Posts Tagged ‘soul’

Robert Palmer Newcastle Mayfair 19th May 1983

Robert Palmer Newcastle Mayfair 19th May 1983
palmerRobert Palmer was a cool guy and a great R&B and soul singer. I first came across him when I saw him in Dada, a jazz/rock fusion band, who supported Iron Butterfly on their 1971 UK tour. Dada also featured Elkie Brooks, and the pair of singers were soon to form the great Vinegar Joe, who I was lucky enough to see several times in the early 70s. Palmer and Brooks were great together live; the cool, suave Yorkshireman was the perfect complement to Brooks’ fiery, wild and raucous stage persona. After Vinegar Joe folded, Palmer went on to forge a solo career, achieving particular success in the USA. By the time I saw him again at this gig at Newcastle Mayfair in 1983, he had released 7 albums. The tour was to promote the Pride album, and followed his success in the UK singles chart with Some Guys Have All The Luck which reached No 16, and was his biggest hit to date. palmertixThe show saw Palmer looking particularly cool in a snappy suit, and singing his blue-eyed soul to an appreciative Newcastle crowd. A live recording exists of the Hammersmith Palais show of the 1983 tour which shows the setlist as: Every Kinda People; What Can You Bring?; Dance For Me; Want You More; You Can Have It (Take My Heart); Woke Up Laughing; Say You Will; Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley; Pride; It’s Not Difficult; Some Guys Have All The Luck; Best Of Both Worlds; Sulky Girl; Looking For Clues; Johnny And Mary. I would imagine that the set at the Mayfair will have been similar. Palmer went on to even bigger success a few years later with Addicted To Love (and that iconic video) and She Makes My Day. He died of a heart attack in a Paris hotel room on 26 September 2003 at the age of 54.

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Imagination Newcastle City Hall 1982

Imagination Newcastle City Hall
In the Heat of the Night Tour
imagtix Today I’m reporting on a pretty guilty pleasure, Imagination. I’d seen these guys on Top of the Pops and was, at the time, pretty impressed by them. I have to admit I quite liked the single Just an Illusion. So when Imagination came to Newcastle City Hall, I went along to see them. The show was quite over the top, and featured tracks from their first two albums. Looking at the programme today reminds of just how over the top these guys were. iamgprog The cover of the programme shows them sporting the most outrageous togas, and inside there are pictures of the band wearing some very glam gear, including one of singer Leee in what looks like a glittery nappy. Imagination were actually pretty big for a short period. From Wiki: “Imagination were a three piece British soul and funk band, who came to prominence in the early 1980s. They had chart hits in 28 countries, earning four platinum discs, nine gold discs and more than a dozen silver discs around the world between 1981 and 1983.” The members were Leee John, Ashley Ingram and Errol Kennedy. Support for this gig came from the Techno Twins, who were a dance and techno act and were an influence on many bands who followed. Like many bands Imagination, and this gig, were very much of their time.

Daryl Hall and John Oates Newcastle City Hall 1977

Daryl Hall and John Oates Newcastle City Hall 1977
hallandoatestix77 Hall and Oates were back in the UK for another tour less than a year after their first full trek around the country in 1976. They were now a little more well known although their biggest success in this country was yet to come. Hall and Oates were massively successful between the mid 70s and mid 80s. From their official website: “From the mid-’70s to the mid-’80s, Daryl and John would score six #1 singles, including “Rich Girl” (also #1 R&B), “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) (also #1 R&B), “Maneater” and “Out of Touch” hallandoatesprog77 from their six consecutive multi-platinum albums—’76’s Bigger Than Both of Us, ’80’s Voices, ’81’s Private Eyes, ‘82’s H2O, ‘83’s Rock N Soul, Part I and ‘84’s Big Bam Boom. The era would also produce an additional 5 Top 10 singles, “Sara Smile,” “One on One,” “You Make My Dreams,” “Say It Isn’t So” and “Method of Modern Love.”” Although the previous paragraph refers to their success in the USA, Hall and Oates have also had over 20 UK chart entries. photo-19 The facts that I find when I do a little research on acts for this blog often surprise me. I remember, of course, hits like “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)”, “Maneater” and “Family Man”, all of which reached the top 20, but I didn’t know that they had had so many hits in the UK. I enjoyed the two Hall and Oates concerts that I attended in 1976 and 1977, but haven’t seen them since those days. My friend John saw them more recently at on the Big Bam Boom tour in 85 at a concert in the Montreal Forum, and sent me a scan of the programme (see right). John says: “This was probably at the peak of their success, fueled by heavy rotation on MTV they became the best selling duo of all time with a succession of hit singles and albums. I actually liked them a lot and while I did not see them in the late 70’s I became a fan around that time with She’s Gone, Sara Smile and Rich Girl”

Daryl Hall and John Oates Newcastle City Hall 1976

Daryl Hall and John Oates Newcastle City Hall 1976
hallandoatestix76 I first heard of Daryl Hall and John Oates in 1976, when there single “She’s Gone” was released. They seemed to quickly become a very trendy band and those who were in “the know” told me how good this band were. Those who were into the disco movement, and frequented local clubs like Annabel’s, were raving about the blue-eyed soul of these guys. So when they toured and came to the City Hall, Marie and I went along to see what all the fuss was about. Hall and Oates were still relatively unknown to the general public and most concert-goers at the time, however they still managed to attract a reasonable crowd. Support came from the Chanter Sisters. Note the misspelling of “Oakes” rather than “Oates” on the ticket, another pointer to the fact that Hall and Oates were not that well known. hallandoatesprog76 Hall and Oates had played a well received UK debut concert at the New Victoria Theatre in London in 1975, but this was their first full UK tour. She’s gone rose to Number 7 in the UK chart and the band were starting to grow their own audience in the UK. My memories of this are of a great gig, with strong vocals by Daryl Hall. I didn’t know any of the material other than She’s Gone, so found it a little hard going at times, but overall I felt it was a good show. A DVD of the guys live from that period exists. They perform some of their greatest blue-eyed soul hits from their early hit albums “Bigger Than The Both Of Us”, “Abandoned Luncheonette” and “War Babies”. Track Listing: Rich Girl; Do What You Want, Be What You Are; Is It a Star; Abandoned Luncheonette; Ennui on the Mountain; Gino the Manager; Sara Smile; Room to Breathe; Johnny Gore and the C Eaters. I guess the set at the City Hall in 1976 will have consisted of some of those songs, although I am certain that they also plated She’s Gone. I hadn’t realised that Rich Girl was so early; I certainly hadn’t heard it at the time, but it looks like they may well have played it at the gig I attended in 1976.

The Brothers Johnson Newcastle Poly 30 September 1977

The Brothers Johnson Newcastle Poly 30 September 1977
A few of my friends were heavily into disco and funk in the mid to late 70s. Not being one to frequent the dance floors myself, I never quite got into that particular genre of music. However Marie and I regularly went to the Friday night dances at Newcastle Poly around that period, and saw many great bands there such as The Clash, The Damned, Taking Heads and others. So we were there when The Brothers Johnson played, along with some friends who had come specially to see them. This was the first night of their first UK tour, and by this time they had reached almost legendary status as a result of their work with Bobby Womack, Billy Preston and Quincy Jones. I remember that they arrived very late for the gig. They had flown in via London, I think, and had been delayed. However they did arrive and play a shortened set, which went down with a packed crowd which was a mix of the usual Friday night students, and soul and disco aficionados who had come especially for the occasion.

The Bureau Information Tour 1981

The Bureau Information Tour 1981
I’ve been reflecting on Dexy’s this week and renewed by acquaintance with the band on Monday when I saw them play in Whitley Bay. That also made me think to this gig, by the Bureau, which I attended in 1981. The Bureau were a Dexy’s spin off band, and consisted of most of the members, apart from Kevin Rowland. “We split from Dexy’s Midnight Runners because the musical ideas we always stood for just turned into posturing”. They also featured Archie Brown on vocals (from the Upset who had supported Dexy’s on an early tour) and Mick Talbot (who is now in Dexy’s; this is confusing) or organ. I recall little of this gig; in fact I can’t even recall where it was. I suspect it was at Newcastle Mayfair (although it could have been at the Poly or University?). I do remember them as a brass driven soul band. I’ve just checked and see that they have recently reformed and that Mick Talbot is with them again (as well as being a member of Dexy’s; this is just getting confusing for me).

Dexy’s Midnight Runners Newcastle Exhibition Park 1982: Radio 1 in Concert from the Big Top

Dexy’s Midnight Runners Newcastle Newcastle Exhibition Park 1982
Radio 1 in Concert from the Radio One Big Top
I went to see Dexy’s on Monday, and this has encouraged me to reflect on my previous experiences of the band. This gig was the second time I saw Kevin Rowland and the band, and the last time until I saw them again this week, and it was just amazing. I’d seen Dexy’s once before at the time of Geno, in Newcastle Mayfair. They were good that night, but nothing could have prepared me for this gig. The concert was one of (I think) two which were held in a large marquee on Exhibition Park as part of a Radio One in Concert weekend. The other gig was The Boomtown Rats, and I decided to go along to one of the gigs. I’m so glad I chose this show, because it was a revelation. Part of the reason that it was so good was the surprise element. Neither Come on Eileen or the album Too-Rye-Ay had been released at this point, and the image of Dexy’s that I had in my head was of the soul rebels in their donkey jackets and wooly hats. This was the first performance of the new gyspy folk Dexy’s, and the entire crowd was just stunned when the band came on stage, Kevin dressed in a pair of dungarees and with his new curly hair cut. You could see that everyone was just speechless and totally shocked by the complete transformation that the band had undergone. They were straight into a set which drew heavily from the forthcoming Too-Rye-Ay lp with its hybrid of soul and Celtic folk. They also included Geno, and Jackie Wilson said. The rest of the band were dressed in dungarees, scarves, leather waistcoats, and what was described at the time as “a generally scruffy right-off-the-farm look”. Kevin Rowland said at the time of the new image: “These are my best clothes. Again it just feels right for the music. Everybody else is dressing up sort of straight-laced and we come in wearing these and it’s like, y’know here we are, a bit of hoedowning is even possible”. And hoedown they did.
radio1Once I got over the shock of the new image and the new line-up, I just sat back and enjoyed the music. How could you not enjoy those infectious folk tunes. This was the first time the new lp, including Come on Eileen was played live and the only time that the line-up featured the Searching for the Young Soul Rebels-era horn section alongside the Too-Rye-Ay-era strings. I knew that night that the new lp and those songs were going to be massive. Come on Eileen hit the charts and soared to number one a few weeks later and the band were back to play to a sold-out City Hall, a gig which I missed in order to see The Jam’s final North East gig at Whitley Bay (which was the right choice, but I still regret missing Dexy’s that night!). I remember going home buzzing about the gig, still not being quite able to take in or believe what I had seen. I tried to explain to my friends how good it had been, but they didn’t get it until they saw them performing Come On Eileen on Top of the Pops a few weeks later. This was one of those gigs which I wish I could return to and relive. The show was released on CD 13 years later in 1995 and features the following tracks: TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia); Burn It Down; Let’s Make This Precious; Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile); Come on Eileen; Respect; Soon; Plan B; Geno; Old; The Celtic Soul Brothers; There, There, My Dear; Show Me.
Note. I’ve just found (30 Jan 2014) a programme for the Radio 1 Weekend, which this concert must have been part of. The weekend featured all the DJs (Tony Blackburn, Peter Powell, Keith Chegwin etc) plus personal appearances by Dexys, Haircut 100 and others. There was also a local band stage which featured among others The Toy Dolls. The programme includes a free flexi single by Lindisfarne (although they were not appearing as they were on tour at the time). Fascinating stuff. I’d forgotten all about this.