Whitesnake Newcastle City Hall 14th December 1982
When David Coverdale returned in late 1982 with a new Whitesnake. Only Jon Lord and Micky Moody remained from the old band with Bernie Marsden, Neil Murray, and Ian Paice being replaced by guitarist Mel Galley from Trapeze, bassist Colin Hodgkinson, and drummer Cozy Powell respectively. Micky Moody had actually also left the band and rejoined. Whitesnake released the album “Saints & Sinners” which was another Top 10 UK album and contained the hit single “Here I Go Again”.
Micky Moody explained the changes thus: “By ’81 people were becoming tired. We had too many late nights, too much partying. We weren’t making nowhere near the kind of money we should have been making. Whitesnake always seemed to be in debt, and I thought ‘what is this?, we’re playing in some of the biggest places and we’re still being told we’re in debt, where is all the money going?’. We hadn’t got much money out of it and to be told you’re £200,000 in debt, when you just had six golden albums. It wasn’t just me, cause everybody was getting tired, p***ed off and losing their sense of identity. It was over by then, we couldn’t get any further. It’s difficult for a band to go more than three or four years without getting tired of each other and losing ideas. Nothing lasts forever. Everybody wanted to do something different after a few years, a solo album or write with someone else.” The changing line-up didn’t seem to impact upon the band’s popularity. They toured the UK in late 1982, playing to packed out halls everywhere. The tour called at Newcastle City Hall for 3 nights, and the concert was as explosive as ever.
Support for the tour came from Samson featuring new vocalist Nicky Moore, who had replaced Bruce Dickinson, who’d left to join Iron Maiden.
Setlist: Walking in the Shadow of the Blues; Rough an’ Ready; Ready an’ Willing; Here I Go Again; Don’t Break My Heart Again; Lovehunter / Steal Away; Crying in the Rain; Soldier of Fortune; Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City; Fool for Your Loving; Wine, Women an’ Song
Archive for the ‘Samson’ Category
Uriah Heep Newcastle City Hall 6th Feb 1980
Support from Girlshool
It must have been pretty confusing being a member of Uriah Heep in the late 70s and early 80s. There were so many comings and goings. Let me recap on the Heep saga that I have been telling for the past few days. John Lawton was now an ex-Heepster having been ousted by Heep main man Ken Hensley. Enter a new young guy John Sloman fresh to Heeping, and last seen (by me anyway) singing about the “Bells of Berlin” in the excellent rock band Lone Star. A month or so later long-time drummer Lee Kerslake jumped off the Heep ship. Enter Chris Slade from Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. The new line-up recorded the “Conquest” lp, which was released in February 1980 and went out on their 10th Anniversary Tour, with NWOBHM rockers Girlschool as support. I saw the band at their concert at Newcastle City Hall, and was pretty impressed by the new Heep, who excelled themselves as usual, playing a set of crowd-pleasing Heep classics. Sloman has a pretty impressive vocal range and a great rock voice.
However, Ken Hensley was less than happy with this new Heep line-up, and felt that they were moving too far along a straightforward rock track: “The band had chosen John and I had opposed that decision. He was a good musician and he looked great but I thought he had little going for him vocally. The way that he interpreted songs was totally different to the way I had written them….we weren’t re-establishing our musical direction..” (from bio on official Uriah Heep site)
Ken Hensley decided to leave the band on June 8th, 1980 after the previous night’s gig in Cascais, Portugal (which marked the end of a huge chapter in the band’s history).T his was probably as big a blow to the future of Uriah Heep as the departure of David Byron had been 4 years or so earlier. Hensley was the main songwriter in the band, and along with Mick Box, one of only two remaining original members. Nonetheless, this was Heep, and change was always happening, so onward they went. Gregg Dechert, a Canadian who had worked with John Sloman, was brought in on keyboards and they immediately went on a UK tour. The tour called at Sunderland Mayfair on 12 Nov 1980, where they were supported by NWOBHM bands Spider and Samson. To be honest I have scant memories of that gig, but think I was present. After finishing the tour John Sloman decided that he had enough of being a Heepster and left the band. At this point Mick Box asked David Byron to rejoin, but David turned the offer down. Trevor Bolder then also decided to leave and joined Wishbone Ash (are you following this ? 🙂 ). The band essentially disintegrated and Uriah Heep were down to one member, Mick Box.
More of the Heep saga tomorrow!
Typical Heep set list for 1980: Stealin’; Look at Yourself; Free ‘n’ Easy; No Return; The Wizard; July Morning; Free Me; It Ain’t Easy; Lady In Black; Won’t Have To Wait Too Long; Carry On; Feelings; Sweet Lorraine; Easy Livin’; Do You Feel Alright; Gypsy; Suicidal Man
Robin Trower Newcastle City Hall 12th February 1980
In 1980 Robin Trower released his seventh studio album “Victims of the Fury”, and went out on tour to promote it. Support for the tour was NWOBHM band Samson. I saw the tour was it called at Newcastle City Hall. It was a few years since I’d seen Robin Trower in concert and I was really looking forward to seeing him again. It was the last night of the tour and the band were on their usual amazing form.
It is unfair to draw too many comparisons between Trower and Hendrix. Although Trower has undoubtedly been influenced by the master, and has said so himself on several occasions, he has his own unique guitar style, and is himself a true master of the guitar. Sadly whenever conversation turns to classic guitar greats the names of Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Richie Blackmore, Alvin Lee and Peter Green will be mentioned, but it isn’t that often that Trower gets a mention. That’s a shame because his playing stands up their with those greats.
Robert Fripp, another guitar great, recognises this and says so in the liner notes on the reissues of one of Robin’s solo albums (1996): “Robin Trower is one of the very few English guitarists that have mastered bends and wobbles. Not only has he got inside them, with an instinctive knowing of their affective power, but they went to live inside his hands. It is the rare English guitarist who has been able to stand alongside American guitarists and play with an equal authority to someone grounded in a fundamentally American tradition. Trower has been widely criticised for his influences. This has never bothered me. I toured America in 1974 with Ten Years After top of the bill, King Crimson second, and Robin Trower bottom. The chart positions were the opposite….. Nearly every night I went out to listen to him. This was a man who hung himself on the details: the quality of sound, nuances of each inflection and tearing bend, and abandonment to the feel of the moment. He saved my life. Later, in England, he gave me guitar lessons.”
Back to the City Hall concert. It was classic Trower drawing for throughout his solo career and starting with the beautiful “Lady Love”. They also played my favourites “Bridge Of Sighs” and “Too Rolling Stoned”. Great stuff.
I found a review of the concert on Robin Trower’s official site, by Alan Howard, who drove with his friend from London especially to see the last night of the tour, having already seen the show at Hammersmith a few days before: “The good people of Toon town just went absolutely mental, so delighted they were to see the band. What a great start! So it continued. For some reason, this audience were much more appreciative and vocal than their southern counterparts….It was a great show featuring once again the ‘Victims’ lightshow visuals with their distinctive neon barbed wire icon, as featured on the album cover.”
Set List: Lady Love; The Ring; Day Of The Eagle; Bridge Of Sighs; Jack And Jill; Too Rolling Stoned; The Shout/Hannah; Daydream; Victims Of The Fury; Only Time; Madhouse; Little Bit Of Sympathy.
Encores: Messin The Blues; Rock Me Baby.
Thanks to John for the image of his Trower “flash”.
Tomorrow I’ll roll forward and write about a more recent Trower gig.