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The Jimi Hendrix sound rocks Dereham for the second time in 50 years

Hendrix 50th anniversary gig in Dereham. Pictures shows John William of Against the Grain at the Metro. Pictures: NBS

Hendrix 50th anniversary gig in Dereham. Pictures shows John William of Against the Grain at the Metro. Pictures: NBS

Archant

They came from far and wide to remember a man many regard as the greatest guitarist of all time and his performance in the heart of Norfolk.

Hendrix 50th anniversary gig in Dereham. Picture shows Ron Sayer at The Metro. Pictures: NBS Hendrix 50th anniversary gig in Dereham. Picture shows Ron Sayer at The Metro. Pictures: NBS

Jimi Hendrix was just 27 when he died in 1970, but his legacy lives on.

And to celebrate the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s performance at the The Wellington Club in Dereham exactly 50 years ago to the day, two tribute gigs were held in the town on Saturday.

Tribute act Purple Jimi played a free entry gig at the Railway Tavern pub whose landlord Paul Sandford said: “It went really well.

“We had just over 100 people attending. Lead guitarist Simon Devlin played the guitar behind his head and with his teeth, as Hendrix did.

Jimi Hendrix photographed by Richard Snasdell in May 1967 at Spalding, Lincolnshire. He played in Dereham later that year. Jimi Hendrix photographed by Richard Snasdell in May 1967 at Spalding, Lincolnshire. He played in Dereham later that year.

“And there was a man there who attended the original gig 50 years ago and travelled 200 miles to the event.”

Meanwhile, it was a near sell-out across town at the Norfolk Blues Society’s (NBS) gig at The Metro.

The first band on stage was Dave Thomas, who was supported by the NBS band playing Hendrix standards.

This was followed by Against the Grain, whose vocalist and left-handed lead guitarist, John William played his guitar strung upside down just as Hendrix did.

Last up was Ron Sayer who played crowd favourites and persuaded organiser Stewart Aitken and Yve Mary B to be backing singers in Crosstown Traffic, one of Hendrix’s best-loved songs.

Doreen Aitken, secretary of NBS, said: “We had a fabulous night and we are very much indebted to Kurt Oliver, owner of the Metro, and his extremely professional staff who looked after everything. They have really turned the venue round.

“It’s a great place for live music as it has a really special atmosphere. I am sure Brian Cross, who brought Hendrix to Dereham 50 years ago, would have approved.”

The charitable group hopes to have raised £600 for its educational programme. It plans to take its popular blues jam sessions into schools across the county to help young musicians understand where modern music comes from.

Do you attend the Hendrix concert in Dereham 50 years ago? Do you have any pictures from the gig? Let us know by e mailing adam.lazzari@archant.co.uk

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