openstageimagesA Thursday, monthly performers night at
The Butt of Sherry, High St, Hythe, Kent
Tel. No. 01303 266112

Open Stage Page Menu…

Open Stage 12th Anniversary CompilationCD 1 | CD 2 | CD 3
Open Stage Thanks


Open Stage – 1st Thursday of every month.
Open Stage Theme Time – 3rd Thursday of every month.



When Jack asked me to write something for the Open Stage Twelfth Anniversary website I was not sure how to approach the task, but here goes. Firstly let me say it is a great idea, because any proceeds will go to Jack’s chosen charity, The Demelza Trust, which he has supported generously over the years, and that can only be a good thing. (If you want to find out more about the good work The Demelza Trust does, click on to the link at the end of this article).

But there are lots of reasons to celebrate twelve years of open stage at The Butt of Sherry. Every act, troubadour, singer/songwriter, solo artist, duo, trio, band, group, folkie, rocker, punk, jazzer, rapper, poet, whatever who has performed there is a reason. Every musical voyager setting nervously out on their journey who has done their first performance at Open Stage is a reason. Every retired old stager who has gone to the closet, hauled out their axe, dusted it off and come down to the Open Stage to perform is a reason. Every magic, unlooked for moment when something special and joyous has happened at Open Stage, and there have been many, and, God and Jack willing, there will be many more, is a reason. Every faithful punter and friend who returns fortnight after fortnight to listen to the music is a reason. Passing throughers who will ever after remember their visit to Hythe with affection because of Open Stage is a reason. The community of spirit and happiness that hall mark every other Thursday evening at The Butt is a reason. I could go on. If you have ever been you will know for yourself the truth of these statements. If you have never been then shame on you.

It was one evening in 1998 when Jack, fed up with the treadmill of solo gigging, and, probably unbeknown to himself was looking for a new project (Jack’s always got to be involved with a project, usually several)! was walking along Hythe High Street and hearing karaoke spilling out from several pubs and seeing ads for karaoke everywhere, decided that it was time for live music, real music to make a stand (Jack’s always got to be making a stand, usually several)! So, soliciting the help of Sue and Duncan, who were old hands at running successful music venues, arranged to start an Open Stage at The Butt of Sherry. The only idea was that if you wanted to play, you could, no matter how experienced or gifted; no matter your age; no matter the style of music you espoused, no matter what instrument you played; if you could fit into the little recess that is the stage then, brother, sister, you are on! And so it was, and so it continues to be and, for me and many others I say, long may it continue.

Now, over the years, many people have looked upon the success of Jack’s Open Stage and thought “I can do that.” And have set up an open stage of their own. Even in the few years I have been involved I have observed this phenomenon. I have seen them start up and close down. They come and they go. Why? Because they cannot replicate what happens at The Butt on alternate Thursday evenings. And why cannot they perform this trick of the hand, this leger de main? Well there are many reasons but the main reason is simply Jack. There ain’t no one like him. He’s the conjuror; he’s the alchemist.

Now Jack will probably censor or delete this last paragraph but I hope, in the name of honest reportage he does not, because the thing about Open Stage at The Butt is that it is Jack’s open stage. He organises it, sets up the gear, hosts the evening and all those things and he is great at doing all those things, apart that is from telling the jokes! However it is Jack’s spirit and greatness of soul that makes the Open Stage what it is, unique, special, popular and loved. Don’t edit that out Jack. You would be dishonest to do so, and I know how much you hate mendacity! Just keep on keeping on and when you get to The Pearly Gates and are trying to explain away all the debit side on your life’s account to St. Peter, just tell him “I ran The Open Stage!” and he’ll let you straight in. Then you can start one up up there!!!

Chris T.

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Artwork by Phyllis McDowell – Graphics by Colin Gibson

  • Track 1: Shore Bride  –  Kenny Craddock (From the album Mad as the Mist and Snow)
  • Track 2: Kologo  – Samondi (From the album Blood of the Martyrs)
  • Track 3: Tam Lin/The Dogs Among the Bushes –  The Jones Boys
  • Track 4: Some Kinda Woman –  Katie Bradley (From the album Night Sky)
  • Track 5: Bushman –  Paul Clifford (From the album Root Balls)
  • Track 6: Operation Stack – The Silver Horses
  • Track 7: Cinnamon Scent – Simon Everett
  • Track 8: They Come and Go – The Mercurials (From the album Guitar Music to Ignite the Soul)
  • Track 9: Rainy Night in Cattlewash – Guano Poundhammer (From the album Domestic Bliss)
  • Track 10: Sunshine – Maggie Kennedy (From the album Annexfest 1)
  • Track 11: Sugar Cane Train – Buick 6 (From the album Cypress Grove)
  • Track 12: Mr. Spaceman – Jim Penson


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Artwork by Phyllis McDowell – Graphics by Colin Gibson

  • Track 1 Lucky Day – Happy Trails (from the album White Sands)
  • Track 2 Brand New Attitude – Rico (from the EP The Velvet Gutter)
  • Track 3 Catching Sparks – Loose Change (from the album Returning Voyage)
  • Track 4 Pass – Daniel Addison (from the EP Last)
  • Track 5 Edge of the World – Dirty Ray (from the album Primitive)
  • Track 6 Lost At Sea – Julian Whitfield (from the album Christopher)
  • Track 7 Metamorphosis – Rob Leigh (from forthcoming new album)
  • Track 8 To Hide – Tim Denman
  • Track 8 The Pointy man – Fur Cough (from the album Gravity Sucks) 
  • Track 10 Red moon – Libra Rising (from the album Dappled Light)
  • Track 11 Weekend Hedonist – The Brilliant Hiders (from the EP Brilliant Hiders)
  • Track 12 Lighting The Bong – Doctor Chair (from the album Witter and Beard)


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Artwork by Phyllis McDowell – Graphics by Colin Gibson

  • Track 1: John Rice – Hythe Military Canal in Summer 00:47
  • Track 2: The Tophill Girls – Anna House 03:13
  • Track 3: Jim Leverton – As Long as She Knows 03:30
  • Track 4: John Pearson’s Blues and Beyond – Fire on The Wind 04:28
  • Track 5: Kai Motta – Picture That 04:53
  • Track 6: Caroline Hampshire – Lunatic 05:12
  • Track 7: The Blues Academy – Wrap It Up In Ribbons 02:59
  • Track 8: High Brazil – Dog Of The Sea 03:17
  • Track 9: Maiuko – Mozambique 03:54
  • Track 10: The Reg Laws Band – Waiting For Summer 05:12
  • Track 11: Jamie Beatbox – Bein’ Yourself 05:20
  • Track 12: Jack Pound – Folkestone Moon 02:20


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Open Stage Performers…

A big thanks to the Musicians, Poets and Performing Artists who have graced and disgraced my Open Stage over the years. It never ceases to amaze me the talent that has come through that tiny bar. May the Muse be with you.

If you have performed and are not listed below, I apologise – let me know and I will add your name to the list.

Dave Auty Nick Ayeling Phil Archer Angela Axworthy Age of Innocence Ray Arnold Amos & Paul Lizzie Andrews

Steve Bunn Jumba Belly Bill Beer Kate Bradley Paul Brisley Nic Bennet Pete Brown Charlie Brown Melanie Beavis Schiller Bilted Dave Burdis Paul Brassington Andrew Bailey Jacob Burton Jack Burton David Barlow Backpack Jack Joe Black Frank Bingham

Ian Bolchin Caroline Bradley Andy Bannister Ashley Brown Jim Bradley David & John The Beckenham Boys,Steve Bradley Matanja Bradley Nick Bowden Bob Bartell Steve Brown David Birch Les Black Steve Bray Mike Blees Neil Buika Sophie & Kate Bullock Mike Broomfield

John Chipperfield Al Clarke Steve Cook Richard Cron Ian Caird Kenny Craddock Roly Cobbett Louis Curd Chonka Paul Clifford Rob Cumming Gorgeous George Cumming Havel Centrum The Old Country Crows Emma Checkfield John Chapman Car Crash Mick Nicola Casey Wayne de Costa

Angie & Bridie Dover, Jon & Elaine Dean Pete Davies Ben Duggard Tim Denman Kofi Dako Kay Drar Gary Dean Diarmuid Dee Dover Dave John Dabin Alan Davis Chris Davis Deal/No Deal Carl Sara Dean Pete Dean

Bernie Eveleigh Ramona Egle Simon Everett Fuse (Canadain home grown) Mitch Emery Nikki Essen Liberty Emmerson Glenn Edwards

Peter Ferns Dave Fairfoul James Fairfoul The Fallen Matt Finn Float (Mark Stone – Helen Finn) Roger Flack Allan-Yorkie Al-Fulton Dave Ferra Fareisle (The) Frocks – Lewis Figes Gina Miloch & Shaislannah Benedict -Tom Fuller Hank Foreman

Peter Giles Ewan Golder John Green Dave Griffiths Mark Griffiths Peter Gazey Larry Grover Matt Giles Larey Grover Chloé Goodrich Sarah Giles

Greig Hughes Stuart Hollyhead Sheila Jones Jo Hall Kyanna Hayes Tony Hals Jason Harris Jo Hook Roger Hubbard Simone Hamson Kyanna Hayes Chris Hollingrake Vic Hollingrake John Hegley Laurence Hickmott Keith Harwood J.R.Hartley Kevin (Spigsy) Hickmot Adam Harman Janet Hart Tony Hulse Bob Hamm Barry Haines Jiri Havel Hunt Cult Ryan Hussey Neil Howard

Sarah Haselgrove Steve Harris Paul Herwin Anastasia Horner Vikki Hibbert

Jenny Inglebrecht

Castoff James Sean Jones Sheila Jones Julia Jones Susan Jones Jean LeHane Bolo Johnson Jo & Ben DJ Jones Libby Jaeggi Fred James Jimmy and the Riddles Jethro Jasmine Jean

Roger Kelly Ian Knowles  Marianne Kelly David Kaffinetti Roger Kelly Sophie Knight Ian Knowles & Carol

Lucy Kenyon Hilary Kenyon Maggie Kennedy Ken Krash Derren Knight Gerry Kelly Sebastion Kunst Tony King Reg Laws John Lawrence Jim leverton Jim Laslet Dave Lutton Maria Long Glen Lamberton Daniel Lloyd Simon Lee Lorraine Lucas Rachael Lowry Leo Lyons Dominic Lucas Bob & Rosie Leitch Jess Lyon-Wall

Simon Mohr Kai Motte Ben Milberry, Patrick McKernan Paul Minter Dulcie May Merengo Mick Marsh Petrtt Måslo Paddy McEvoy Morvern Shores – Marian MacGregor Robert Dyer Petrit Maslo Dave McKean Emma McFain
Rick Dyer- Keiran Mercer Mitch Greg Mcleod Mick Morris Petr Quidnunc Maslo Raffael The Ramblin’ Boys Mead Luke Moran Sharon McCarron Vince Martin Chris McCauley Marnic Sara Mees Alice Monk Tiffany Monk Chris Meller Peter Milbank-Jones The Mushrooms (Kevin & Pam) Marcus Marasusa  Sabrina Maria  Spencer Maybe

NhLanhala Ngwenya {Bongo Love) Helen Norith

Bert Osbourne Siobhan O’Brien Peter Osbourne Orfila (Louise – Matt – Abi) Tim Odell

St.John Poore Nick Poore Andee Price Mike Pearce Lizzie Pearce Oliver Pringle The Psychotic Reaction – Alex Williams Phil Davis – John Pearson Seb Pollard Tony Pierson James Pyott
Jim Penson Stuart Pendrill Steve Perry Jimmy Powell Hannah Palmer Fred Pockman Alex Page

Kevin Richards Bruce Redman Tony Randall Andy Rhinshaw Rich Tea Barney Ross Ben Richardson Ed Romwich John Raeside Reece/Abby/Barry Band Edward Romwich Royd  Kathleen Riordan Nina Ramblins

Rosie’s Dumplings – Pete Thompson Andy Whistle Kevin Finch – Rokka Starskey – a.k.a. Paul Wright Nicki Walton

Mark Shoane Chris Shoane Romer Stephens George Stevens Ryan (Soul) Candy Charmien Simmons Sohies Choice Sam Snow Trevor Stevenson Glen Sharp Mark Steeple Tim Shepherd Steve Simmons Denny Simmons Nikki Staff Ian Shawcross Roy Smith Dirty Ray Novascotia Phil Shunn – Pete Marsh Roy Spreckley – Mark Stone Snuff Adolphe d’Senegal Imala Squibb Laura Seagust Paul Sherman Christopher Stephen Sharon Stevens Charmien Simmons Saltdish Ukulele Band Charlie Stinchcombe Mark Scholfield  Euan Sahdow Peter Slade Mr. Snap  Marian Shrill

Nina Taylor Jaqui Thompson Louis Turpin Ivan Thompson Tree Chris Tophill Charlotte Tophill Frances Tophill Elizabeth Tophill Denis Taylor Jax Titmus Bruce Thorndike & Barry Martyn Dan Taplin Ashley Temple  Tropea

Mick Valentine

Julian Whitfield Rick Whalen Paul Wealend Chris Wright Kevin Wright Barry Wakefield Pete Williams Clive Wearne Nathaniel White Wasp Juice – Chris Blunkell Brian Barnett Andy Capon – Ross Watson White Callum Wright Iris Nathan White Stuart Watson Ben Weaver Shane and Rudi Warmen Bernie Watts Jen Watts Jean Wilcox Dave Waters  Don Wardroper Barry Weekes Dan Wood Nicki Walton  Simon Wall  Kim Ward

An even bigger thanks to the supportive audiences we’ve had over the years.
This includes Hecklers (Professional and Spontaneous), and attention seeking Gob-Shites.


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