is conflicting information about a show they played on Dec 21 1969, listed in some sources as ‘Kingston Hotel, Sheffield’, but in others as ‘Kingston Hotel, Kingston, Surrey’. Any details appreciated!

  18. I grew up in Kingston and recall, as a child spending one Boxing Day in the early sixties with my family inside the Cellar Club. No music obviously. There were only 8 of us in there that day and I only recall that it was dark, and there was a stage with a drum kit which my brother had a go on . My uncle, David Harriman worked there…something to do with management perhaps? He was a shortish fella with a spivvy moustache. Does anyone remember him?

  19. Thank you all for reviving memories of that wonderful era.
    A group of us used to go to the Jazz Cellar in the 60s. I saw several bands but our main interest was the Yardbirds – I went to nearly all of their gigs. We would stand, soaked in sweat, absolutely mesmorised – particularly by Clapton. Even now his guitar playing on the Five live Yardbirds LP is astonishing – listen to Too Much Monkey Business!
    We were always crammed into the small “main hall” at the Cellar with little or no ventilation; it would no doubt be illegal these days.
    I’ve detailed below gigs I went to additional to those already listed. Also, the 11/5/64 gig of The Yardbirds is shown as not confimed – I CAN confirm it.
    1964:
    3 Feb, 10 Feb, 17 Feb, 24 Feb, 2 March, 16 March, 23 March, 13 April, 4 May, 24 Nov – all The Yardbirds.
    21 Nov Themselves
    28 Nov The Jaguars
    4 Dec Bo-Sneakers
    12 Dec The Roosters
    1965:
    2 Jan The G.T.s
    9 Jan John Smith Group
    20 Feb John Brown’s Bodies
    6 March an all-nighter session with The Rising Suns.
    3 July an all-nighter session, group not recorded by me but the film “Kong Creole” was shown in the adjoining room.

  20. Bob Hodges with All Night Workers has missing dates from his diary for The New Jump Band:

    23 December 65

    28 January 66 (but listed as Big Jump Band above)

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