The Orchestral Tubular Bells and Last Exit Newcastle City Hall 1975

The Orchestral Tubular Bells with the Northern Concert Orchestra conducted by David Bedford with support from Last Exit Newcastle City Hall 26 October 1975
tubulartix This concert featured the Northern Concert Orchestra, conducted by David Bedford, performing Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells. The event opened the A1(M) 1975 – 1976 season which also featured concerts by Philip Glass (wish I had gone to that one), Derek Bailey (solo guitar improvisations) and workshops in “experimental and electronic music”. The concert did not feature Mike Oldfield, but did feature Andy Summers (soon to be of the Police) on guitar. The programmes tells me: “Tonight’s guitar soloist is now a member of the Kevin Coyne band, after a very varied career in rock”. tubular The concert is of particular interest because the support act was local up and coming band Last Exit, which featured one Gordon Sumner, also know as Sting, and also soon to be of the Police. I don’t know if Andy and Sting met that night, but it is reported that Andy did watch some of Last Exit’s set. There is also a story that Stewart Copeland was playing with Curved Air at Newcastle Poly (I think I will have attended the gig; I certainly saw Curved Air at the Poly) and he went along to see Last Exit (but I think that may have been on another night, and the Last Exit gig was likely to have been at the Gosforth Hotel, but thats a story for another day. The programme tells me of Last Exit: “Formed one year ago (the birthday was celebrated with their regular audience a few weeks ago) Last Exit play electric jazz and jazz-rock; both their own material and a well chosen repertoire of other peoples’ music, not all of it well known…this is their first concert hall appearance. Last Exit are: John Hedley – guitar; Gerry Richardson – piano; Gordon Sumner – bass; Ronnie Pearson – drums”. a1m The gig was not well attended. My ticket says I has a balcony seat, but I recall going and sitting right at the front, as the hall was pretty empty. As far as I can remember the orchestra performed Tubular Bells in two parts, with Last Exit playing a set in the interval between. I went along partly to see Last Exit who I had already seen once or twice, and also to hear Tubular Bells, and to see David Bedford who was well known for his recent work with Roy Harper and others. It was very different from the rock gigs that I was used to attending at the time, and I found it a very welcome change. However, the concert goes down in history as the first time that Andy Summers and Sting were in the same hall, and performed (sort of, although not actually) together. I’ll write a little more on Last Exit and early Sting gigs (pre Police) tomorrow.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mrs Hepple on October 11, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    This was the first concert I ever went to. I was 8 years old and it was instead of going to a Bonfire Night fireworks show. I think I got the better of the deal. I certainly remember the soloist going from guitar to guitar. Of course at that tender age, I thought it was Mike Oldfield

    Reply

  2. Posted by Jay on July 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Also, would you possibly give permission for your image of the ticket stub to be included in the Police wiki? http://www.policefans.org/Police_wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on July 22, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      No problem at all Jay. Please feel free to include the image in the Police wiki. If you could add a link to my blog as well that would be great 🙂 Many thanks Peter

      Reply

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