Steeleye Span Middlesbrough Town Hall 22nd August 1977
Steeleye Span brought in producer Mike Batt (best known for his work with the Wombles) to work on their eighth album “All Around My Hat”. The single release of the title track reached number 5 in the UK Charts in late 1975, giving them their biggest chart success.
The next time I saw Steeleye Span was at Middlesbrough Town Hall on 22nd August 1977. The Town Hall was packed, and my mate and I had seats right down the front, in the second row. My enduring memories of the gig are of two things. The first is just how rocky the band had become. Of course they played “All Around My Hat”, which is actually a rock’n’roll song, but I was surprised how many of the other songs had an electric boogie rhythm. They even did a great version of Buddy Holly’s “Rave On”. And the second memory is of Maddy dancing. She was wearing a long, pure white skirt which swirled around as she danced and twirled. She danced across the stage, and down into the audience, up one aisle, across the back of the hall and back down the other aisle. That night Maddy was our English maid, with the voice of our green and pleasant land, and dancing the morris dance for us all. A great concert, and the best time I saw Steeleye Span.
The line-up of the band at the time was: Tim Hart (guitars, vocals), Maddy Prior (vocals and dance), Rick Kemp (bass, vocals), Nigel Pegrum (drums, percussion), the return of Martin Carthy (guitars, vocals) and John Kirkpatrick (accordion, vocals)
“Doesn’t it move you just a little bit?
And if you watch I think the chance is
That it will lift your heart a little bit
Ooh, well I mean, when Maddy dances
Ooh, well I mean, when Maddy dances”
(When Maddy Dances, by Ralph McTell)