Wizzard live 1972 and 1972
I’ve always been a big Roy Wood fan. “Fire Brigade” and “Blackberry Way” are two of my favourite songs; I remember sitting as a kid, in front of the TV with my parents, watching Top of the Pops totally transfixed by Roy and the late great Carl Wayne. By the time I got to see Roy live the Move had split, Roy had formed ELO with Jeff Lyne, and then left to form his own ultimate rock’n’roll band Wizzard. I first saw Wizzard when the made their second live appearance at the Reading Festival in August 1972. They had just released “Ball Park Incident”. I recall being surprised how different to the Move Wizzard were, complete with horns and that great full big band sound. I saw Wizzard twice more; at Sunderland Locarno on 19th January 1973, with the Jook support and again at the Locarno on 13th July 1973 with Silverhead support (thanks to Mitch for confirming the dates and support acts). Roy Wood was a marvel to behold in those days, with his distinctive warpaint make-up, long backcombed dyed locks and colourful costumes. And Wizzard were a big crazy band, complete with piano, cello and horns. They completely filled the small Mecca stage, and the ballroom was packed for those two shows. Wizzard were flying high in the UK single charts with two Number 1 singles “See my Baby Jive” and “Angel Fingers” during 1973, and of course that Christmas song later in the year. Roy Wood understood rock’n’roll and managed to create the Phil Spector “Wall of Sound” both on record and live in concert. Wizzard was, however, a big and expensive band to maintain, because of the large line-up, and in terms of recording costs. Bassist Rick Price: “When we finished recording “Angel Fingers” it was rumoured that we had spent more time in the studio than Paul McCartney had with the whole of the Band on the Run album. Whether it was true or not, this meant that most of the record company’s money was spent in studio time and that the members of the band had to rely on live touring work for their income. A couple of tours in the U.K. and one tour of the U.S. were not enough to ensure regular wages for the band.” By autumn 1975 they had split.
Wkzzard line-up: Roy Wood (vocals, guitars, saxophone, percussion); Mike Burney (saxophone, clarinet, flute); Charlie Grima (drums, percussion, vocals); Nick Pentelow (saxophone, clarinet, flute); Rick Price (bass); Keith Smart (drums); Bill Hunt (keyboards, French horn); Hugh McDowell (cello, synthesisers).
Archive for the ‘Roy Wood’ Category
Wizzard live 1972 and 1972
It’s been 40 (!) years since I last saw the Beach Boys in concert. Since then Dennis and Carl Wilson have both sadly passed away, and Brian Wilson has returned to live performance, briefly reuniting with Mike Lcve, Bruce Johnston, Al Jardine and David Marks for a 50th anniversary tour. The current line-up features only Mike Love and Bruce Johnston from the 1960s band, and has resulted in some controversy as to whether these guys can justify calling themselves the Beach Boys. I went along with Marie to this concert out of curiosity, but also to enjoy those great songs one more time. We stayed at a hotel overlooking the race course, and were able to stroll over to join the punters in the County Stand. There were six races before the Beach Boys came on stage. Sadly our betting skills are not great, and we succeeded in losing on every race. Oh well.
The stage was situated along from the stands, and the only way to get a decent view was to move along the course. The Beach Boys came on stage shortly before 9pm. We made our way close to the front, but found the sound to be pretty poor down there, so we returned to the stands. Although we were then only able to view the show on the massive screens, the sound was excellent. The set was, as you would expect, a mix of all those great hits. I was disappointed at first, the poor sound didn’t help, but things started to improve and by the end I was really enjoying it. One unexpected, and very welcome. surprise was the arrival of Roy Wood for a performance of “Fire Brigade”. The other highlight was a performance of “God Only Knows” which showed Carl Wilson singing on the video screens. Carl’s voice and the images, which were taken from the ’60s through to the ’80s, reminded me just how wonderful and influential The Beach Boys were.
Setlist: Do It Again; Goin’ to the Beach; Little Honda; Catch a Wave; Hawaii; Surf City; Surfin’ Safari; Surfer Girl; Don’t Worry Baby; Little Deuce Coupe; 409; Shut Down; I Get Around; Ballad of Ole’ Betsy; Why Do Fools Fall in Love; Darlin’; It’s OK; Fire Brigade (The Move cover, with Roy Wood); California Dreamin’; Cotton Fields; Sloop John B; Wouldn’t It Be Nice; Then He Kissed Me; California Girls; Pisces Brother; God Only Knows; Good Vibrations; Kokomo; Help Me, Rhonda; Do You Wanna Dance?; Barbara Ann; Surfin’ U.S.A. Encore: Wild Honey; Fun, Fun, Fun (with Roy Wood)
The Reading Festival 1972
I first went to the Reading Festival in 1972 (is it really over 41 years ago 🙂 ?), and continued to go every year until 1980. I missed 1981 as it clashed with a local “Rock on the Tyne” Festival, and have never returned, although I did think of doing so on several occasions. I’m aiming to reflect on one year each week for the next few weeks, starting today with my first Reading experience.
I’d already been to the Lincoln Festival in May 1972 so I felt, as a 15 year old, I was already a hardened festival goer. I didn’t know anyone who wanted to go to Reading, so decided to go along myself. My parents weren’t keen on my idea of hitching so I agreed to go by train. The festival took place over the weekend of August 11th to 13th, 1972 starting on Friday afternoon. For some reason I decided to get the train down to London early on the Thursday night, arriving around midnight. Having nowhere to spend the night I took a tube to Piccadilly Circus and found an all-night cinema. It was showing Elvis films all night; I paid my money and sat close to the front. The cinema was quite empty, the audience was a few couples, some Elvis fans and several people alone like me, and just looking for somewhere to spend the night. I don’t recall which films were shown, I think there were six, and I’m pretty sure one was “Kid Galahad” (which, by the way, is a good movie), and I think another may have been “Fun in Acapulco” and “Girls, Girls, Girls” (not so good). I emerged, very tired, from the cinema in the early hours of the morning, and went across London to get the train to Reading. I didn’t have a ticket for the festival, so when I arrived I joined the queue and bought a weekend ticket. In those days it was all about seeing the bands, so I stayed in the queue to get a good spot in front of the stage. All I had taken was a sleeping bag; no tent; no change of clothes (I told you that I thought myself a hardened festival goer).
The Friday line-up was: Good Habit, Nazareth, Cottonwood, Steamhammer, Jackson Heights, Genesis, Mungo Jerry, Curved Air. The music started at 4pm and there were two stages set alongside each other to make for quick changeovers. I positioned myself close to the front somewhere between the two stages so I had a good view of both. There was a press enclosure right down front, and an area where the Hells Angels would encamp, so you couldn’t get that close to the stage. I got talking to a guy next to me; he was also alone, still at school and a similar age. We stuck together throughout the weekend, keeping each others place in the crowd, and sleeping there on a night in our sleeping bags. This seems crazy now, but hey I was young and just so excited about seeing the bands. You could sleep in the main enclosure in those days; you had to leave in the early morning so that they could clear up and get ready for the next day. Some clearing happened during the night; this didn’t make for a good night sleep as there was a danger that someone stood on you (this happened to me several times). The organisers stopped letting people sleep in the main enclosure a few years later; a punter was run over by a vehicle that was driving around collecting litter….The bands I recall on Friday were: Good Habit (saw them a few times, they used to were monks habits on stage), Nazareth (this was before “Broken Down Angel”; they played a great version of “Morning Dew”); Genesis (Simply amazing. I was a big fan at the time and have written separately about their set which included The Knife, Twilight Alehouse, Watcher Of The Skies, The Musical box, and The Return Of The Giant Hogweed. Classic); Mungo Jerry (got the crowd rocking), and Curved Air (also amazing; It happened today, Backstreet Luv, Sonja Kristina).
The Saturday line-up was: Jonathan Kelly, Solid Gold Cadillac, Man, Linda Lewis, Focus, Edgar Broughton, Jericho, If, Johnny Otis Show, Electric Light Orchestra, The Faces. I watched all of the bands, and also took some time to have a look around the stalls in the arena. I didn’t see any need to venture into town (that would come in later years) and spent the entire weekend within the confines of the festival. The weather was quite warm, sunny with a little drizzle now and then but nothing major, and certainly nothing compared to the rain I experienced at the Lincoln festival earlier in the year. Highlights I can dimly recall now are: Jonathan Kelly (Ballad of Cursed Anna simply wonderful), Solid Gold Cadillac (very jazzy), Man (very long guitar solos; Spunk Rock; great!), Linda Lewis (she looked so tiny on that stage and admitted to being scared), Focus (went down well with the crowd and were one of the successes of the weekend), Edgar Broughton (amazing, I was already a fan. Edgar very unspoken as always. Out Demons Out!!), If (jazzy, great guitarist), Johnny Otis Show (just blogged on them), Electric Light Orchestra (this was a very early performance and one of their first since Roy Wood’s departure. Wasn’t sure what to expect; they were good), The Faces (Rod and the guys on great form, lots of footballs kicked into the crowd, Twisting the Night Away and I’m Losing You were big live favourites of mine at the time).
The Sunday line-up was: Sutherland Brothers, Gillian McPherson, String Driven Thing, Matching Mole, Stackridge, Vinegar Joe, Status Quo, Stray, Roy Wood’s Wizzard, Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Ten Years After, Quintessence. John Peel and Jerry Floyd were comperes for the weekend. Jerry was the regular DJ at the Marquee Club, who organised the festival at the time. I spend much of the weekend chatting about music to the guy that I met on the first day and we struck up quite a friendship. I made a few friend at festivals in those days and would see some people every year but I never ran into this guy again. Wonder where he is now. Highlights of the day were: Matching Mole (featuring Robert Wyatt), Stackridge (“Slark” was a favourite of mine at the time), Vinegar Joe (Elkie just stunning), Status Quo (this was one of the shows that helped them break back. Peel was a big champion of theirs at the time; I think he introduced them as the “Finest rock’n’roll band in the world”, or something like that. They were playing amazing boogie at the time, with Francis giving it some cheeky banter. Someones Learning was a favourite), Stray (excellent, Del in mirror suit), Roy Wood’s Wizzard (pretty good, very retro rock’n’roll. Ballpark Incident had just been released), and Ten Years After (Alvin’s guitar playing was stunning, I’d just seen “Woodstock” and was a big fan). I left as Quintessence’s took to the stage as did many others (TYA were official headliners) to catch the last train to London. The tubes had stopped so I walked across London. I’d missed the midnight train so I spent the night in Kings Cross station.
Monday morning: I was stiff, tired, and scruffy. I got the first train home and went straight to bed 🙂
Wow! that took longer than I thought it would! The scans come from the newspaper style programme which was produced by the Reading Evening Post. The poster (it looks like a cartoon of Leo Lyons from TYA to me?) is from the middle of the programme. Oh and I forgot to mention the “Wally!” chants, which seemed to go on all night.
Status Quo, Roy Wood and Kim Wilde Newcastle Arena Dec 16 2011
Quo at Xmas has become an annual event for me. This year’s end of year tour is entitled QuoFestive and sees the guys heading a three band bill alongside Roy Wood and Kim Wilde. They have also reduced the number of gigs on the tour and moved from a mix of theatres and arenas to a smaller number of arena gigs. This is going to be the pattern for the future, so instead of visiting the City Hall, Quo are at Newcastle Metro Arena.
I arrived around 8pm, which meant I missed Kim Wilde and Roy Wood had just started. I am a big fan of Roy and the Move, and saw him support Quo in Sheffield a couple if years ago. His set was good, and he got the crowd going, finishing with that Xmas song.
Quo came on stage around 9pm and played their usual set, with a few small changes from last year. The sound was clear and loud, and Francis was on good form, with the usual cheeky comments to the crowd. The show was usual Quo; good solid rock played perfectly. I enjoyed it more than I expected, but much prefer the City Hall as a venue. The encore saw the guys joined by Roy Wood and Kim Wilde for Winter Wonderland and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Good stuff. I must have seen Quo around 30 times now, and to be honest it is getting a little samey, but hey ho they are what they are, and they do it well. So will I go again next year? Of course I will.
Setlist: Caroline; Something ‘Bout You Baby I Like; The Wanderer; Rock ‘n’ Roll ‘n’ You; Rain; Mean Girl; Beginning Of The End; Medley (What You’re Proposin’/Down The Dustpipe/Little Lady/Red Sky/Dear John); Big Fat Mama;
Two Way Traffic; The Oriental; Let’s Rock; Paper Plane; Living On An Island; In The Army Now; Drum Solo/The Killer; Roll Over Lay Down; Down Down; Whatever You Want; Rockin’ All Over The World
Encore: Burning Bridges; Walking In A Winter Wonderland; Santa Clause Is Coming To Town
Status Quo & Roy Wood Sheffield Arena 6th December 2009
This promised to be a great double bill: the mighty Quo with special guests Roy Wood’s Rock n Roll Band. Quo were due to come to my local venue, Newcastle City Hall, but Roy Wood featured at the Arena gigs only. Hence I decided to pass on the City Hall show and make the journey to Sheffield to catch Roy with my heroes. I hadn’t seen Roy Wood since his Wizzard days, when he played Sunderland Locarno several times. I was looking forward to catching up with him again; his shows are few and far between these days and he hasn’t ventured to the North East for many years.
I’d just arrived back from seeing Shift-Static in Edinburgh on Sunday morning; had a little break and then set off to drive to Sheffield around 4.30pm. Got to Sheffield around 6.30pm with plenty of time before Roy took the stage. The Arena was set out at half-maximum size and was pretty full; I would guess that there were around 3,000-4,000 people there. Roy Wood took the stage at 7.30 sharp and played us all of his Move and Wizzard hits. His band consists of a girl singer, guitar, bass, drums, piano, and a brass section. We got Fire Brigade, Blackberry Way, See my Baby Jive and he finished with (as expected) I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day. The crowd loved him and everyone was standing, clapping and singing along by the end. A great choice for support; they warmed up everyone for the main act.
There was then a very short change-over and soon we got the usual Quo Drone signalling that the guys were taking the stage. Caroline, as always, starts the proceedings; the set is very similar to last year’s Pictures tour. Francis has not been well with bronchitis and some gigs were cancelled last week. The rest has clearly done him good. He’s on top form tonight; he, Rick and Rhino own the stage and are Quo at their best: rocking, joking, cheeky with the crowd. For me you can’t fault them when they are on form like this. Theres been a lot of talk on the Quo message board about the need to change the set. I’m not so sure; I think if there is an issue it is that this band tours all the time (unlike many others of their era) so we are all spoilt in seeing them at least once or twice every year. So of course we get used to the set. For me they were great. I sneak out during Bye Bye Johnny to get out of the carpark early (around 10.30pm) and get home around 12.30am.
Set list Roy Wood: included (plus one or two I didn’t know) I Can Hear the Grass Grow; Flowers in the Rain; Blackberry Way; Fire Brigade; Angel Fingers; California Man; See my Baby Jive; and finished with : I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day.
Set list Status Quo: similar to last year; something like: Caroline; Something ’bout You Baby I Like; Rain; Don’t Drive My Car; Mean Girl; Beginning Of The End; Hold You Back; What You’re Proposing / Down The Dustpipe / Little Lady / Red Sky / Dear John; Big Fat Mama; Pictures Of Matchstick Men; Ice In The Sun; Creepin’ Up On You; Living On An Island; In The Army Now; Roll Over Lay Down; Down Down; Whatever You Want; Rockin’ All Over The World
Encore: Paper Plane; Junior’s Wailing; Rock n Roll Music / Bye Bye Johnny