Black Prince Hotel, Bexley, Kent

The Black Prince Hotel in Bexley, Kent was a popular live music venue during the 1960s. I’ve started to compile a list of artists that performed there and would welcome any additions as well as any memories of the pub.

12 April 1964 – Graham Bond Organisation

17 May 1964 – Graham Bond Organisation

21 June 1964 – Graham Bond Organisation

12 September 1964 – Graham Bond Organisation

18 October 1964 – Graham Bond Organisation
29 October 1964 – Graham Bond Organisation

28 February 1965 – Rod Stewart & The Soul Agents with Buddy Guy

29 August 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers

30 January 1966 – Spencer Davis Group

6 February 1966 – Alex Harvey
13 February 1966 – Graham Bond Organisation (with Big Wheel Soul Band?)
27 February 1966 – Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band

6 March 1966 – The Action
27 March 1966 – Steampacket

5 June 1966 – Downliners Sect

3 July 1966 – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band

21 August 1966 – Shotgun Express

4 September 1966 – The Moody Blues
11 September 1966 – Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers
18 September 1966 – Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band

20 November 1966 – Downliner’s Sect

14 March 1967 – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede

9 April 1967 – Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger & The Trinity
25 April 1967 – Jimmy Cliff (with The Shakedown Sound)

30 May 1967 – The Nite People

2 July 1967 – The Coloured Raisins

3 September 1967 – The Amboy Dukes
10 September 1967 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers

8 October 1967 – The Amboy Dukes

7 November 1967 – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede
12 November 1967 – Dantalion’s Chariot

5 May 1968 – Spooky Tooth

9 June 1968 – Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity
23 June 1968 – Spooky Tooth

4 August 1968 – Spooky Tooth

15 September 1968 – Ten Years After
22 September 1968 – Timebox

10 December 1968 – Simon K & The Meantimers

27 June 1969 – The Symbols

10 August 1969 – Trapeze

19 October 1969 – The Greatest Show on Earth

9 November 1969 – Timebox

Sources:

South East London Mercury, Marmalade Skies website, Melody Maker, Fabulous 208 and Bruno Ceriotti (Graham Bond Organisation)

36 thoughts on “Black Prince Hotel, Bexley, Kent”

  1. I loved playing this gig with the Downliners Sect. Both stages were great and the promoter was a really decent chap. When I saw that the old gig had disappeared I was very sad.

    Don Craine.

  2. January 1970 Bexley Black Prince-Trifle (11th), Trapeze (25th)
    May 1970 Bexley Black Prince- Toe Fat (17th)
    June 1970 Bexley Black Prince- Trapeze (7th)
    July 1970 Bexley, Black Prince-Status Quo, Bram Stoker (12th), Greatest Show On Earth (19th), Trapeze (26th)
    August 1970 Bexley Black Prince-Slade (23rd)
    Sept 1970 Bexley Black Prince-Faces (13th), Groundhogs (20th)
    Oct 1970 Bexley Black Prince- Steamhammer, UFO (4th), Caravan (11th)
    Nov 1970 Bexley Black Prince-Groundhogs (29th)
    Dec 1970 Bexley Black Prince-Steamhammer (13th), Greatest Show On Earth (24th), Argent (27th)

    From: http://www.marmalade-skies.co.uk/apr1970.htm44

    David F

    1. Ron Mardle
      It certainly was MAJIC. I lived just up the road off Gravel Hill, a mere 10 minutes walk, what a local to have on your doorstep! I was lucky enough to get a job there in the mid 60’s, only for one long weekend as a ‘pot man’ when the pub hosted the South East Jazz and Blues Festival. I actually got paid fed and watered (beer) and watched some great bands. The venue developed and just got better and better. Julie Driscoll was my girlfriend, she didn’t actually know this of course. I remember seeing the Moody Blues with Denny Lane and also the Kinks. For a while I thought I saw the Small Faces there but quite recently an old mate put right and reminded me it was at the Austral in Sidcup we saw them. I watched John Mayalls Bluesbreakers A LOT! Which led on to seeing some of my favourite rock bands. I also really enjoyed Thursdays -great music. Anyhow I’m rambling a bit now but what memories.
      Rock ON Ron

  3. I seem to remember the first band to play there was Jimmy Powell & the 5 Dimension with Rod Stewart doing of few vocals

  4. The Moody Blues Also Backed Sonny Boy Williamson as well
    Other Bands
    Derek & The Dominos
    The Mike Cotton Sound
    The Petty Things

    1. yes I remember the Moody Blues being resident there most Sunday nights late 64 and throughout 65 and even later I think. Can remember first time I heard this great R&B band at the Black prince and wondering who they were…and as we were leaving they sang Go Now…we stayed and listened and realised who they were as the record had just been released. Following in 1965 asked them if they played any James Brown and they said no, but did lots of Ray Charles songs….. later April 67 l had my wedding reception there. Black prince has many sweet memories for me.

    2. MY BLUES BAND – JUST BLUES – PLAYED ON THE NIGHTS THAT THE MOODY BLUES BACKED SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON IN THE INTERVALS. I PLAYED EVANS SHUFFLE WITH SONNY BOY THAT NIGHT. ITS WAS BRILLIANT. JUST BLUES PLAYED THE BLACK PRINCE EVERY TWO WEEKS. THE BAND NAMES WERE – JOHN STEWART FARRIER (HARP -SINGER) JIM MOORES LEAD GUITAR ( JIM PLAYED WITH ALEXES KORNER) JEFF BROOKSMITH -DRUMMER AND JOHN ADAMS – BASS PLAYER.
      WONDERFUL MEMORIES AND BECAME FRIENDS WITH DENNY LAINE AND STILL PLAY THE HARP AND GUITAR.

  5. I saw John Lee Hooker, Freddie King & Traffic (& the girl who sang “Rescue Me”. Have no record of the dates, but a great venue

  6. Used to go there early 70’s – it was run by the dad of a kid at my school – Dave Fletcher, I think. Seem to recall Quo was more or less resident band, but preferred Stray even if they were a bit heavy on the strobes. One night, midweek I think, we queued up outside with what we later discovered was the band. My mate had just bought a pair of bright green 4″ stack shoes, but was upstaged by this guy in front with 6″ ruby red stacks – turned out it was Andy Mackay – one of Roxy Music’s first gigs before Virginia Plain. Awesome.

    1. Early 70’s for me and I seem to remember that the promoter had a record shop in Lewisham. Stray, Roxy Music, Groundhogs, Genesis, Argent, the list goes on but my memory doesn’t. Lanny.

      1. I sign out and then Arthur Browns Kingdom Come, Blackfoot Sue, Wishbone Ash, Focus, Pink Fairies, Rory Gallagher, Uriah Heep (?) and Atomic Rooster (?) are magically recalled. Lanny.

      2. Although I saw many groups over the years from the beer garden before it was burned down, you mention Stray I loved Stray “All in your mind” with the strobe, also working there for many years I had free access every Sunday night would you believe the most damage caused was the night Slade played!

      1. I used to work the door at Black Prince. Yes that’s correct it was run by Len & Kath Fletcher.
        Great venue and great memories.

  7. I used to watch Graham Bond in April 1964 – driving up from school in Rochester. Amazing sound and some fearsome punch-ups when the lights went out and the bouncers were set upon.
    Booked Geno Washington & the Ram Jam Band for a Reading University gig around ’66. Nobody could keep still. We also had Cream when they first formed, then couldn’t afford them after their first hit, ‘Wrapping Paper’ (I think)

  8. Was there in 63/64/65 (?)and saw Long John Baldry and His Hoochy Coochy Men. On piano was a young Reg Dwight, with guest vocals from ‘Rod the Mod’. Wish I could remember more detail!

  9. Lived only 5 minutes walk away and started going when they had Modern Jazz on a Sunday night then changed over to R & B with bands such as
    Alex Harvey, Graham Bond , Steampacket (Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll, Rod Stewart & Long John Baldry), John Mayall Bluesbreakers, The Downliners Sect, Alexis Korner, Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band, The Animals plus many more

    1. I remember the blues nights on Sundays, Must have been 1965 -66 Steampacket with Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton with John Mayall, Stevie Windwood with The Spencer Davis group, also seem to remember Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce but not sure what bands they were with. Also as mentioned above Zoot Money, Graham Bond Organisation. Small venue, I think then it was 2/6 to go in. Brilliant times, the music fantastic. The last time i saw Eric Clapton was in Hyde Park, think I paid 60 pounds

  10. I saw Lindisfarne on the 13 Feb 1972 ,I know because I took my girlfriend there on our third date we have now been married for 44 years .The Black Prince was a fantastic music venue in the late sixties and early seventies great memories.

  11. I attended these:
    18 May 1969 Howlin’ Wolf + John Dummer Blues Band
    (Wolf used just one harmonica throughout so every song was in the same key. Going by the position of the guitarists’ fingers, the key was E flat)
    1 June 1969 Freddie King + Killing Floor
    (There is an audio recording of ‘I loved the woman’ from this set on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9yXfKuWSdU )
    15 June 1969 John Lee Hooker + John Dummer Blues Band
    (A member of the audience repeatedly called for ‘Boogie Chillun’. Hooker eventually responded with ‘I heard ya’ but didn’t play it)
    16 November 1969 Freddie King + Killing Floor
    16 August 1970 Derek and the Dominos
    (Not surprisingly, this one was sold out)
    I saw Bacon Fat with George Smith in the early 1970s. According to https://www.discogs.com/George-Smith-4-Bacon-Fat-The-Complete-Blue-Horizon-Sessions/release/5407282 which includes live material, it must have been 22 November 1970.

  12. In the mid 1960s I was a schoolboy with little disposable income and too young to pass for 18. But the black-on-pink posters advertising ‘Bexley Jazz Club’ were a familiar site giving a tantalising glimpse of a world beyond my grasp. Ever the compulsive chronicler, I made a note of the acts appearing for a period during 1967-1968. The posters advertised the Sunday and Monday shows. As noted by others, Sunday was R&B night. Mondays were mainstream jazz, but I only kept a note of the Sunday shows, plus some occasional Thursday gigs. This is what I have. Apologies if it duplicates anything already listed but it’s easier to copy and paste the whole thing. I have no record for any blank entries
    Sunday, 4 June 1967 John Mayall
    Sunday, 11 June 1967 Amboy Dukes
    Sunday, 18 June 1967 Zoot Money
    Sunday, 25 June 1967 Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers
    Sunday, 2 July 1967 The Coloured Raisins Show with Honey Darling & Earl Green
    Sunday, 9 July 1967 John Mayall
    Sunday, 16 July 1967 The Gass
    Sunday, 23 July 1967 Lucas & The Mike Cotton Sound
    Sunday, 30 July 1967 Brian Auger & Julie Driscoll
    Sunday, 6 August 1967 The Long John Baldry Show
    Sunday, 13 August 1967 The Shevelles
    Sunday, 20 August 1967 The Peddlers
    Sunday, 27 August 1967 The Gass
    Sunday, 3 September 1967 Amboy Dukes
    Sunday, 10 September 1967 John Mayall
    Sunday, 17 September 1967 Chris Farlowe
    Sunday, 24 September 1967 The Freddy Mack Show
    Sunday, 1 October 1967 The Shevelles
    Sunday, 8 October 1967 Amboy Dukes
    Sunday, 15 October 1967 Ronnie Jones and the ‘Q’ Set
    Sunday, 22 October 1967 Ben E. King
    Sunday, 29 October 1967 Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers
    Sunday, 5 November 1967 The Peddlers
    Sunday, 12 November 1967 Dantalion’s Chariot featuring Zoot Money
    Sunday, 19 November 1967 John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers
    Sunday, 26 November 1967 Brian Auger & Julie Driscoll
    Sunday, 3 December 1967 Amboy Dukes
    Sunday, 10 December 1967 The Gass
    Sunday, 17 December 1967 Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac
    Sunday, 24 December 1967 The Shevelles & The Terry Lightfoot Band
    Sunday, 31 December 1967 Ronnie Jones & Alan Elsdon’s Band
    Sunday, 7 January 1968 John Mayall
    Sunday, 14 January 1968 Ronnie Jones
    Sunday, 21 January 1968 The Freddy Mack Show
    Sunday, 28 January 1968 The Jinny McGriff Quartet
    Sunday, 4 February 1968 The Cliff Bennett Show
    Sunday, 11 February 1968 The Savoy Brown Blues Band
    Sunday, 18 February 1968 John Mayall
    Sunday, 25 February 1968 Lucas & The Mike Cotton Sound
    Sunday, 3 March 1968 The Peddlers
    Sunday, 10 March 1968 Amboy Dukes
    Sunday, 17 March 1968 Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac
    Sunday, 24 March 1968 The Shevelles
    Sunday, 31 March 1968 The Impressions
    Sunday, 7 April 1968 Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart
    Sunday, 14 April 1968 John Mayall
    Sunday, 21 April 1968 Showstoppers
    Sunday, 28 April 1968
    Sunday, 5 May 1968 Spooky Tooth
    Sunday, 12 May 1968 The Shevelles
    Thursday, 16 May 1968 Geno Washington
    Sunday, 19 May 1968 Herbie Goins
    Thursday, 23 May 1968 The Rebel Rousers
    Sunday, 26 May 1968 The Peddlers
    Thursday, 30 May 1968 The Shevelles
    Sunday, 2 June 1968 Lucas & The Mike Cotton Sound
    Sunday, 9 June 1968 Julie Driscoll
    Sunday, 16 June 1968 Herbie Goins & The Night Timers, Satin Dolls
    Sunday, 23 June 1968
    Sunday, 30 June 1968
    Sunday, 7 July 1968 Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band

  13. well, maybe I was in the only crowd of one but I am convinced I saw Inez and Charlie Foxx there. A
    lso the Showstoppers (“Ain’t Nothin’ But a House Party”, and not forgetting the third ‘Burke ‘ to appear at the Black Prince (two of his brothers were in the Showstoppers)…the one and only Solomon Burke headlining the Bexley Jazz festival? Wow!

  14. Hello,
    I’m looking for some more information on the mid to late 70s if anyone has any knowledge of the bands who played then. My mum used to go there when she was young.
    Thanks

  15. I lived about 10 mins walk away but my dad insisted on driving me there the one and only night I went. Think my older (male) cousin asked me to go. Poor dad ended up walking me across the main road due to very severe flooding and to this day I can’t remember who I saw! And no recollection of how I got home either! It must have been about 1967/8 though. Happy days 😊

    1. I lived about 10 minutes walk from the Black Prince and started going when it was only Jazz, then it changed to the new British R & B. Here is a list (from what I remember):
      Alexis Korner
      Alex Harvey Soul Band
      John Mayall Blues Breakers
      Graham Bond Organisation
      Downliers Sect
      Zoot Money
      Sugar Pie Desanto
      The Animals
      Thin Lizzy
      Steampacket
      Cream

  16. I was 18 in 1966 and feel so lucky to have had the Black Prince virtually on my doorstep. I grew up in sidcup just down the road. Most of my best friends were a little older than me and had been to sidcup art school, I got an art job straight from school, you could do that in those days, get a job. The stones were getting big by then and my mates would talk about Keef , which was very cool. Phil May and Dick Taylor, also sidcup art students had formed The Pretty Things and I followed them to gigs in the area. Sunday nights at the Prince were always fantastic. John mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Fleetwood Mack, Graham Bond Organisation with jack Bruce and Ginger Bake , Brian Auger’s Trinity and Steampacket were almost house bands. I still can’t quite believe that my teenage self could walk a couple of miles from home and see Champion Jack Dupree or John Lee Hooker. Blimey! I now live in the Old Town of Hastings, go to local pubs, of which there are many and listen to fantastic live music . Doesn’t even cost 2/6 on the door!
    Really good to see a comment above from Don Craine. A Downliners Sect gig was almost as anarchic as the Pretty Things.
    So glad you’ve set up this site. Thank you.I can now have my nostalgia guilt free!

    1. …I omitted to include dick heckstall-smith(graham bond), zoot money’s big roll band, Chris farlowe and the thunderbirds, all regulars.. and screaming lord sutch and the (underrated) undertakers.

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