Gigs the ones that meant so much by Pete Prescott.

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photos by Pete Prescott

Pete Prescott… GIGS, the ones that meant so much. My top 20 starts with my first. HYDE PARK JULY 3rd. Grand funk railroad humble pie head hands and feet. I was 15, went with two mates from school, mick dean and pete attral. It changed my life, everything became music. I was obsessed from that day. All the people there looked amazing, we were school kids. Humble Pie were stunning. They had just recorded the live at the filmore album (yet to be released) same line up. Frampton was in the band. In Highway we did for day creep from that set. Head hands and feet had Albert Lee. He did country boy and chad hodges was in the band. I came home with my head spinning. .when I got the performance album by humble pie it had some photos from Hyde park. I still look at it. What a gig ! I took the photo. The head in the right is mick dean. He became the drummer in my first band Village. Years later I went to live 8. It was July 2nd. I stayed till past mid night. So I was there again 34 years later (slightly bigger stage !)

Alan Esdaile… Anyone else with the gig that meant so much and memories?

Yvonne Cleland… Yup. Bob Marley and the Wailers, Average White Band, Joe Jackson and the Q-Tips. Crystal Palace Garden Party, June 7th, 1980. The stage was in the lake. We waded in for Bob Marley. Best gig in the world ever, but the lake was filthy and we stunk afterwards!

John Wilde… I was 14it at The Windsor Hotel. with my Uncle Tony. Stage was three feet high and I was standing in front of a Wildly dressed trio called The Jimi Hendrix Experience. My life would never be the same. Thanks Tony.

Lesley Brown… My first Genesis gig. No Gabriel, but I was totally overawed by the lighting and the whole set up. It was pretty late, 1980, Duke was out, and I was blown away by the moment that Phil Collins left the drumming to Chester Thompson to take the mic and sing Afterglow It remains one of my all time goosebump moments.

Graham Blechamber… I saw Genesis on The Duke Tour at Brighton Centre. Fantastic show opening up with Deep in the Motherlode. At one point I shouted out “Wally”. Phil Collins slapped me down with a curt ” your more of one than me”! My first taste of fame! Its was a festivsl tradition shouting out Wally! One person would do it then shouts came from everywhere. Carried over into indoor gigs too till the early 80’s.! No idea of why.

Pete Prescott… I remember people shooting out “wally” (from Weeley ?) At festivals. To afraid to ask anyone who he was at the time ha ha ! We were all like Neil in the young ones !

Tim Phillips… I first saw Genesis at Knebworth in 1978. That was pretty special. I remember the other bands – Atlanta Rhythm Section, Brand X, Devo, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers & Jefferson Starship. If I remember correctly, Genesis were delayed so Roy Harper did a couple of songs.

Pete Prescott… I was told that John Wilde (the legend) once started to bleat at a gig( to show how people will act like sheep).sure enough they were quiet at first but then he got a bleat back.soon everyone was at it. Is that true John ?

Pete Prescott… My next and most exciting gig was the WHO at the OVAL in sep 71, its still the best set of any band I’ve ever seen. Mesmerising. Violent. Awesome. All at the top of their game. The Faces were on before them. Maggie May was number one at the time. They were brilliant but on comes the Who and wipes the floor with them. It was an all day show. Genisis Atomic Rooster Lindisfarne America Argent . I loved it, I got stuck in London that day but loved it.

Chris Giles… Can I go back in time and see this …I would love to…

Jan Deane… What a line-up!

Yvonne Cleland… Saw the Who when they headlined at a festival in Nuremburg. Marvellous!

Pete Prescott… Next gig was Hyde park again. Jack Bruce band king crimson roy harper and formally fat harry. I wore red jeans and a grandad shirt that looked like someone had vomited on it. I turned heads in the village I lived in. My hair was maybe an inch longer. Sad. Roy harper did the Lords prayer. Crimson did 21st century. Jack Bruce did politician.ted dexter put Carey by Joni Mitchell on. I was smitten. I saved up and got Blue asap, I still play it. What I remember most was the young couple almost having sex in front of me. I had to move my legs to a accommodate them at one point. I was an ugly 15 year old schoolboy. I had some dramas in my pyjamas ! What a day. I HAD to go to more festivals. I HAD to get better clothes. I HAD to somehow grow my hair. I HAD to get contact l lenses. AND DEFINITIVELY FIND A GIRL who was mad enough to go out with me and . . .

Dave Nattress… I also saw the Grand Funk Railroad gig in Hyde Park – they’d been hyped to hell as the next big thing. Survival? was it ,the album with Gimme Shelter. Back in the day myself and a huge bunch of mates from Bexhill went to several of the Hyde Park gigs and the whole long day made for a fabulous and memorable event. Yes at The Crystal Palace Bowl was a good one, the first Reading experience – 1971, but maybe of all it was Dark Side at Earl’s Court. A coach-load from Bexhill and Hastings went. The whole Acid-drop experience – don’t eat those sweets now, was one never, ever to forget. I guess most of you will know there are some wonderful websites recalling all these gigs/festivals with the line-up’s, posters and dates and photo’s.

Philip John… I was there too Pete Prescott, Mott the Hoople opened the show. Great gig.

Pete Prescott… The next big event for me was the great Western festival at Lincoln. May 1972, my brother Steve took me (along with his friend Trevor and two girls !) He knew it would mean the world to me. It rained the whole time. It was like the somme ! I got seperated from the others. I payed 50p for a long triple lined 6 ft bag that was water proof. Punched a hole in it and watched band after band till midnight, then staggered back to the car. I couldn’t get in, they were all asleep. They had set the tent up, I crawled in that and I woke up curled around a puddle. I saw Hamish Imlach, Nazareth, Wishbone Ash, The Incredible String Band (I think) Some The Crow’s (with Steve Howe on guitar) Rory Gallagher the strawbs and the faces (they were pissed not so good) the girls were unhappy. We had to leave. I have read that Jools Holland was there. So was Biff from Saxon. I loved it. I found a photo of Hamish Imlach not sure of the spelling.

Wendy Weaver… I saw The Stones in Hyde Park on 5 July 1969, that was the first outside rocking gig I had seen but had been to a few Trad Jazz Festivals prior to that. The last one was the Big4 at Sonisphere, Knebworth.

Philip John… Rolling Stones in Hyde Park (1st time round) hooked me in for life.

John Wilde… Blind Faith at Hyde Park. Mind blown.

Alan Esdaile… Remember seeing The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park but the WOW moment was hearing King Crimson for the first time and Family were excellent.

Dave Nattress… I mentioned websites that featured festivals – many free back in the day. Try “The Archive – UK Rock Festivals 1965 – 1990”. Real old weekend Hippie stuff. Mud and rain and collapsed tents and over-flowing toilets are nothing new!! Also saw the Jack Bruce Band gig at Hyde Park. After one gig there we hired a boat on the Serpentine as did many others and there was much jollification and attempted pirating and gentle collisions but you know in it’s way it was all really good fun and nothing heavy or unfriendly. Truly great experiences.

Graham Belchamber… Donnington 1982, AC/DC headlining, Whitesnake, Blue Oyster Cult…best band of the day, Slade! Had us all singing Merry Christmas Everybody in the middle of August with bales of hay being lobbed everywhere. Fantastic mid afternoon set. Later on a bunch of bikers pushed over a burger van and set light to it, staff had escaped previously before the rucus started I should add. When AC/DC came on and the giant Hells Bell was lowered down, two helicopters shot spotlights on it as Brian struck it. Not as good as Noddy and the boys though. By the way Dave Hill and Don Powell are playing at the White Rock on 14th November, I saw them last year in Eastbourne, great night of Cmon Feel the Noize etc…

Chris Sambrook… Jimi Hendrix Experience, Hastings Pier 22nd October 1967. Went to school the next day with ears ringing, still do. The Who 1969 Hastings Pier again. Agree with Pete Prescott Humble Pie Hyde Park. Emerson,Lake and Palmer on their first tour 1970 Brighton Dome. Gentle Giant 1976 in London and Jethro Tull Nostell Priory, Wakefield 1982.

Eric Cawthraw… Many to pick from, but I’ll go for Kraftwerk and the Blue Oyster Cult in Hammersmith [that’s 2 separate gigs], and Vangelis at the Royal Albert Hall – with 40 kettle-drummers. It sounded like thunder and what with the dry ice we needed a weather forecast!

Chris Pelling… Be-Bop Deluxe, 29th March 1977, Eastbourne Congress Theatre. Truly a revelation, my first rock gig – quite literally, the day my world changed forever. Hats off to you, Bill Nelson, you did a great job!

Pete Prescott… I found a photo of Peter Frampton and Steve marriott at the Hyde park gig. See above. Wow ! They were so amazing !

Tony Court-holmes… god i was there went up on the train came back on a bike o happy days

Tim Moose Bruce… 1978. Blackbushe aerodrome. The Picnic. Graham Parker & The Rumor, Eric Clapton, Joan Armatrading and top of the bill was Bob Dylan. Great gig.

Yvonne Cleland… I was there, Tim, and I agree!

Robert Searle…  So was I, Great day, and Bob was at his very best. Still got my programme and ticket

Ricky Adelaide… Yep I was there

Tim Moose Bruce… I remember seeing tv type cameras on stage. Where is the video footage of this concert?

Pete Fisher… 5th July 1969, Hyde Park, Stones, King Crimson, Family, Pete Brown…

Alan Esdaile… I went to this one. Pete Brown said he didn’t appear as he was thrown out of his band the night before!

Joe Knight…  I was there and my sister lived in Belvedere as you did Pete 😊a great era to be in your teens love the butterflies

Jeremy Wells… I concur. Indeed, I was one of the youthful Pelling’s companions on that trip to Eastbourne on (as I remember it) a pleasantly mild evening of early spring. We travelled over from Hastings by train, all on Chris’s recommendation as he was the one who had turned our little group of friends on to Be Bop Deluxe in the first place. The gig was the final performance in a UK tour to promote the album ‘Modern Music’ which had been released the previous September. At the close of the show Nelson offered a round of ‘thank yous’ to everyone involved and called his wife up on to the stage where she stood with him looking extremely nervous and un-rock ‘n’ roll! The show was brilliant. Because the virtuoso Bill Nelson was so utterly mesmeric in his guitar playing, it’s easy to overlook just how phenomenally tight and skilled the classic BBD line-up of the late Charlie Tumahai (bass), Andy Clark (keyboards) and Simon Fox (drums) actually were. No chance of any reunions now even if BN was so inclined – and there’s never been any reason to think he might be. For those who missed out on this extraordinary sliver of UK art rock, there are still the albums and, particularly, the guitar-glory trilogy of ‘Axe Victim’, ‘Futurama’ and ‘Sunburst Finish’. Go cold into YouTube and try ‘Soundtrack’ from the second LP mentioned above. You hear of guitarists being ‘inspired’ or ‘on fire’. The term that springs to my mind on that track is ‘demonic possession’. Still leaves me breathless after all these years. Thank you, Chris Pelling, for suggesting the outing almost 41 years ago to the day. BBD remain a great love and the CDs are in my car even as we speak.

Chris Pelling… My pleasure, Mr Wells! I, like you, have gone on to attend many hundreds (if not thousands) of live gigs since (four in the last week alone!) but thinking back to that very first one still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Bill Nelson meanwhile is celebrating his 70th birthday later this year with a gig at the Clothworkers’ Hall in Leeds (1st December, if anyone is interested). While he occasionaly nods back to the Be-Bop Deluxe days he has for the most part moved on and produces new music at a prodigious rate. Long may he continue to do so. As he himself may have said, “youth is a mask that is not made to last” (Sleep That Burns/Sunburst Finish)

Pete Prescott… would love to meet him. I’m a big pie fan.

Janet Rennie… Age 14 , first gig at Wembley . Oh the joy of being a teenager in the early 70’s. Loved Dave Hill from that day . Saw him last year at the White Rock . Made sure I was right in front of the stage . Back to being a yob again!!!

Tony Court-holmes… I was there too about 18 at the time

5 thoughts on “Gigs the ones that meant so much by Pete Prescott.”

  1. I also saw the Grand Funk Railroad gig in Hyde Park – they’d been hyped to hell as the next big thing. Survival? was it ,the album with Gimme Shelter. Back in the day myself and a huge bunch of mates from Bexhill went to several of the Hyde Park gigs and the whole long day made for a fabulous and memorable event. Yes at The Crystal Palace Bowl was a good one, the first Reading experience – 1971, but maybe of all it was Dark Side at Earl’s Court. A coach-load from Bexhill and Hastings went. The whole Acid-drop experience – don’t eat those sweets now, was one never, ever to forget. I guess most of you will know there are some wonderful websites recalling all these gigs/festivals with the line-up’s, posters and dates and photo’s,

  2. I mentioned websites that featured festivals – many free back in the day. Try “The Archive – UK Rock Festivals 1965 – 1990”. Real old weekend Hippie stuff. Mud and rain and collapsed tents and over-flowing toilets are nothing new!! Also saw the Jack Bruce Band gig at Hyde Park. After one gig there we hired a boat on the Serpentine as did many others and there was much jollification and attempted pirating and gentle collisions but you know in it’s way it was all really good fun and nothing heavy or unfriendly. Truly great experiences.

  3. Be-Bop Deluxe, 29th March 1977, Eastbourne Congress Theatre. Truly a revelation, my first rock gig – quite literally, the day my world changed forever. Hats off to you, Bill Nelson, you did a great job!

    • I concur. Indeed, I was one of the youthful Pelling’s companions on that trip to Eastbourne on (as I remember it) a pleasantly mild evening of early spring. We travelled over from Hastings by train, all on Chris’s recommendation as he was the one who had turned our little group of friends on to Be Bop Deluxe in the first place. The gig was the final performance in a UK tour to promote the album ‘Modern Music’ which had been released the previous September. At the close of the show Nelson offered a round of ‘thank yous’ to everyone involved and called his wife up on to the stage where she stood with him looking extremely nervous and un-rock ‘n’ roll! The show was brilliant. Because the virtuoso Bill Nelson was so utterly mesmeric in his guitar playing, it’s easy to overlook just how phenomenally tight and skilled the classic BBD line-up of the late Charlie Tumahai (bass), Andy Clark (keyboards) and Simon Fox (drums) actually were. No chance of any reunions now even if BN was so inclined – and there’s never been any reason to think he might be. For those who missed out on this extraordinary sliver of UK art rock, there are still the albums and, particularly, the guitar-glory trilogy of ‘Axe Victim’, ‘Futurama’ and ‘Sunburst Finish’. Go cold into YouTube and try ‘Soundtrack’ from the second LP mentioned above. You hear of guitarists being ‘inspired’ or ‘on fire’. The term that springs to my mind on that track is ‘demonic possession’. Still leaves me breathless after all these years. Thank you, Chris Pelling, for suggesting the outing almost 41 years ago to the day. BBD remain a great love and the CDs are in my car even as we speak.

  4. My pleasure, Mr Wells! I, like you, have gone on to attend many hundreds (if not thousands) of live gigs since (four in the last week alone!) but thinking back to that very first one still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Bill Nelson meanwhile is celebrating his 70th birthday later this year with a gig at the Clothworkers’ Hall in Leeds (1st December, if anyone is interested). While he occasionaly nods back to the Be-Bop Deluxe days he has for the most part moved on and produces new music at a prodigious rate. Long may he continue to do so. As he himself may have said, “youth is a mask that is not made to last” (Sleep That Burns/Sunburst Finish)

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