Sat, 24 Mar 2018
WERE you at the opening night of the Soul Club at the Plaza, Newbury, on Saturday March 30, 1968? Do you have any mementos of the evening – photographs or bill posters? If so, Ken Hughes would love to hear from you.
Mr Hughes and three friends, John Foster, David Woodhouse and Frankie Inglut started the Soul Club 50 years ago, at the age of 18, in an attempt to bring better music to Newbury. The opening night had the band Soul Reason on the bill and 350 people attended. He remembers the largest attendance being 800 guests to see Chris Farlowe, even though the venue was only allowed to hold 475.
Mr Hughes said: “Soul Club may have been relatively short-lived but, even after 50 years, seems to have made a lasting impression on those who attended.
“It was also the last time that teenagers in particular were able to see bands of that calibre in Newbury – and all for an average ticket price of 7/6d – 37p in today’s money.”
Mr Hughes’ father Charlie manned the box office and looked after the accounts and Ken’s future wife Gill Cutts and her friend Jenny Ralph looked after the bar. Mr Hughes is hoping that enough items and personal memories will be gathered to create a website providing a record of an important part of Newbury’s live music scene.
The last Soul Club was held on June 28, 1969, although two DJs carried on for a short while without hosting any live bands.
If you would like to share your memories of the club, email Ken Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org