Going back to Sixties

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There was a time back in the 60s - it is said - when Bognor Regis and Chichester boasted even more bands than Liverpool.

Back in those heady days, the towns really swung - days a group of musicians aim to relive at the Riverside Centre, Bognor Regis on Saturday, February 18.

The third annual Back To The Sixties event will raise funds for the Chestnut Tree Children’s Hospice.

Organisers are promising a 60s-themed dance and concert recreating the fantastic sounds of a unique period in British musical history.

All the musicians involved were part of the local music scene from that period and are now proud to give their time in support of a local charity in what has now become an annual event.

Artists signed up for this year’s event are from original bands of the era including Johnny Devlin with The Detours and Friends, The Diamonds, Dave Hooper and Friends, Roy Haines from The Fenmen, The Southbeats, Colin Madeley and Cosy and The Concords, all compered by Ian Harding.

Inevitably time has taken its toll on too many former players, and it is as the sole surviving active member of The Fenmen that West Wittering’s Roy Haines will take to the stage.

Inspired by The Shadows, Roy still plays the circuit from Eastbourne to Portsmouth/Southampton and up to Kingston on Thames.

But it will be on behalf of the ex-Fenmen that can’t make it that he will be playing at the Riverside Centre.

“The Fenmen (based in Chichester) were very active in the 60s,” Roy explains. “The name came about because in the 60s the big thing was the Fender guitar. It was de rigueur to have a Fender guitar, but in the 60s you were very lucky to have one. They were fantastically expensive. But as a band, we all acquired Fender guitars and so we called ourselves The Fenmen.

“We were originally part of a skiffle group before The Fenmen. The start of the band really was 1959 and we went through until about 1970, certainly right through the 60s.

“I was still playing until the early 70s, but then I got disenchanted with the music scene. There were other pressures, being married, having a young family, having business commitments. So I dropped out of the music scene for a long time. But now there has been a real renaissance.”

Tickets priced at £10 are now available from Riverside Centre, Bognor Regis on 01243 865823 or Bern’s Drums and Percussion, Chichester on 01243 816600.