Blackfoot Sue live 1973
“Standing in the Road” was a great single. It had a solid repetitive riff to and strong rhythms. I remember seeing Blackfoot Sue perform the song on Top of the Pops and I was totally knocked out. It reached No 4 in the UK singles chart at the same time as Slade and glamrock, and Blackfoot Sue were naturally compared to the bands of the time. This was a little unfair as the band had a much broader musical repertoire.
Blackfoot Sue was formed in 1970 by identical twin Brummie brothers Tom and David Farmer and Eddie Golga. They toured relentlessly between 1972 and 1974, playing ballrooms and clubs up and down the country. Tom and David Farmer both had really long hair and looked great; Tom played a Rickenbacker bass and David pounded away on drums. “Standing in the Road” had a rhythm section in the middle of the song where they all picked up drumsticks and hit everything in sight including their guitars, coke bottles, beer crates, and whatever was around them.
I saw Blackfoot Sue play at Sunderland Mecca sometime in 1973. I’ve checked their official gig list, and although it lists gigs at Newcastle Mayfair and Sunderland Poly, there is no mention of a Mecca gig. However I’m sure I saw them there. Live they were quite a heavy band, and had great rock tracks like “Messiah” which opened their debut album, and was also the song that opened their live show, and of course “Standing in the Road”. They would close their set with their version of the 1812 Overture which featured guitar feedback, churchbells and all of the guys hammering on David Farmer’s drum kit. My friend John recalls them “smashing up beer crates – or milk crates ? – they were made of wood- at the end of the set to bemusement of the crowd”. “1812” features on their second album, takes up almost a whole side of the lp record, and “ventures into the free-flowing world of progressive rock and gives some idea of the energy of the band on stage – the song was a highlight of their live show” (from the official Blackfoot Sue website). David Farmer: “It was all done with violin bows on the guitars… we had huge great artificial stone letters spelling out “1812”… We used to smash it up with axes and strobe lights flashed while the cannons exploded.” (That must be the smashing up that John recalls).
Blackfoot Sue folded in 1977 and re-emerged as Liner. Tom and Dave Farmer continue to play as Cry Wolf along with their younger brother Gary, and are sometimes joined by Eddie Golga.
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Blackfoot Sue live 1973