Emerson Lake & Palmer Newcastle Odeon 1972

By 1972 ELP were mega popular, and had graduated to playing two shows at Newcastle Odeon which was a larger venue than the City Hall, the venue for their previous concert in the city. I went along to the early show with a group of friends. The concert was originally set to take place on November 16th 1972. The place was packed and everyone was looking forward to the gig, but before they were due to take to the stage a message went over the PA to tell us that there were problems with the equipment and the concert would not be going ahead. We all had to leave, very disappointed; however the concert was rescheduled to take place a couple of weeks later, on 29th November 1972. When we did finally get to see ELP this time, the spectacle had moved up a level. Keith had his usual bank on keyboards and also had a portable keyboard which he dragged around the stage and held out to the crowd for people to play. The stage show was much bigger; I seem to recall a massive Tarkus behind the band. ELP were massively successful at this point in their career, and would go on to even greater success, particularly in America. I recall the show as being pretty wild, with the crowd going crazy for the band, and Keith playing extended solos. We were quite close to the front and had a good view. A published setlist for Hammersmith Odeon on the same tour shows the songs played as: Hoedown; Tarkus; The Endless Enigma; At The Sign of Swinging Cymbal; The Sheriff; Take a Pebble; Lucky Man; Pictures at an Exhibition; Nutrocker. They may also, I suspect, have played Rondo. This time the programme was a nice white booklet with a red bow on the cover. Thanks to John for sending me a scan of the programme to the right, which comes from an earlier gig at the City Hall.This looks to me like a “show souvenir” which were often sold outside the venue. These are highly collectable now, more so than the official programmes.
I’ve been searching the internet a lot for any stories of ELP in concert in the early 70s to help jog my memory, but have found very little, which I must say surprises me. ELP were a very important band, and their legacy is often forgotten. They blended classical music with rock in a way that no other band did. There were, of course, several other bands working in a similar style, The Moody Blues, Yes and Deep Purple come to mind. But none of these bands were as true to the classical nature of the music as ELP. Having said that, they were very much of their time, and of that period. I think back to that gig at the Odeon with some fondness; it was vert different to anything else that I was going to see at the time.

6 responses to this post.

  1. I was at the Odeon and remember while we were waiting we were flying paper aeroplanes into the speaker stacks 🙂


  2. Posted by iantindal on December 8, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    I remember throwing paper planes and the Tarkus set was spectacular, still got my programme and ticket stashed away in the attic, so sad two of the guys now gone.


  3. Posted by John Johnstone on March 13, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    I remember the paper planes! The programme with the bow on was the on originally sold at the cancelled gig and a free one with the bow printed on it was given away free at the rescheduled gig. I remember a brave sole at the front sticking his head in the speaker bins during the show … instant tinnitus, it was so loud!


    • Posted by John Johnstone on May 1, 2020 at 2:47 pm

      Just found my ticket stub …. Front stalls, seat N38 🙂


      • Posted by vintagerock on May 2, 2020 at 10:37 am

        Happy days John I can see Keith Emerson stabbing his keyboard with big daggers in the old days in the Nice and ELP Peter

  4. I remember that gig, still got the ticket stub, the replacement one had no band name on it. You had to swap the old for the new one.


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