Looking back to cooler and
groovier times

Nigel Grundy has created a feature-length documentary on the Portsmouths music scene during the 60s
Nigel Grundy has created a feature-length documentary on the Portsmouths music scene during the 60s
Lt-Col Nick Grace saying farewell and leaving the rostrum for the last time at St Mary's Church, Fratton.

Thirty-five years of arm-waving Grace with the Royal Marines

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The old cliche runs that if you can remember the 60s then you weren’t really there.

Fortunately for Nigel Grundy it’s not entirely true, as the curator of the Portsmouth Music Experience at the Guildhall has created a feature-length documentary on the city’s music scene during the decade.

It has been a three-year labour of love for Nigel, who said: ‘I’ve been working on this DVD for three years. I contacted people I used to know in the 60s, people who ran clubs, people in bands, that sort of thing, and I put together the story from the early 60s to the early 70s.

‘It’s not a comprehensive history because we all knew different people and had different experiences, but the interesting thing was when we had the preview screening at the Guildhall and I showed it to my peers, they liked it – it passed the test.’

The film, Cool Days, Groovy Nights, is packed with photos and posters from the period, as it looks back on fondly remembered venues like the Tricorn Club, Kimbells, 
The Birdcage, and The 
Indigo Vat, as well as acts like Simon Dupree and the Big Sound, Rod Stewart and Paul Jones.

‘There were some people I asked who didn’t want to be in it, but others loved it,’ said Nigel.

‘When I interviewed them, my technique wasn’t to ask questions as such, I just set up the camera and we talked.

‘I ended up with hours and hours of tape which took a long time to edit down to an hour and 50 minutes.

‘It was an enjoyable experience revisiting those people and those times.

‘One of the first people I interviewed for this was Dave Rogers, who used to be the landlord of the Auckland Arms and he was instrumental in setting up the first jazz club in Portsmouth.

‘Sadly he died a few weeks ago, which was a real shame.’

The documentary is available to buy from the Guildhall.