Archive for the ‘Simply Red’ Category

Futurama 2 Festival Queens Hall Leeds 14th September 1980

Futurama 2 Festival Queens Hall Leeds 14th September 1980
futuramatixThis was the second Futurama festival and it took place at Queens Hall, which was in the centre of Leeds. The Saturday line-up featured U2 (low down on the bill), Echo & The Bunnymen, Soft Cell and Siouxsie & The Banshees (who headlined). I attended the Sunday with my mate Dave and it featured The Psychedelic Furs, Gary Glitter, The Durutti Colum, Classix Nouveaux, Young Marble Giants, Hazel O’Connor, The Soft Boys, Flowers, Naked Lunch, Blurt, Artery, Notsensibles, Vice Versa, Desperate Bicycles, Frantic Elevators, Athletico Spizz 80, Brian Brain, Tribesmen, Boots for Dancing and Household Name. We arrived during the afternoon and missed some of the bands. Queens Hall was a cavernous building, which was originally a tram and bus depot. It was used as a concert venue during the 1980s. It has since been demolished and is now a car park.
When we arrived it looked like a war zone. Punk fans from all over the north, and further afield, had decamped there for the weekend, and had been in the venue all night, sleeping on the floors; there was trash everywhere. We saw faces that we recognised from Middlesbrough Rock Garden, which had closed for the weekend as everyone was going to the festival. We chatted to a few people; everyone was talking about how great Siouxsie (who had headlined the Saturday night) had been. There were stalls around the place and pop-up art performances in dark corners of the hall. I recall one performance which involved a guy having a crap in a bucket; we moved on. The bands were playing on a stage at the end of the massive hall. futuramaflyer
This was an opportunity to see bands who went on to stardom: The Frantic Elevators became Simply Red, and Vice Versa became ABC. There was a great mix of bands at the event and the atmosphere was wonderful, really friendly. Although on the surface this festival appeared messy and shambolic, it is actually one of the best I have every attended for the musical range and the feeling in the crowd. Highlights of the day were Hazel O-Connor, who was in the charts with “Eighth Day” and became the robot from “Breaking Glass”, Durutti Column featuring Vini Reilly’s meadering guitar, and the 4″ by 2″s who were a proto-Oi! band featuring Jimmy Lydon (John Lydon’s brother) and also at one point featured Youth of Killing Joke. But the highlight was an incredible performance by Notsensibles, a punk band from Burnley who had some success with their single “I’m in Love with Margaret Thatcher”. Their set included a lot of tongue-in-cheek songs, all performed in their strong Northern accent. They’d brought a large contingent of fans, who all sang along with every daft song. Notsensibles motto was “all we want to do is make silly records and play silly gigs”. There is a video on YouTube of them performing “Death To Disco” at the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIGrhea75qU
The festival ran very late into the night (inevitable given the incredible number of bands who were performing) and we left around midnight during Psychedelic Furs set to drive back up North and home, thus missing the headliner who was (also incredibly) the now shamed star Gary Glitter. The Futurama festival had a history of choosing off-the-wall headliners; on another occasion the closing acts was a reformed Bay City Rollers (now that must have been something to experience). A crazy, mad, fun event with some great bands. Happy happy days 🙂

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Simply Red Gateshead Stadium 25th July 1992

Simply Red Gateshead Stadium 25th July 1992
simplyredprogIn January 1992 Simply Red set off on a massive world tour. They had just released their 4th album “Stars.” The tour lasted 14 months, taking in 131 shows to 1.5 million people. In the UK Simply Red played concerts in arenas and massive stadiums, including Wembley Stadium. I caught the tour when it called at Gateshead Stadium in 1992. Support came from Des’ree. This is the only time I saw Simply Red.
The programme contains a welcome from Mick Hucknall: “Firstly let me welcome you to this “event”. I can’t call it just a show because the scale of these concerts defies that description. This is a special day for me because these “events” are a celebration of your enjoyment of the music that I and other musicians have made since the debut in 1985″, and discusses the band’s recent success, making it very clear this it had become very much Mick’s show: “Mick Hucknall’s latest album, Stars, has out-sold all the competition, including Michael Jackson’s Dangerous. His current British tour is such a hot ticket that even the touts are said to be out of stock. Simply Red – the band which for seven years has been mainly him plus helpers – is now the most popular group in the land.” simplyredtix The programme goes on: “Democracy is not a word that crops up when the talk turns to that seven-member organisation known as Simply Red. A fairly benign dictatorship is what it really is…Hucknall “I’m not a control freak..I’m like an old bandleader, providing a springboard for musicians who can come and go…””
This was a very classy show, with Mick performing the hits faultlessly to a crowd of adoring fans.
Setlist (something like): Sad Old Red; More; Jericho; A New Flame; It’s Only Love; Band Introductions; Your Mirror; Holding Back The Years; Enough; Model; I Wish; Let Me Have It All; Freedom; Thrill Me; Come To My Aid; I Won’t Feel Bad; Money’s Too Tight (To Mention); If You Don’t Know Me By Now; Stars; The Right Thing; For Your Babies; Something Got Me Started