I recently wrote in Uncut about seeing Pink Floyd in March 1969 at a place called The Kee Club in Bridgend, a small town about half way to Cardiff from where I grew up in the even smaller town of Port Talbot.
The Kee was known to us amusingly as “the Welsh Fillmore” – the original Fillmores a place to us of distant wonder, while the Kee was a tiny room with possibly the smallest stage in the world. Still, it hosted over a period of a couple of years some of the most memorable so-called ‘underground’ stars of the era – including the Floyd, Roy Harper, Pete Brown’s Battered Ornaments, the original Yes, The Nice, Third Ear Band and Edgar Broughton.
My original column on the club provoked some excited correspondence with Uncut readers – including a former school friend I haven’t seen in 40 years, who wrote to me from Queensland, where he is now a lecturer in media studies – including the following note that’s just reached me from a Pat Morrey, who has memories as vivid as mine of some wondrous nights in the unlikely vicinity of Bridgend.
Here’s what Pat has to say:
Oh my God, The Kee Club in Bridgend 1967. Nobody I know remembers the place except you! My friend and I regularly hitchhiked from Cardiff to see all the amazing bands you mentioned. I missed the Pink Floyd, but I do remember The Nice, with Keith Emerson clad in his famous fringed jacket, trying to squeeze his massive Hammond organ into the place!!
Yes, it was only the size of someone’s front room, but they somehow managed to attract great bands.
I still live in Cardiff and still enjoy going to gigs but the Millennium Stadium just doesn’t compare to the intimacy of smaller venues.
A big thanks for rekindling so many good memories. I’ve been going around with a smile on my face all day!!!
Not forgetting Sofia Gardens back in 1967 – Hendrix , Pink Floyd and, good old Andy Fairweather Low. What a night that was!!!!!
Thanks once again.
Pat’s letter got me to thinking that we all have a Kee Club or somewhere not unlike it lurking in our pasts, a small town venue that helped shape our musical enthusiasms, where we maybe first saw the bands we would come to love enduringly.
If you have affectionate memories you’d like to share with us of a venue that means as much to you as The Kee Club evidently does for me and Pat, write to me here. I’m sure we’d all love to hear from you!