Chislehurst Caves, Chislehurst

Chislehurst Caves in the south eastern suburbs of London is a 22 miles long series of tunnels. During the 1960s, the caves were used as a music venue and many notable artists played there, including David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd, to name a few.

I have started to compile a list of artists that played and would welcome any additions. Also, I would welcome any memories of the caves from that period.

11 February 1966 – Downliner’s Sect (opened the caves as a music venue)
25 February 1966 – Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band

11 March 1966 – The Loose Ends

1 July 1966 – The Yardbirds

16 December 1966 – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

6 January 1967 – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede
27 January 1967 – Jimi Hendrix Experience

17 February 1967 – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede

14 April 1967 – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede

7 July 1967 – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede

6 October 1967 – Eric Burdon & The New Animals

9 February 1968 – The Herd


South East London Mercury, Marmalade Skies, Melody Maker and Fabulous 208

10 thoughts on “Chislehurst Caves, Chislehurst”

  1. Thanks, you may have solved my search unless anyone knows better.

    I was looking for a date at Chislehurst Caves when I saw The Herd at age 11, my first ever gig! That date fits the timeline – first year at senior school, so between Sept 67 and June 68, when I’d have been 12.

    Anyone know if The Herd played any other date at the caves in that period?

  2. During 1967 our band ‘The Shapes of Things to Come’ (abbreviated to The Shapes) used to practice in Chislehurst Caves as one of our band was a friend of Jim Gardener (son of the owner). If we had an important gig on a Saturday night we would often practice in the caves the previous evening (Friday) prior to big names starting up and then watch the concert. I remember one night seeing Van Morrison and Them – five very versatile and talented musicians who changed instruments and vocals often throughout the performance. We chatting to them afterwards when they were packing up (although Van was extremely laconic). From memory they spoke about splitting up (which was a shame) and something about a court case decision that day on deciding on which of them would inherit the name ‘Them’.

    1. I was the drummer in ”THE ECHO BEATS” who played The Chislehurst Caves in the early 1960’s. We were a very popular band with the crowds that went there. We played every Saturday night for about 3 years.
      Members of the band were: Eddie Smith Drums, Ray Finer Lead guitar.
      Ray Leonard guitar, Chris London bass guitar, Rob Curran vocals, Don Milton our manager. What great days!!!

  3. I lived 5 minutes walk from the caves during the mid 60s and was a regular at the Friday night gigs. I recall seeing Zoot Money, Pretty Things , Jimi Hendrix. Graham Bond and Downliners Sect. I shudder to think of the groups I missed due to a very picky attitude to music plus a lack of funds
    The Medical Students Union held an annual party in the caves with bands playing different genres of music on numerous stages. You could experience rock,R&B,trad and modern jazz, calypso etc all night long. A brilliant night.

  4. I saw Eric Burdon and The New Animals on my 16th birthday, 6th October 1967.

    We visited The Caves yesterday afternoon with our Classic Car Club; my how it’s changed, very interesting and a popular tourist attraction. The Stage area was just how I remembered it. Thank you for confirming my memory!

  5. I remember seeing Hendrix there and he was booed off the stage. He was off his head. Same thing happened at the Ram Jam Club in Brixton.

    I do remember that Dave Lee Travis was often there as the DJ when there was no band on.

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