Archive for the ‘Smith Perkins and Smith’ Category

Free Sunderland Locarno October 1972

By late 1972 Free were falling apart. Andy Fraser had left to be replaced by Tetsu and Rabbit, and in a few short months the band would be no more. This was a result of internal friction particularly between Andy Fraser and Paul Rodgers, and because of Paul Kossoff’s health problems. Kossoff was replaced by a session musician on some of the tracks of their final album, Heartbreaker and on a tour of the USA his place was taken by the guitarist from Osibisa, which marked the end for the band. Free returned to play in Sunderland only a few months since their last gig in the town. I have a programme from that time which doesn’t actually list the Sunderland gig, but it does mention local gigs at Newcastle Mayfair, Durham University and Redcar Jazz Club. However, I’m certain that I bought it at a gig in Sunderland Locarno, which was presumably added as an extra date after the programme was printed. By this time Wishing Well had been released as a single and some of the new tracks from Heartbreaker will have featured in the set. My memories of this Free gig are much hazier than those of the gigs I saw earlier that year, which suggests to me that it didn’t reach the same heights, both in terms of performance and audience reaction. I don’t remember the place being packed. The programme lists support as caming from Smith Perkins and Smith, who were an American soft rock / country band. The next time I was to see Paul Kossoff and Andy Fraser it was as part of their own individual bands, and in the case of Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke as members of Bad Company.

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