Archive for the ‘No Dice’ Category

Reading Festival 26th – 28th August 1977

Reading Festival 26th – 28th August 1977
reading1977prog1Reading 1977 was notable for a couple of reasons. First, the line-up finally (and sadly in my view) lost all traces of the festival’s jazz and blues roots. Instead we had lots of classic rock, with a (small) smattering of punk and new wave. Although 1977 was the year of punk, it was another year before the new music finally started to make its mark at Reading. And second, the main feature of the 1977 festival was MUD. Lots of it. Possibly the worst I have ever seen at a festival. It had been raining heavily for weeks before, which resulted in most of the site becoming a quagmire with rivers of mud, and a large mud lake right in front of the stage. Wellies were at a premium and were being sold for incredible prices in the town.
Friday’s line-up: Staa Marx; S.A.L.T; Woody Woodmansey’s U Boat; Kingfish; 5 Hand Reel; Lone Star; Uriah Heep; Eddie and the Hot Rods; Golden Earring.
A strange mix of bands on the first day. Woody Woodmansey’s U Boat (ex Bowie’s Spiders from Mars) closed their set with Suffragette City. A highlight for me was Uriah Heep; now with John Lawton on vocals. Heep were always one of my favourite bands, and still are; I was a little sad to see them third on the line-up; they would have headlined a few years earlier. Lone Star were also good; showing lots of promise at the time, and Eddie and the Hot Rods went down well with the crowd. Golden Earring closed the day with a strong performance (Radar Love!).
Saturday’s line-up: Gloria Mundi; Krazy Kat; No Dice; George Hatcher Band; Ultravox!; Little River Band; John Miles; Aerosmith; Graham Parker and the Rumour; Thin Lizzy.
I remember being impressed by Ultravox!; this was the early version with John Foxx on vocals. Aerosmith seemed a big band to feature third on the bill, drew a large crowd, and were excellent. “Dream On” from those days remains a favourite song of mine. But the stars of the day were Graham Parker (the whole crowd sang along to (Hey Lord) Don’t Ask Me Questions) and of course, headliners Thin Lizzy. Lizzy were massive at the time and played a classic set including: Jailbreak; Dancing in the Moonlight; Still in Love With You; Cowboy Song; The Boys Are Back in Town; Don’t Believe a Word; Emerald and closing with The Rocker as encore. A good way to spend a Saturday night.
reading1977Sunday’s line-up: Widowmaker; The Motors; Tiger: The Enid; Blue; Racing Cars; Wayne County and the Electric Chairs; Hawkwind; Doobie Brothers; Frankie Miller; Alex Harvey.
The Enid were a big Reading favourite and Robert Godfrey got the tired crowd going with versions of classics like The Dambusters March. The Motors and Widowmaker got the day off to a good start. Steve Ellis had left Widowmaker by this point and had been replaced by John Butler, and they still featured that crazy showman Ariel Bender. Tiger featured the excellent guitarist Big Jim Sullivan (I used to love watching him play on the Tom Jones show in the ’60s), and Blue had some neat songs (try listening to “Little Jody”) and deserved bigger success. They were fronted my ex-Marmalade Hughie Nicholson. Racing Cars went down well with the crowd; this was the year that they had a massive hit with “They Shoot Horses Don’t They?” Wayne County was greeted by a hail of cans from a tired and twitchy crowd who didn’t take well to his punk songs, including the classic “If you don’t want to F**k me, F**k Off! Hawkwind were OK, as were the Doobies and Frankie Miller, but we were all there to see Alex Harvey. SAHB played the usual set and Alex told his quirky stories: Faith Healer; Midnight Moses; Gang Bang; Last of the Teenage Idols; Giddy-Up-A-Ding-Dong; St. Anthony; Framed; Dance to the Music. Alex hadn’t been well and this was their first gig for a few months. It was good to see them, but it wasn’t one of their best performances, and sadly it was the last time the band would play together. The end of an era.
By Sunday many people had given up and left because of the atrocious conditions. Poor John Peel tried to keep the crowd amused, partly be starting the famous “John Peelโ€™s a C***” chant which continued into the next few years.
One final note. I had been to see The Sex Pistols play at Scarborough Penthouse club the night before the festival, and I was still buzzing with the memories of that gig. It had opened my eyes to the raw energy of punk, and that, coupled with the mud and awful conditions at Reading, meant I didn’t enjoy the weekend as much as usual. And just to make the experience complete, the alternator on my car packed in on the way back up the M1, and the car finally ground to a halt somewhere near Nottingham. After a wait of an hour or so, a kind AA man towed us back to Barnard Castle, where we waited (a few hours) for another AA relay van to pick us up and take us home. We arrived back after midnight on Monday, tired, hungry and very muddy, soggy and scruffy….the joys of festival going. Happy Days ๐Ÿ™‚

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No Dice Redcar Coatham Bowl 20th May 1979

No Dice Redcar Coatham Bowl 20th May 1979
nodicetixAfter a brief excursion to review some punk gigs, I am now moving back to my alphabetical list, to cover bands I have seen starting with the letter “N”. The band that I am covering first are all but forgotten, including by me ๐Ÿ™‚ย  ! No Dice appeared during the emergence of punk, coming from North London and playing bluesy rock in the style of the Stones and the Faces, primarily at The Marquee and other assorted London venues. They released two albums ‘No Dice’ and ‘2 Faced’, and toured extensively, supporting UFO and Eddie and the Hot Rods (I may have seen them as support, but don’t recall). They also played the Reading Festival in 1977. By 1979 they was a lot of promotion behind them and they were out on their own headline tour, which I caught at Redcar Coatham Bowl. No Dice were Roger “Peaches” Ferris on vocals, Dave Martin on guitars, Chris or “Kit” Wyles on drums and main songwriter Gary Strange on bass. At the time of this concert they were promoting their second album “2 Faced”. nodiceI remember No Dice as a straight ahead blues/rock band with a singer in the mould of Rod Steward and Frankie Miller, and music that would stand up well alongside the Faces and Free. If they had been around in the early 70s, instead of in the midst of the UK punk scene, they may well have done a lot better. I remember thinking that No Dice looked and sounded like a major rock band (they had the music, the image and all the gear and stage setting) but without having a really strong following to match. The gig was not that well attended. Bad timing I guess. No Dice gave up to the inevitable and split in the early 80s, although they have reformed recently and played a gig at Dingwalls London last year. The gig got a good review on Uber Rock : “No Dice came, No Dice played, No Dice rocked. Shut your eyes and you were back in the Marquee.” http://www.uberrock.co.uk/gig-reviews/9-may-gigs/5072-no-dice-london-camden-dingwalls-16th-may-2012.html
You can find the No Dice website here: http://www.nodiceband.com/