Archive for the ‘Yachts’ Category

XTC Newcastle City Hall 19th May 1981

XTC Newcastle City Hall 19th May 1981
xtctixI saw XTC a few times at Newcastle University during 1978 and 1979. They played the University students union on 4th February 1978, 4th November 1978 and 27th April 1979. I think I was at least two of those gigs, but can’t recall exactly which ones. This was the early version of the band with a line-up of Andy Partridge, Colin Moulding, Terry Chambers and Barry Andrews. Andrews left in early 1979 to be replaced by Dave Gregory. Early XTC were all jerky rhythms; much more experimental and punky than the later post-Andrews band, which became poppier. By the time I saw them at Newcastle Mayfair on 21st September 1979 XTC had entered the single charts with the excellent “Life Begins at the Hop” and had just released their new single, the classic “Making Plans for Nigel”. Support came from the Yachts. xtcprog
I saw XTC once more before they quit touring, at a concert at Newcastle City Hall on 19th May 1981. They had just been in the singles chart with “Sgt. Rock (Is Going to Help Me)”, another classic pop tune. Support at the City Hall came from Last Touch. “Senses Working Overtime” was XTC’s last Top 10 hit in 1982. After that they became a studio band of Andy Partridge and session musicians.
A great pop band who have been hugely influential. You can hear XTC in Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs and many other guitar-oriented jerky pop bands.
Setlist (something like): Real by Reel; Life Begins at the Hop; When You’re Near Me I Have Difficulty; Respectable Street; Sgt. Rock (Is Going to Help Me); Snowman; Paper and Iron (Notes and Coins); Ball and Chain; Love at First Sight; No Language in Our Lungs; Scissor Man; Towers of London; Burning With Optimism’s Flames; Making Plans for Nigel; Living Through Another Cuba; Generals and Majors; Helicopter; Are You Receiving Me?.

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Reading Festival 24th – 26th August 1979

Reading Festival 24th – 26th August 1979readingprog79
This was my 8th visit to Reading. The line-up was a predictable mix of new wave and heavy rock. It was also a year of line-up changes. Two of the main bands who were billed to play: Thin Lizzy and The Ramones did not appear. Thin Lizzy pulled out at a few days notice due to Gary Moore’s departure from the band. Lizzy were replaced by Scorpions and The Ramones by Nils Lofgren. Both of these changes were major disappointments. The weather wasn’t bad and the event was well-attended, but didn’t sell out. My recollections of the weekend are below:
Friday line-up: Bite the Pillow, The Jags, Punishment of Luxury, Doll by Doll, The Cure, Wilko Johnson, Motorhead, The Tourists, The Police.
Friday was the “new wave” day. I watched all of the bands from Punilux onwards. Highlights were The Cure who impressed me even though the only song I had heard before was “Killing an Arab”, and Wilko and Motorhead, both acts going down a storm with the crowd, who preferred their rock heavier and more traditional. The Police were riding on the crest of a wave of success, and were amazing, Sting had the crowd in the palm of his hand, and the entire field sang along to the hits. It was great to witness a band at their peak.
The Police setlist: Deathwish; Next To You; So Lonely; Truth Hits Everybody; Walking On The Moon; Hole In My Life; Fall Out; Message In A Bottle; The Bed’s Too Big Without You; Peanuts; Roxanne; Can’t Stand Losing You; Landlord; Born In The 60s
Saturday line-up: Root Boy Slim; Fame; The Yachts; Little Bo Bitch (not sure that they played?); The Movies; Bram Tchaikovsky; Gillan; Steve Hackett; Cheap Trick; Inner Circle; Scorpions
reading79badgeWe spent much of Saturday enjoying the delights of local hostelries and didn’t venture into the arena until later in the day. To be honest, looking at the line-up now, it was pretty uninspiring. We made it into the festival for Gillan onwards. Gillan seemed to play everywhere at the time, and were always good fun. I’d seen them so many times that I was getting to know the new songs, but I also always looked forward to hearing Purple classics, which they did including ‘Smoke on the Water”. Steve Hackett played “I Know What I Like” which prompted a mass crowd singalong. The highlight was Cheap Trick with crazy antics from Rick Nielson and an exquisite performance by Robin Zander. A video of their performance that night is on YouTube. You can find “I Want You To Want Me” here, a bit rough, but still amazing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTLEYcO2VnE
For the encore Cheap Trick were joined onstage by Dave Edmunds and Bad Company guitarist Mick Ralphs for a rendition of The Beatles’ “Day Tripper”. Classic 😄
Inner Circle’s reggae rhythms went down well. Scorpions were great (I really liked “Loving You Sunday Morning” at the time), but we were disappointed that we weren’t seeing Lizzy who had become a Reading favourite and were massive at the time.
readingpaper79Sunday line-up: The Cobbers; Terra Nova; Speedometers; Zaine Griff; Wild Horses; The Members; Molly Hatchett; Climax Blues Band; Nils Lofgren; Peter Gabriel; Whitesnake.
Sunday highlights for me were The Members who were in the charts with “Sounds of the Suburbs” and got a mixed reaction from the crowds with some people liking them, and others lobbing cans, and Peter Gabriel who started with “Biko” and played classic solo tracks like “Moribund The Burgermeister”, “Solsbury Hill” and “Here Comes The Flood”. Phil Collins joined Gabriel for the end of his set for “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”. Whitesnake closed the evening and were worthy headliners (although they weren’t billed as so, with Peter Gabriel and non-showers The Ramones having shared top billing in the pre-festival publicity). They started with an amazing new song “Walking in the Shadow of the Blues” which set the tone for the evening. Ian Paice had just joined on drums and Whitesnake now had three former Purple members (Coverdale, Lord and Paice).
Whitesnake setlist: Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues; Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City; Steal Away; Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick; Mistreated; Soldier Of Fortune; Love Hunter; Breakdown; Whitesnake Boogie.
An enjoyable Reading weekend, if not one of the strongest line-ups.