The Ram Jam Club, Brixton

Opened by brothers Rik and John Gunnell in January 1966, the Ram Jam Club (named after Geno Washington’s Ram Jam Band) was situated on the Brixton High Road. The famous venue hosted most of the top UK acts of the 1960s as well as visiting US blues and soul artists. I have started to compile a gig list and would welcome any additions in the comment below.

3 March – The Spencer Davis Group and Paul Fenton & The Crowd
4 March – Graham Bond Organisation
6 March – The Gass
10 March – The Who
12 March – The Peter B’s and Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
18 March – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
24 March – The Peter B’s and Wilson Pickett
31 March – The Peter B’s, Don Covay and The League of Gentlemen

2 April – The Peter B’s, Arthur Alexander, The Jimmy Brown Sound, The Shevelles
9 April – The Peter B’s and Gary Farr & The T-Bones
14 April – The Peter B’s and The Vibrations
16 April – The Peter B’s and The Gass
21 April – The Peter B’s, Lee Dorsey and The League of Gentlemen

7 May – The Shotgun Express and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
21 May – The Shotgun Express

2 June – The Steampacket
3 June – The Gass
4 June – Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers and Amboy Jukes
9 June – The Yardbirds (cancelled)
10 June – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
18 June – The Shotgun Express
24 June – The Moody Blues

5 August – O’Hara’s Playboys and The Eyes of Blue
6 August – The Gass and Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
12 August – The Ferris Wheel
13 August – Dave Antony’s Moods and Rik ‘N’ Beckers
14 August – Amboy Dukes
18 August – Alan Price Set
19 August – The Skatallites
19-20 August – The Shotgun Express
20 August – Shell Shock Show
21 August – Amboy Jukes
25 August – Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band
26 August – Mark Barry
26 August – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
27 August – Cream
27 August – The Ferris Wheel
28 August – Amboy Dukes
29 August – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band

1 September – The Spencer Davis GroupRam Jam Club Zoot Money Otis Redding
3 September – The VIPs
8 September – Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band
9 September – The Carl Douglas Set
10 September – Amboy Dukes
17 September – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
11 September – Blues Healers
18 September – Otis Redding

3 November – Cream
11 November – The Sound Casters
12 November – The Soul Vendors
13 November – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede
17 November – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers

6 December – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede
9 December – The Action
10 December – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and Jimi Hendrix Experience
11 December – Bobby Hebb and Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band
13 December – Rupert’s Rick ‘N’ Beckers Show
25 December – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede (afternoon and evening)

1 January – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede
7 January – The Eyes of Blue
13 January – The Shotgun Express
27 January – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
28 January – Cream
29 January – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede
31 January – The FireballsRam Jam Club advert Artwoods

3 February – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
4 February – Jimi Hendrix Experience and The All Night Workers
5 February – Amboy Dukes
17 February – Ronnie Jones & The Blue Jays and The All Night Workers

11 March – Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band
17 March – Ronnie Jones & The Q Set
18 March – Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds
19 March – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede
24 March – Julian Covey & The Machine
25 March – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
27 March – The All Night Workers
31 March – The UrchinsRam Jam Club advert 1967

1 April – The Artwoods and Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede
2 April – Ronnie Jones & The Q Set
7 April – The Main Line
8 April – The Eyes of Blue and Rick ‘N’ Beckers
9 April – Herbie Goins & The Nightimers
13 April – Mary Wells & The Playboys
14 April – The Shevelles
15 April – The Pretty Things and The All Night Workers
16 April – Jimmy James & The Vagabonds
21 April – Julian Covey & The Machine
22 April – Felder’s Orioles and The Main Line
23 April – Nina Simone
28 April – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
29 April – Shevelles and The Gass
30 April – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede (may not have happened)

6 May – Julian Covey & The Machine and The All Night Workers

2 June – Nat Cole ShowRam Jam Club advert 1967
3 June – Cream, Impact Blues and Mad Movies
4 June – Lucas and The Mike Cotton Sound
5 June – Duke Lee Sound
9 June – Nat Cole Show
10 June – John Lee Hooker, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Savoy Blues Band and Mad Movies
11 June – Jimmy James & The Vagabonds
12 June – Duke Lee Sound
16 June – Nat Cole Show
17 June – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede, The Soul Meeting Band, Duke Lee Sound and Mad Movies
18 June – The Gass
19 June – Duke Lee Sound
23 June – Nat Cole Show
24 June – Felder’s Orioles, The Chiffons & Rhythm and Blues Inc, Duke Lee Sound and Mad Movies
25 June – Ronnie Jones & The Q Set
26 June – Duke Lee Sound

1 July – John Lee Hooker, The All Night Workers, Savoy Brown Blues Band and Duke Lee Sound
15 July – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede with Mad Movies
16 July – Joyce Bond Show
22 July – Georgie Fame
29 July – Carl Douglas & The Big StampedeRam Jam Club advert 1967 Georgie Fame

4 August – The Wages of Sin

2 September – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
9 September – Fleetwood Mac

7 October – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede

24 March 1968 – Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede

Most of the gigs were sourced from Melody Maker and gig posters. Thanks to Tony Webb for use of the club posters and to Ken Baxter for some Carl Douglas gigs from his contracts. Thanks also to Bruno Ceriotti and Mick Capewell for providing dates.

Copyright © Nick Warburton, 2014. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without prior permission from the author.

19 thoughts on “The Ram Jam Club, Brixton”

  1. Found some more gigs in Melody Maker:

    17 February 1966 – Animals (open Rik Gunnell’s club)
    19 February 1966 – Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band
    24 February 1966 – Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames
    25 February 1966 – The Gass
    26 February 1966 – The Shevells
    27 February 1966 – The Gass

    5 March 1966 – Tony Knight’s Chessmen and The Loose Ends

    1 April 1966 – Screaming Jay Hawkins
    7 April 1966 – Martha & The Vandellas and The Gass
    8 April 1966 – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
    15 April 1966 – Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames and The Amboy Jukes
    29 April 1966 – The Action
    30 April 1966 – Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band

    5 May 1966 – Patti La Belle & Her Belles
    12 May 1966 – The Drifters and The Chessmen
    13 May 1966 – Jimmy James & The Vagabonds
    26 May 1966 – Ben E King and The Chessmen
    27 May 1966 – Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band
    28 May 1966 – Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds and The Stormville Shakers

    25 June 1966 – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band

    7 July 1966 – The Alan Price Set
    9 July 1966 – Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band
    10 July 1966 – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
    21 July 1966 – Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames
    28 July 1966 – The Graham Bond Organisation
    30 July 1966 – The Amboy Jukes and The Objects

    4 August 1966 – Soloman Burke
    7 August 1966 – Rick ‘N’ Breckers
    9 August 1966 – Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds

    13 October 1966 – Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers
    23 October 1966 – Ike & Tina Turner Revue

    24 November 1966 – The Action
    25 November 1966 – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band

    24 December 1966 – Bluehealers and Dave Anthony’s Moods

  2. Few more from Melody Maker:

    4 March 1967 – Fenmen (after Wally Waller and Jon Povey had left to join The Pretty Things) with Felders Orioles

    27 May 1967 – Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames and Felders Orioles

    24 September 1967 – Jimmy Cliff & The Shakedown Sound

  3. Very interesting and a useful reminder. I was sure The Animals were on the opening night because I was there and it’s nice to have that confirmed. Lots of dates and places from that period blur for obvious reasons so many thanks!

  4. A friend and I went every Friday night. I was only 16/17 at the time. Saw rod Stewart with long john baldry, cream, we didn’t realise what icons we were seeing! There was no alcohol, just great music, ska we called it! We must have seen loads of great bands, but as I said didn’t realise!!! My dad was a theatrical booking agent, don kingswell, and we often went to the six bells in Chelsea where he put some great jazz on, he also ran the The Dolphin in Kingston where he held The Kingston Rhythm club in the 50’s, lots of aspiring musicians played there, Ralph Sharon, George Shearing,George Chisholm, and my mum Gwen Jones, who sang with swing bands before that, 40’s, Geraldo, she in between shifts behind the bar, popped downstairs and showed her talent. Great times I’m sure , before I was born, just!!! My dad went on to work for, Jim godbolt,where he toured and looked after loads of famous musicians, he worked for the Bron agency, and was tour manager for ike and Tina turner/Rolling Stones in the 60’s, amongst others! Finished up in the states where he took’ osibisa’ and was asked to work for ‘Sha Na Na’ which he did for many years, until sadly he died.

    1. Bill Laughlan was right opening night was The Animals, I was also there that night, and on many of great nights. Can remember watching Geno and then going up west to see again same night. Also remember the Nina Simon gig she nealy would not come on stage as she said the crowd was not loud enough for her. Still remember some great nights at the club , but saddly no sign it was ever there now.

  5. No one seems to mention ike and Tina turner and the I kettes , I know for certain they played there as my self and friend where pulled up on stage so Tina showed us “little white girls” how to shake it. We went nearly every show for the duration. I seem to recall Johnny that owned the flamingo( ( where I spent the other half of my sixteen year old life). Having something to do with owning it. Could tell a bit about it and the west end clubs of the time if you need more info.

  6. Saw Hendrix at Ram Jam backed by Geno etc. May be 1969 or 70?
    Fantastic atmosphere despite a cat fight during the gig.
    Anyone else there?

    1. I saw Jimi there, I thought it was about 1967 but I may be wrong- I delivered a telegram to his house the next day and we actually discussed the gig (one of my best ever memories)

  7. Yes the Animals were at the opening night I was there and the song shotgun wedding was played a lot. At the time I was an apprentice electrician and went to Brixton college before that I went to Peckham Manor school.

  8. Was at the ram jam club to see Otis Redding on the 18th September 1966 believe the tickets were 15 shillings for the afternoon show.What an experience to see the great man live.Remember talking to Georgie Fame who had popped in to see the show that afternoon,also see the stax volt show at the uppercut in Forest Gate with Otis among others so lucky to have seen him perform twice.

  9. According to the CD sleevenotes “John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers live in 1967”, John Mayed played the Ram Jam also the 1st of feb 1967. The great Peter Green was on guitar. Parts of this gig can be heard on that CD and on “Live in 1967 volume 2”

  10. I remember the Ram Jam Club with a great deal of fondness. It was a fabulous place where I spent many nights dancing to great music then going upstairs for a coca cola (if I remember rightly no alcohol was served there), and you’d sit in the “wimpy bar-type” booths around the walls (red leather seats if I remember correctly). I have a vague recollection of seeing a very young Brian Ferry performing there some time in the 60s. Great times.

  11. I saw John Mayal’s Bluesbreakers and Jimi Hendrix was the support. First and only visit to the Ram Jam, but never forgotten.

  12. I was there when Steampacket first played with Long John Baldry and a gruff voiced guy with a great pair of bright red shoes,that was rod Stewart and they rocked the joint.i visited many times in 66 -67and Geno Washington was a firm favourite.on one occasion as i was rushing down the stairs i bumped into and knocked over a guy in a afgan coat that turned out to be spencer was the place to be to see the best of all genres of music.great memories……

    We danced danced danced!!!
    We!! Screamed! Screamed! Screamed!
    We! Fell in love! In Love! in love!

  14. Hi
    Is this story true.
    When the Ram Jam first opened they walked a goat along Brixton high street or outside the club. The story goes that the goat ran off and was then chased around until caught.
    Also I think I can remember seeing Sceaming jay Hawkins
    And dancing to shotgun wedding

  15. As a young Teenager living in Streatham, a bus ride away, the Ram Jam was my first experience of clubbing and I have memories of many great acts.
    Thanks to Victoria for mentioning the Jimi Hendrix Experience, I was there that night and Jimi was second billing to John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers. I recall seeing the poster as we entered the door downstairs and the name Hendrix at that time meant nothing to me but what an experience. I think this was his first UK Tour as in 67 Hey Joe was released. There are some acts not mentioned that I saw at the Club, Junior Walker & The All Stars, Inez & Charlie Foxx and I think also Robert Parker of Barefootin’ fame. Whatever night you went or the Sunday afternoon session, guaranteed musical delight, whether it was Ska, Motown or Soul, great memories!

  16. I remember seeing Nina Simone there and my West Indian mate said to me “you’re the only white bloke in here” and I chuckled but when I looked around I saw that he was right,

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