1967

The contrast between The Two Red Shoes and The Ballerina Ballroom in Nairn is quite shocking. Only two big-name bands played Elgin in 1967 whereas at least 10 played Nairn. Why Bonici’s ballroom in the smaller of the two towns should have proved more successful at this period is a mystery.

What is clear however, is that the Elgin venue had become boring and outdated. There was little change in the resident band although Bonici did have several bands circulating around his other dance halls. No matter how popular The Jimmy Martin Band was, it was crazy to have them play almost every night the venue was open. It seems the glory days were really over for The Two Red Shoes despite Pink Floyd playing on July 19th. I’m assuming their appearance was once again down to the relationship built up with Brian Epstein. It’s possible that Albert was contracually obliged to take them for a set number of dates.

Regular dancing every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday to the Jimmy Martin resident band

January 18, 20, 21 - Julie Grant will be appearing as guest vocalist

Wednesdays – Over 25’s Night 9.30 – 11.45 p.m.

Fridays – Late Night 9.30 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Saturdays – Palais Night 9 – 11.45 p.m.

February 8, 10, 11 – Miss Donna Douglas with Jimmy Martin Dance Band

February 14 – Valentine Dance with The Web from Manchester

March 01 – Dale Adriatico. All the way from the Phillipines. The most up and coming new vocalist with a voice like Sinatra

March 22 – Miss Jackie Day as guest vocalist

March 24 – Miss Jackie Day as guest vocalist

April 19, 21, 22 – Sheena Duff as guest vocalist

May 10, 12, 13 – Jackie Rogers as guest vocalist

May 30 – M.D.E. Queen Heat Two with Haddock’s Rockhouse plus The T-Set

June 27 – They’re back: Scotland’s top group after yet another action-packed German Tour. The scene is set for the fabulous Copycats plus The Dollies and The Mixture


July 12, 14, 15 – Donna Douglas as guest vocalist

July 20 – Pink Floyd plus The Copycats. I’ve been told that only 12 people attended this concert. The advert above is typical of Albert Bonici‘s over the top promotion skills. It turns out that the way-out lighting was provided by Graham Nairn who took charge of the Two Red Shoes Light(s) and tried to add some atmosphere to the event!

To give you a taste of what Pink Floyd were like and what their way-out light show should have been like, here they are at the legendary UFO CLub in London from March of this year. The footage is from a German documentary film called Die Jungen Nachtwandler (The Young Nightcrawler), about the British musical scene in the sixties. The director Edmund Wolf also appears on the clip for a short comment. It’s fascinating as it shows how the audience reacted to the music as well as what it was like in a club at this time.  

August 03 – Paul And Barry Ryan (seen above with “Have Pity On The Boy”) plus The Copycats

August 29 – Mama’s Little Children

September 05 – The Freddie Mack Show

September 06, 08, 09 – Sheena Duff

The advert above is from the Northern Scot and the listing below is from the Elgin Courant. Why neither contains the others date(s) is anyone’s guess.

September 27, 29, 30 – Judy Cannon presents her own brand of music. Dancing to the music of The Jimmy Martin Band

November 04 – The Jimmy Martin Band with Kathleen Ogg

November 08, 10, 11 – By special request! The return of the irrepressible and vivacious Judy Cannon

November 17 – The Modelles

November 18 – Dancing for all with The Jimmy Martin Band

November 21 – Freddie Mack And His Road Show (all sixteen pieces of it)

November 28 – It’s the new Cash Boutique Queen. Heat 2. Win a fabulous nylon fur coat!

December 06, 08, 09 – Entertainment at its best with the scintillating and vivacious Sheena Duff

Come dancing every Wednesday – Over 25’s Night, Friday – Late Night, Saturday – Palais Night with The Jimmy Martin Band

December 24 – It’s the Midnight Special with Circle. Prizes! hats! Novelties! Streamers! Under the direction of top dee-jay Keith Taylor

December 25 – SJPA present The Jim Martin Band

December 27 – Young Liberals’ Association present The Jim Martin Band

December 29 – Jim Martin Band

December 30 – Jim Martin Band

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3 Responses to 1967

  1. John Ruggeri says:

    The reason that the ballerina was more successful than the Two Red Shoes was probably the fact that it could hold at a push 1200 people whereas the Shoes could only take half that number. The ballerina being almost midway between Elgin and Inverness allowed Albert to lay on buses from both sides drawing a large number from Inverness, hence he tended to play the bigger named bands there.

    John Ruggeri (Albert Bonici’s nephew)

  2. rockmine says:

    Hey John!

    Thanks for taking time to comment. I can totally accept that size played a huge part in the success but it doesn’t explain why Albert was promoting in at least one other venue in Elgin at the time (although I have to say I don’t know how often). Proximity to Inverness would obviously be a major factor but several people have, during my research, raised the issue of gang violence aimed at those attending the Two Red Shoes from outside the town. Strangely, a resurgence of this in recent years has got the town (or is it a city?) unwanted media attention.

    It’s deeply disappointing that no archive of Albert’s work, or the stories behind the concerts exists. Even the photocopy of the contract with Brian Epstein that sits on a window ledge in the Red Shoes Theatre is in two pieces and very grey. He was one of the movers and shapers of Scottish popular culture in the last 50 years. You may know him and his history but the world doesn’t.

  3. Hey John,

    My dad knew your uncle as he promoted them at several gigs in the north. He played in the Slater Street Few and I’m looking for more info on them if anyone can help?

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