As suggested by the simple graphics to this very rare poster, one of the first performers at the venue on a Wednesday night in August 1965 was The Who. The band had only formed the previous year but was already enjoying the success of two hit singles (I Can’t Explain and Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere) ahead of the release of the classic debut album My Generation.
The support act that night was a three-piece band called The Silence, including on bass guitar Pete Overend Watts (1947-2017), later of Mott the Hoople. He recalled sitting on the neck of one of Pete Townsend’s guitars and breaking it during afternoon rehearsals.
The 2ft 5in x 3ft 2in (72 x 95cm) poster came for sale at Gardiner Houlgate of Corsham near Bath on March 12 from Watts’ estate. It had an estimate of £200-400 but sold to a buyer via thesaleroom.com at £11,500 (plus 20% buyer’s premium), achieving the sort of headlining price now reserved for early posters by an elite group of 1960s artists.