Jerry Lee Lewis Newcastle Mayfair 1980 and Newcastle City Hall 2004

The Jerry Lee Lewis Show Newcastle Mayfair 1980
jerryleeprog1980 Jerry Lee came to town, and the Newcastle Mayfair ballroom, normally a heavy rock stronghold, transformed into a cabaret venue especially for the occasion. The tickets for this concert were relatively expensive, probably around a fiver a pop, or a little more if you elected for the chicken in a basket option. Marie and I opted to pass on the supper, but couldn’t resist the opportunity to see The Killer in action. The Mayfair was pretty full, with a very different crowd to the normal Friday night rock crew. The set was quite short, probably around an hour or less, which is I guess was the norm for a Jerry Lee concert at the time. Jerry was backed by a full band dressed in their very best concert suits. He sat at a grand piano, wearing a pair of shades and cool country and western gear. His set was a mix of country, gospel and the classic early rock’n’roll hits, including Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, Great Balls of Fire and Chantilly Lace. The guy knew how to perform and hold a crowd, and his boogie woogie piano was pretty fine, very fluid. Ever the showman, Jerry Lee played the piano with his foot, kicked aside the stool and played standing up, and then climbed on top to sing to us. I sat in awe, feeling privileged to witness a true rock legend close up.  Support for the 1980 Jerry Lee Lewis tour was J D Sumner and the Stamps, a US gospel singing group who had been backing singers for Elvis.
Jerry Lee Lewis The Generations Tour Newcastle City Hall 2004
jerryleetix Roll forward 24 years and Jerry Lee was back in Newcastle, this time at the City Hall. We’d had heavy snow, and it was on a cold winter night that I turned out for my second experience of The Killer live. This City Hall was packed, with several members of the audience proudly wearing their best teddy boy drapes. By 2004, Jerry Lee was in his late 60s, but he was in fine form, singing and playing a set of classic rock’n’roll. The set was short, probably around 30 minutes, but that was fine by me. What I got was another glimpse of a legend, with the same twinkle in his eye, and the same power in his voice. And his piano playing was as rocking and rolling as ever. jerryleeprog2004 The setlist for the London show of the tour is (from the setlist.fm site) as: My Babe; Lonely Weekends; Sick and Tired; Matchbox; Proud Mary; Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee; She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye; Lucille; Don’t Put No Headstone on My Grave; Chantilly Lace; High School Confidential; Rockin’ My Life Away; Mean Woman Blues; Kansas City; What’d I Say; Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On; Great Balls of Fire. I would guess that the Newcastle show featured a similar set. I certainly remember that he played Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On; Great Balls of Fire, and the song Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee (great title :)) sticks in my mind. Support came from Blondell, an Elvis tribute act, and Jerry was accompanied by The Memphis Horns and the “All Star Killer Band”.
Jerry Lee continues to tour and play to this day, and reviews suggest that the fire remains. Long Live The Killer!

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Barry Albertson on September 13, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Jerry lee Lewis city hall gig was shown on tv as great balls of fire pet. Anybody know where it is available.

    Reply

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