Devo Newcastle City Hall 1978 and 1980

Devo Newcastle City Hall 1978 and 1980
Question: Are we not men? Answer: We are DEVO.
There were some pretty crazy messages coming out of planet DEVO in the late 70s. The messages even got through to the north east of England and drew us all to Newcastle City Hall to observe these strange beings that were DEVO, listen to the songs that they chose to share with us, and do our mad DEVO dances. The DEVO guys were very different to UK punk rock, and to anything else that we earthlings had seen come out of American new wave. So along we went (twice in my case!) to be DEVOed and to stare in awe at these crazy guys who wore red pointy hats, weird yellow suits and sang quirky punk songs with strange lyrics and obscure messages, many of which also had quite catchy hooks. Mongoloid and Jocko Homo were quite good fun, and their version of Satisfaction was ok, if a little strange. As the programme says: “The band eveolved from a long line of brain-eating apes, some of which settled in N.E. Ohio around Akron where members of Devo eventually appeared years after the A-Bomb ended World War II. By the process of natural selection they met and shared the habits of making electronic noise, watching TV and watching everybody esle. They called that they saw around them De-evolution and called their music Devo. It made the sound of things falling apart.” Support for the 1978 Newcastle gig came from The Members whose Sound of the Suburbs was pretty neat. They were fronted by singer Nicky Tesco who was a cool guy and good fun on stage. The Members had been brought in at short notice to replace Doll by Doll (featuring Jackie Leven) who had been dropped from the tour because they were “not sufficiently DEVO”. Apparently Doll by Doll turned up for this gig, only to find out that they were not playing and were understandably not too pleased. Anyway, my two interactions with the DEVO aliens were both good clean fun, even if it was all a little crazy. But then, these were crazy times. I also had the good fortune to be present when the DEVO space craft landed in a field at Knebworth and they performed on a bill with Genesis, Tom Petty and Jefferson Starship. But thats a story for another days blogging. Perhaps the DEVO guys, who are still playing in the States, will yet take over the world and I will wake up tomorrow and find that I am living on planet DEVO. Perhaps I already am? Are we not men? We are DEVO? “If the spud fits; wear it : DEVO”

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by john wallace on February 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Just listend to q.are we not men. a.we are devo on beat surrender radio newcastle took me back to city hall 1978 me and mates still one of my fave concerts even now pure entertainment


  2. Posted by dragonwarrior on July 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I was also there with some mates. First gig I’d been too since my mother took me to see Showaddywaddy. Not exactly sure which year though. The one we saw was they had the instruments on stage then a video came on, I thought that was the way it was done. We talked to them (more mark’s brother, outside back door) he was looking at out record buys we had bought that day in the toon (12″ Sex Pistols was one that he commented on).


  3. I also was at either the ’78 or ’80 gig but can’t remember which. There were four block sets of lights that you could feel from where I was on the balcony – when the lights pulsed they pushed the air.
    The lights started vertical facing the audience; later on they were lowered on to the stage so the lights pointed upwards and the band ended up standing on them – except for Alan.
    If anyone can date it from that description I’d like to know..

    Sad day today.

    RIP Bob Casale


    • Posted by vintagerock on February 19, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Now you mention it I can vaguely remember the bright lights
      If I had to guess I would say this was the 1980 show, but I can’t be certain
      Just picked up on the sad passing of Bob Casale. Very sad news Peter


  4. i remember those lights as well-the band at one point were doing what looked like an exercise class in fronnt of sure that was the later gig-1980 cos the 78 tour was a lot more basic


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