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Them and Now: Van Morrison Celebration to take place on Sunday 4 May

Them featuring Van Morrison were one of the many top 1960's groups who appeared at the Ritz Ballroom on King's Heath's York Road now sadly burnt down. Come and listen to a great line-up of top local musicians play their favourite Van Morrison songs at a special Lazy Sunday Afternoon session to celebrate this event.

Formed in Belfast in April 1964, Them scored Top Ten Hits with the double A side “Gloria”/ ”Baby Please Don't Go” and then “Here Comes The Night”. Morrison quit the band in 1966 to persue what was to turn out to be a phenomenally sucessful solo career starting with the hit single “Brown Eyed Girl” and a string of critically acclaimed albums beginning with “Astral Weeks” and “Moondance”.

Still regularly touring worldwide, “Van The Man” has become a true music legend collaborating on albums with The Chieftains, John Lee Hooker and Tom Jones. His recording with The Chieftains of “Have I Told You Lately” won him one of many Grammy Awards.

Don't miss King's Heath's tribute show to the “Belfast Cowboy”.

Compered by Irish singer songwriter Rich McMahon, the show will be headlined by Paul Murphy who played with Van in Belfast in the 1960's and nowadays fronts the 14 piece band The Destroyers, Micky Greaney, Tom Martin, Rob Peters and Blue Shire.

Advance Tickets cost £3 from Kitchen Garden Cafe or £3 plus booking fee from www.wegottickets.com/event/264174

Any remaining tickets will cost £4 on the door.

Below: Advert from Midland Beat for Regan's Dances including Them appearing at the Ritz Ballroom on Feb. 28th 1965



 
Kast Off Kinks to perform at Hare & Hounds on Sunday 8 June 2014

Come for a once in a lifetime experience and hear ex Kinks members perform all their greatest hits in the intimate atmosphere of the Hare & Hounds on Sunday 8 June

The Kinks were one of the greatest and most influential groups of all time scoring hit after hit from the 1960's onwards until they split up in 1996.

This special concert has been organised by us to jointly celebrate the 48th Anniversary of The Kinks performing next door to the Hare & Hounds at the now sadly burnt down Ritz Ballroom and the debut there on bass guitar of John “Nobby” Dalton who will be returning for the first time to King's Heath as a member of The Kast Off Kinks.

The Kast Off Kinks are not a tribute band but a great line-up of ex-Kinks members:-

Mick Avory on drums and vocals

John Dalton on bass guitar and vocals

Ian Gibbons on keyboards and vocals plus

Dave Clarke on lead guitar and vocals who peviously worked with The Beach Boys.

Formed by Mick Avory in 1994 to keep the music of The Kinks alive,  the Kast Off Kinks regularly perform at Kinks Fan Club events and at major venues throughout Europe.

Expect to hear all The Kinks' hits including “You Really Got Me”, “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”, “Sunny Afternoon”, “Lola”, “Waterloo Sunset”, “Victoria”, “Apeman”, “Days” and “Come Dancing”.


“A full house, and a standing ovation. To anyone wondering about going, do not hesitate”

(The Stables, Milton Keynes)

“Nothing short of superb. From start to finish it was a set filled with hit after hit”

(Mad Ferret, Preston)

“ A great night's entrtainment … made up of both classic hits and album tracks”

(Sussex Express)

This should prove to be one of the great nights to remember in King's Heath!

Tickets cost just £12.50 plus booking fee from

www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk

Tickets are also available for £12.50 from the Kitchen Garden Cafe on York Road.

Cash Only - no credit cards.

Doors open at 7 p.m. On stage at 7.45 p.m.

 
Beatles Fest on Sunday 16 February 2014 is a sell-out!

Above: From left to right George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and John Lennon photographed in 1963 outside one of the Regan venues

Our concert to celebrate the 51st. anniversary of the first ever Beatles gig in Birmingham at the Ritz Ballroom on King's Heath's York Road is a sell-out.

Fletchers Bar on York Road directly opposite the former ballroom will be packed to the rafters from 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday 16 February.

All tickets were sold within less than 5 days of them going on sale as Beatlemania returns to King's Heath after 51 years.

The Beatles appeared at the Ritz Ballroom - one of 4 venues run in the 1950's and 60's by the legendary Irish couple Ma and Pa Regan - on 15 February 1963 shortly after releasing their second single "Please Please Me". Originally scheduled to appear on 11 January, they had been prevented by blizzard like conditions from making the 11 mile journey to King's Heath from one of the Regans other venues - the Plaza in Old Hill.

When they did eventually make it on 15 February Beatlemania had really started to take off and the Beatles were only able to enter the Ritz by climbing up a ladder from Milford Place. In fact, the Fab Four almost had to appear as the Fab Three after George Harrison arrived late by taxi and was trapped by screaming fans.

"Tell them to turn that racket down" is what Pa Regan is rumoured to have shouted while they were practising! But he was a very happy man really. He had persuaded their manager Brian Epstein to agree to them performing for their previously agreed fee even though they were now No. 1 in the charts! They performed the rescheduled gig at The Ritz during a break from The Helen Shapiro Tour on which they started off as only 4th out of the 11 acts on the bill!

Autographs of the four Beatles signed at the Ritz Ballroom were sold at Christies auction house on 24 June 2010.
According to the vendor she was picking up her coat from the coat room after the concert when she met Paul McCartney coming out of the toilets. After giving her his autograph she followed him into the bar where he called her over to meet the rest of the band who gave her their autographs too. She then took up Paul's kind offer of a lift back into town in their van where she sat on his lip and shared a kiss!!!

Those lucky enough to secure tickets should have a great afternoon's entertainment as we celebrate a landmark event in King's Heath's musical heritage

A great line-up of top local musicians has already been lined up but any other musicians who would like to appear at the anniversary event should contact:                                 

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Clockwise: Autographs of John Lennon, Paut McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison

signed at the Ritz Ballroom that were auctioned at Christies on 24 June 2010.

 
Join us for our XMAS XTRAVAGANZA on Sunday 1st December

Get the festive season off to a great start by coming along to our Xmas Xtravaganza at Fletchers on Sunday 1st December featuring some of the most popular musicians from our 2013 Lazy Sunday Afternoon Sessions.

Included in the line-up will be the very young and talented Harriet Harkcom who brought the audience to their feet at our Rolling Stones Fest with her version of "Wild Horses", the sensational SwiftBeat who performed a rousing set at our Rock 'n' Roll Revival event, the amazing 6-5 Specials skiffle band, the great Mr Apollo playing fantastic roots rock and the irrepressible Dave Diz so this should prove to be another really enjoyable afternoon in King's Heath.

The show will start at 3 p.m. and end at 6 p.m.

Advance tickets cost just £2.50 from the Kitchen Garden Cafe or www.wegottickets.com (plus 25p booking fee). Tickets on the door will cost £3.


 
Rolling Stones Fest on Satuday 14 September will celebrate 50th Anniversary of their Ritz Ballroom Concert

A new documentary and nearly 4 hours of live music will make up a special Rolling Stones Festival to be held in King's Heath on Saturday 14 September to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of their legendary performance at the former Ritz Ballroom on YorK Road.

Formed in London in 1962 when Brian Jones met up with childhood friends Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the Rolling Stones started out playing blues music taking their name from the title of a song by Muddy Waters. For the whole of 1962 they played exclusively in the London area. But all that began to change on 7 June 1963 with the release of their first single a cover of Chuck Berry's "Come On". Just a few months later on 14 September 1963 they played one of their first gigs outside London and their first ever in Birmingham at the Ritz Ballroom. Joining them on the tiny stage were Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. Later the same night they went on to perform at The Plaza in Old Hill another of Ma and Pa Regan's clubs. The next evening they had to return to London to play at The Great Pop Prom in London at the Royal Albert Hall!

Centred around top local musicians performing their favourite Rolling Stones songs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m at Fletchers Bar on York Road directly opposite the former balllroom, the Festival will also include the screening at 1 p.m of a new documentary about the early days of the group plus recorded music and many specially invited guests.

Advance tickets costing only £4.00 are now on sale and can be purchased from the Kitchen Garden Cafe on York Road or £4.40  from www.wegotickets.com/event/237421

Space is limited for this historic event so it is really advisable to book in advance. Any remaining tickets will cost £5 on the day.

Local residents Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker who are organising the event said "The Rolling Stones are one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands of all time and it is amazing to think that they once played in King's Heath. We are determined to keep the spirit of The Ritz alive despite the fire that destoyed the building in March. We have already held some great events this year to celebrate performances by The Beatles, The Kinks and Dusty Springfield but want as many Stones fans as possible to come to King's Heath on 14 Sept to make this the biggest and best so far".

An impressive line up of musicians has aleady been drawn up but any others interested in performing on Saturday 14 September should contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

To read Birmingham Mail reporter Mike Lockley's background article click below:-

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/music/pals-memories-life-wih-rolling-5728422


 
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