Z Z Top Rocking the Castle, Donington 17th August 1985
Line-up: ZZ Top; Marillion; Bon Jovi; Metallica; Ratt; Magnum; Tommy Vance (DJ)
Donington 1985 became “Rocking the Castle” rather than “Monsters of Rock”, presumably because the line-up was a little more mixed than the usual heavy metal fare. Z Z Top returned to the festival after playing third on the bill a couple of years earlier. They were joined by a strong clutch of bands including Bon Jovi and Metallica, both of whom who would go on to be headliners in their own right. It was a beautiful hot day; one of the best Donington festivals I attended, in terms of the weather. Don’t remember much about Magnum or Ratt, although I have always been a fan of Magnum. Metallica seemed very thrash metal to me at the time; they hadn’t yet developed the subtlety that was to come later. Bon Jovi were amazing; you could just tell that they were going to be massive. At some point during the afternoon the Z Z Top car flew over the crowd, carried by a helicopter; this resulted in a massive cheer, and a hail of bottles and cans, none of which (luckily) managed to get high enough to touch the limo. This was the era of the can fight…. Marillion were the hit of the day, and went down really well with the crowd. They were at the tipping point of their career, having just released “Misplaced Childhood” and with major chart hits “Lavender” and “Kayleigh”. But the day belonged to boogie kings Z Z Top who were one of the biggest acts on the planet at the time, and effortlessly tore the place up with those classic songs, tongue in cheek humour, and unique style. Classic.
Z Z Top setlist: Got Me Under Pressure; I Got The Six; Gimme All Your Lovin’; Waiting For The Bus; Jesus Just Left Chicago; Sharp Dressed Man; Ten Foot Pole; TV Dinner; Manic Mechanic; Heard It On The X; I Need You Tonight; Pearl Necklace; Cheap Sunglasses; Arrested For Driving While Blind/Hit It Quit It; Party On The Patio; Legs; Tube Snake Boogie; Can’t Stop Rockin’; Jailhouse Rock; La Grange; Tush.
Two days to go ……
Archive for the ‘Marillion’ Category
Marillion Newcastle Mayfair 1983 & Newcastle City Hall 1984
Marillion came along when we least expected it. They sneaked up on us in the early 80s, playing very unfashionable prog rock, which really shouldn’t have been successful given the mood of the time. But Marillion were true to the cause, and the beauty and depth of their music shone through. This ensured their success and popularity, which continues to this day, despite the departure of their charismatic front man Fish. The first time I heard Marillion, at the time of their first album “Script for a Jester’s Tear”, I was struck by the similarity to early Gabriel era Genesis. I heard shades of “Musical Box” and “The Knife” in their music, and of Van Der Graaf (perhaps “Refugees”); and yet they also had their own distinctive sound. Being a devotee of early 70s prog and Genesis, I made sure I saw Marillion when the “Script” tour called at Newcastle. If I remember right Marillion played the Mayfair on that tour, on the same night as my mate Dave and I were due to see Culture Club at the City Hall. No problem, the timings were such that we managed to catch both gigs, calling at the City Hall first to see Boy George and co (which was good fun), and then racing round to the Mayfair Ballroom for Marillion’s set. This meant we sadly missed ex Van Der Graaf front man Peter Hamill, who was the support act for Marillion. But hey you can’t have everything. We arrived just as Marillion took to the stage. Marillion were great that night; the Mayfair was packed and their intricate prog sound filled the ballroom. The set consisted of the Script album, and of course their single “Market Square Heroes”. Fish was amazing at the time, the Gabriel and Hammill influences clearly showing; but he had his own stage presence.
Marillion were back in Newcastle a year or so later to promote the “Fugazi” album, and played another great gig at the City Hall. The last time I saw the band was in 1985 at the Donington Monsters of Rock Festivl, where they were second on the bill to Z Z Top. By then the classic “Kayleigh” had been released, and it called for a major sing a long by the crowd. I haven’t seen Marillion or Fish since the 80s; both continue to gig regularly and retain a strong fan base.
Setlist for 1983 Script tour: Script for a Jester’s Tear; Garden Party; Three Boats Down From the Candy; The Web; Charting the Single; Chelsea Monday; He Knows You Know; Forgotten Sons; Market Square Heroes; Margaret. Setlist for 1984 Fugazi tour: Assassing; Punch and Judy; Jigsaw; Script for a Jester’s Tear; Emerald Lies; Chelsea Monday; Incubus; He Knows You Know; Fugazi; Forgotten Sons; Garden Party; Market Square Heroes
“Do you remember, chalk hearts melting on a playground wall? Do you remember, dawn escaped from moonwashed college halls? Do you remember, the cherry blossom in the market square? Do you remember, I thought it was confetti in our hair?” (Kayleigh, Marillion, 1985).