Remembering Exmouth's Pete Bendall - the musician who loved his audience

PUBLISHED: 06:55 12 January 2017

Pete Bendall on stage.

Pete Bendall on stage.

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Pete Bendall - a revered and talented Exmouth musician - died shortly before Christmas.

Pete Bendall (front row, second from left) having fun with the Storyville Jazz Band, shortly before their French tour in the late 1980s.Pete Bendall (front row, second from left) having fun with the Storyville Jazz Band, shortly before their French tour in the late 1980s.

A versatile and fluid player in jazz, rock, pop and blues, he was a member of the Storyville Jazz Band and local blues legends Laughing Gravy. More recently, he appeared in the jazz standardards trio Over The Hill.

Pete was born on July 3, 1948 in Dulwich, London. His family moved west in the early 1960s, and he attended Minehead Grammar School. He learnt guitar while at Somerset College of Art, and, from 1964, played in semi-professional pop groups.

These included the Witness Four, who gigged extensively, supporting (among others) Mike Sheridan and the Nightriders (which featured later members of The Move and ELO).

In the 1970s, Pete returned to London. Switching to double bass, he appeared with various trad/New Orleans jazz bands, including those run by Bob Kerr and Malcolm Emerson.

In 1977, he moved to Exmouth, performing with the Glad Band, and the Storyville Jazz Band. In the early 1980s, he was in Laughing Gravy, which included guitarist Dave Gwilliam.

“Pete was a wonderful entertainer, a solid bass player and an accomplished jazz singer,” said Dave. “My fondest memory of Pete was his ability to connect with any audience. He loved his audience and they loved him.”

Pete died on December 18, 2016. He was 68. There’s a service today (Thursday, January 12) at 2pm at Exmouth’s Holy Trinity Church, followed by a gathering of friends at The Bank, St Andrew’s Road. All welcome. Donations to Exmouth and Lympstone Hospiscare.

More photos www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gw2actBQIH0&feature=youtu.be

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