Judas Priest Newcastle City Hall 1979 and 1980 British Steel!

Judas Priest Newcastle City Hall 1979 and 1980 British Steel!
priest79Judas Priest continued to tour throughout 1979 to 1980, moving from the Hellbent on Leather tour to the British Steel tour. Support acts were local band White Heat in 1979, and the mighty Iron Maiden in 1980. I also have a memory of attending a show at Newcastle Mayfair around this period; I think Priest may have played two nights at the City Hall and one at the Mayfair ballroom during the British Steel tour. British Steel was the sixth lp release by Judas Priest, and moved their music from dark, operatic metal, to shorter, more accessible and commercial rock songs. priest80 The album reached No 4 in the UK lp charts, their highest chart entry to date, and two singles from it reached the UK singles chart. These were Living After Midnight and the great Breaking the Law. The video for Breaking the Law is still shown on TV, and is a wonderful example of an early, very tongue in cheek, heavy metal promo. Their gigs continued to be crazy metal events, and Priest were a great favourite with the Newcastle metal crowds. The set around this time also included excellent covers of Fleetwood Mac’s Green Manalishi (1979) and Spooky Tooth’s Better By You, Better Than Me (in 1978). priest80progcover A typical setlist from 1980: Hell Bent for Leather; The Ripper; Running Wild; Living After Midnight; Sinner; Beyond the Realms of Death; You Don’t Have to Be Old to Be Wise; Grinder; Victim of Changes; Steeler; Genocide; Tyrant; The Green Manalishi. The programme for the 1980 Judas Priest tour is a true heavy metal work of art in itself. The cover shows a zipped leather suited guy wearing (of course) a studded belt complete with Judas Priest buckle. popup But the real treat lies inside. The centre fold of the programme contains a pop up of the band in all their onstage metal glory.
My copy has become a tad creased over the years, but I’ve done my best to photograph and present it here. Rob is on his motorbike in his usual leather gear, and the guitarists all have their axes held aloft. You couldn’t beat it!

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10 responses to this post.

  1. “…a zipped leather suited guy wearing (of course) a studded belt complete with Judas Priest buckle. But the real treat lies inside.” I’m very sure Rob would very much agree 😉

    Reply

  2. Posted by Mitch on June 17, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I thoroughly enjoy reading your daily blog Peter and I hope you don’t mind me writing in.

    Priest played consecutive nights at Newcastle City Hall on their 1979 tour – I was at both on 23rd and 24th May. Marseilles were not the support band – local band White Heat were support on both nights.
    The 1979 set list was practically the same as played on the 1978 tour – only changes were Hell Bent For Leather and The Green Manalishi were now added instead of Killing Machine and Sinner.

    The March 1980 show included no British Steel songs whatsoever despite the album being released in April 1980. Infact the set was very much in support of the Unleashed in the East live album which was more or less the songs they had played on the previous couple of tours.

    Hell Bent For Leather, Delivering The Goods, Running Wild, The Ripper, White Heat Red Hot, Beyond the Realms of Death, Sinner, The Green Manalishi, Victim of Changes, Genocide, Starbreaker.
    Encores: Take on the World. Tyrant.

    Iron Maiden’s setlist was – Charlotte the Harlot, Wrathchild, Prowler, Running Free, Remember Tomorrow, Transylvania, Phantom of the Opera, Iron Maiden. Encore: Drifter.

    Reply

  3. Posted by vintagerock on June 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks Mitch for your support. I’m impressed by your memory! Yes please do keep commenting, and reminding me, when my memory lets me down. I can’t believe that I didn’t know White Heat supported. I have no recollection at all of that. Are you sure it was White Heat, and not White Spirit (who would seem a more obvious match to me)? I used to often talk to Bob Smeaton and saw White Heat several times. Will correct my entries.

    Reply

  4. Posted by George on December 29, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Brilliant, thanks for posting this was my first ever rock concert, remember White Heat supporting, stepped in at last minute if i remember correctly, the singer used to put on a mask and jump in the crowd

    Reply

    • Posted by bobsmeaton on August 22, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      yeah White Heat supported Priest on those two Newcastle shows, they also supported them at Sheffield City hall. I was the singer in White Heat. Those were the days!!

      Reply

      • Posted by vintagerock on August 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm

        Many thanks Bob Happy days. And a fine band White Heat were too! Cheers Peter

      • Posted by vintagerock on August 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm

        Hi Bob
        Thanks for the comment.
        As you may have gathered I’ve set out to try and write about the gigs I saw “back in the day”. It’s turning into a mammoth task. I’ve covered over 1,000 gigs and bands and still have some way to go.
        I remember seeing you at many of the gigs and used to chat with you. I think I first ran into you in the (all night) queue for Zeppelin Earls Court tickets outside the record shop (Volume?) just around from the City Hall. I was with a group of mates and we parked my car next to the queue so we could catch a nap. A few guys didn’t like that idea, and were trying to turn my car over. You warned me that they meant business, so I moved my car. Does that ring any bells? It was a long time ago……I was at the time a young guy with long black hair (but then lots of people were)
        Saw you in White Heat several times. I think I recall gigs at the Bedrock festival (the Playhouse or Guildhall?) and a packed gig at the Mayfair (think it may have been your farewell)…my memory is going these days..
        Happy days
        Cheers Peter

  5. Posted by Bob Smeaton on April 6, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    HI Peter yeah,White Heat played the Bedrock Festival in 78 and 79. We played our final gig at a sold out Mayfair during Feb of 82. I did see Zep at Earls Court, they were my favourite band at the time. i used to worship Robert Plant, i thought i could sing like him, i couldn’t, but did make a good attempt at growing my hair in his style. Those were happy days. I am in the process of writing my memoirs at present and they cover my love of music and my time in White Heat and on through my adventures making music docs. Its a fun ride. I am trying to get it all down before my memory fades.

    Reply

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