Twelve years after I last saw them, the classic Deep Purple line-up was back and playing at Knewborth. I went with my mate Dave on a trip bus from the town. The line-up for the day was very strong with The Scorpions, Meat Loaf, UFO, Mountain, Blackfoot, Mama’s Boys, and Alaska (can’t remember who they were) but unfortunately the weather was lousy. It rained and rained all day and then it rained more. Dave and I spent much of the day sheltering under a tree. At one point we found our way into an indoor bar which must have been for guests because it was empty (!) and we kept warm and dry in there. The Scorpions went down best of all the support acts, and there was a never ending two hour wait between the end of their set and Purple taking to the stage at around 10pm. I can’t remember much about the other bands, but Purple were good despite the rain. As expected they started with Highway Star and played all of the classics, along with quite a few songs from the new album Perfect Strangers. To cap it all our bus got stuck in the mud in the carpark and some of us had to push it out. We didn’t get out of the carpark until early morning and arrived back home at dawn. The things I’ve done for rock n roll…Setlist: Highway Star; Nobody’s Home; Strange Kind of Woman; A Gypsy’s Kiss; Perfect Strangers; Under the Gun; Lazy; Knocking at Your Back Door; Difficult to Cure; Space Truckin’. Encore: Speed King; Black Night; Smoke on the Water. Other memories are of some guys setting fire to the portaloos to keep warm, no screens and an awful view of the stage from the back, pretty cool lasers for Purple, and a massive firework display after Purple’s set. Happy Days.
Archive for the ‘Mountain’ Category
Mountain Newcastle City Hall 2 Feb 1972 (and 2002, and 2003)
My friend John is over from the USA this week, and he is a big Mountain fan, so for today’s post I thought I would cover the first time I saw Mountain, which was back in 1972. Support that night came from the Jimmy McCulloch Band. I remember that I arrived early for the gig, specifically to catch Jimmy. I’d seen him the year before at the City Hall when he was a member of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. He’d left Mayall to form his own band which was initially called Bent Frame, and by this stage was known as The Jimmy McCulloch Band. I remember being once again impressed by how bluesy and technically good this young guy was. The next time I was to see Jimmy was as a member of Stone The Crows, who he joined a few months later. They had been a rumour around before this gig, that Mountain’s bass player Felix Papalardi was unwell and that his place was to be taken by Jack Bruce. I don’t know how true the rumour was, but on the night Felix was in place, and the line up of Mountain was the classic line up of Leslie West on guitar, Felix on bass, Corky Laing on drums and Bruce Knight on keyboards. Mountain were just great. Leslie is a giant of a man, lumbering around the stage with his Gibson slung low across his knees. The music was very LOUD, and very heavy, with Leslie’s unique guitar style and tone riding across the top. The set included Mountain classics such as: Crossroader; Nantucket Sleighride; and Mississippi Queen, and great covers like Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven and Jack Bruce’s Theme from an Imaginary Western. I remember being surprised when I began to hear Nantucket Sleighride as the theme for the UK TV show Weekend World. I saw Mountain a couple of times some 30 years or so later, and saw West Bruce and Laing a year or so afterwards, but the best time that I saw Leslie and Mountain was definitely that night in 1972. The programme scan is of a copy from the previous year (thanks John). The Tyne Theatre tickets are from Mountain shows in 2002 and 2003. It was great to see Leslie and Mountain at the Tyne Theatre after so many years, and the shows were both memorable, featuring all the old classics. Leslie’s guitar playing was as good as ever, and Corky Laing was there on drums, Felix having sadly passed away in 1983. The great Stray were support at one of those gigs. Leslie hasn’t been so well, and hasn’t made it over to the UK for a few years now, but is still playing in the US.