Backhouse Park concerts Sunderland Summer 1974
For 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.
Archive for the ‘Brinsley Schwarz’ Category
Backhouse Park concerts Sunderland Summer 1974
Paul McCartney and Wings Newcastle City Hall 10th July 1973
My one big concert-going regret is never seeing the Beatles. I was just too young to have seen them in concert, being only 9 when they last toured the UK. So when Paul McCartney started to tour again, with his band Wings, I was determined to see him. However; I also missed the first time Wings played in the north east, which was a “secret” last minute gig at Newcastle University, McCartney and co simply turning up in a van and asking to play. A remember a girl at school coming in and telling me that her brother had seen Paul McCartney the night before (he was a student at Newcastle University), and at first not believing her. Anyway my first real opportunity to see McCartney in concert was on Wings 1973 concert tour which called at Newcastle City Hall on 10th July 1973. The tour was to promote the band’s new album “Red Rose Speedway” and the single “Live and Let Die” from the James Bond film of the same name. Wings’ lineup at the time was Paul and Linda McCartney, Denny Laine (ex Moody Blues; guitar and vocal), Henry McCullough (ex Grease Band; guitar), and Denny Seiwell (drums). The support group for the tour was the excellent Brinsley Schwarz who Paul and Linda asked to accompany them after seeing the Brinsleys perform at the London Hard Rock Cafe a few weeks previously. I hadn’t managed to get tickets for the show which had of course sold out immediately, but wasn’t going to let that stop me. So I went along to the City Hall on the night to try and score a ticket outside. After wandering around outside the venue for some time without having any luck and still being ticketless, a shifty looking guy came up to me and asked me if I needed a ticket for the show. I explained that I did, and he offered to get me into the venue if I paid him a few pounds. I don’t remember exactly how much he charged me but it wasn’t too expensive, not much more than face value. I gave him the money and he walked to the door of the City Hall with me, placing his hand on my shoulder. The doormen obviously had “an arrangement” with this guy and let me pass through. I’d been told that once inside I was on my own, ticketless, but that if I stood at the back of the hall I would be ok; which, indeed, I was. So I was in 🙂 !. Hence I do not have a ticket stub for this gig, but I do have the programme and a flyer promoting “Red Rose Speedway”, both of which reassure me that my memory is not playing tricks with me on this occasion. Wings set that night was quite short in comparison to later gigs I saw, and just seemed to fly over. I stood at the back of the City Hall almost not believing that I was actually seeing Paul McCartney in concert. The set was a mixture of Wings and McCartney songs and a couple of Denny Laine tracks. Stand-outs for me were Maybe I’m Amazed, Live and Let Die and Hi Hi Hi. I was surprised that they played the Moody’s “Go Now”, which was just great to hear. They also played Denny’s song “Say You Don’t Mind” which had been a hit in 1972 for Colin Blunstone. The closest that we got to a Beatles song was the encore, which was Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally”, which Paul used to play with the fab four. A great concert, and I was buzzing and on a high for days afterwards. Setlist: Soily; Big Barn Bed; When the Night; Seaside Woman; Wild Life; Little Woman Love; C Moon; Maybe I’m Amazed; My Love; Live and Let Die; Go Now; Say You Don’t Mind; The Mess; Hi, Hi, Hi. Encore: Long Tall Sally. Paul quote from the programme” “Performing hasn’t changed any since I last went out. It’s just a different band and different material. It could never change. Performing is performing. It’s still just you singing a song….”