Can’t beat a good night out.
A good band.
Here’s some good bands……
Kevin Ayres used to live in Ibiza & pop over when he felt like playing, which wasn’t that often. Long John Baldry was on fine form that night but was ‘doomed’ to the club circuit. Kevin had the legendary guitarist, Ollie Halsall, with him for this tour and it was a great concert.
They played ‘Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes’ of which I have a prized demo copy. Guess I was lucky to have been there.
Robin, once of Procul Harum, was by now a very loud, very heavy player, with very long guitar instrumentals, similar to Hendrix, according to all & sundry. My ears were ringing for days.
If I remember he had two goes at this date, because he arrived for one and there was no Mandala Band/gear there. Maybe I’m confusing it with Rory Gallagher, who played an acoustic concert, when his equipment failed to show. What a trouper.
A-ha! Something unusual.
The Naughty Rhythms Tour, where three bands took it in turns to headline.
Part of the Rock Against Racism stance taken by musicians, when God (Clapton) made a ridiculous statement about Britain and ethnicity, this tour launched a number of major careers and extinguished one in particular.
Dr. Feelgood did well out of this sojourn, but more on them later.
Kokomo headlined this night and blew everyone away. Reminiscent of deep soul with a hint of funk, they smoothly astonished the audience with jazzy panache and sheer class. Their first album still makes for an amazing listen. By the time the 2nd came out other bands were poaching their talented musicians.
They happened to be on CBS, the same label as Dylan at the time.
By chance they were in invited to accompany him on a session in New York.
After one failed take, Dylan said he didn’t think the singing was going right, whereupon Big Jim, one of the guitarists, espoused, “Didn’t know you could sing anyway!” Instantly sacked.
Not sure if it’s true, but it’s a great yarn.
Kokomo – it ain’t cool to be cool no more!
Playing to a respectably-sized audience in their hometown (a year later they would be gods – Mr. Blue Sky, indeed), they played a concept-album, El Dorado, in its entirety before launching into some favourites.
It’s always great to catch someone just before it happens, so that you don’t get the knobheads in the audience. Showdown is one of Lennon’s favourite tunes (on which Jeff Lynne borrows Bolan’s Gibson Firebird) and Ma Ma Belle was one of mine (on which he borrowed Bolan himself). Interesting group.
Didn’t get the Spaceship period at all.
Perhaps The Naz were just too heavy for this time and never got massive commercial success. Uncompromising and full-on, I’m sure they’d have played the same if there was noone there. There weren’t that many, but so what….
Ian Hunter & Mick Ronson
and then something special happens…….
Bowie & The Spiders collapse……..
Ronson joins Mott the Hoople for a couple of weeks until they decide to buy Xmas prezzies rather than commit to a future. Ronno wants out, so he and Ian form a mutually-affectionate band. They tour in the Spring of 1975 and I catch them in Bristol, with a bunch of session men, including Blue Weaver on piano.
What a show! Ronson is on fire.
Most of Hunter’s solo album is featured, while Mick avoids the weaker material of his and concentrates on blowing the cobwebs off some Mott classics too. Someone somewhere must have a tape of this tour. Of all the stuff I’ve collected over the years, this is the one I miss the most. Boy, could he play guitar-ah!
Paul Kossoff & Back Street Crawler
and then something dreadful happens………..
sometimes there’s a show sometimes it’s bigger than that……an event.
This was such an occasion.
It should have been a straightforward superb rock concert, a solid Back Street Crawler gig. However, Kossoff turns up worse for wear – off his trolley. He couldn’t even tune his guitar and, at one point, in frustration, hurls it the length of the stage, while we all watch in stunned silence. The singer sits over the edge of the stage patiently, waiting to see if anything will happen, while the organist plays, “I do like to be beside the seaside.”
It’s very surreal. Twenty minutes pass. The audience is remarkably patient.
After all, Kossoff is rock royalty. They realise this is no ordinary night. Humour fills the air and some of it clearly irritates Kossoff who hurls mic stands around in desperation for a solution to his mental anxiety. The others on stage are in real danger of his violent outbursts and we witness sidesteps better suited to a rugby field.
Twenty-five minutes lapse. Looks like a no-show.
Then, seemingly, out of nowhere, he finds an instrument which he’s comfortable with.
He starts playing. The band rush to their stations and join in. It’s good. Very good.
And then we get The Hunter. The place erupts.
We manage about 45 minutes before curfew. It was worth it.
Probably the last people to get something from him.
within a week he’s gone……..
Died on a plane journey to America. What a waste of talent.
[If you get a chance listen to the John Martyn concerts, with him on tow]
*PS Dog Soldier – Miller Anderson’s outfit.
Outstanding set. Marc must have thought the same.
Next time he toured he was playing guitar for T Rex.
What’s this? A Walrus in a penguin-outfit fronting a full orchestra at Villa Park?
Is this a Terry Gilliam film?
No, it’s the Love Unlimited Orchestra, conducted by Barry White, complete with failing microphones, false starts and female singers with unfeasibly large chests (resembling a melon-hurling competition). And I’m in the stands!
Wide-eyed & legless…………….
John Cale, eh, with Chris Spedding on guitar & feedback!
Bebop Deluxe play at the Students’ Union at Edgbaston, relying on material from Sunburst Finish, an awesome creation, but the sound is awful in the Union Hall, so I spend most of the evening in the bar opposite – you could still hear the band clearly from there.
Planxty also played the Halls of Residence sometime.
Deaf School was interesting but I don’t remember the location at all……
And then comes Roxy Music at Bingley Hall, celebrating their history and new album Siren. Pure class. They’d knicked some of the musicians from Kokomo by now !
Here’s the back cover of the Toronto bootleg…..
& the rear of the Lisner Auditorium, Washington
T. Rex [1976 version]
Chris Farlowe played Barbarella’s, the nightclub off Broad Street, which was to play host to many of the fledgling punk bands, through 1977 & 1978. Farlowe was brilliant and a live album was cut from this short tour, which is a testament to one of the greatest voices the UK has ever produced. The club bounced that night.
The Real Thing
How the local Teaching Training College got this gig I’ll never know, but this all-female college (outnumbered sexually that night!) certainly knew how to put on a show.
“You to me are everything! the sweetest thing I ever seen ! oh! Baby!”
Linda Lewis, again!
Barry White [inside]
T.Rex & The Damned
The Cosmic Punk introduces the Upstarts…….
a little piece of history………..
Here’s the boys…………….
Eddie & the Hot Rods
ably ‘supported’ ???? by Radio Stars
The Brothers Johnson
Back home to the Valleys & a surprise.
The Memo in Newbridge has got a good concert on.
The Kursall Flyers
Kursall Flyers…….& The Cortinas (Bristol punk)…..Union
Now for some smut!
Good clean dirty fun………..feelin’ bitchy?
Then a very strange story, almost identical to the one Eno tells in his book.
Followed by the incredible Brass Construction at Barbarella’s.
What tales this lot could tell!
They were all session blokes with a mixed and varied pedigree.
Of course, Mel got his rewards, when, years later, he became the drummer for Simple Minds at their peak in the mid-80s.
Now for some politics!
Rock against Racism (RAR)
Top reggae act Steel Pulse (from Handsworth, Birmingham)
and from the article above………
the Punks from Bristol, the Suburban Studs…….
Unusually, the next lot was shite. Big crowd. Big Hit – Boogie Nights!
No idea whatsoever. Boring. Bored. Eject button!
Bootsy’s Rubber Band
Wow! History. Again. Funkadelic!
Talking of legends……….
and another legend returned from alcoholism & despair, with a robot in tow…….
and a steroid freak on guitar………….
and with a guitar doubling as rocket-launcher!
and from legends to those who aspire to be………..