Addition Information Below
DJ Mark Brown at the Mercers Arms 1968
New Modern Idiot Band (Rod Felton / Rob Armstrong) played there in the late 60's.
Fat mattress 9th Nov 1969
At Henry's Blues House - Mercers Arms 1971 -
Satisfaction - Thurs Jan 7th
Alan Bown - Thurs Jan 14th
Climax Chicago Blues Band - Thurs Jan 21st
Julian's Treatment - Thurs Jan 28th
Mogul Thrush - Thurs Feb 4th
Dando Shaft - Thurs Feb 11th
Duster Bennett - Thurs Feb 18th
Medicine Head (with guest - Keith Relf on guitar / Trev Teasdel on Jews Harp! - See story!) - Thurs Feb 25th
TREV TAKES THE STAGE WITH MEDICINE HEAD - A Story!
On Thursday 25th February 1971, Trev Teasdel (then organising the band nights at the Coventry Arts Umbrella and assisting Pete Waterman on the door at the Walsgrave Pub Progressive Music nights every Tuesday, went to the Mercers Arms with local drummer Steve Harrison and they met up with some female friends - the two Jans', Louise and Jackie. Trev had heard Medicine Head on John Peel and bought their first sing His Guiding Hand ( on the John Peel 'Dandelion label). Medicine head were a two-piece with songwriter John Fiddler on guitar and one man band drums and Peter Hope Evans on harmonica and Jews Harp. Peter however was off ill that night and a strange, unannounced guitar player took his place. As they had no Jew's Harp player John Fiddler asked if anyone in the audience played Jew's harp and would like to join them on stage for a couple of numbers. The girls volunteered Trev on stage. Although he had began writing his own songs and poetry, it was his first ever venture on stage! Quite daunting with such luminaries as Medicine Head but little did he know who the mystery guitarist was, that he shared a mic with and whom shared his bear with (Jew's Harp makes your mouth quite dry!). The band struck a twelve bar and Trev watched the guitarist fingers, noting his skill as he played along on the Jew's Harp but not realising just who he was! It should be noted that Trev was used to a small Jew's Harp that you could buy in the local music shop but the roadie had opened a box of assorted harps and gave a huge version that vibrated the hell out of his mouth! Coming off stage the roadie asked Trev if he knew who the mystery guitar player was. It turned out that it was only former Yardbirds lead singer Keith Relf, only his hair was a long longer these days. Keith had taken Medicine head under his wing and was now playing in a new band Renaissance! Not bad for a first gig! Trev tried to book Medicine Head for the Umbrella Club but their fee was way out of the Umbrella's range!
c 1974 Jim Reilly ran the The Cosmic Music Club at the Mercers Arms
Read more about Direct Enterprises and The Cosmic Club here http://covdiscoarchive.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/direct-enterprises-coventry-music.html
Also from the Coventry Evening Telegraph http://www.thefreelibrary.com/GO!+JAZZ%3A+FOND+MEMORIES+OF+THE+MERCER'S.-a097126666
THE publicity surrounding Coventry City's planned new stadium reminds me of a venue much loved by jazz enthusiasts which became a casualty of an earlier redevelopment.
The Mercer's Arms, opposite the Sky Blues' Highfield Road football ground, was flattened to make way for a car park. In its final years the pub was known as the Sky Blue Tavern.
But in its heyday the Mercer's Arms was the venue where several local bands and many national names packed in the crowds during the decades when jazz was indeed a popular music.
Bands such as The Idaho attracted large Saturday night audiences during the late 1950s and the average age of the musicians was about 19.
At about the same time, a band composed mainly of art students, The Weary City Jazz Band, became so popular that its sessions were extended to both Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Trumpet player Paul Barnes is now a BBC radio presenter and clarinetist Jack Ashby took up tenor and now leads The Jack Ashby Band.
Possibly the most significant development was the Dud Clews Jazz Orchestra, which played the big band music of Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington and McKinney's Cotton Pickers.
Saturday sessions were enormously popular from 1962 to 1974 and it is sad that Dud never lived to see how his original idea evolved into today's vintage big band, Harlem.
Enthusiastic local promoter Harry Flick brought modern jazz to The Mercer's for several years.
I remember hearing Stan Tracey, Ben Webster, Joe Harriott, Ronnie Scott, Tubby Hayes and countless others.
Meanwhile, the great traditional and New Orleans bands were making the pub a Friday evening haven with Ken Colyer, Terry Lightfoot, Alex Welsh and Colin Kingwell.
Harlem performed there with American legends George Kelly and Benny Waters as recently as 1982 and it is a source of regret that a building with such a history should end up being demolished.
From Broadgate Gnome http://www.broadgategnome.co.uk/venues01.htm
Another hardcore R&B / Jazz venue, this played host to a number of regular club nights like The Yardbird Club (1967 - 69), Tudor Club (1967), Henry's Blueshouse (1969) and Pete Waterman's Floorboards Club (1970). Legendary acts like The Graham Bond Organization, sax player, Tubby Hayes, flautist, Harold McNair, pianist Stan Tracey, reggae outfit The Skatalites and Shotgun Express (featuring Rod Stewart when he was good!) all performed there.
Sadly the venue is now demolished.
1967 The Penny Peep Show played at the Mercers Arms at the Tudor Club 19th November 1967