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Exhibition in Folkestone for Jimi Hendrix bassist Noel Redding

By Robert Barman

The brother of Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding will open an art show dedicated to the late rock star.

The Noel Redding Exhibition at Folkestone will feature 60 paintings, collages and montages, as well as sculptures.

It will be formally opened by Anthony Redding, 70, of Jefferstone Lane, St Mary’s Bay, on Saturday.

Anthony Redding, brother of Jimi Hendrix bassist Noel Redding
Anthony Redding, brother of Jimi Hendrix bassist Noel Redding

Mr Redding, pictured right, told the Kentish Express: “It will obviously bring back a lot of memories for me.

“I used to practice guitar with Noel when we were kids. He started playing guitar from the age of 10 and he would say: ‘Mum, I’m going to be famous’.”

The exhibition, at the Sassoon Gallery at Folkestone Library, Grace Hill, continues until May 18. It is being held around the 10th anniversary of Noel’s death.

It will feature work commemorating Noel and the band by Stephen McCarthy, Chris Bone, John Sims and Joe Beach.

Among those attending will be Bill Regan, who was a stand-in drummer when the Experience played an impromptu gig just down the road at the Hillside Club in 1966.

It is hoped that among the memorabilia at the exhibition will be a jacket worn by Noel and his and Roll Hall of Fame award.

There will be a retro record shop sound booth for listening to a recorded narrative, as well as a plasma screen playing DVDs.

Evening performances from two tribute bands will take place at the True Briton in Harbour Street. In From The Storm will play on Saturday and Wasted Rock Rangers seven days later.

Noel and Anthony Redding grew up in Cliff Road, Seabrook, where their family had a bed and breakfast house.

Noel was born at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Folkestone, on Christmas Day 1945 and Anthony on May 17. 1942.

Both attended the town’s Harvey Grammar School, where Noel’s musical talent began to blossom. The first instrument he learned was the violin, when he was nine.

Exhibition in Folkestone on Jimi Hendrix bassist Noel Redding
Exhibition in Folkestone on Jimi Hendrix bassist Noel Redding

His first public appearance was at the Hythe Youth Club.

Noel’s first local bands were The Strangers and then The Lonely Ones, who made a four-track EP at Hayton Manor Studio in Stanford in 1963.

Anthony, pictured right, was in the RAF from 1960 to 1968 but was still often able to spend time with the Jimi Hendrix Experience during their heyday.

He remembers the band caused chaos when appearing on a Lulu TV show in 1968 by suddenly changing their set.

He said: “The group Cream had just broken up and they switched from one of their songs to a Cream one as a tribute, without telling anyone.

“It caused consternation and there were a lot of arm-waving floor managers.”

Anthony also followed the Experience that year when Noel formed the group Fat Mattress in Folkestone, which toured in support of Hendrix’s band and meant he had to play two sets in a night.

Anthony said: “These were all good times. Hendrix himself was nice bloke, very gentle and we had something in common because he was a paratrooper as a conscript.

“He did take drugs, but so what? Everybody did at that time.”

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