The Firm Middlebrough Town Hall 7th December 1984

In the early 80s Paul Rodgers joined forces with Jimmy Page to for The Firm, a British rock supergroup which also comprised Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and Uriah Heep drummer Chris Slade and bass player Tony Franklin. The band, played two UK gigs in 1984, one in London at Hammersmith Odeon, and another at Middlesbrough Town Hall. This was a big deal at the time, with two rock superstars coming back to the North East. In Paul Rodgers case, this was also a homecoming show, as he was born in Middlesbrough. The tickets went on sale from the Town Hall on a week day, and I was at work at the time. My mate Dave was on night shift that week and was able to go down to Middlesbrough and bought tickets for us.
We were really excited about the gig and full of anticipation. We were hoping for one or two Free, Bad Company or Zeppelin songs, but that wasn’t to be. The set consists of the new Firm album and some songs from Jimmy and Paul’s solo work. I remember Paul Rodgers seated at a grand piano for “Live in Peace” from his earlier solo album. Jimmy Page played songs from the Death Wish II soundtrack, which featured his trademark playing of the guitar with a violin bow while beneath the Zeppelin laser pyramid. They also played a great version of the Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’. It was a very enjoyable show, but I think we were expecting something more. The set list for the London show is listed as this: Closer; City Sirens; Make or Break; The Morning After; Together; Cadillac; Prelude; Money Can’t Buy; Radioactive; Live In Peace; Midnight Moonlight; You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’; The Chase; Someone To Love; Full Circle; Boogie Mama; Everybody Needs Somebody. I would imagine that the set at Middlesbrough was similar.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Michael on May 29, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Great blog post again Peter. I went to the London show and have similar memories. The fretless bass and some of the Flanger effects Page used on his guitar made for a bit of a muddy sound. Apart from Radioactive (with the famous Gibson double neck) the songs were not too great despite the stature of Rodgers and Page. Enjoyed the Knebworth stlee Violin bow solo under the revolving laser pyramid though, a cult gig but not one of the best. I have a pro-shot TV quality DVD bootleg of the gig which is probably all available on YouTube. Cheers, Mike

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on May 29, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Thanks Mike The Firm were ok, but the reality didn’t match the expectation. It was great to see Page close up however, after having become used to seeing him from the back of a field (Knebworth) or an aircraft hanger (Earls Court) Cheers Peter

      Reply

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