The Waving Flag: The Seventies!

Sunday 17 May 2020

The Seventies!

In the last ten days or so I've been listening to a lot of music from my teenage years during the 1970s. I don't mean Slade, Sweet & their ilk but the bands I saw live whilst growing up in the North East. Cold northern nights, train trips to Newcastle and the bright lights of the big city.

Then I noticed that there's a new Rory Gallagher album out "Check Shirt Wizard – Live In ‘77" featuring live cuts from various UK gigs including the City Hall, Newcastle.


Listening to the album and perusing the track listing there seemed an above average chance that I'd actually been to one of the featured gigs. So began a new nostalgia project.

For some reason I've always kept my ticket stubs initially as small keepsakes and now as memory aides. So I set about finding where I'd put them.

After some time scrabbling through my old ticket stubs I can report that I didn't see Rory in 1977. I did see him the year after though:

Artist Year Venue
Rory Gallagher 1973 City Hall, Newcastle
Rory Gallagher 1973 City Hall, Newcastle
Rory Gallagher 1974 City Hall, Newcastle
Rory Gallagher 1978 City Hall, Newcastle
Rory Gallagher 1987 Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool
Rory Gallagher 1988 Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool


Having dug out stubs from the garage I then embarked on a mini-project that I'd been meaning to do for quite a while: cataloguing all the gigs of my youth. As far as databases go it wasn't an onerous task. I did consider scanning all the stubs but that will have to wait for another time. Although as you can see I've made a start.

It brought back memories of the seeing Bad Company's first ever gig, BeBop Deluxe, Back Bogart & Appice, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac and many more. I was shocked to uncover gigs I'd completely forgotten about: George Benson at Wembley Arena, Robin Trower at Newcastle City Hall.

I ended up with a simple table covering 50 gigs from T. Rex in 1971 (Stockton, ABC Cinema) to Sharon Jones in 2008 (Manchester, Mint Lounge).

One of the most special gigs I went to was the first ever show by Bad Company at City Hall, Newcastle on 09 March 1974. It wasn't advertised and we only got to hear about it by word of mouth. In fact I saw them twice that year:


I quickly realised that not every gig provided a stub: seven in fact. For these, including Canned Heat, The Jam and the aforementioned T. Rex gig, I couldn't find dates immediately.

After a little internet research I was able to find firm dates for four, highly probable dates for 2, and only one remains unresolved. The Sensational Alex Harvey Band played the Newcastle Mayfair Ballroom so many times in 1974 & 75 that it's hard to pin down an exact date without a ticket stub.

I was surprised to find that Rory wasn't the most popular artist. That honour goes to another Irishman:

Artist Year Venue
Van Morrison 1985 Liverpool Empire, Liverpool
Van Morrison 1986 Liverpool Empire, Liverpool
Van Morrison 1989 Apollo Theatre, Manchester
Van Morrison 1990 Liverpool Empire, Liverpool
Van Morrison 1991 Apollo Theatre, Manchester
Van Morrison 1995 Liverpool Empire, Liverpool
Van Morrison 2000 Empire Theatre, Liverpool

That's enough nostalgia for one day. Time to go and dig out my copy of "Demons And Wizards".


Vexillia said...

Post updated with more reminiscences and ticket scans.

Vexillia said...

Update: Added a 1981 Slade gig that slipped my mind. My were they loud!

Vexillia said...

Update: Added a 1985 Simply Red gig that my wife reminded me of. It was just after they had released "Money's Too Tight To Mention". Mick Hucknall was superb.

John Hollyoak said...

Your music tastes mirror mine very closely. I was lucky to see Rory Gallagher twice at Birmingham Town Hall. First was an acoustic set as Rory had flown from Ireland and the rest of the band came by sea but were held up by bad weather. We got free tickets to See the band later.

Vexillia said...

I remember the acoustics sets Rory used to insert in his concerts. A bit of calm before arousing finish.

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