Lone Star Newcastle City Hall 1977

Lone Star Newcastle City Hall 1977
lonestar Lone Star (not to be confused with the more recent band Lonestar) were a mid to late 70s Welsh rock band formed in Cardiff. Their line-up featured ace guitarist Paul “Tonka” Chapman, who had impressed me when I saw him in the early 70s playing in Skid Row (he replaced Gary Moore), and UFO, where he played alongside Michael Schenker. I saw Lone Star a few times; as support act on the Mahogany Rush and Mott (post Hoople) tours, at the 1977 Reading Festival, and on this (I think it was their only) major headline tour. They were a pretty classy heavy rock band. Their music was much more than straight heavy metal; they were quite melodic with shades of UFO and Zeppelin, and hints of jazz, blues and prog. This UK tour was in support of their second, and final, studio album “Firing on All Six”. It was a pretty epic rock gig, Lone Star displaying a level of confidence and a stage show that you would normally associate with a much more established band. However, the City Hall was by no means full; the band were still not that well known. Lone Star performed an awesome extended rock version of the Beatles’ “She Said She Said’, which features on the album. “Bells of Berlin’ was another live favourite. I must dig out my copy of “Firing on All Six”. Young new-comer John Sloman had just joined on vocals, replacing original singer Kenny Driscoll. This was Lone Star at their peak, and 20 year old John was (quite rightly) being compared with Robert Plant. The word on the street at the time was that Lone Star were going to be the next massive rock band. Sadly this was not to be. The band split shortly after this tour, John Sloman went on to join Uriah Heep, and Tonka Chapman rejoined UFO. Support came from Stranger (thanks to Mitch).

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mitch on September 6, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Great band. John Peel was also a big fan of theirs at the time.

    To my knowledge they never performed in the North East with vocalist Kenny Driscoll but I saw them three times in Newcastle with Sloman.
    They headlined at Newcastle Polytechnic on Friday 18th Feb 1977 just after Sloman had joined. There was no support.

    Firing On All Six was released August 1977 and a nationwide tour followed – they played Newcastle City Hall 4th October as per your blog. Support for the tour was Stranger.
    Set list at this gig was – She Said, Ballad of Crafty Jack, Time Lays Down, Hypnotic Mover, Seasons In Your Eyes, Rivers Overflowing, Spaceships, The Bells of Berlin, From All Of Us To All Of You. Encore: Flying in the Reel.

    They played Newcastle City Hall again only two months later – Thursday 8th December 1977 – as support on the Mahogany Rush tour.

    The Ted Nugent gig you refer to was probably 26 Feb 1977 at Newcastle City Hall ? Support was The Steve Gibbons Band.

    Reply

    • Posted by kevin vernon king on July 11, 2016 at 9:00 pm

      Thanks Mitch just read that ha ha…didnt catch stranger tho.Vern.Ps could this be the same Mitch I used to hang around with as a punk????

      Reply

  2. Posted by vintagerock on September 6, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Many thanks Mitch. I’ll correct my comment about the support, I also saw the Mahogany Rush tour (and have a programme and ticket), so must have seen Lone Star then also. I may also have been at the Poly gig, I went there a lot, but who knows….
    I was referring to a Ted Nugent gig at the Mayfair which I attended. I read Lone Star supported him on tour and assumed (maybe wrongly) that they were support there? I also think I saw Lone Star supporting Mott (post Ian Hunter) at the Mayfair, but all of this is hazy…
    I know for sure that I saw Lone Star at the City Hall headline gig, and (thanks to you) the Mahogany Rush gig, and at Reading 1977.
    Peter

    Reply

  3. Posted by Mike Goode on December 30, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    I also saw this tour ~ catching Lone Star at their hometown gig at the much-missed Capital Theatre in Cardiff. The gig received a lukewarm review in Melody Maker or Sounds. And sadly, the Capital, like the venue in Newcastle, was also half-empty. This was the year punk started to serious make a negative impact on ‘traditional’ rock bands. Had Lone Star appeared a few years earlier, things could well have been very different four them. 😦

    Reply

  4. Posted by kevin vernon king on July 11, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Great summary of the show..I was there also!Cant remember who the support band were though…HELP!Vern

    Reply

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