Believed to be the longest running rock club in the country, the Agincourt celebrated 50 years on 16th Nov’ 2013. The club has been running every Saturday since the early 60s and has played host to the likes of The Rolling Stones, Cream, The Who, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, and Wishbone Ash.
A ballroom in the early 1900s, During WWII it was a morgue and a Freemason’s temple at some point. By the mid to late 50’s it was a ballroom again oft’ frequented by servicemen from the local barracks, including R.A.F and American and Australian regulars, while Bob Potter ‘contracted’ musicians from local military bands to perform on a Saturday night. Kerry Rapid and the Blue Stars could be caught on stage in the late 50’s, with Shirley taking your money at the door and Gene Fowler bouncing, and Reg checking your coat in the cloakroom.
At some point in ’62, The Renegades supported The Spotnicks, from Sweden at Agincourt. The Konrads appeared at the venue on 6 April ’63. Back then you could ‘Rock, Twist, Jive’ Every Thursday night and the weekends were for the ‘big’ names – big names for a regional venue that is – to appear, such as Decca recording artist Allen & The Blue Diamonds, with support from The Flames; on 28 September ’63 and Parlephone recording artist Tommy Bruce and The Bruisers the following night, supported by Daniel Boone and The Renegades. On 28 February ’65, The Who took the stage and on 8 August Simon Scott and the All Nightworkers, supported by The Dynamo, electrified the audience. Almost a year later The Who were back again on 16 January ’66. Later that year, on 12 June, The Loving Kind were supported by local band The Condors. On his UK tour Chuck Berry swung by Camberley on 25 February ’67. Bob Potter arranged for Berry to be supported by Kerry Rapid and The Soul Tones. Howling Laud Hope (aka Kerry Rapid) reported that on asking Berry what his set list would be, so that they didn’t do anything that he would be doing, Berry responded “you just go along and play whatever you like, I love to hear other peoples versions of my songs”. The next month – 12 March ’67 to be precise – Pink Floyd played at the Agincourt, supported by Sky (the Condors renamed) to a crowd of about 40. This was reportedly Floyd’s first gig outside London. On 17 May 1968, James and Bobby Purify kicked off their UK tour at the Agincourt.
Rock at The Agincourt featured local band T. T. Transmission, supported by The Vandels,on 7 January ’78. On 20 October ’79 the Jackie Lynton’s Band played Agincourt, and hinting that Rick Parfitt might join them on stage to perform the Lynton / Parfitt co-written “Ricky Rocket”, which was on the bands soon to be released EP.
Whispering Bob Harris hosted ‘Rock Comes to Camberley for Radio 210 on 10 May ’80, which featured local rockers Polaris. Euro Promotions helped maintain The Agincourt’s affinity with Sweden by bringing The E.F. Band, who were touring in support of their ‘Metal for Muthas’ LP, to the Camberley venue on 28 July ’80. The Agincourt’s Monday Rock Night continued on 6 Oct ’80 with 7-20 playing to a decent crowd. The Quotations, the local band, not the American doo-wop band from East Brooklyn, New York, played at the venue on 17 April ’81.
The Agincourt was also the venue for the very first Buzz Club, on 17th November ’85, which featured That Petrol Emotion and The Mighty Lemon Drops. The Buzz Club returned on 1 December ’85 with The Blow Monkeys, supported by co-organizer Jo Bartlett’s own Go! Service and Zaz Turned Blue. A few months later The Blow Monkeys were in the charts with ‘Digging Your Scene‘.
On the 12 May ’89, making their ‘only Southern UK appearance’, pub rock royalty in the form of Dr. Feelgood with it’s Brilleaux, Mitchell, Morris and either Russell or Mayo line-up.
The Cube promoted a number of nights at The Agincourt, notably the 6 October ’91 appearance of Thousand Yard Stare, supported by Backlash, for a pre James Tour warm up; and The Senseless Things, ten days later on 16 October, for a pre Carter Tour appearance, supported by The Revs. Local promotion company Pamblewood Promotions, who also organized the Pamblewood Balls, were very active at the venuee from ’94 through ’96. They booked Credit to the Nation for 6 July ’94, and Chumbawumba, supported by Mambo Taxi, to appear at The Ag on 11 August that year. On the 9 December ’94 The Senseless Thing, supported by Joyrider and Who Moved The Ground? rocked the venue. The next year Pamblewood secured Dodgy to appear on 22 June. Then, No Way Sis took to the stage on 4 Dec ’96. We are bound to have missed a raft of Pamblewood events at The Agincourt. Local band, Orphic Soop headlined The Agincourt for Mutley C’s Homegrown event on 19 September ’97, with Lacuna, Leith and Mindwire in support. We’ll close with Mindwire’s third newsletter, which puts them at the Agincourt, with Jetpack, Floor and Vex Red, as well as Hundred Reasons on 20 March ’98.
The venue is soon to pass 60 years as a live music venue and the last we saw it was receiving a fresh lick of paint.