Ken Johnson was the musical brains behind the Two Puddings - booking bands for the stage and organising discos upstairs before most people knew what the word disco meant. He also promoted nights at the Jive Dive and Lotus in Forest Gate, various towns and cities around the country and, memorably for his nephew Matt Johnson, live music nights at Stratford Town Hall.
Matt used to gaze from the small balcony at the back of the Two Pudding's at the stained glass windows of the Town Hall's ballroom, watching the shadows and lights, and listening to the muffled pulse of the music and the Saturday night sounds of locals enjoying a drink, a dance and rock n roll.
So it seems fitting that a tribute to these times took place at the same venue. The windows might not be stained glass anymore but the old grandeur still remains. The event was being filmed by Rob West for the forthcoming Two Puddings documentary, and served as a reunion of sorts for many of the characters who once graced its doors, some of whom were catching up with Eddie and Ken for the first time in years. I would hazard a guess that most of those inside (and it was fairly packed by the end of the evening) no longer live in and around Stratford so the sense of time passing-by may have been even more acute, such are the changes in the area so the atmosphere was warm and, well, East End I guess. One punter flew in specially from Germany while one of the band members did the same from Australia.
The line up of bands was Saxons, The Falkons, This Group of Mine, Sean Buckley and the Breadcrumbs and Joe Williams and the Teens and the fella in the video above sure made the most of being back in town, dancing all night, to all of them, and all of the records in-between.
Those who remember the Puddings, The Lotus, Jive Dive and other venues from back in the day might want to read the memories on this thread at the Newham Story Forums