Queen Newcastle City Hall 11th December 1975

Queen Newcastle City Hall 11th December 1975
A bit of an adventure involving a ladder and a night at the opera.
QueenoperaIn late 1975, Queen recorded and released A Night at the Opera, which was at the time, the most expensive album ever produced. The album was a massive success, and featured the hit single “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which was No 1 in the UK charts for nine weeks and is the third-best-selling single of all time in the UK. This propelled Queen to megastar status, their late 1975 tour sold out in record time, and they were No 1 in the charts at the time of the concerts. For some crazy reason I didn’t get tickets for the City Hall gig, but as the day of the Newcastle concert approached, I became more and more determined to go.
So on the night of the gig I turned up outside the City Hall determined to blag a ticket somehow. Now I had done this several times, and had always managed to buy a ticket, sometimes paying a little more than face value. But that night was different. Demand had been huge, and no-one was selling any tickets. No touts and no spares. A group of us were hanging around with the same idea, all desperate to get in to the show. Time was passing and we could hear the support act, Mr Big, take the stage. Soon they finished their set, and things were getting desperate. Then one guy had an idea. He spotted a ladder around the back of the venue, and looking around, he also spotted an open window. So he climbed up the ladder and squeezed through the open window. A couple of us followed. freddy75The window was tiny, but I managed to squeeze through, finding myself above a sink in the upstairs ladies loo. Luckily there was no one in the ladies 🙂 I quickly sneaked out, and found myself in the circle,  just as Queen took to the stage, exploding into Bohemian Rhapsody. Queen were amazing that night, although I must admit that my enjoyment of the gig was hampered to some extent as I remained on edge throughout the concert, in constant fear of being approached by a steward, and ejected from the venue. I stayed upstairs standing at the side throughout the gig. Luckily everyone was standing, so I easily blended into the crowd. The crowd went crazy for Queen that night; they had now actually become stars;  it seemed to me that they always knew they could and would.
Setlist: Bohemian Rhapsody, Ogre Battle, Sweet Lady, White Queen (as it began), Flick Of The Wrist, Bohemian Rhapsody, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, The Prophet’s Song, Doing All Right, Keep Yourself Alive, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods…revisited. Encore: Now I’m Here, Hey Big Spender, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen
Thanks again to Mitch for his photo which was taken by him that night.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Alan Conner on March 6, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I was there that night with my mates in the last row on the balcony, I’ll never forget it,as I had already tripped up the stairs and broke the heel off my platforms. We went to Bloomers after the gig and ended up meeting my future wife. She must have fancied the no shoes look.
    I’d followed Queen ever since seeing them perform Liar on the Old Grey Whistle Test and was looking forward to seeing them. The only real recollection I have of the concert itself was Bohemian Rhapsody as I’d been wondering how they were going to perform it.
    Really enjoying your blogs, I’ve been to a few of the same concerts at the City Hall but I’ve got a terrible memory so your recollections are helping me to remember a few of them from around that time, The Pretenders, Bowies Glass Spider Tour,Santana with Earth,Wind and Fire as support, Dr Feelgood, Robin Trower, John Miles, Status Quo to name just a few. So pleased I discovered your blogs, thanks for the memories

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on March 6, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      Hi Alan Many thanks for your support Pleased you are enjoying my ramblings. Cheers Peter

      Reply

  2. Posted by Mitch on March 7, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Another great blog Peter.

    You missed a couple of songs from the set list – they played Brighton Rock (which included a Brian May guitar solo which echoed around the hall) and Stone Cold Crazy.

    I remember that they came on stage to the ‘I see a little silhouetto of a man’ section of Bohemian Rhapsody playing over the PA and then the band slammed into the ‘So you think you can stone me’ part with an explosion of lights. Terrific.

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on March 7, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Thanks for the update Mitch. I think I was clambering through the toilet window as they came on stage 🙂 Peter

      Reply

  3. Posted by mark on June 11, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Friends & I bought tickets the day they came out (which I think was September? ) & we were sat smack in the middle of row B.

    Mitch’s post (above) sums up the intro nicely – I remember it was so loud (in terms of both noise & lights) we where nearly blown backwards into row C.

    if you dig around on Youtube there is bootleg of the Manchester concert from the same tour

    Reply

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