In the late 1950s and early 1960s when I fronted The Barrie Group, the music scene was hopping in Brighton. Nearly all pubs had at least a piano player, especially during the weekends. Quite a few had a small group of two, three or more musicians. This was an exciting time with live music everywhere.
Popular music venues
Some of the popular venues were, the Imperial Hotel with the Carter Bros; the Belvedere public house with various musicians but mainly accordion and drums and the Fortune of War, similar to the Belvedere. The Half Moon, West Street was the home of the Cool Jazz Trio playing modern jazz. At The Hare and Hounds there was the Andy Ansell quartet, and there was a pub at the bottom of West Street where Wally Neat played a lively accordion accompanied by a drummer.
Visiting the above pubs you had to be careful not to look at anyone, or make eye contact, because fights could break out quite easily. I was wary to avoid the Teddy Boys and their fights. Bunny, the Belvedere doorman, had what looked like, a razor scar running down the length of his cheek.
The Musicians Union had their club meetings at the Black Lion in Patcham; Sammy Lambert (sax player) ran the club. We had many varied guests of honour including George Chisholm trombone (Black & White Minstrel Show on BBC TV), and Harry Secombe (he bought me a beer at the bar when I was introduced to him). These used to be great fun nights with, as you would expect a plethora of musicians to entertain and dance to many professional players such as Sammy Bryant (drummer with Syd Dean) Frank Ireland (Tenor sax). The MU catered for both professional and semi-pro players.
If you remember these times, or frequented these wonderful venues, please leave a comment below to share your memories.