Here’s a little gem I happened upon while dredging t’internet the other day, rummaging for information about Coombe House. It turns out that during it’s brief tenure as the Pennycliffe Club, it was host to a gig by none less than a nascent Black Sabbath!
I chanced on the Cartoonstore, the site of Cartoonist, memorabilia dealer and caricaturist Norman Hood, based in Market Drayton, Shropshire. It seems that Norman spent some time promoting and organising gigs in Lichfield in the late sixties and early seventies, staging a blues club upstairs at several pubs in the city. The club was mostly called the ‘Pokey Hole’ and was in residence at The Prince of Wales, then the Robin Hood and lastly The Malt Shovel.
‘There were spin-off clubs from the original Pokey Hole, and these are two contracts for appearances by earth in 1969, just a year before they released ‘Evil Woman’. On the left, they are booked to appear at the pennycliffe club in Brownhills on a Sunday night for the princely sum of fifteen pounds. On the right, they are to perform at the caves club in walsall on a monday night – this time for twenty five pounds’
‘Earth’, of course, soon became Black Sabbath, and Norman has lots of tales to tell about those days on his page.
Norman also includes some newspaper adverts from the period which may be of interest…
Do you have any recollection of these times? Did you see Ozzy and co. at The Pennycliffe club? Who did you see at the Station Hotel? I can remember seeing a band called ‘The Red Lemon Electric Blues Band’ at the Rising Sun sometime around 1988… but sadly in my youth, most live music happened in Walsall.
As an aside, I went looking for the remains of Coombe House a few weeks ago, and this seems to be all that remains:
(both pictures will open in Panoramio if you click on them)
If you have anything to add, if you remember these times, want to correct me or hurl abuse, contact me on brownhillsbob at googlemail dot com. I’ve got lots of stuff to go up and if I’ve not discussed your topic yet, please hang in there. Your contributions are always interesting, valued and most welcome.