I saw Black Sabbath at Tofts in Folkestone but the gig was in April (11th) "1971" - not 1970. I didstinctly remember seeing Ozzy and the band tucked into a small corner at the back,in the upstairs room of the venue. Most of the time, it seemed, Ozzy was huddled over the mike with his back to the audience. However, the music, I recall, was both dark and powerful and for the relatively small audience it was awsome; almost anarchic and somewhat akin to those smokey jazz-clubs of an earlier age, I suppose?
Tofts was a fairly small club/venue where the main performance area was upstairs in a darkly-lit red and black room. A few 'booths'were dotted around the perimeter and 'pillars' were also dotted about here and there. At the time of the Sabbath gig, I don't think there was a 'stage'-as such- The band performed and set-up on the floor in a corner at the far end of the room. I doubt if the venue could cope with an audience of much more than a 100 or so but it used to get 'packed' and really 'steaming!' - However, on that night, If I recall correctly, there wasn't a huge crowd, but "IT WAS SABBATH, MAN!!" - It was 'manna-from-heaven' for my 'Head; mates and I, dressed in our 'LOONS;' Tie-Dye T-Shirts and Iron Crosses etc.
Outside, TOFTS was painted the same red and black as inside and had a TOP-HAT & CANE painted on the outside above, or below, the venue name. This was a kind of logo for the place. Downstairs, was a bar and 'quiet-area' where you could go to chill-out if the music got too much or you'd imbibed too much or too many 'other optional and recreational substances[?]' - Amazingly, being only 16, we never seemed to have any problems in those years with getting a drink at the bar etc and I don't remember ever being questioned about my age either?
Going back to that night... As I recall there weren't a huge amount of people at the venue and, in fact, my mates and I were only there because we'd missed-out on getting into the Leas Cliff hall to see another Heavy/Prog band... probably someone like GONG? - So, it was really a bonus that we saw SABBATH that night. However, seeing such bands at TOFTS was nothing unusual for that time. I remember if we weren't at the Leas, we'd be at TOFTS and it was quite often a toss-up where we'd go as the 'quality' of bands playing either at the Leas Cliff Hall or TOFTS was equally as good. During this period in the 1970's, I remember seeing at TOFTS: Fleetwood Mac; Stray; Deep Purple [I'm fairly sure?]; Skid Row, and many more. Whilst, at the Leas, we saw: Atomic Rooster; Judas Priest; Curved Air; Uriah Heep; a Very early GENESIS; P.F.M; Rennaissance; and again, many, many more.... Great days!
TOFTS... a Fantastic venue; fondly remembered and sadly missed!
This is part of my website The FG that I built in a fury of excitement when we first moved to Folkestone in approximately 2004. I'd been a frequent visitor for a few years before that so I am technically one of those DFLs you get nowadays. The site was a lot more dynamic with a gig calendar and voting for favourite venues and stuff, and I know it was a useful reference for others who were thinking of moving to the area. Now I've moved out of Folkestone again (though only to Hythe) it doesn't get as much attention as it used to. Ironic really as Folkestone itself is becoming the exciting place we always thought it was about to become. My name is not Gerald BTW, this comes from the name of a fake paper in an episode of Brasseye or something, the Portsmouth Gerald, and how there is a local newspaper here called the Folkestone Herald. Puns like this are GRATE aren't they? Do contact me if you have something to offer, email anythign @ this domain, or try @folkestone or @pauly on the twitter.