Backhouse Park concerts Sunderland Summer 1974 Jack the Lad, Brinsley Schwarz & Chilli Willi

Backhouse Park concerts Sunderland Summer 1974
brinsleyFor three Saturdays in Summer 1974 a stage appeared in Sunderland’s Backhouse Park and a series of concerts were held. The park was filled with music from a host of local bands and headliners Jack the Lad, Brinsley Schwarz & Chilli Willi & the Red Hot Peppers. Local heroes Saltgrass played at each event and a grand time was had by all.
13th July 1974 Jack the Lad
When Lindisfarne’s split and main songwriter Alan Hull went off to follow a solo career (and eventually reform Lindisfarne with Ray Jackson) the remaining members: Rod Clements, Si Cowe and Ray Laidlaw formed Jack the Lad with their old friend Billy Mitchell. Jack the Lad followed the folk sound of their former band, and in many ways remained truer to their roots, while the new Lindisfarne went down more of a pop/rock road. Jack the Lad live were great fun with a lot of humour, traditional folk and a set full of jigs, reels, singalongs and dancing which went down well on a sunny afternoon in the park.
27th July 1974 Brinsley Schwarz
Brinsley Schwarz were stalwarts of the pub rock scene. This gig came towards the end of their career, and their line-up was Brinsley Schwarz, Ian Gomm, Billy Rankin, Bob Andrews, Nick Lowe and Carlos Luna. They had just released their sixth and final album “The New Favourites of… Brinsley Schwarz” which featured Nick Lowe’s classic “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding”.
The Brinsleys were heavily influenced by The Band and Eggs Over Easy, had a laid-back country-rock sound, with some catchy poppy songs, and were a great live act, and gave us another great afternoon in the sun. They split in 1975 and Schwarz and Andrews joined Graham Parker & the Rumour; Rankin joined Terraplane, and Nick Lowe joined Dave Edmunds in Rockpile. Lowe of course then went on to have a very successful solo career and “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” became a hit for Elvis Costello.
3rd August 1974 Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers
The last of the trio of concerts featured Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers, who were one of the main pub rock groups, and were very popular during the early 1970s. They released three albums and toured as part of the 1975 Naughty Rhythms tour with Dr Feelgood and Kokomo. Their members were Phil “Snakefinger” Lithman, Martin Stone, Paul “Dice Man” Bailey, Paul “Bassman” Riley and Pete Thomas. After they split in 1975 Thomas became the drummer for Elvis Costello, Riley played with Graham Parker; and Stone played with the Pink Fairies.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Bill Aitken on March 30, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    I remember all three of those gigs in Backhouse Park. I’d just done my ‘A’ Levels and left Bede School. Loved all three bands and still do today!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Alan Fox on May 5, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    So you didn’t mention me jumping from the car after on of these concerts and ending up scraped and bloody from head to toe ?

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on May 5, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      Aha Alan great to hear from you. Yes I remember the incident well and was just talking about it with Norm the other day. Didn’t want to embarrass you 🙂 Cheers Peter

      Reply

  3. Posted by Don on October 15, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Blimey! I can remember these although I was only 9 years old at the time. Should be a yearly event. Great days.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Ian Drum on April 28, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Helen’s sister, Sue commented on there being a funny ‘pink’ smell pervading the area

    Reply

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