It’s been a fantastic year for the Eel Pie Club, during which we were designated the role of Assistant Curators to Eelpiland – The Birth of Rhythm & Blues by Aurora Metro Arts & Media Ltd. in Twickenham This Lottery funded project www.eelpieislandmusic.com fulfilled many of our objectives of putting Twickenham’s musical heritage on the map, that we and Tom had been striving for since we started the Club 14 years ago. The Eel Pie Club’s role was to assist with material for the Exhibition at Orleans House, and to host 3 events at the Club, the focus being to bring together musicians who had played at the original Eel Pie Island Hotel and young, up and coming musicians. In addition, Don Craine and Gina Way conducted two fully subscribed walking tours taking in Twickenham’s musical heritage. The first tour was fortunate enough to be hijacked by Trevor Bayliss, who took all 30 of us to his house and showed us his workshop and latest inventions. Gina, along with a number of Eel Pie Club Members and musicians were contributors to the book ‘The British Beat Explosion – Rock ‘n’ Roll Island’ (which is now on sale at the Eel Pie Club) and appeared in the Project’s documentary film.
We are currently trying to find a permanent home in Twickenham for the Exhibition which was so beautifully curated by Michele Whitby.
We are looking forward to welcoming back THE CARNABYS on 5 December who played at the Club as part of ‘Eelpiland’ in August. This talented Twickenham band who write all their own material, won Absolute Radio’s ‘Hard Rock Calling’ Competition out of 12000 contestants, and as their prize, appeared with Bruce Springsteen at the 02 and have just completed a world tour – and the eldest is only 20 years old!
The Yardbirds 50th Anniversary
This milestone event took place at the St. George’s Suite, Twickenham Stadium in March. Ex Yardbirds John Idan, Alan Glen, Ray Majors and Top Topham joined the current Yardbirds for a packed night of fantastic music. Fans worldwide turned up for the event and the atmosphere was electric. Since the concert, Top Topham (who preceded Eric Clapton in the original Yardbirds) has joined the band once again and has already completed a Yardbirds US tour.
Jim McCarty (original Yardbird) and Top Topham will be joined by Louis Cennamo of Renaissance plus other guests for a gig at the Eel Pie Club on 3 April called ‘Jim McCarty – “The Flip Side”. Here you can see Jim McCarty on guitar and vocals, instead of his usual drums, playing an eclectic mix of music, including some Yardbirds numbers.
Strawberry Hill Music Day was once again blessed by beautiful sunshine and great music, with a diverse selection of bands, stalls and food & drink outlets.
Many thanks to Fraser Cullen at the Rugby Football Union for all his hard work in organising this popular event over the years. Fraser will be retiring from the RFU at Christmas and while wishing him a very happy retirement, we can only hope that this fantastic community event will continue. The Eel Pie Club’s London ‘60s Week celebration at The Barmy Arms on Twickenham Embankment is now a time-honoured tradition. The Eel Pie All-Stars + Paul Cox gave a great show when they appeared at the end of July, and Twickenham Riverside rocked.
MEMBERSHIP. Membership prices remain the same for 2014. Please remember that the EEL PIE CLUB CHRISTMAS PARTY (Wed 18 December) is for Members and their Guests only so if you would like to come along and bring your friends, we would ask you to please make sure your Membership is current. We have a great line-up of Eel Pie All-Stars + Guest Musicians. Check the gig list for details. There will be free mulled wine (if you get there before its all gone) and Mince Pies, and there will be live music from 9:00pm-Midnight.
As you know, we carried out a Members’ survey at the end of last year to see how many of you would rather have Thursday instead of Wednesday as your Eel Pie Club night and as a majority voted in favour of Thursday we implemented the change in January of this year. This has inevitably meant that some of you are no longer able to come along, and for that we are sorry. Over the year, on average, there has not been a significant change in attendance numbers and for 2014 we have decided to stick with Thursdays (except for our Eel Pie All-Star gigs where more musicians are available on Wednesdays). We will review the situation again at the end of 2014.
R.I.P. 2 talented musicians who performed at The Club over the years: Vinnette (Cowan), the raunchy and totally glamourous Tina Turner-esque vocalist was a regular visitor to the Club before she became ill with leukaemia; and Gypie Mayo, former member of The Yardbirds and Dr. Feelgood, died from cancer in October. We particularly remember Gypie playing at our 5th Birthday Party. RIP Vinnette and Gypie.
CHARITY DONATIONS During the year ending
November 2013, The Eel Pie Club has donated a total of £927 to The Prostate Cancer Charity and The Princess Alice Hospice.
THANKS TO YOU ALL WHO SUPPORT THE EEL PIE CLUB. NONE OF IT COULD HAPPEN WITHOUT YOU!
Special thanks to Don Craine for organising the music of our All-Star gigs, Doug Taylerson & Keith Battye for a great job on the sound; Gaynor & John Osborn for looking after the Club so efficiently when we are on holiday; Jennifer Noble, Blake Powell & Pat Stancliffe for all the photos; and Simon Leak at Executive Mortgages for allowing us to use his office as our mailing address.
All good wishes for a great Holiday Season!
Gina and Warren