Jeff Beck in Newcastle 1974, 1981 and 2004
Writing my post about the Grangemouth Festival, where Jeff Beck headlined, made me think about the other times that I’ve seen Beck. The most recent was at the O2 a couple of years ago, when he co-headlined and dueted with Clapton. It was a great gig, with an astounding performance from Beck. I’ve seen him three other times, making five in total. After Grangemouth I was keen to see Beck again, so when Beck, Bogert and Appice came to Newcastle City Hall in January 1974 I made sure that I was there. The set was similar to that he played at Grangemouth the year before. This was classic rock, but there were hints of the more experimental guitar technique that Beck was to move into in the future. The setlist for their Live in Japan 1973 DVD is: Superstition; Lose Myself With You; Jeff’s Boogie; Going Down; Boogie; Morning Dew; Sweet Sweet Surrender; Livin’ Alone; I’m So Proud; Lady; Black Cat Moan; Why Should I Care; Plynth/Shotgun. I would guess that the set that night will have been similar. By 1981 Beck was more into jazz-rock, and his 1981 show at the City Hall reflected this. As I recall, Ian and I went to this gig, and the set was all instrumental. Beck no doubt gave us some great guitar playing, but I found it a bit too much, and I was bored by the end. He’d released the Wired and There and Back albums in 1975 and 1980, and the set mainly comprised tracks from those lps, with no old songs, and definitely no Hi Ho Silver Lining. Looking at published setlists, around that time the set was something like: Star Cycle; El Becko; Too Much to Lose; The Pump; Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers; Space Boogie; Led Boots; Freeway Jam; Diamond Dust; Scatterbrain/Drum Solo; Blue Wind; Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/You Never Know; Going Down. It was over 20 years until I saw Jeff Beck again. By 2004, when Will and I last saw him in Newcastle, he was still playing mostly instrumental, with a singer for a few of the songs. By now he’d moved into a more experimental mode, using techniques which blend rock, jazz and sounds from the 50s and 60s; shades of The Shadows, surf guitar, Duane Eddy, Dick Dale and Santo and Johnny. He was awesome that night, and I realised again just what a craftsman he is. My programme for the 2004 gig is to the left. His instrumental version of The Beatles Day In The Life is a revelation. His set from The Albert Hall concert a few days later was: Resolution; Star Cycle; Freeway Jam; Roy’s Toy; Big Block; Cry Me a River; Stratus; Goodbye Pork Pie Hat; Angel; Even Odds; Brush with the Blues; Nadia; Nothing but Love; Loose Cannon; Blancet; Rollin’ and Tumblin’; Blue Wind; Voyage Home; Rice Pudding; Cissy Strut; Led Boots; A Day in the Life; Where Were You; You Never Know; Encore: People Get Ready. Still no Hi Ho Silver Lining. I’d resigned myself to never seeing him play the 60s classic. However, that was to come as a surprise at the gig with Clapton (see my earlier blog).
Archive for the ‘Beck Bogert & Appice’ Category
Jeff Beck in Newcastle 1974, 1981 and 2004
The Grangemouth Pop Festival
Line up: Beck Bogert Appice; Status Quo; Steeleye Span; Lindisfarne; The Everley Brothers; Beggars Opera; Average White Band; Sunshine; Billy Connolly; The Chris McClure Section; MC: John Peel. All for £1.50!
I’m going to see Billy Connolly at Newcastle City Hall on Thursday night. I’m looking forward to the gig, and it made me think about the couple of times I’ve seen Billy Connolly in the past. The first time I saw him was at The Grangemouth Pop Festival in Scotland in 1972 (see ticket right). At the time he was unknown outside Scotland and, as he delighted in telling us, he was scared shitless about this gig, as it was his biggest to date. The festival was organised by Great Western Festivals, who had also run the excellent Lincoln Festival which I attended earlier in 1972, and was billed as Scotland’s first pop festival. My friend Nicky and I went by train to the gig. Grangemouth is north west of Edinburgh. The festival took place on Saturday 23 September 1972 and was part of the Grangemouth centenary celebrations. It was held in a sports stadium, which was in an industrial area, next to a gasworks, which spewed smoke over us at various times during the day. It wasn’t that well attended as I recall, with quite a heavy atmosphere, drunkenness, and some fights as the day went on. The promised line up was good, however a few of the bands who were billed did not play; a not uncommon occurrence in those days. Billy Connolly (see left from the programme of the festival) delivered a set pretty early during the day which was a mix of comedy and folk songs, and was one of the hits of the day for me. He’d just had a success at the Edinburgh festival and was just starting to make a name for himself.Other highlights of the day were Beggars Opera who were also local heroes with great swirling Hammond organ, The Everley Brothers who sang all those timeless hits, and Steeleye Span, who were still playing quite traditionally-based elecric folk at that time, before the days of All Around My Hat. Status Quo were at the top of their game in the early 70s, and were great favourites of Peel, who was DJ/MC for the day. Marsh Hunt was to seen wandering around the crowd. The extract to the right, which is taken from the newspaper programme (also see below) shows the line up and timings. Chris Mclure, who was another local hero, also played. Unfortunately, neither Uriah Heep or The Electric Light Orchestra played. Beck, Bogert and Appice were the main reason we went along, and Beck was a revelation. His guitar playing eclipses Clapton in my view, and I was in awe of him that night. I remember him playing Superstition and am pretty sure that he used a mouth-tube, which was the first time I’d seen suc a strange contraption, and was a few years before Peter Frampton used one on Show Me The Way. I can’t remember much of the set, but I’m pretty sure it contained Morning Dew, a new song called Black Cat Moan, Going Down, and an epic version of Keep Me Hanging On, which Bogert and Appice will have brought with them from Vanilla Fudge. After the gig we got the train back to Edinburgh, where we spent the night trying, and failing, to sleep on some pretty hard and uncomfortable benches, until it was time for the first train back to Newcastle on the Sunday morning.