Glencoe: an under-rated early 70s band

Glencoe: an under-rated early 70s band
Blogging on the Deep Purple gigs that I attended in the early 70s, has made me think a little about Glencoe, who supported Deep Purple on their 1972 UK tour. I remember Glencoe well and saw them a few times. They featured Norman Watt Roy on bass and John Turnbull ( from Newcastle ) on guitar, who had been in Bell and Arc. Both of them went on to be part of Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Norman is now bass player for Wilko Johnson. One particular gig comes to mind. I went along to see Stray and Glencoe at the Mayfair, with a friend who was heavily into Stray. It was a midnight to 4am gig; it may have been Easter Sunday or something like that. We got the last train through to Newcastle and arrived at the Mayfair. The queue was massive, and I remember being worried that we might not get in, and would be left stranded in Newcastle all night. We did get in and the place was packed to the walls. Glencoe played, and then they announced over the PA that Stray weren’t coming and would be replaced by a local band. My memory is hazy here. I have vague memories of both Lucas Tyson and Brass Alley playing. I think Lucas Tyson may have been on first, before Glencoe, and then Brass Alley replaced Stray (or was it the John Miles Set? Who nows….). We were also told over the PA that in compensation we could come along and see Edgar Broughton free of charge the following Friday. We didn’t think that was very fair, as we had come especially to see Stray, so we went along and spoke to a bouncer. I said I  wanted to see the manager to ask for our money back. The bouncers weren’t the most understanding of guys in those days. He slapped me across the face, and told me to b***** off or he would throw us out. We decided it would be wiser to accept his advice. We stayed in the Mayfair until the gig finished at 4am. We then went to Bowers all night cafe which was opposite the station, had a cup of coffee and stayed there until the first train back to Sunderland, which was around 6am. Happy Days….Glencoe were a good band, who were a mix of funk and rock. Norman Watt Roy was the stand out as bass player, and John Turnbull was also great on guitar. I had their album at one point, and still have a single of theirs, called Friends of Mine. I also remember a song called Airport, which was a highlight of their live set at the time.

15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Alphonse on July 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I saw Glencoe twice as back up to Wishbone Ash and the next day i bought the album. I play it all the time. Superb band.


    • I saw Glencoe support Thinlizzy in Manchester in the late seventies.
      They were that loud I developed tinnitus some time later.
      I’ve suffered from it ever since.


  2. Posted by Barry in Minneapolis on October 14, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Their first album is FINALLY out on CD from S. Korea on Big Pink Records. I got my copy in the fall of 2013)


  3. Posted by Trev on December 11, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Glencoe, or at least most of them, became the Loving Awareness band who were managed by Radio Caroline boss Ronan O’Rahilly


  4. Posted by Peter O'Hagan on March 25, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Saw them with budgie at Workington tech in 72 or 73. They were brilliant!


  5. Posted by Davy Lowe on April 18, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    GLENCOE’S LINE-UP: Stuart Francis (drums, vocals), Graham Maitland (keyboards, vocals), John Turnbull (guitar, vocals), Norman Watt-Roy (bass, vocals). Stuart came from Stirling in Scotland!


  6. My band Woodfog supported them in the 70s at some university gig. I forget which.


  7. Posted by Ken on October 10, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Saw Glencoe at Leicester De Montfort Hall supporting Deep Purple who were touring Machine Head. Great gig and Glencoe were brilliant as support.


  8. Posted by Kevin on March 4, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    I was at that Deep Purple gig at the city hall.Purple were disappointing but Glencoe were brilliant.

    Bought the album the next day.Played it almost non stop then emigrated to Australia.Left the Lp in Newcastle

    Thankfully I was able to get the CD from Amazon from somebody in Korea.Along with Capability Brown’s Voice .
    Brown were great live at Battle Hill tech,SENTEC.

    Standout for me on Glencoe was Book me for the flight.

    Many good Friday nights at the Mayfair.


    • I remember Glencoe well, especially as we were once on the same bill at a university gig somewhere in the North of England. I THINK the other band were The Yellow Magic Orchestra and we were Woodfog. I liked Glencoe very much. They were also staying at the same hotel we were either staying in or eating in…my memory has faded.


  9. Norman Watt Roy, Glencoe’s bass player, of course went on to play his rhythm stick for Ian Dury & The Blockheads


  10. You mentioned Edgar Broughton. The same year (I think) we played Leicester University and were on the same bill as Edgar Broughton Band and The Pretty Things.


  11. Posted by Kevin on December 21, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Saw Glencoe at Newcastle city hall when they were support for Deep Purple.I thought they blew D P off stage,they were great.Went out and bought the Glencoe album.

    Played it none stop for a few years and then forgot about it.

    Got to the age of 60 and thought whatever happened to them.Found the CD on Amazon and bought it.Somebody in Korea selling it.While airport was the stand out live track,a track called book me for the flight really stands out

    Still sounds good today ,the whole album.


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