Scorpions Newcastle City Hall 7th October 1980
Scorpions were on a roll. Only five months after their last visit to Newcastle they were back at the City Hall, this time for two nights. In fact, they were so popular that, as well as playing two concerts at the City Hall, they also played one night at Newcastle Mayfair ballroom, bringing their show to the Friday heavy rock night. All three nights sold out, pretty good going for a band that was playing tiny clubs a few years before. I attended the first City Hall concert, which was on 7th October 2010, and was another great gig. Support came from US Southern boogie band Blackfoot.
From the tour programme: “The Scorpions is mentioned in one breath with giants such as Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent and AC/DC. They are one of the best bands that I know and they sure play incredible music. The Scorpions are the first German band to go on a real world tour. …The stage was their school. They rose from faith in themselves.”
“The ladder we climbed, we built ourselves. Each single step was made with hard work, desperation and confidence, and we know it will last” Rudolf Schenker.
Schenker was 100% correct. Scorpions success did indeed last. Shortly after this tour they went into the studio to record their next album “Blackout”, which was to be their most successful to date. And who could have predicted that, over 10 years later, they would be high in the UK singles chart with their No 2 hit, the classic heavy rock ballad “Wind of Change”?
Setlist: Lovedrive; Don’t Make No Promises (Your Body Can’t Keep); Loving You Sunday Morning; We’ll Burn the Sky; Animal Magnetism; The Zoo; Holiday; Lady Starlight; Always Somewhere; Pictured Life; In Trance; Steamrock Fever; Can’t Get Enough
S Club Newcastle Arena 5th April 2003
Today I am going to slip in another guilty pleasure before I move back to some proper rock tomorrow. Laura was a big fan of S Club 7 from their early days, she and David would always watch their television series, Miami 7. S Club 7 were created by Spice Girls manager Simon in 1998 and were massively successful over their 5 year career, scoring four UK No.1 singles, one UK No.1 album, and a top-ten single in the USA. They sold over 10 million albums worldwide.
By the time Laura and I went to see them in 2003 Paul Cattermole had left and S Club 7 had become simply “S Club”, the remaining members being Bradley McIntosh, Jo O’Meara, Tina Barrett, Hannah Spearritt, Jon Lee and Rachel Stevens. The tour was entitled “S Club United” and also featured S Club Juniors. S Club Juniors were a pre and young teen spin-off from the main band. The show was, as I recall, good teen pop fun, heavily choreographed, and with S Club Juniors almost outshining S Club.
But of course the big news of the moment is that S Club 7 may be reforming!
From the Guardian: “Once upon a time, S Club 7 ruled the world. They had hit singles. They had a TV show. They had a film…They had a weird gang of less successful infant Mini-Me Minipops in the form of the S Club Juniors. There was nothing that S Club 7 couldn’t accomplish, or so it seemed, because they were there for each other. And then it all went wrong…..But now they’re back. It’s been reported that S Club 7 are close to signing up for one of those reunion TV series that everyone likes so much now. …Here’s a prediction: if they pull it off, the S Club 7 reunion TV series will be the definitive pop reunion TV series of our times.”
Laura is already making plans to go to the reunion tour. However, it seems I may be spared the delights of S Club 2014/15 as she tells me that one of her friends is a serious fan. Phew :)
I’ll return to some real rock’n’roll tomorrow. Scorpions are next on my list, I think.
Slade Sunderland Polytechnic Wearmouth Hall 21st February 1981
The “Live at Reading” EP reached number 44 in the UK singles chart; the band’s first chart placing since 1977. Polydor Records seized the opportunity to capitalise on Slade’s recent success and released a compilation “Slade Smashes!” in November 1980. The album was a big succees, turning a whole new audience onto Slade; it spent 15 weeks in the UK chart, was certified Gold, and sold over 200,000 copies. Success continued with the release of their new single “We’ll Bring the House Down” which was released in January 1981. Aimed at the new heavy metal audience who had picked up and them at, and after, Reading 1980, it was a bit heavier than their normal sound.”We’ll Bring the House Down” got to number 10 in the UK singles chart, and became Slade’s first top ten hit since 1976.
Slade were starting to fill concert halls again, and toured relentlessly throughout 1981. The next time I got to see them Live after Reading in August 1980, was 6 months later at a sold-out gig at Sunderland Polytechnic’s Students Union dance at Wearmouth Hall on 21st February 1981. The place was ram packed with students and heavy rock fans who gave Slade the returning heroes welcome that they deserved. It was great to see them back filling halls again, and you could tell how much Noddy, Dave, Jim and Don were enjoying their newly found stardom.
I saw Slade again that year, 6 months later at the Donington Monsters of Rock festival on 22nd August 1981 , where they shared the bill with Whitesnake, Blue Öyster Cult, Blackfoot, More, and headliners AC/DC. Slade were 4th on the bill, appearing after Blackfoot and before Blue Öyster Cult. By now they were well and truly accepted as bona fide members of the heavy metal fraternity. Denim jackets were starting to sport Slade patches alongside those of Motorhead, AC/DC, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. You couldn’t make it up :)
Slade’s setlist at the time was: Dizzy Mamma; When I’m Dancin’ I Ain’t Fightin'; Take Me Bak ‘Ome; Lock Up Your Daughters; Everyday; Somethin’ Else; Pistol Packin’ Mama; Gudbuy T’Jane; We’ll Bring the House Down; Get Down and Get With It; Mama Weer All Crazee Now; Cum on Feel the Noize; Born to Be Wild; Merry Xmas Everybody
Almost finished my coverage of Slade gigs. One more day to go :)