Posts Tagged ‘mod’

Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express Gateshead Old Town Hall 6th November 2015

Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express Gateshead Old Town Hall 6th November 2015
FullSizeRenderI’ve always wanted to see Brian Auger. I am a big fan of that classic ’60s swirling Hammond organ sound and you don’t get much better an exponent of that groove than Mr Auger. Brian Auger has played or toured with many of the greats of classic rock including Rod Stewart, Julie Driscoll; Jimi Hendrix, John McLaughlin, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Burdon. Those crazy stylish videos of the Brian Auger Trinity and Julie Driscoll playing “Wheels on Fire” will remain etched within my memory for ever. But today Brian Auger is once again fronting his jazz rock combo the Oblivion Express. brian augerAccompanying Brian in this incarnation of Oblivion Express are his son Karma Auger on drums, Mike Clairmont on bass and Alex Ligertwood on vocals, guitar and percussion. Alex Ligertwood hails from north of the border, and is best known as being the lead vocalist of Santana on several occasions during the period 1979 to 1994. He also performed with The Jeff Beck Group (1970) and was a member of Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express in the early 1970s.
The concert took place in the beautiful and historic Gateshead Old Town Hall building. gateshead old town hallA respectable number of evening hipsters turned up on a cold Friday evening to groove away to the Oblivion Express’ jazz rock fusion extravanganza. Auger’s music is enjoying renewed interest and the audience reflected this, consisting of young and old; all keen to experience the sound of a band of excellent musicians. The material was unfamiliar to me, drawing from jazz greats including Jimmy Smith, Miles Davis abd Art Blakely, but nonetheless enjoyable. Auger’s Hammond organ playing has lost none of its style and Alex Ligertwood’s vocals were excellent. An enjoyable evening, spent experiencing some music which is a little different from the gigs I usually attend.

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The Who Wembley Stadium 18th August 1979

The Who Wembley Stadium 18th August 1979
thewhowembley79tixSupport from AC/DC, The Stranglers and Nils Lofgren.
This was The Who’s first big gig with Kenney Jones as drummer. It was also the first time that the band were accompanied by a horn section, for some songs. A capacity crowd of 80,000 fans crammed into the old Wembley Stadium to see the ‘Orrible ‘Oo; accompanied by a strong support line-up. I went down to London with a group of mates on an early train. When we arrived in the capital some mates went off to Chelsea, as Sunderland were playing there that day. Those of us who weren’t football fans made our way to Wembley, in time to catch the support acts. Nils Lofgren was first on; I recall he had his small trampoline and did somersaults across the stage. AC/DC were great; this was the Bon Scott era band, who were just breaking big at the time. They started with “Live Wire” and played great classics like “The Jack”, “Highway to Hell” and “Whole Lotta Rosie”. Great stuff; really got the crowd going and, other than the Who, were the highlight of the day. The Stranglers were ok, but decided to make the brave move of playing mostly new material from “The Raven” album. This didn’t go down too well with the crowd. A big fight broke out on the pitch during their performance.
I’d arranged to meet my mates who had been to the match, at around 7pm at the back of the stadium. They arrived, quite drunk, full of stories of how the police had directed them into the Chelsea “Shed” section of the ground, where all the home supporters were standing. They stood through the entire match, surrounding by hard men Chelsea skinheads, not daring to speak in case anyone recognised their Mackem accent. If Sunderland got the ball they had to stop themselves from cheering, lest they revealed themselves to the skins. They seemed pretty shaken by the whole experience, but quite proud that they had survived and lived to tell the tale.
thewhowembley79progThe crowd was very mixed; a collection of rock fans, a smattering of Hells Angels who were camped on the pitch just in front of where we were all sitting, and groups of “new mods” in parkas (this was the beginning of the mod revival and around the time of the release of the “Quadrophenia” movie). One of my mates, who had been to the match and was a little worse for wear, insisted on taunting the Hells Angels in front of us. Luckily they started to joke along with him, taking it all in good spirit.
The Who started with “Substitute” and “I Can’t Explain” and played well, although the sound wasn’t good at all. The crowd loved them, and gave them a “returning heroes” type welcome. I enjoyed the gig, but it wasn’t the best time I have seen the Who. We left during the encore ot be sure to catch our train home to the north, which was just as well, as there were massive delays getting to the tubes. The police diverted us away from Wembley Park tube station and round to Wembley Central. Although we left around 10pm, we arrived at Kings Cross just in time to catch the midnight train back to Newcastle.
Setlist: Substitute; I Can’t Explain; Baba O’Riley; The Punk and the Godfather; Behind Blue Eyes; Boris the Spider; Sister Disco; Drowned; Music Must Change; Magic Bus; Pinball Wizard; See Me, Feel Me; Trick of the Light; 5:15; Long Live Rock; Who Are You; My Generation; Dreaming From the Waist; Won’t Get Fooled Again.
Encore: Summertime Blues; The Real Me

The Who Edinburgh Odeon 9th June 1979

The Who Edinburgh Odeon 9th June 1979
whoedinburgh79tixThe Who decided to continue after the loss of Keith Moon. Townshend: “We are more determined than ever to carry on, and we want the spirit of the group to which Keith contributed so much to go on, although no human being can ever take his place.
Kenney Jones, of the Small Faces and the Faces, joined the band on drums in late 1978. Around the same time John “Rabbit” Bundrick (ex Free) joined the live band as an unofficial keyboardist. On 2nd May 1979, the Who returned to the concert stage with a “secret” concert at the Rainbow Theatre. The concert was announced at a few days notice, with fans queuing outside the venue for tickets. One of my mates managed to get a ticket, through a friend who was studying at University in London, and he came back with tales of how great they were. A few weeks later they announced a couple of Scottish gigs; one at the Glasgow Apollo on a Friday night, and a show at Edinburgh Odeon on the Saturday night. The shows were announced in the local press, and both concerts sold out immediately. I talked about it with my mates, Will and Norm, and we decided to go up to Edinburgh in the hope of somehow getting in.
On the day of the gig we drove up Edinburgh early, arriving in the late afternoon. We hung around in the pubs near the Odeon, and outside the venue, asking any likely looking candidate if they had any tickets to sell. We managed to buy two seats together in row F, six rows back from the stage 🙂 , and a third single ticket a little further back in the stalls. I can’t remember what we paid, I think it was around £7 or £8 for each ticket, which had a face value of £5. I recall that it seemed a lot at the time, but was well worth it, and seems cheap today. There was no support act.

The Odeon as it was "back in the day"

The Odeon as it was “back in the day”

The Who came on stage, and the first thing I noticed was Roger’s very short hair, and how fit he looked. They launched straight into a deafening, and amazing, “Substitute” followed by “I Can’t Explain”. Townshend was on fire, his arm twirling away as usual, and Roger was swinging the mike around and around. Just like old times. The Who were awesome that night. Of course, things weren’t the same with no Keith grinning at the back like a cheeky, naughty schoolboy, and no banter between him and Pete. But musically they seemed as good as ever. The small venue (probably 2,500 capacity), our proximity to the action, and the incredible VOLUME, all helped. The crowd went 110% mental, shouting and roaring throughout the night. I bought a t-shirt with the classic “Who Maximum R’n’B” image and the words “The Who Scotland 1979”. I wish I still had it.
Ni Holmes, on the Who tour site, recalls: “Townshend walking across the stage, clearly upset at the keyboard playing on Won’t Get Fooled Again and swinging a punch at Rabbit” which I can’t say I remember at all. John Gardner (also from the Who tour site) recalls: “a rather annoying small part of the audience….kept chanting ‘Bring back Moonie'”, which prompted Townshend to respond: “F**k off Edinburgh you’re too quiet for The Who”.
The Who were back. And they were on fire. Happy happy days 🙂
Setlist: Substitute; I Can’t Explain; Baba O’Riley; The Punk And The Godfather; Boris The Spider; Sister Disco; Behind Blue Eyes; Music Must Change; Pinball Wizard; See Me Feel Me; Long Live Rock; Dreaming From The Waist; Who Are You; My Generation/My Generation Blues; Magic Bus; Won’t Get Fooled Again
Encore: The Real Me; Summertime Blues
PS Whenever I drive into Edinburgh from the south I pass the old Odeon building; sadly it is now closed, run down and very dilapidated.

The Style Council Newcastle City Hall 19th March 1984

The Style Council Newcastle City Hall 19th March 1984
stylecounciltixPaul Weller formed the Style Council in 1983, along with his friend and keyboardist Mick Talbot, who was formerly of Dexys Midnight Runners and The Merton Parkas. I saw them perform three times; at this headline concert in Newcastle City Hall in 1984, as part of the Red Wedge tour at the same venue, and at Live Aid in Wembley Stadium in 1985. For me, the Style Council were musically the least successful of Paul Weller’s incarnations, sandwiched between the wonderful Jam, and his later, excellent solo work. By March 1984, and the time of this concert, the Style Council had been in the UK singles charts on four occasions with “Speak Like a Child”, “Money Go Round (Part 1)”, “Long Hot Summer” and “A Solid Bond in Your Heart”. Their single “My Ever Changing Moods” was in the chart at the time, giving them their fifth UK chart success.stylecouncilprog
The ethic of The Style Council was sound and honourable, aiming to produce perfect blue-eyed soul, tinged with right-on politics and sharp, (sometimes too, and embarrassingly) cool style. “They were socialists, vegetarian, didn’t drink, wore cool rain macs, colourful knitwear, expensive footwear and made some of the most brilliant modernist music ever. They also spoke out against the corrosive issues of the day, even if it meant the threat of commercial suicide” (from the Paul Weller website). For me, musically, well I felt it just didn’t quite work. That was perhaps because I’d enjoyed seeing the Jam so much on several crazy occasions. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this 1984 concert at the City Hall, but I also missed the power and passion of Weller’s previous mod combo. Support came from post punk new mod Scottish hipsters The Questions.

Secret Affair March of the Mods Newcastle 1979 and 1980

secretaffairtox“We are the Mods. We are the Mods. We are, we are, we are the Mods.” So went the chants, reverberating around the Mayfair ballroom, coming from the mouths of young guys in parkas festooned with patches proclaiming their support for The Who, The Jam and our new mod heroes Secret Affair. This was Friday 31st August 1979 and the March of the Mods Tour was stopping off at Newcastle Mayfair. The tour was headlined by new mod faces Secret Affair, supported by The Purple Hearts and Back To Zero. The Mayfair was packed with a mix of new mods, a few rock fans who were becoming increasingly frustrated at “losing” their Friday night out to gigs by punk and new wave acts, and groups of mean looking skinheads, who had come to taunt the mods, and “sort them out”. The skins had their own, far more sinister chant: “We hate the Mods. We hate the Mods. We hate, we hate, we hate the Mods.”
There was an air of edginess around the place all evening. You could feel it as soon as you entered the venue.
From early on there were skirmishes between the mods and the skins, with small tussles and fights breaking out on the dance floor. The support acts were greeted by showers of beer, complete with glasses. As the evening progressed the fights became more frequent and nastier. Marie and I thought of leaving, but hey I don’t give up easy, and I wanted to see how this new mod band Secret Affair would shape up. By the time they took to the stage, things were starting to turn really nasty. The mods were shouting loudly now “We are the Mods. We are the Mods. We are, we are, we are the Mods”. The skins responded equally as loudly “We hate the Mods. We hate the Mods. We hate, we hate, we hate the Mods.” The band were onstage playing while the ballroom was turning into something out of a Wild West film. The dance floor was becoming one mass brawl. Some guys started throwing tables and chairs from the balcony down onto the crowd on the dance floor below. The chairs hit the massive chandeliers which hung from the ceiling and one of them fell down onto the fighting crowds. Scary stuff. Marie and I were wandering around the balcony being careful who we looked at, smiling sheepishly at any other rock fans we saw. I felt quite out of place and vulnerable, being one of a small number of people with long hair. The bouncers came into the crowd complete with Alsatian dogs, and eventually managed to stop the fights. Secret Affair played on and were pretty good, although the gig was marred by the evening’s events.
I saw Secret Affair on two further occasions.
The first was at Newcastle City Hall on 17th April 1980.secret affirtx1980 The place was packed and me and my mate Norm were right down the front, surrounded by the Glory Boys. “We are the Mods. We are the Mods. We are, we are, we are the Mods.” That chant again. But this time no skins, no fights and a joyous evening. Secret Affair were at the height of their success, and at the time were a hot live act, with some great songs: Time for Action, My World, Glory Boys. The music was a mix of power pop and soul with Ian Page the coolest front man, wearing the sharpest of suits, neat shirt and skinny tie, and Dave Cairns on guitar and sporting a smart regency style jacket. “We are the Mods. We are the Mods. We are, we are, we are the Mods.”…the chant continued as we left the venue.
Saw Secret Affair once more at Newcastle City Hall a few months later on 30th September 1980. The venue was nowhere near as full. Perhaps the gig was just too close to their previous visit, or maybe the mod scene was already passing. The band played ok, but the power, passion and craziness of the first two gigs I attended was missing.
Secret Affair have recently reformed, with original members Ian Page and Dave Cairns. The Glory Boys return.
“We are the Mods. We are the Mods. We are, we are, we are the Mods.”
Secret Affair were Ian Page – vocals and super sharp suits, Dave Cairns – guitars, Dave Winthrop – saxophone, Dennis Smith – bass, and Seb Shelton – drums.
Mod. It’s a way of life.
“Cause we’re the Glory Boys
So scared of getting old
We’re the Glory Boys
We may look cold but our hearts are gold.
You look at me boy you tryin’ to match my stare
Dont you know Im a Glory Boy?
I can cut you down by combing my hair
Nothing touches a Glory Boy
We look too good for you
If you wanna know about us
You gotta be one too”
(Glory Boys, Cairns & Page, 1979)

Small Faces Newcastle City Hall 19th April & 17th September 1977

Small Faces Newcastle City Hall 19th April & 17th September 1977
smallfacesprogSmall Faces are one of the most important bands ever. As well as being central to the mod movement they also produced some of the best 60s pop in Lazy Sunday and Itchycoo Park, pioneered blues-rock and presented a blue-print that Zeppelin would model themselves on (listen to You Need Loving from their 1966 album) and experimented with mixing soul/blues/pop with psych on Tin Soldier and the wonderful Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake album. I have written before about how I believe that Steve Marriott was one of our greatest ever singers and performers. The more I watch old videos of Marriott in Small Faces and Humble Pie, the more I realise just how sensational and unique he was.
I never got to see Small Faces in the 60s, they split up before I got into concert going. I did see Humble Pie several times, and was always totally blown away by Steve Marriott’s soul, emotion and power. So when Small Faces reunited after the Faces broke up in 1975, I was totally up for seeing them. The guys first reformed briefly to film videos miming to the reissued “Itchycoo Park” which hit the charts again. Ronnie Lane left after the first rehearsal due to an argument. smallfacespril1977Although the others didn’t know he was already unwell and was beginning to display the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. McLagan, Jones and Marriott decided to stay together as Small Faces, recruiting ex- Roxy Music bassist Rick Wills to take Lane’s place. As well as touring they also recorded two albums: Playmates (1977) and 78 In The Shade (1978) neither of which were very successful.
The Small Faces played at Newcastle City Hall twice in 1977; in April and September. The first show was pretty full, perhaps even sold-out, but the second gig was quite poorly attended. Perhaps it was just too soon after the first (there was after all only 5 months between the two gigs). I was near the back for the first concert and right down the front for the second gig. They were supported by cockney punks Cock Sparrer at the first concert. Cock Sparrer would go on to pioneer the skinhead Oi movement. I remember thinking that they were incredibly raw, very like the Jam and old Small Faces. Ace young guitarist Jimmy McCulloch also briefly joined Small Faces after leaving Wings, and was with them at the second of the City Hall gigs. I think old mate P P Arnold was also with them, providing backing vocals. Blue (fronted by ex-Marmalade Hughie Nicholson) were support at the September concert. Unfortunately for Small Faces, music in Britain was rapidly changing and punk rock was becoming firmly established. smallfacessep77The reunion concerts and the albums didn’t result in the success and adoration that, in my view, they should have. At the time, this reunion wasn’t recognised for what it was, another chance to experience one of our greatest ever bands and one of our greatest ever front men. The time just wasn’t right for this reunion and Small Faces broke up again in 1978. For me, it was amazing to see Small Faces live at the City Hall. The shows were incredible, and I simply marveled at actually seeing Marriott perform Tin Soldier and All or Nothing, both of which remain two of my all time favourites. Their like will never be seen again.
The set for the concerts consisted of old faves and a few new songs including: Whatcha Gonna Do About It; Everybody Needs Somebody to Love; High and Happy; All or Nothing; Find It; Itchycoo Park; Smiling in Tune; Tin Soldier; Playmates; Looking for Love; Lazy Sunday

The Jam Newcastle City Hall 1980 and 1982

The Jam Newcastle City Hall 1980 and 1982
jamtix80 The Jam were back at the City Hall in 1980 and 1982, playing a couple of nights each time. Support for the 1980 concert was The Piranhas who hit the charts with their cover of Tom Hart. A bootleg exists for this concert which shows the setlist as: Thick As Thieves/Boy About Town/Monday/Going Underground/Pretty Green/Man In The Corner Shop/Set The House Ablaze/Private Hell/This Is The Modern World/Little Boy Soldiers/But I’m Different Now/Start!/Scrape Away/When You’re Young/The Eton Rifles jamtix82 Two years later and they were back again, this time supported by The Questions, who were signed to Paul Weller’s record label. They also wrote some songs for Weller protege Tracie Young (aka Tracie). jamprog80 The ticket also mentions a local support act, but I’m afraid I can’t remember who that was. By 1982 The Jam had released six albums, and had hit the charts many times, including three Number 1s. Town Called Malice was Number 1 in 1982, and the band were riding the crest of a wave. However Paul Weller was beginning to feel that this was the end of The Jam and the band was soon to disband. I would see The Jam, once more which I will write about tomorrow. Looking back this band left a legacy of great singles, and some great live performances.