Posts Tagged ‘soul’

Paul Young Newcastle City Hal 1983 & 1984

Paul Young Newcastle City Hal 1983 & 1984
paulyoung tixI’d seen Paul Young in Q Tips a few times, and was pretty impressed by his 1983 singles “Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)” which reached No 1, “Come Back And Stay” (No 4), and “Love Of The Common People” which made No 2 on re-release. He had put a great band together around him and that, coupled with great song choices and his sweet white soul voice, finally fulfilled the promise of his former group, and gave him the massive success he deserved. Young’s debut solo album “No Parlez” produced five singles, and stayed in the UK charts for 119 weeks, selling close to a million copies. Young’s backing band was ‘The Royal Family’ and included keyboardist Kewley, fretless bass player wizard Pino Palladino (now of the Who), guitarist Steve Bolton, drummer Mark Pinder, and backing singers Maz Roberts and Kim Leslie (AKA ‘The Fabulous Wealthy Tarts’). paulyoungprogs I saw them at Newcastle City Hall in 1983 when Paul was at the height of his new success. Paul Young had further success in 1984 with three more Top 10 singles: “I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down”, “Everything Must Change” and “Everytime You Go Away”.
He was back at the City Hall later in the year for another concert.
Both shows were excellent events with a great selection of songs performed by a guy at the top of his game.

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Stevie Wonder Wembley Arena 6th September 1980

Stevie Wonder Wembley Arena 6th September 1980
stevietixNo support
There was a massive buzz around Stevie Wonder’s first performances in Britain since 1974. Tickets for the six night “Hotter Than July Music Picnic” run of concerts at Wembley Arena were sold by postal application, and were massively over-subscribed. We were lucky enough to score tickets in the fourth row of the front block, giving us a great view of Wonder and his band.
The stars turned out in force for the show. As we took our seats we noticed Kate Bush sitting two rows behind us with a group of friends. We also noticed Goodie Bill Oddie in the front row.
Stevie began the first set with a run through some of his ’60s hits, starting with “For Once In My Life”. From a NME review of the time, written by Paul Du Noyer: “…there’s Stevie Wonder up there, the best soul voice this side of Smokey and he’s giving us ‘My Cherie Amour’ and ‘Signed Sealed Delivered’ and ‘If You Really Love Me’ and, oh, you really should have been there because it was a tremendous thing to hear.”
The show was in two sections, full of classic Motown, most of the “Innervisions” album, and those tremendous Wonder songs like “Living for the City” and “Higher Ground”. There were moments where it really just couldn’t have been any better, and others where Wonder got the crowd to singalong to the songs, almost spoiling them. “…those hoary old call-and-response sequences: ‘Now I want all you fellas to sing this part… and the ladies sing this part…’…..just a pointless pantomime” (Paul Du Noyer, NNME).
stevieprogAfter the interval Wonder re-appeared as the young “Little Stevie Wonder”, dressed in a cute red velvet suit and bow-tie and proceeded to play an amazing version of “Fingertips”; complete with note-perfect mouth harp. Then it was back to classics: “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” and an amazing “Superstition” which stunned everyone. The new songs of the evening were “Happy Birthday” in honour of Martin Luther King, and the single “Masterblaster” (more singalong, but still great). A breath-taking performance.
The following evening, which was last of the six night run, just before the very last song Stevie said “I’d like to bring on a couple of guests” and on walked Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross to sing along with him. Now I wish I’d been there that night.

Setlist. Set 1. For Once In My Life; My Cherie Amour; Signed Sealed Delivered; If You Really Love Me; Golden Lady; Boogie On Reggae Woman; Living For The City; Higher Ground; Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing.
Interval.
Set 2. Fingertips; Sir Duke; You Are The Sunshine Of My Life; Superstition; Visions; You and I; Secret Life Of Plants; Happy Birthday; Masterblaster Jammin’ ; Did I Hear You Say You Love Me

Simply Red Gateshead Stadium 25th July 1992

Simply Red Gateshead Stadium 25th July 1992
simplyredprogIn January 1992 Simply Red set off on a massive world tour. They had just released their 4th album “Stars.” The tour lasted 14 months, taking in 131 shows to 1.5 million people. In the UK Simply Red played concerts in arenas and massive stadiums, including Wembley Stadium. I caught the tour when it called at Gateshead Stadium in 1992. Support came from Des’ree. This is the only time I saw Simply Red.
The programme contains a welcome from Mick Hucknall: “Firstly let me welcome you to this “event”. I can’t call it just a show because the scale of these concerts defies that description. This is a special day for me because these “events” are a celebration of your enjoyment of the music that I and other musicians have made since the debut in 1985″, and discusses the band’s recent success, making it very clear this it had become very much Mick’s show: “Mick Hucknall’s latest album, Stars, has out-sold all the competition, including Michael Jackson’s Dangerous. His current British tour is such a hot ticket that even the touts are said to be out of stock. Simply Red – the band which for seven years has been mainly him plus helpers – is now the most popular group in the land.” simplyredtix The programme goes on: “Democracy is not a word that crops up when the talk turns to that seven-member organisation known as Simply Red. A fairly benign dictatorship is what it really is…Hucknall “I’m not a control freak..I’m like an old bandleader, providing a springboard for musicians who can come and go…””
This was a very classy show, with Mick performing the hits faultlessly to a crowd of adoring fans.
Setlist (something like): Sad Old Red; More; Jericho; A New Flame; It’s Only Love; Band Introductions; Your Mirror; Holding Back The Years; Enough; Model; I Wish; Let Me Have It All; Freedom; Thrill Me; Come To My Aid; I Won’t Feel Bad; Money’s Too Tight (To Mention); If You Don’t Know Me By Now; Stars; The Right Thing; For Your Babies; Something Got Me Started

Sad Café Newcastle City Hall 1978 & 1980

Sad Café Newcastle City Hall 1978 & 1980
sadcafe78“For a few years in the late 70s and early 80s, Sad Café may just have been the best live band on the planet. Their charismatic and under-rated front man, Paul Young, was a mix of every great rock band leader you’ve ever seen but he had an energy and personality that was all his own and which put him ahead of the pack. The solid-as-a-rock rhythm section of Dave Irving and Des Tong, the guitar pyrotechnics of Ashley Mulford, and those virtuoso keyboards from Vic Emerson were pulled into shape by Paul’s right-hand man, Ian Wilson who added rhythm guitar and exquisite harmonies to the mix. At their commercial peak, their single “Everyday Hurts” sold 600,000 copies……” (From the official Sad Café website). High praise indeed. But it is true that Sad Café were a great live act.
sadcafe80I saw them a few times in concert in the late 70s and early 80s. The first couple of times I saw them was at Newcastle University and/or Newcastle Poly, not sure which. At the time, it must have been 1976 or 1977″ Sad Café had just formed and were slogging away, playing the university and ballroom circuit. They were fighting against the tidal wave of punk and to their credit, they kept at it, playing up and down the country, with their brand of rock’n’soul and a great front man in the late Paul Young. By 1978 they had gained sufficient following to headline concert halls and theatres, and I saw them play at Newcastle City Hall on 1st May 1978.
sadcafeprogThey hit the big time in 1979 with their third album “Façades” and the No 3 hit single “Everyday Hurts” which was massively popular. The Façades tour called at Newcastle City Hall on 21st March 1980 and this time the venue was full. Support came from a band called “The Out”.
Sad Café were a good solid live act, but didn’t quite make it into the big league of rock acts. They continued until 1990 with a changing line-up, and then went their separate ways. Vocalist and front man Paul Young sadly passed away, aged 53, in 2000. In 2012, the band was reformed by original member Ian Wilson, along with other former members.
“I saw the lamp light from your window
I didn’t think you were home, sitting there all alone
So I came up to your room to ask you why
Why did you hurt me so?
Why did you have to go, away?
…..
There’s one thing I can say, everyday, how I miss you, oh oh
Every day that I’m without you hurts just a little bit more than
Than I’ve ever been hurt before
Every day that I’m without you hurts just a little bit more”
(Everyday Hurts, Sad Café, 1979)

Rod Stewart St James Park Newcastle 25th June 2007

Rod Stewart St James Park Newcastle 25th June 2007
rodtix2007Rod was back in Newcastle in 2007 to play a massive open air show at St James Park in June 2007. I turned up on the night and bought a ticket for half price outside the stadium (result, as tickets for Rod Stewart concerts were getting more and more expensive 🙂 ), the show was far from sold out. It was a dreary, cold night with spells of rain, which didn’t help the atmosphere inside the stadium. The stage was placed in the middle of the stadium, which created quite strangely angled views, from whichever position you took in the vast area. Support came from the excellent Pretenders, with Chrissie Hynde chatting with the crowd and playing their hits from the late 1970s and early 1980s, including Brass In Pocket and Talk Of The Town. rodprog2007
Rod’s performance included an acoustic set in the middle of the show. Not the best time I’ve seen Rod, but still an enjoyable evening, with the highlight for me being the chance to see the Pretenders again.
The setlist was something like: You Wear It Well; Some Guys Have All the Luck; Sweet Little Rock & Roller; It’s a Heartache; Rhythm of My Heart; Reason to Believe; Missing You; Father and Son; Every Beat of My Heart; Having a Party; Stay With Me; The Tracks of My Tears; Hot Legs; I Don’t Want to Talk About It; Dirty Old Town; Every Picture Tells a Story; The First Cut Is the Deepest; Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright); This Old Heart of Mine; Young Turks; Sailing; Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?; You’re in My Heart; Baby Jane; Maggie May. Encore: Twistin’ the Night Away; I Was Only Joking

Graham Parker and the Rumour Newcastle Academy 1st June 2014

Graham Parker and the Rumour Newcastle Academy 1st June 2014
grahampA few weeks ago I was writing about my memories of seeing Graham Parker in the 70s. At the time I wrote” “there was no better band than Graham Parker and the Rumour in the late 70s. They exploded out of pub rock and were part of the scene, and sound, which influenced punk and new wave. Graham Parker was the coolest guy on the planet and rocked and sang white soul and R&B like no-one else (OK maybe that’s a little unfair on Van Morrisson who was clearly a strong influence on Graham). The Rumour came with all the right pub-rock credentials featuring the legnedary Brinsley Schwarz (lead guitar) and Bob Andrews (keyboards) (both ex Brinsley Schwarz), Martin Belmont (rhythm guitar, ex Ducks Deluxe) and Andrew Bodnar (bass) and Steve Goulding (drums).”
At the time I didn’t know that I would be seeing them again, for the first time in 30-odd years. In 2011, Parker called up his old Rumour band mates and asked them to work with him again; they produced a new album that was their first together in over 30 years, and went out to play some shows. Last night they made their way back to Newcastle. Graham Parker explained how, outside the venue, a guy caught him and showed him a ticket for their concert at the City Hall in 1979, which he had signed at the time. He asked Graham to sign it again; which he duly did. He recalled those nights at the City Hall and other venues (the Poly as I recall) to cheers from the crowd, most of whom were surely at those gigs themselves. grahamparkerprogOf the reunion Parker says: “This has not been about touring for touring’s sake, or about making money….but we felt we had to get out there for a short while at least and be a part of the “This Is 40″ entourage….and bash some instruments around for the heck of it.” The tour has been having rave reviews; for example: “There was no need for any concerns over the 35-year gap. GP and the Rumour resolutely remain one of rock’s great live acts and the intervening years have done nothing to diminish their enduring powers. ” (the Birmingham Mail)
Well he didn’t let us down. Parker is still the same cool, cocky, energetic guy that he always was. From the moment they opened with Fool’s Gold, you just knew it was going to be good. The Rumour are still the tightest, hottest, rock, soul and reggae band on the planet (skanky beats, as Parker called them) and Parker is as animated and soulful as ever. Great stuff.
The setlist was something like this; I may have missed some: Fool’s Gold; Hotel Chambermaid; Snake Oil Capital of the World; Coathangers; No Holding Back; Howlin’ Wind; New Song; Live in Shadows; Lady Doctor; Love Gets You Twisted; Stick to Me; Watch the Moon Come Down; Get Started, Start a Fire; Discovering Japan; Nobody Hurts You; Pourin” it all out; Local Girls. Encore: You Can’t Be Too Strong; Don’t Ask Me Questions. Encore 2: Soul Shoes

Q-Tips Redcar Coatham Bowl 21st December 1980

Q-Tips Redcar Coatham Bowl 21st December 1980
qtipsQ-Tips were an English blue-eyed soul and new wave band, who formed in 1979 from the remnants of 1970s pop outfit Streetband. Streetband had hit the UK charts in 1978 with the novelty song “Toast”, which had become a success as a result of heavy airplay by Kenny Everett. The band was fronted by Paul Young who was to go on to major solo success after leaving Q-Tips. “Toast” was as much a hindrance as a help in the career of Streetband, and they folded soon after it was in the charts, with members Paul Young on vocals, Mick Pearl on bass guitar, and guitarist John Gifford forming Q-Tips. The ex-Streetbanders added new recruits Dave Lathwell on guitar, Ian Kewley on keyboards and Baz Watts on drums. The band wanted to create a soul review format and so added a four piece brass section of Steve Farr (baritone saxophone), Richard Blanchchard (tenor saxophone), Oscar Stuart Blandamer (alto saxophone) and Tony Hughes (trumpet) who all hailed from North London. I saw Q-Tips a few times in the late 70s and early 80s including this gig at the great Redcar Bowl, an earlier (and very empty) gig at Middlesbrough Rock Garden, and supporting The Who at Newcastle City Hall during their 1981 tour. The band were great live, all suited and looking the part, with great performance and vocals (as you would expect) from Paul Young; they were very much a full soul revue show. However, they had little commercial success, and folded in 1982 with Paul Young going solo.