Magazine Redcar 1978 and Newcastle 1979
I have fond memories of seeing Magazine in concert a few times during the late 70s and early 80s. In particular, I recall being impressed with Howard Devoto’s stage presence the very first time I saw the band, which was at a show at Redcar Coatham Bowl in 1978. This was their first major UK tour. Howard spent the entire night up high on a mike stand on a raised platform, looking menacingly down at the audience and snarling out the vocals at us all. It was pretty spooky, and quite different to the punk rock gigs that I was used to at the time. It was an amazing gig, and the crowd were mesmerised by Howard and the band.
Howard Devoto, of course, formed Magazine in 1977, having left the Buzzcocks during their early days. The line-up of Magazine in July 1978 at the time of the Redcar gig which I attended was Howard Devoto on vocals, the late great John McGeoch on atmospheric, discordant and truly inventive guitar, Barry Adamson on thundering, pumping bass, Martin Jackson on drums, and Dave Formula on swirling keyboards. This was the classic Magazine line-up. They had just released their first album “Real Life” and the single “Shot By Both Sides”, which reached the lower regions of the UK chart (No 41 to be exact) and is a true classic of the new wave era. I saw Magazine at least twice more during that period of exhilarating punk gigs, including a concert at Newcastle City Hall, where they were supported by an up and coming band called Simple Minds :), and at a Saturday night gig at Newcastle University Students Union Canteen. “And The Light pours down on me”, and “Shot by both sides” are two of my favourite songs, and Magazine concert performances at the time were amazing.
Laura later became familiar with the band through Morrissey, who has covered a couple of their songs. So when Magazine reformed in 2009 we both decided we should go along and see them, and made the trip to London on a cold Friday night to see them perform at the London Forum, and to see if they would live up to their legend. They did indeed and it was another great gig, which I blogged on at the time.
Archive for the ‘Magazine’ Category
Magazine Redcar 1978 and Newcastle 1979
Eddie and the Hot Rods Newcastle City Hall 1979
Support from The Members and ?Magazine?
This is my last blog post on Eddie and the Hot Rods, and covers the last time (I think) I saw the band. As well as the three City Hall shows I have blogged on, I am pretty sure that I saw them at Newcastle Poly once. I also saw them low down on the bill at the Reading Festival in 1976, and much higher on the bill in 1977. For their 1979 they visited the City Hall with support from the Members. The ticket also lists Magazine. I saw Magazine several times, and was a fan of the band, but have no recollection at all of them playing at this gig; something tells me that they weren’t on the bill on the night (does anyone remember whether they played this gig?). The Members were a great live act, featuring the charismatic (and funny) Nicky Tesco on vocals, and the song Sound of the Suburbs, which was a favourite of mine at the time. The Members were another band who I saw play a great set at the Reading Festival. They blended punk and reggae very successfully and were good fun. The Hot Rods were peaking, at this point and were coming close to the end of their initial career. Bassist Paul Gray gives his version of the beginning of the end for the band: “In the spring of 1979 we set off on yet another long UK tour supported by The Members. They were actually getting more airplay than us for their single “Offshore Banking Business”. Where we were starting to sound tired and, dare I say it, jaded, they were fresh and enthusiastic. Looking back on it now we were knackered, we’d been worked to the bone, and there was no fooling the punters. We were drinking loads..” “Not long after, at The Lyceum, scene of so many Hotrods triumphs in the past, Graeme finally lost the plot. Well, someone had to. Halfway thru’ the show he handed his guitar to the puzzled photographers in the pit at the front and started crawling about the stage on all fours, up on the drum riser and tried to bite Steve’s ankles. We limped on for a few more gigs without him but I had lost heart. The fun had gone, we had no dosh and I had no faith in the manager or the direction EMI wanted us to go.”
Magazine London Kentish Town Forum February 13th 2009
I have fond memories of seeing Magazine a few times in the late 70s and early 80s. In particular, I recall being impressed with Howard Devoto’s stage presence from a show in Redcar where he stared down at the audience from a mike stand which had a platform for him to stand on. And The Light pours down on me, and Shot by both sides are two of my favourite songs. Laura had become familiar with the band through Morrissey who has covered a couple of their songs in the past. So we both decided we should go along and see them, and made the trip to London on a cold Friday night to see if they would live up to their legend.
The Forum is an old cinema which has been converted into a pretty nice venue. We’d opted for seats upstairs (neither of us like standing all night). The support was Ipso Facto who we’d seen before with the Last Shadow Puppets. They did a short, OK set; but everyone was waiting for the main act. After a very long intro and a short (and strange) spoken piece from Devoto, the curtain came up; Barry Adamson and Dave Formula came on and started playing the Light Pours out of me. Howard joins them and snarls the vocals; they sound great; really tight and a clear sound.
Laura and I only know a few of the better known tracks; the rest of the crowd seem to know everything. There is one song called “Book” where Howard standards at a lecturn and reads from a big old book. Howard looks pretty good; no hair at all these days but still has the same (quite strange) stage presence. The guitarist does a great job filling the shoes of John McGeogh; he is a wearing a cool red suit and some great red winkle pickers (which look the same as mine!). The last song is Shot by both sides. The crowd goes mad downstairs, lots of people getting flung around. The last encore is Beefheart’s I Love you Big Dummy (my friend recalls seeing them play this at their first ever gig).
After the show Laura and I push our way against the flow of the crowd to get to the merchandise stall downstairs. Laura buys her customary t-shirt. Then its back on the tube to our Travelodge room near Kings Cross and back home in the morning. We both agreed it was a jolly good show.
*The Light Pours Out of Me (with epic intro)
*Model Worker (with Obama reference)
*The Honeymoon Killers (with one sassy lady from the support band)
*Because You’re Frightened
*You Never Knew Me (with the same sassy femme)
*Rhythm of Cruelty (following mention of McGeoch)
*This Poison (with sassy femme again)
*A Song from Under the Floorboards
*Twenty Years Ago/Definitive Gaze (a seemless medley)
*Shot By Both Sides
*Thank You (fallentime…)
*I Love You Big Dummy