Archive for the ‘Liverpool Express’ Category

Rod Stewart Newcastle City Hall 14th December 1976

Rod Stewart Newcastle City Hall 14th December 1976
rodtix76This was Rod’s first major solo outing, and it was billed as “The Concert” (I remember thinking that this was quite pretentious at the time, and to add to the pretentiousness; the tickets were printed gold!). I went with Marie to queue for tickets on the day they went on sale. Rod was playing four nights at the City Hall, and I figured that it wouldn’t be too difficult to get tickets with so many concerts. How wrong I was! When we arrived at the City Hall the queue was already right down the road. We joined the queue and stood for a few hours, only to be told that all the tickets had been sold. Gutted! However all was not lost. By chance I was going to the City Hall that night with a mate, to see David Essex, as I recall, and we asked at the box office if they had any tickets left for Rod. “You are in luck” said the lady. “We found two tickets after we closed up. They are single seats for different nights. Do you want them?” We snapped them up, I took one for the first night, and my mate took the other. I had to explain to Marie how I was now going to see Rod on my own….but she was ok with that.
The show was great. This was Rod at his best, and the crowd was massively up for it. His band was tight and hot, and he was Rod the Mod, great rasping vocals, massive ego and stage presence, lots of singalong, and loads of footballs kicked into the crowd at the end. I have never been a fan of “Sailing” but the rest of the set made up for it, in spades.
rodprog76Support came from Liverpool Express.
Rod’s Band: Carmine Appice (drums), Phil Chen (bass), Jim Cregan (guitar), Billy Peek (guitar), Gary Grainger (guitar), John Jarvis (keyboards).
“The tour got off to a terrible start. The band and I were only just getting to know each other and I thought, ‘I’ll show you who can drink’. For about three weeks I was staying out all night and I wasn’t eating. It didn’t help. Then I got sick. Well, I was existing on port and brandy afternoon tea and toast. When we opened at Olympia I felt so bad it was almost like somebody telling me I shouldn’t be there.” (Rod to the Daily Mirror at the time)
Setlist: Three Time Loser; You Wear It Well; Big Bayou, Tonight’s The Night; Wild Side Of Life; This Old Heart Of Mine; Sweet Little Rock’n Roller; The Killing Of Georgie; I Don’t Want To Talk About It; Maggie May; Angel; True Blue; You Keep Me Hangin’ On; Get Back; (I Know) I’m Losing You; Sailing; Stay With Me; Twistin’ The Night Away

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Liverpool Express Newcastle City Hall 1977

Liverpool Express Newcastle City Hall 1977
Support from local band Arbre
livextix Liverpool Express were formed in 1975, by members of the legendary Liverpool 60s beat band The Merseybeats. They are best known for their two hits “You Are My Love” (which Paul McCartney once famously declared to be one of his favourite songs), and “Every Man Must Have A Dream”. I won tickets for this gig in a competition in a local newspaper. “You Are My Love” is a great pure pop song with beautiful harmonies, and was quite a favourite of mine at the time. newcastle festival1977 The City Hall was reasonably full for this gig, which was part of the 1977 Newcastle Festival festivities. Guitarist Billy Kinsley was playing his trademark Gibson Firebird, which the Merseys were well known for; in fact all three front men played similar guitars, and still do to this day. Kinsley rejoined the Merseybeats after Liverpool Express folded, and remains in the band today, alongside fellow founder member Tony Crane. Liverpool Express were quite well known for a short time, appearing on British television quite frequently; particularly Top of the Pops. As well as playing their own hit singles, I think they also played a couple of Merseybeat hits.
Support for the gig were Arbre, a local band fronted by brothers Phil, Peter and Paul Caffrey who have been singing together for most of their lives, and still do today as the Caffreys. Arbre were signed to DJM records, which was home to Elton John at the time. They were promoted as Britain’s answer to the Eagles, but split after a few years and a couple of albums.