The Who Stafford Bingley Hall 4th Oct 1975
Support from the Steve Gibbons band
The Who had not performed since the summer of 1974, as they had been working hard on the Tommy film. They recorded their new album “The Who By Numbers” during the spring of 1975, and toured the UK in October. Although the tour was meant to be promoting “The Who By Numbers” they actually only played “Squeeze Box” from that album at Stafford. One or two other songs from the lp sometimes featured as part of their set. The show saw them return to playing quite a lot from “Tommy”, with a mini-set featuring in the middle of their show, presumably linked to the success of the film.
Bingley Hall is a large 10,000 capacity exhibition hall in Stafford, England, located on the site of the Staffordshire County Showground. The County Showground hosts a variety of events, including antique fairs, dog shows, and motor shows. It is situated in the centre of the UK and close to major motorways, making it an accessible from the north and the south. During the 1970s and 1980s, before the emergence of purpose built arenas, it was a very popular concert venue. Acts that performed there included The Who, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, ABBA, The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley and Queen. This was the first rock concert to be held in Bingley Hall. The Who were out to prove themselves “The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World”; there was little to choose between them, Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones at the time. I attended the second of two nights, driving down to the concert with a couple of mates, all three of us squeezed into my two seater MG sports car.
This was a set of classic Who. They started with “Substitute”, played lots from “Tommy” and closed with “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. Like Zeppelin, the show made use of lasers which shone out over the crowd. This was billed as “the first stage act in the world to employ high-powered lasers” (Townshend, 2012). I remember being quite worried that they might hit me in the eye. Lighting operator John Wolff confirmed my fears: “..if a beam stands still, it can blind someone” (Neill & Kent, 2007). These were the Who’s first performances in 14 months, and the band were simply on fire, with lots of mike swinging by Roger Daltrey and arm twirling by Pete Townshend. The Who played for two hours, with no encore. Pete didn’t smash his guitar, although the crowd was willing him to do so. Apparently The Who had used a raised podium for Moon and his drums on the first night, but this didn’t work out and was scrapped for the second concert. Charlesworth (1975) described “Townshend adopting his classic legs-apart stance and spiralling his right arm roughly across the strings of his Les Paul”.
Setlist: Substitute; I Can’t Explain; Squeeze Box; Heaven And Hell; Tattoo; Baba O’Riley; Behind Blue Eyes; Amazing Journey; Sparks; Eyesight To The Blind; The Acid Queen; Fiddle About; Pinball Wizard; I’m Free; Tommy’s Holiday Camp; We’re Not Gonna Take It; Summertime Blues; Drowned; 5.15; My Generation; Join Together; Naked Eye; Won’t Get Fooled Again
Archive for the ‘Steve Gibbons’ Category
The Who Stafford Bingley Hall 4th Oct 1975
Ted Nugent in concert 1976, 1977 and 1980
Ted Nugent is, to say the least, outspoken and holds some strong views. When I first went to see him he was proclaiming: “It ain’t Rock’n’Roll if it ain’t loud” and “If its too loud you’re too old!” and indeed, loud he was. This was at the time of his “Free For All” and “Cat Sratch Fever” albums. He arrived in the UK just as punk was breaking. Now if Ted Nugent is anything, he sure ain’t punk rock. Ted plays straight ahead rock’n’roll and some pretty neat guitar. I first saw him at the Reading Festival in 1976, and then at Newcastle City Hall in 1977 and Newcastle Mayfair in 1980. Ted was wild and crazy on stage, with a massive mane of hair. One memory from the Mayfair gig, that my mate Norm reminded me of. Remember this was at the time of punk rock, when certain elements of the crowd would spit at the band. Well for some crazy reason a guy in the Mayfair crowd tried spitting at Ted. Ted didn’t take too kindly to this and had it out with the culprit, threatening to come down onto the dancefloor and sort him out. Ted played a big Gibson guitar, and wore lots of leather. Ted also had a big ego and would say some quite outrageous things, and continues to do so today. Some Ted quotes from the 1977 tour programme: “The sounds I make are all power, you’ve got to feel it when you’re blowing your rocks off. People think I’m deranged but it’s all about sex and audible, physical and visual recreation.” “There’s a ringing in my ears and I think that’s it the call of the wild. I got ears, I can hear it. The kids are going crazy, foamin’ at the mouth, ready to tear the legs off the security guards…and I should be modest?” “I can play real tasty too, all the time in fact. Sure I’m a show man, I’m the best entertainer of them all but listen to the classy way I do it”. “People were writing all kinds of shit about me. How I’d raped too women – one of them a nun. How I ate raw meat. It was vindictive. The only people I ever beat up were journalists.” and there’s more…”There’s no one to overshadow me, there ain’t nobody who can outdo me at my own game. I mean have you ever heard anyone who sounds like me?”.
And a few more I found on the internet: “Vegetarians are cool. All I eat are vegetarians – except for the occasional mountain lion steak.” “Americans have the right to choose to be unarmed and helpless. Be my guest.” “I am the Great White Buffalo and I play an American-made Gibson guitar that can blow your head clean off at 100 paces.” “Gibson has been making the finest electric guitars the world has ever witnessed for over 70 years. They are as American as God, guns and rock and roll.”
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/ted_nugent.html
Typical Ted Nugent setlist from 1977: Stranglehold; Just What The Doctor Ordered; Free for All; Snakeskin Cowboys; Cat Scratch Fever; Wang Dang Sweet Poontang; A Thousand Knives; Dog Eat Dog / Stormtroopin’; Hey Baby; Great White Buffalo; Hibernation; Motor City Madhouse.
The late Mick Farren reviewed Ted’s Hammersmith Odeon show for the NME, 12 March 1977, and said: “We’ve heard a great deal lately about how Ted Nugent abjures drugs and alcohol. Perhaps that’s his mistake. The occasional soul searching high might have produced some kind of sensitivity in him. Sensitive this boy is not. Compared to him, Lemmy and Motorhead seem positively pre-Raphaelite.”
I found a flyer for the Steve Gibbons band in my programme for the 1977 gig, so I guess they must have been the support act that night.
Went along to Beamish Hall last night, where they have started a new music club, Shaftos. The club is holding music nights once a month, the venue being Shafto’s Hall. The place was pretty full; quite an impressive turn out for the first night of a new venture. Support came from local singer Steve Daggett, who warmed the crowd up with a set featuring Lindisfarne, Bob Dylan and Alan Hull classics. After a short break Steve Gibbons and his band took to the stage. It was good to see Steve again, it must be close to 30 years since I’ve seen him in concert. His set was very blues and R&B based, with a Dylan song or two thrown in. Steve has a vast catalogue of albums to draw from, and delved back through these, playing tracks from across his career. He is quite difficult to catagorise; his songs mix blues, rock n roll, R&B, country and shuffle. The confidence and stage craft developed over a 50 year career shines through, and he is backed by a band of first cass musicians. This gig brought back old memories; I saw Steve Gibbons a number of times during the 70s and early 80s. The ticket scanned here is from a gig at Sunderland Kasbah (a short lived venue) in the early 80s. The Steve Gibbons Band supported a number of bands during the 70s, including The Who. The current line up of the Steve Gibbons band is: Steve on vocals, guitar and mouth harp; Phil Bond on piano, and accordion; Brendan Day on drums; John Caswell on bass; and Howard Gregory on guitar, and violin.