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Rock 'n' Roll Wiltshire
Kinks fans at the Neeld Hall gig
The day The Kinks were chased out of Chippenham
We look back to 1964, and the day top beat combo The Kinks were chased out of a gig in Chippenham by crazed fans.
It was Thursday 7th September 1964 and Beatlemania was in full swing. But on this day in Chippenham, Kinksmania was swelling in the hearts of local pop music fans.
The legendary band were booked to play one of the regular gig nights at the Neeld Hall in Borough Parade in Chippenham.
Each weekly gig was organised by the Graham Alford Theatrical Agency and headlined 'The Top Twenty Club'. The agency also held similar events under the Top Twenty Club banner at the Town Hall in Trowbridge.
Local officials and members of the Chippenham constabulary would have done well to be wary of the hard-rocking quartet's impending arrival.
The Kinks also played Swindon on 11th May 1965
Earlier in the year in April, the band had played elsewhere in the county at Salisbury City Hall, a show which provoked a near riot after teenage girls invaded the stage.
Also the wayward band were notorious for their boisterous live performances, some of which ended in chaos as warring brothers Ray and Dave Davies attacked each other!
However there was no inter-band sibling rivalry on display at this Chippenham gig where The Kinks were supported by local beat group, Dick Delmont and the Strangers.
But once again the band whipped up a teenage Wiltshire crowd into a frenzy which saw the band being chased out of the Neeld Hall in fear of being torn limb from limb.
Long-defunct weekly local newspaper The Wiltshire Echo featured an account of the gig in their 10th September 1964 edition entitled 'Chippenham teenagers chase group', which read as follows:
"Think twice before you hum "You Really Got Me" in Chippenham. It could get you in a whole lot of trouble. Ask The Kinks.
If they had not been so fleet of foot, the hit-parade group would have have come to a sticky end on Thursday.
Nearly 1,000 teenagers swooped on the Neeld Hall to hear the long-haired quartet hammer their way through a string of hit numbers.
Before the group appeared the young folk were jostling for a stage-side position, to get within grabbing distance of their new idols. And even before the curtains had parted, the hall trembled with the piercing screams of ecstasy, the thought of a Kink wrung from the teenettes.
The excitement temperature shot sky-high when the chart-topping group actually appeared. Eager young hands straining for a fingertip touch of a Kinky boot.
As the pressure from behind increased, those in the forefront of the crush eased themselves up onto the edge of the stage. Others followed and soon a human bank all but hid the musicians.
A feverish version of "Smokestack Lightning" brought things to boiling point. And then the opening chords of "You Really Got Me" rang out.
The crowd tottered for a moment. Then as if at a signal, whooping boys and yelling girls swarmed up on to the stage.
Faced by this mighty wave of howling humanity, The Kinks gave in. Dropping their instruments they fled across the stage, leaping through the tiny door at the back only seconds ahead of their pursuers.
And that was the end of the performance. As the quieter sections of the audience made its way out, stewards were still popping marauding misses out from behind the curtains into the hall."
last updated: 25/02/2009 at 10:22
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