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 23rd MARCH 2019

Pictures and videos from Roger's 70th Birthday Party


I always thought that my main interests were focussed around live music (especially sixties British R&B); Ballet; Opera and portrait art. I was happy with that simple set of needs until my friend Cathbadger pointed out that what I really liked - and collected - was "people".  True that my favourite roles in the forty six plus years I have been employed by ICL/Fujitsu are when I have had to manage groups of people in either stressful or innovative situations. Cathbadger is right; she has observed me at work managing "people", and apparently getting good results.  And she rightly observed to me that live music dance, opera and portraiture are all about people expressing emotion through performance. As long as the people are interesting; that is as long as they have an opinion and don't mind sharing it - or showing it in the case of performance arts - then I value their friendship; and over the last seventy years I have built up - and kept - many friends.....  because apparently, that's what I collect.......

Fran let's me have a "proper" birthday party every ten years. In 1999 when I was fifty I had a hundred and twenty friends to be entertained by The King Earl Boogie Band and The Nashville Teens at The Brownlow Hall in Newell Green, just North of Bracknell.  When I made it to sixty in 2009 I was joined by one hundred and eighty friends at The Hare Hill Social Club at Ottershaw. This time it was a proper "Rogfest" with almost continuous live music from The Ian Campbell Blues Band, The King Earl Boogie Band, The Jackie Lynton Band, So Long Angel, and The Nashville Teens.  So in March 2019 I felt that I was due another party.  After a bit of (futile) resistance, Fran conceded, but this time we did it at home.  Home is a lot smaller than either of the halls I had used before - so I had to be a bit picky about whom I invited, and we decided to reduce this constraint by augmenting the available space with the addition of a marquee, which filled the back garden. We also alleviated the catering load by hiring a Hog Roast from our favourite local pig farm. I also decided to have a long party - starting at four in the afternoon, feeding about six o'clock, and ending no later than half past eleven at night. The live music was not something I was going to compromise on though, although I did limit myself to three live bands so that friends actually had some time to talk to each other and relax for a bit.  I also decided that instead of presenting the bands which I "manage" (in the sense of co-ordinate and advertise - nobody could manage that lot!), I would choose from musicians who are friends and family - and who's music I really like. The three bands I chose were The Theatre Rejects Howie Casey and Friends, and Crazy Little Daisy. There is something about each of those bands at the foot of this page, below the photographs and video links.  My good friend Colin Pattenden provided the Public Address system and Fran worked out some vegetarian option food for the odd vegetarians, Moslems and Jews whom I have collected over the years. It was all set to be a great day. 

And it was a great day. One hundred and four people crammed into our house and consumed well over a hundred bottles of wine a huge pig and apparently they all had a good time. I know I did.

I wonder whether Fran will let me have another party when I get to eighty?  (if I'm spared).

Roger   March 2019

Seventieth birthday party - with my Fran

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The marquee just erected


The cake

With the Hog Roasters and the Hog
(photo by Julian Spencer)


Howie and Vicky
(photo by Julian Spencer)

Roger with Wendy Keelan

 Fran directing things

(photo by Julian Spencer)


Howie Casey and Vicky Barents - soundcheck before the party



No 1 Grandson and The Theatre Rejects

Colin Earl, Penny Pound, Lord Martyn Rose

Annie Danowski, Roger, Pammie J Connelly, Sarah Valentine

Singing "Happy Birthday To You" 


Shen Brant, Roger, Penny Pound, Libby Gausden-Chisman
(photo by Julian Spencer)


Angela Pearce, Mick Coram, Wendy Sizeland, Linda Davenport, John Davenport, Alan Byram, Janet Coram

Colin Earl & Lord Martyn Rose

Howie Casey, Vicky Barents and Joe Jones



Ray Phillips, Vanessa Humphreys & Matt Harman

Hyne of Baldock and Jude the Dude
(photo by Julian Spencer)


Angela Pearce & Fran

Roger with Lord Rose
(photo by Julian Spencer)

David Stanford, Neil Chisman & Shen Brant
(photo by Julian Spencer)


Penny Pound & Libby Gausden-Chisman
(photo by Julian Spencer)

Anna Stanford & Penny Pound (David Stanford behind)
(photo by Julian Spencer)


The Party !
(photo by Julian Spencer)

more of The Party !
(photo by Julian Spencer)


Fran, Jenn and Emma-Victoria
(photo by Julian Spencer)

Singing Happy Birthday to Roger
(photo by Julian Spencer)

Howie, Ray and Roger
(photo by Julian Spencer)

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This is a recently formed band - necessarily new because it's members are only aged sixteen (or in one case fifteen). The front of the band on vocals and second lead guitar is my eldest grandson, James. Even discounting the factor of "pride for my grandson" - I think that he is is very good both in his guitar work and his vocalisations. He knows how to use the microphone properly (quite a lot of real professionals cannot do this!) and for a fifteen year old he has a very professional stage presence.  The lead guitar in this band is Lizzie - don't know her surname - but she is an excellent guitarist. I suspect that at sixteen she is probably studying music because I heard later that she plays several instruments. Hearing her on electric guitar intrigued me; she was displaying a superb virtuosity beyond her years; indeed, she was clearly playing emotions as well as pure notes. The bass guitar was played by Ethan, another sixteen year old - a buzzy young man with a lovely loose jazz bass style. Felix was the drummer - also a sixteen year old, with a good steady beat and a maturity which meant that he only added flashy bits where it was appropriate. He and Ethan made a very powerful driving force without any of the overt eye contact with each other which many bands of my era rely on to keep tight and in time. The Theatre Rejects were very tight - although they claim to only rehearse twice a week. This was not quite their first gig - but I understand that it was their first proper "paid for with money" gig ! The band write their own songs too - everything was original and interesting. As you would expect from the age group the songs were laden with teenage angst - but that is fine; it is exactly what appeals to - and has always appealed to - the Teen peer age group. It is great that kids are still discovering their own ability to use the medium of song to share their feelings. The sheer energy and panache with which these guys performed was impressive.



Lizzie, James, Felix & Ethan - The Theatre Rejects
promo video


Wow, I'm so pleased to have Howie Casey as a mate. Our friendship was founded through music - particularly at The Star Club in Hamburg; but is basically a joint enjoyment of drinking excessive amounts of Rosé wine together. Howie is one of the UKs most prolific, and excellent, saxophone players. As a session musician he is on virtually every hit record between the sixties and the noughties which has a saxophone in it! His career started with his own band Howie Casey and The Seniors in Liverpool in the late fifties (yes - he is old, or at least "ripe" - at eighty one he is almost a year older than Ray Phillips or Jackie Lynton). That band had the distinction of being the first Liverpool band to go out to Germany to play The Star Club on the Große Freiheit, just off Hamburgs infamous Reeperbahn. They were trail blazing for other bands like Kingsize Taylor & The Dominoes The Nashville Teens; The Spencer Davis Group and - inevitably - The Beatles. Howie has recorded and toured with many artists, most notably he was a member of The Who for four years, and of Paul McCartney's Wings for ten years.  When you hear that sax riff in Silly Love Songs or the sax solo in Jet - that is Howie.  With Howie were two other wonderful performers. Joe Jones is a great vocalist as is Vicky Barents Vicky also plays Saxophone and flute (and probably other instruments - she is a bundle of talent, always bouncing with a big irrepressible smile.) They all perform to backing tracks played by their manager John Christopher, who is also a good guitarist and who plays with them in their band Beatles with Wings. The performance was great - starting with a sax duet between Howie and Vicky, progressing through some Beatles and Wings songs; Vicky gave her belting performance of Nutbush City Limits. It was a terrific show and the party audience loved them.
If you want to see these lovely people performing again, then look out for
Beatles With Wings gigs (see this websites gig list) or come along to Sunday lunch at The Bistro On The Beach, at Southbourne - near Christchurch - where they usually entertain on the first Sunday of each month.



Howie, Vicky and Joe
(photo by Julian Spencer)


This is a lovely little duo who perform mainly eighties, nineties and noughties covers. They are Nessa Humphreys and Matt HarmanVanessa is the daughter of Ray Phillips (Nashville Teens lead vocalist) - and her voice is every bit as great as her Dads.  Matt plays acoustic guitar to accompany Nessa.  They took to the stage as the final act - about nine o'clock - and wowed the party goers with their performance.  Part way through there was a minor accident when a glass got broken. Neighbour Helen appeared with a Dyson vacuum cleaner and started hoovering the centre of the dance floor area.  Nessa and Matt immediately switched into their version of Queen's I Gotta Break Free.  The Freddy Mercury video of this has the band dressed in drag, doing housework, and Freddy dancing around a living room with a Hoover.....  Helen rose to it and started dancing Freddy style with her Dyson!  Ray Phillips was at the party and I asked him if there was any chance he could do a duet with his daughter. He - apparently reluctantly - took to the stage and they performed a wonderful version of This Little Bird. I was blown away - one of my favourite Nashville Teens songs, and Ray rarely performs it despite me nagging him. Then to add more icing to the cake, Rays son - Nessas brother - Wes Phillips got up and sang a song ! I later learned that Rays apparent reluctance had been feigned and that they had all been upstairs in my bedroom rehearsing for an hour beforehand! Lovely people - proud to have them as friends.


Nessa and Matt


The Public Address system, mixer and microphones were provided - as a birthday present to me - by my great friend Colin Pattenden.
We have shared many holidays over the years and as well as being my friend,
Colins other big claim to fame is as a founder member and bass guitar player with Manfred Mann's Earth Band. His career has also thrived as a session musician and he has played with many well known musicians  including Englebert Humperdink, Leapy Lee, Jackie Lynton and Mungo Jerry.  He is a member of the current line-up of The Nashville Teens and also plays with Paul Kings Skeleton Crew.  Colin also runs a business fitting out sound systems and hiring PA rigs ranging from the little one he used for my party to the huge rigs used at pop festivals. If you need one I can confidently recommend CP Sounds as the one-stop shop that will satisfy you.


I am lucky enough to know several musicians, and as well as Colin and Howie, and although many couldn't attend because the nature of their business means that they tend to be working on weekend evenings, I was pleased to welcome Paul King and Colin Earl (Mungo Jerry) and Ray Phillips (Nashville Teens).

Colin Pattenden and I

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