Hades played in Nottingham between 1968 and 1971 and were a Blues/prog rock covers and originals band. The band was started by Chris Allard and comprised of:standing L-R: Brian Jones (guitar), Chris Allard (lead guitar) Phil Watkins (bass) sitting: Chris Watson (drums) kneeling: Ron Barrie (vocals)
Festival Inn Trowell November 1969
Liberty Belle L-R Mick Smith, Phil Kilby, Chris Allard, Carole Dennison, Pete Horsnell, Ian Wright
HADES by Chris AllardManagement was by Nick White and Ian Tyler. We started out in 1967 as Diverse Union and were a bunch of fresh-faced youngsters. The arrival of Ron Barrie toughened us up – he had form! He was a Scottish blues/folk singer/songwriter from Glasgow and had come up through the school of hard knocks. Ron joined the band in 1969 having fronted a Nottingham blues band called “Red House” They were often to be heard at the Old Milton’s Head or the Imperial. Ron’s arrival prompted a name-change and Hades was born. A Commer van was purchased, painted black and the letters H A D E S were painted in flames on three sides!We played several venues in and around Nottingham including the Milton’s Head, the Imperial, The Festival Inn Trowell (who could forget Eric Pemberton’s big band), Blue Ball, Golden Diamond, Grey Goose, Grey Topper at Jacksdale, a myriad of Miners Welfares and WMC’s. One night at Ripley MW during one of their regular fights, I dodged a
beer bottle which hit the wall behind my amp. They must have been mad - the beer bottle was FULL!! On one trip to a gig in Bury St Edmunds, the van (which was maintained by Star Garage on Nottingham Road, Basford) dropped its fan assembly at 12.30 am, just as we were leaving Bury after a cracking gig there. The fan hit the radiator and we were stuffed – miles from home. Suffolk in 1970 was a VERY quiet place so, with nowhere to stay we spent a night in the local Police cells!! At £40, the gig was the best money we’d ever earned. However, by the time we’d paid for rail fares home for 6 (there were no buses) the van tow-in and repair, and finally the cost of the return journey to Bury to collect the van, we were seriously out of pocket.The band never really recovered and two members, Phil and Brian left at about that time, to be replaced by Chris Collingwood on bass and Robin Asher on guitar. Hades survived for another ten then finally wrapped it up on 14th February 1971 at our regular venue, the “Percy Andrew Social Club” in Bulwell where the MC insisted on calling us “The ‘Ades”.
After Hades, in 1972 Brian and Phil and I entered the national Watney/Mann UK Songwriter’s competition and reached the finals at the Wigmore Hall, London. Brian and Phil decided not go to the final but happily Robin Asher pitched in with Clive Heenan (well-known north-Notts folk vocalist and fiddle player) and a couple of Clive’s mates. We didn’t win but a creditable 4th wasn’t bad out of 12 UK finalists.During the early 1970s I formed Sound Advice, a pop covers outfit that included amongst its members ex-WhichWhat drummer Bob Todd, with Ron Barrie, Pete Horsnell and Ian Wright. When Ron left the band, this became Liberty Belle (pop covers) with vocalist Carole Dennison, Phil Kilby (drums), Mick Smith (ex-Barracuda - saxophones, harmonicas and congas), Pete and Ian. When Carole left, Ron joined up again to reform Sound Advice which, in late 1977, became Screw (a platform for our own material).Screw, now with Mick Preston as our vocalist, went on to win the local East Midland heats of the 1978 Melody Maker Magazine Rock/Folk Contest and shortly afterwards we attracted Keith White as our drummer and Mark Everatt on keys. In this form we regularly played the Imperial and were featured on JayCee’s Radio Nottingham rock programme, as well as being part of the Nottingham Musician’s Union annual live bash from the Rainbow Rooms.In late 1979, Screw morphed into Dawn Trader with me, Keith and Mick plus Wayne Vizard (lead guitar) and Rik Evans (bass) - a band that I was particularly proud to be a member of. We had a vibrant and eclectic range of original material that still holds up to critical review today. Sadly, a disagreement between me, the manager and rest of the guys, meant I left in mid 1980. It was one of those sad events that I really regret . . . . I still run a band with Pete Horsnell still on bass called “Venice Red” and we’re based in the SW London area. Chris Allard