Archive for the ‘Trapeze’ Category

Other memories ……

Other memories
il_570xN.500152569_3ounI’m now at the end of my project and tomorrow I’ll do a final summing up and reflections on the whole thing. But today I wanted to cover some of the bands that I have missed along the way. These are bands that I have seen, but for one reason or another I haven’t written about; mostly because I didn’t have a programme or a ticket stub to remind me of seeing them, so they sadly got lost during my (largely) alphabetically driven journey. In fact, I could probably have continued posting for a few more weeks, covering these acts, but I had to call a halt at some point. The truth is my memories of these gigs are scant, and I would have found it difficult to construct a post for each one. Most of them were/are very fine bands so apologies for not including them as a post of their own; but as I say, I had to draw a line under this project somewhere, and today is it!
So ….. I also have memories of seeing:
Cozy Powell’s Hammer who hit the charts with “Dance with the Devil” and featured Bernie Marsden (guitar), Clive Chamen (bass), Don Airey (keyboards) and Frank Aiello (Bedlam) on vocals. Cozy Powell again in Bedlam who were a great, loud and really heavy band with Dave Ball (ex Procol Harum) on guitar.
The great and legendary Geno Washington (“Hipster Flipsters, Finger Poppin’ Daddies”) playing to a sadly pretty small audience at Kirklevington Country Club some time in the ’70s.
The Saints (Australian punk band, known for “Stranded”) at Seaburn Hall Sunderland.
The Passions, around the time of “I’m in Love with a German Film Star”, at Middlesbrough Rock Garden around 1981.
Southern Comfort (“Woodstock”), but I think after Iain Matthews had left.
Bell ‘n’ Arc featuring the awesome Graham Bell on vocals, and also with local heroes John Turnbull, Mick Gallagher, Kenny Craddock and Alan White..
Great prog acts like T2 who released the legendary album “It’ll All Work Out in Boomland”, Ginhouse and the carzy Principal Edwards Magic Theatre.
Pere Ubu with the enigmatic David Thomas at Newcastle University, around the time of “The Modern Dance”.
Elephants Memory (they were one John Lennon’s backing bank in the USA) at Sunderland Mecca.
Dirt, Poison Girls and Rubella Ballet at Sunderland Bunker.
The awesome England, from Cumbria with the great Olli Alcock, who played a twin neck and was a simply incredible guitarist, and is still playing around Cumbria (someone I should really try and see again). They released a self-titled limited private issue album in the ’70s; I found a signed copy at a car boot 10 years or so ago; bought it for 50p and sold it on though eBay for ¬£100! Result. Wish I’d kept it actually.
Ducks Deluxe at the Marquee Club in London; I think England may have been support. One of our party got incredibly drunk and an ambulance was called; we spent the night in the local hospital.
The Pleasers who were a heavily early ’60s Beatles influenced power pop act, who were around in the late ’70s and were amazing.
Trapeze featuring Glen Hughes (and after he left), a few times. A very under-rated band.
Steve Tilston in the bar at Sunerland Poly.
Great support acts like A Band Called O, Byzantium, SNAFU and Sassafras.
The truly awesome Flying Hat Band featuring Glen Tipton before his days with Judas Priest. I remember standing right in front of Glen, totally knocked out by his guitar skill.
Guilty pleasure. The Rubettes around the time of “Sugar Baby Love” wearing the caps and co-ordinated suits: amazing! Showaddywaddy: great teddy boy suits and rock n roll that going everyone dancing. Hot Chocolate; I was a fan of their early hits; “Love is Life” and “Emma” in particular; they gigged loads in the early ’70s and I saw them many times.
The Nashville Teens (Tobacco Road) on a double bill with the Downliners Sect; great R’n’B.
The rock n roll revival act Wild Angels featuring the little bundle of energy Mal Gray.
So apologies to all those acts for not devoting a day and a blog post to them, and to all the other bands I have seen and forgotten to list; and there will be lots of them…..
Tomorrow I’ll do a summing up and reflect on my project, to finally draw it to a close.

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The Reading Festival 23rd – 25th August 1974

The Reading Festival 23rd – 25th August 1974
readingprog74This was my third visit to the Reading Festival; I felt I was a seasoned festival goer ūüôā . By now a large crew of local people were going to the festival, so there were lots of mates there, and we spent much of the weekend in the pubs in town, and down near the Caversham Bridge; particularly The Griffin. We would nip back to the festival site to catch the bands we wanted to see. The line-up in 1974 wasn’t particularly strong in comparison to the previous couple of years, and quite a few bands who had been advertised didn’t show (notably Eric Burdon, Ronnie Lane and Blodwyn Pig, all of whom I was looking forward to seeing). The Friday line-up was : Nutz, Johnny Mars, Hustler, Beckett, Camel, 10c, Fumble, Sensational Alex Harvey Band.
The first night of the festival saw the triumphant headlining return of the Alex Harvey band, who lived up to their name and were truly sensational. SAHB had appeared low down on the bill the previous year; there will have been many in the crowd who saw that performance, and knew how good they were. Johnny Mars and his Sunflower Blues Band gigged a lot in the early 70s; they played traditional blues; I remember seeing them at Sunderland Poly a few times; pretty good too. Fumble were a rock’roll revival band who also gigged a lot. Beckett were local North East heroes, featuring singer Terry Slesser. The SAHB setlist was something like this: Faith Healer; Midnight Moses; Can’t Get Enough; Give My Regards To Sergeant Fury; The Return of Vambo; The Man in the Jar; Money Honey; The Impossible Dream; Schools Out; Framed.
readingtrafficSaturday line-up: Jack the Lad, G T Moore and the Reggae Guitars, Trapeze, Sutherland Brothers, JSD Band, Procol Harum, Thin Lizzy, Long John Baldry, Heavy Metal Kids, Greenslade, Georgie Fame, Traffic.
Two bands stick in my mind from Saturday: Thin Lizzy who were excellent, and about to break through a year or so later, and Traffic. This was the classic Lizzy line-up featuring front-man Phil Lynott, the twin guitars of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson, and Brian Downey on drums; at the time of the Nightlife album; they were at the top of their game. Traffic were excellent. They had just released their album When the Eagle Flies, and their set at Reading featured a few songs from that album, plus some old classics. The line-up at the time was Steve Winwood (guitar, vocals, keyboards); Chris Wood (flute, sax); Jim Capaldi (drums, vocals); Rosko Gee (bass); Rebop (percussion). Stand-outs were Steve singing John Barleycorn, simple and beautiful with acoustic guitar, and Rebop’s congas and percussion throughout. I found a published setlist for Traffic, which shows they played: Empty Pages; Graveyard People; Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring; John Barleycorn; 40,000 Headmen; Love; When the Eagle Flies; Walking in the Wind; Dream Gerrard. I also have it in my mind that they performed Feelin’ Alright, but maybe that’s my memory playing tricks again. Also worthy of mention are Procol Harum (great version of Whiter Shade of Pale and a big success during the late afternoon), the late great Long John Baldry (excellent voice and a hero of mine), Heavy Metal Kids (the late Gary Holton as crazy and manic as ever), and Georgie Fame who seemed a bit out of place as part of the Saturday night line-up, but carried on the jazz and R’n’B tradition of the festival and went down pretty well.
readingtixSunday Line-up: Gary Farr, Chilli Willi and the Red Hod Peppers, Esparanto, Strider, Barclay James Harvest, Chapman & Whitney Streetwalkers, Kevin Coyne, George Melly, Winkies, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Harvey Andrews, Focus.
My main memories of the final day are of Steve Harley. Cockney Rebel had split a few months before the festival, and this one of Steve’s first appearances with his new band. They stole the show; appearing just as it was getting dark; the audience was with Steve from the start, and the performance was a triumph. Tumbling Down closed the set with a mass crowd singalong of “Oh dear, look what they’ve done to the blues, blues, blues”. It was clear that Steve was back, as cocky as ever; 1975 would bring him massive success with Make Me Smile.
I also remember watching Kevin Coyne (Marjory Razorblade), George Melly (a return after his success the previous year) and Focus who closed the show, and were also great, but seemed a little of anti-climax after Steve Harley’s performance.
DJs for the weekend were John Peel and Jerry Floyd. Oh and there were lots of cheers of “Wally”, “John Peels a c**t” (not sure how that one started), and a revolt at the prices of food in the arena, which resulted in a fish and chip van being trashed. Crazy, happy days.

Buxton Festival 1974

The Buxton Festival 1974
Line-up: The Faces, Humble Pie, Mott The Hoople, Horslips , Chapman/Whitney StreetWalkers, Trapeze , Chopper, Badger, Strider, Lindisfarne, Man. My friend John and I have spent the week swapping memories of The Faces to help me write my blog. One memory that we share is of the 1974 Buxton Festival which we both attended. I’m not sure if it is a pleasant memory or not; and those of you who attended any of the outdoor Buxton events will know why I say that. Terry Battersby puts in well on the UK Festivals site: “I managed Buxton in 72/73/74.They should have been campaign medals issued”. I managed 73 and 74 and know what he means; I hold my medal with pride; the Buxton festivals were a real endurance test. Buxton is a town high up in the peak district and the festival was sited up on a moor. You couldn’t imagine a worse place to hold a pop festival. All of the three outdoor festivals (there were some indoor events which preceded them) suffered from poor weather, lots of wind and rain, and after 1974 the organisers abandoned the idea of holding any further festivals. I’ll write separately about the 1973 festival in a day or so, it was a strange event at which the Hells Angels took over and ran the event (which was pretty scary). Anyway, back to 1974. I drove down to Buxton with my friend Gilly, who also came to the 1973 event with me. We arrived on Friday afternoon, finding the place cold and windswept. Not being the most prepared festival-goers at the time, we didn’t have a tent and planned on sleeping in the car (not easy in an MG Midget), or in sleeping bags on the ground. When we arrived on the moor we saw lots of people building makeshift huts from planks of wood. I asked them where they found the wood, and they pointed me to a storehouse in the next field. So off I went to retrieve some wood for us to build our own shelter. I was leaving the store with some planks under my arm with a few other guys, when we were stopped by a policeman, who asked us where we were taking the wood. He quickly bundled us all into the back of a police jeep and took us off to a temporary police cabin which they had set up for the weekend. Once in their they searched us, took statements, and made us wait a few hours, telling us that we would probably be charged with theft for taking the wood. When they eventually did let us go we had to walk back to the site, where I found my mate Gilly lying asleep by the car. The bands had started by that point, and we went into the arena and caught as much of the show as we could. I remember seeing Man and Mott the Hoople that night. Mott started with Golden Age of Rock n Roll and were just great. I slept in the car and Gilly slept in a sleeping bag underneath the car. We were both frozen; it was truly awful.¬†Highlights of the next day were Humble Pie (Stevie Marriott was awesome in those days and a big festival favourite), and Roger Chapman and the Streetwalkers. Anyone who was there will remember the magic moment in that dull rainy day when the sun came out during My Friend the Sun, as Roger sang “He’s there in the distance” to a great cheer from the crowd. The Faces were OK, but it wasn’t the best time I saw them; by this point they had added a horn section to the band. I remember keeping warm in the Release tent and chatting to Caroline Coon. My friend John was also there with a group of mates, although I don’t recall us running into each other. His memories: “My own recollections were that the weather was terrible,wet and cold,the facilities non existent and I slept in my dad’s car with three other mates. The Friday bands were good Mott , Man and Lindisarne. On Saturday there was the famous “My Friend the Sun moment” which I do recall and Humble pie were great.The Faces came on late and I remember the stage being pelted with bottles – reports on the Web said this is because they refused to play an encore…..those were the days!!!” ¬†Postcript: several weeks after the festival I received a letter summoning me to attend my local police station where I was issued with a formal caution for “stealing” the wood; and that was the last I heard of it. I did run into a couple of the lads who were in the jeep with me at Reading and Knebworth over the years and we¬†always said hello. I wonder where they are now. Thanks to John for the ad showing the line-up for the festival. Note The New York Dolls were listed to play at one point (although they don’t appear in the listing above), but didn’t make it for some reason.