Humble Pie mid 1974 Buxton Festival

Humble Pie July 6th 1974 Buxton Festival
photo-16 I’ve already blogged about this festival in a separate post some time ago. The Buxton festival came only a couple of months after Humble Pie’s appearance at Charlton, and they were one of the main reasons that both John and I went to this festival. The festival itself was in an awful location, and it was cold and wet, but Humble Pie played a great set and livened up the proceedings as much as it was possible to do, given the grim environment. The setlist is likely to have been similar to Charlton. A DVD, taken from 8mm film, is available on Amazon and includes footage of Charlton and Buxton; now that might be worth getting, although I suspect it does not feature any sound. I said yesterday that I would write a little abut the Blackberries, who were Carlena Williams, Venetta Fields, and Billie Barnum. The Blackberries were top notch session soul/gospel singers and it was Steve Marriott’s idea to get them into the band for recording and live concerts. In Steve’s own words: “Working with the Blackberries was great. I thought it was the best period of the band. I was almost a bit overwhelmed by them at times, because they were so good. I really dug it, because I was always into black music”. Although today it may seem a relatively obvious move for a band whose roots lay in blues and soul, it was actually pretty groundbreaking for the time, and not something that management and the rest of the band necessarily fully agreed with, at least at first. Jerry Shirley said “A&M and the Management Company thought it was the wrong thing to do, from the beginning” and in the words of Greg Ridley “I was a bit dubious at the time. I liked the music with a hard edge to it, and I was thinking ‘what are the girls gonna do. Are they gonna add or subtract from the band?’ But when they came in they were great. Great singers and a great laugh”. Steve had in his mind moving from a more traditional rock format to something resembling a soul revue, and you could see that in those great Humble Pie shows on 1974. I recall their Buxton set as being strong, and for some reason I seem to recall the Blackberries coming even more to the fore than they did at Charlton a couple of months earlier. It certainly changed the format of the show, and succeeded in blending rock with soul to a much great degree. I saw the Johnny Otis show, which featured Shuggie Otis, and a massive band and singers at Reading in 1972, and I guess this was something like the kind of show that Steve was aiming to create, although much closer to the sort of soul revue that Otis Redding or Ike and Tina Turner will have fronted in the 60s. As I said above, it was very different and refreshing for its time, and didn’t go down well with everyone, some people preferring a much more standard rock format. I found the following setlist for Buxton 74, which seems a little short, but could be correct as the songs were often quite long, including significant jamming: Watcha Gonna Do About It, 30 Days in the Hole; C’Mon Everybody; Thunderbox; Let Me Be Your Lovemaker; I Don’t Need No Doctor

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by patryck albert on November 9, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I was at Buxton Festival to see Chuck Berry & Canned Heat on the same bill ….there’s an interview local T.V. report ….i was interviewied as a French guy who went from France to dig good tymes , there ….before to move to hich-hike to Scotland ….Anyway ….i ‘ll be very glad to see me interviewed when i ‘s a teen-ager 18 years old , pleeez ? …..’D anyone help me to find this document , thanx ?

    Reply

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