Clay Pigeon, Eastcote, Middlesex

The Clay Pigeon in Eastcote, Middlesex was a notable rock music venue in West London during the 1960s. During 1963, the Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers, which became Manfred Mann, held a residency there for several months.

Throughout the 1960s, many important British bands played this venue, including several groups from the West London area, such as Wainwright’s Gentlemen (Ian Gillan was lead singer in the first half of 1965), The Birds (with Ron Wood on guitar), The Soul Messengers (featuring future Jimi Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell) and Episode Six (Ian Gillan and fellow future Deep Purple cohort Roger Glover were members).

I have started to compile an extensive gig list below and would welcome any additions in the comments box below as well as any memories.  

27 May 1962 – Frankie Reid & The Casuals
25 June 1962 – Frankie Reid & The Casuals
2 July 1962 – Frankie Reid & The Casuals
22 August 1962 – Frankie Reid & The Casuals

2 May 1963 – Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers
9 May 1963 – Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers
16 May 1963 – Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers
23 May 1963 – Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers
30 May 1963 – Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers
6 June 1963 – Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers
13 June 1963 – Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers
20 June 1963 – Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers
27 June 1963 – Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers
4 July 1963 – Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers

28 May 1964 – The Soul Messengers
11 June 1964 – The Soul Messengers
18 August 1964 – The Soul Messengers

21 January 1965 – Wainwright’s Gentlemen
4 February 1965 – The Fenmen
25 February 1965 – Wainwright’s Gentlemen
4 March 1965 – Wainwright’s Gentlemen
18 March 1965 – Wainwright’s Gentlemen
8 April 1965 – The Birds
15 April 1965 – Wainwright’s Gentlemen
13 May 1965 – Wainwright’s Gentlemen
17 June 1965 – Rey Anton & The Peppermint Men
8 October 1965 – Episode Six
28 November 1965 – The Legends
12 December 1965 – The Legends

7 July 1967 – The Stormville Shakers
21 July 1967 – Episode Six
28 July 1967 – The Moody Blues
11 August 1967 – Rupert’s People
1 September 1967 – Episode Six

27 October 1968 – New Formula

2 March 1969 – Harmony Grass

Most of the above gigs were sourced from the Middlesex County Times & West Middlesex Gazette, the Hayes Gazette and the Hillingdon & Uxbridge Weekly Post. Thanks to Brian Mansell for the Frankie Reid gigs and to Greg Russo for the Manfred Mann ones. I’d also like to credit Mick Capewell’s Marmalade Skies.

51 thoughts on “Clay Pigeon, Eastcote, Middlesex”

  1. Played the Clay Pigeon several times as singer with Ritchie Blackmore’s first group The Dominators, in 1959/60. All appearances were as supporting band. The main featured band on just about every occasion were the Johnnie-Rebs…..( ? ) They were a pretty good outfit but I have never heard much about them. Can anyone throw a light ?

    1. Yes, The Johnny Rebs were resident group at The Southall Community Center for ages, we used to go there to see them , we were in awe, they had two brilliant sax players, Charlie Spelling & Willie Garnet (now both deceased) unfortunately they didn’t have a decent lead singer so did many instrumentals, mostly Duane Eddy covers’ with ‘Whip Taylor ‘ on electric bass. They were light years ahead of Sounds Incorporated but never go the breaks.

      1. Steve
        Any one with any musical knowledge would never forget Sweet as a top band mate. The B sides and LPs speak for themselves.

        All the best Ray

      2. (I know this reply is many years later) but I’ve had this discussion with mates about ‘The Sweet’ playing the Clay Pigeon. I was sure I had seen you guys but thought you were introduced on stage as ‘The Sweet Shop’. Could this be right? (I was 17, rode a Suzuki 100cc, as I thought scooters were dodgy in the wet. But dressed more like a Mod!)

  2. Hi Nick, I used to sell papers outside Clay Pigeon on Sat nights ….. Desmond Decker def played there couldn’t tell you when but I think it was 1966 Cheers Great site

    1. Hi Robin.

      I used to sell papers outside the Clay pidgeon too on Saturday Nights 1964-65, used to get them off a bloke who brought them there in a car. Listened to some top music too back in the day. I used to live in Manor Gardens back then. Living in Australia now.

      1. Thinking back again, I used to deliver papers too to houses around the Clay Pidgeon and I was doing that in 1963 too. I can remember people were very generous at Christmas time, and happy to provide me with a Christmas box for doing it throughout the years.

    1. Still listen to sweet when I’m driving, they are played loads on radio 2, but I do remember seeing them a few times at the clay mostly on a Wed night, not unless I’m mistaken!!!!!

  3. I remeber episode 6. Sheila Carter was the singer who married Tom Marshall later to become Playgound, then on to Harmony Grass and then on to Capability Brown. All fantastic Vocals, should have taken o FourSeasons. Yes agreed great site and sooo many memories.

  4. Wainwright’s Gentlemen with Ian Gillan, who sang with the band from early November 1964 to late April 1965, also played on 1 April 1965, according to Dave Brogden’s excellent diary

    1. When I played in The Beachcombers we used to play on the same night as Wainwrights Gentlemen at the Kodak theatre in Wealdstone. Great times!!!

  5. I was a barmaid in the clay pidgeon hotel in 1966 I was22years old then …I am from Glasgow and I was called Betty Anyone remember me .

      1. Yes I did have a friend with me called Babs, She was from Glasgow too, We both came to London together. Now we are in our 70s but still remember the Clay Pigeon and all the lovely people we met. Happy memories, Loved it Thanks for your reply x, Betty.

        1. I render you well! have often of you! You was really beautiful! Had a bit of a crush lol! I still have an autograph photo of marmalade!

          1. Thank you for those nice comments, I think I remember you. Did you have a brother who came into the clay pidgeon, What have you done with your life since then a lot I guess. Betty

  6. regular from mid sixties with mates
    Cliff Bennett ran Sunday nights at one time. Obviously the Rebel Rousers
    played. Think he might have been the one to get Georgie Fame there (remembered clearly cos friend Big H was bouncer that night) and Womack & Womack ( very short stint , did not see)

  7. Chris from The Fulson Stillwell got in contact and said that the Limelights, which became The Legends, played at the Clay Pigeon on the following dates:

    22 February 1964
    1 March 1964
    8 March 1964
    15 March 1964

  8. Hog Snort and Rupert playes most Saturdays during the 70’s and could be heard practising there in the week. Great band with Rod on guitar with his black burns split sound, Jeff on bass and Pete on drums. Memorable nights.

    1. Thanks Dave, yeah great times. Jeff lives in Pinner and I live in the United States. Pete sadly died a couple of years ago. Thanks to Nick we were able to speak on the phone before he died. I return to the UK every few years and still see Eileen Ingram who is now 83. Wonderful lady. My regards to everyone. Rod Wharton. (HogsnortRupert)

      1. I used to follow the group at the “clay” as I lived on Field End Road at the time. I worked part time at the Windmill in Ruislip Manor and Peter was the contract cleaner there. My brother in law was Terry Vegas (remember him) and was the only guy you let gig with you. Happy days, live in Northampton now but talk about the old days often.
        Many thanks for some great times
        Sandie Wright

        1. Windmill has gone now! Now it’s a block of flats! And sadly the Clay Pigeon has disappeared – now it’s a boring generic curry house.

          Sadly, these areas have gone right down hill!

      2. hi there I am from Glasgow , but was a barmaid in the clay pidgeon in the sixties Eileen was my boss there. Is she still with us . She had a beautiful daughter Jacqueline, wonder how she is doing. Happy memories. Betty.

  9. screaming lord sutch played there crazy, brilliant pub sadly missed. The locals were a unique crowd, full of characters you couldnt make them up. Does anyone remember the sunday night(i think) George Daktari and the wonderful “singalonga Flo and her pink chiffon scarfe”?

  10. Melody Maker says The Army (featuring Steve Priest who went on to form The Sweet) played here on 25 November 1967

  11. We used to go listen to hog snort and Rupert all the time till we had our children the clay pigeon will be sadly missed.I didn’t even no it was gone till I went to pick my granddaughter up from school

  12. Lindsay Bex, who played with The Tridents before Jeff Beck joined, sent some gigs for the band at this venue:

    5 February 1964
    13 February 1964
    9 March 1964
    14 March 1964
    16 March 1964
    21 March 1964
    15 April 1964
    25 April 1964
    9 May 1964
    16 May 1964

  13. The Clay! What a great dancing venue! The drum solo’s were amazing, and gave us a chance to have a drink and get our breath back. Also loved to pop over to Kenton/ Wembley to dance to Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers.

  14. Clay Pigeon sadly gone – now it’s a bland curry house. A lot of the old pubs in that area have gone – Eastcote Arms in South Harrow or Windmill in Ruislip Manor. Area isn’t what it was.

  15. Does anybody remember the Jazz Club at the Clay Pigeon on, I think, a Thursday night in the early sixties? Entrance fee 3/6d (17½p). Big names there, always a good night out.

  16. Wifey and I met in The Clay Pidgeon 24th June 1967 at 22.22. We will celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2019.

  17. I was vocalist in a band called the Blue Stars which had a Monday night residency at the Clay Pidgeon in the early 60s. The other band members included my brother on drums who still plays, Chris Clements on lead guitar, Brian Wilson (not of Beach Boys fame) on rythm guitar and Dave Cameron on base who later went on to join the Bow Street Runners, winner of a popular TV Talent Contest in the 60s. Sadly, I lost touch with the band members when we split to go our separate ways. So if you”re still out there and happen to check out the Clay Pidgeon website I’d love to hear from you.

  18. Remember going to the Clay pigeon to see The Spencer Davis group, could not get anywhere near the door so sat outside and listened

  19. I rewired the Clay Pigeon in 1973 found several guitar picks under the stage one had DG inscribed on it I often wondered who it belonged to.I remember the landlord was very friendly insisted giving us lunch every day.Also have a pint glass with Clay Pigeon Hotel Eastcote.

  20. I remember being at The Clay the night it shut down for live gigs for a while.
    A bit hazy after so many years, but I think it was when Episode Six played on 1st Sep 1967. It was the night that the Eastcote Gang had a rumble with the Harrow Mob. Inside the venue glasses were smashed, chairs thrown and tables overturned. Girls had their legs cut from the melee. Everyone was trying to get on to the stage to avoid the fighting. The band started playing ‘All You Need Is Love’ but it didn’t help much. Outside, the Off Licence window was shattered – supposedly by a shotgun.

  21. Remember the Clay (Ingram’s pub) when Hog Snort and Rupert played Sunday nights. Pete the drummer had a famous brother who played with many of the big bands. Remember their version of ‘Only Make Believe’ by Conway Twitty. Pete didn’t bother much with rehearsals as felt he was too good for them, and he was.

    Also, the Nomads used to meet there, for their ‘meetings’ with the skin heads from Willesden

  22. Hi all, my Nan worked here as a barmaid in the early 60’s. Does anyone remember her – her name was Betty. Her Mum, my Great-Nan also worked there at the same time, as the cloakroom attendant – her name Liz..

  23. We played at the clay pigeon many times in the early 60,s under name of the ’Soundsmen’, I was the bass player. Our rhythm guitarist Trevor Williams went on to join the art rock band ‘The Audience’, plus the ‘Nashville Teens’ as a Bass player when he turned professional. he was ( and still is) a very talented musician.
    Great times.

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.