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Saturday, June 03, 2000

The Sound of the Seventies

Last night Kimber came back with a couple of his mates and we all watched the final of Euro 2000 which I gather has been a high profile pan-European soccer tournament. The game was played out between France and Italy and jolly exciting it was too. I don’t normally watch football (no great reason other than it never connected with me) but last night I had a ball !

The banter was good and the football was entertaining. It never ceases to amaze me when they kick the ball that goes in a direction which they intended. This is not my experience.

After the chaps left, Kimber put on some old chestnuts from the likes of Uriah Heep and Alex Harvey. Donning our anoraks, talked about which bands we went to see in the early 70’s and how much of that music we still listen to either because of nostalgia or for current interest.

As we talked I realised just how much live music was available at the time. Looking back I wonder how I ever afforded it all but somehow one did. I didn’t smoke or drink and apart from the occasional bit of what would now be called recreational use of drugs (dope, speed, acid) all my available resources went on seeing bands live.

So a list of bands from the 1970’s might look a bit like this;

Atomic Rooster
Wouldn’t cross the road to see / hear them play ‘em now

Where are they now ?

Barclay James Harvest
Fond memories of wiffly Mocking Bird song but nowt else

Bad Company
The only reason we all went along was to see Boz. He wore red leather trousers - confirmation of his rock god status.

Be-Bop Deluxe
Saw them on the Axe Victim tour. Now who played the guitar ?

Note from Kimber - isn’t this man sad?

Jeff Beck
Liked that Blow by Blow tour but otherwise my listening has been Beckless for many a year.

Blodwyn Pig
Ex-Tull memfest with an outstanding Jack Lancaster on soprano. No Pig CD’s in the Smith archives

I went with a mate. Pass the Trill

Something about a Snow Goose. Now I’d run ‘em over with a snow plough

Totally wonderful years ahead of their time band. Saw them several times during their heyday and the Smith shelves groan under the weight of Can CD’s

Captain Beefheart
Saw the Captain a couple of times. Though unfashionable, I really rate Bluejeans and Moonbeams. Several Beefheart albums are frequently consulted

Curved Air
Sad to say that my motivations to see CA were not entirely musical.

Deep Purple
Aahh extreme dandruff exchange. Saw them several times with Gillan and had to wear a neck brace for weeks after. No Purple passages in my current album collection - none wanted either.

Queued up all night once to buy a ticket. Lost it on the bus coming home. My mother pleaded with venue manager and I got in. The show at Newcastle Queens cinema was then cancelled when there was a problem with the PA ! Three ELP albums on my shelf filed under nostalgia.

Saw them a couple of times. Hadn’t heard them for years until Kimber was staying at our house a couple of months ago.

Rory Gallagher
More distribution of dandruff. Developed a life-long taste for red checky shirts but that’s all.

Assured that it would be all right now, I left Free at the City Hall and never looked back.

I can’t conceive of growing up without admiring Tony Bank’s pullovers.

Saw all the classic line-ups and even the one with BB. Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy is the donkey’s todger !

Spilt is what happened to me and my Groundhogs albums many moons ago.

Stacia - pure and simple. No space cowboys in the Smith household at present.

Hatfield & The North
I think I once paid as much as 42 pence to see these guys. All their albums and often played.

Henry Cow
Fabbo Agit-prop band which I was lucky enough to see supporting Beefheart. A fine set albums. I even bought the re-mastered versions so I could hear the orginal mixes - you work that one out. Totally wonderful.

Alex Harvey
A great live act but never worked on album for me. Heard some last night at Kimber’s house and it didn’t cut the mustard.

Roy Harper
I lurve the Harperman big time. Many albums owned and many a song provided the soundtrack to teen-age (and a bit of middle-aged) angst.

King Crimson
Heard the band - my life changed.

Led Zeppelin
Never has the humble sock known such abuse in the service of inside leg enhancement ! Currently re-discovering lots of the Zep back catalogue and getting into it thanks to Kimbrini.

Mahavishnu Orchestra
The day after they played the City Hall, my sister phoned all the Mclaughlin’s who lived in Whitley Bay saying "Is the Mahavishnu there please". Eighth call in an elderly sounding lady said "Just a minute, I’ll go and get him." We squealed in delight and horror and slammed the phone down. I can’t play that first album without thinking of this incident

Matching Mole
Loved their stuff. They were great live but oddly cast in a support role for

John Mayall
Enjoyable live but again I found the albums less convincing and thus there’s a distinctive gap in the section marked M.

Mott The Hoople
Never did a bunch of geezers look so daft in lip gloss and platforms. Sadly missed but not by me.

I loved Flowers and Nantcucket to death and they were so loud live that I swear my hearing has been permanently damaged. I’ve had no desire to go Mountain climbing in the years since leaving the two albums on a bus.

National Health
Saw them several times on the college circuit. BB was stunningly entertaining battering away while reading the sheet music. The Complete NH and Missing Pieces are the business in our house. Debbie hates them.

Pink Floyd
Saw them before the release of WYWH. Awesome and all that. Several Floyd toe-tappers regularly hit the player.

Roxy Music
Saw them on their first big UK tour and I have the photo’s to prove it. For me they lost the plot when Eno went. Thus first two albums are the one’s that do it for me. The rest is crooning and a well dodgy dress sense.

Saw them with Earth Wind & Fire supporting. Read a book, raised a family, hitched around Europe and caught crabs during a guitar solo. Abraxis was one album cover you didn’t want your mother to take an interest in.

Al Stewart
Loved it all at the time and still have a soft spot for the roads to Moscow thingy. No Stewart in the collection other than Andy.

The Strawbs
A bit of the old histrionics but who could resist Brave New World ?

String Driven Thing
Loved them live avoid their albums like the plague.

Always the bridesmaid never the bride. No souvenirs of the occasion please.

Stone The Crows
Part gawp and part squirty lurve thang. No Crows on the shelf these days.

Soft Machine
The softs were great live and Hugh Hopper and Babbington were bass hero’s for me. There entire back catalogue is a feature of the collection.

Tangerine Dream
Teutonic knob-twiddlers induce catatonia. I confess I have Pheadra.

Ten Years After
Wearisome guitar pyrotechnics loved at the time but now best akin to a relative that one doesn’t speak of except in hushed tones when the children have left the room.

Phil Mogg once gave me a bottle of brown ale from the stage at the City Hall. Upon receipt of brown dog, I was promptly escorted from the building by a steward vigourously enforcing the no drink policy. Git. Consequently a deep scepticism of UFO product.

Van Der Graff Generator
The day after I saw them play I went out and bought a pair of clogs to emulate the Hammill look. Godbluff and Pawn Hearts still get some regular playing if only to rack Debbie off !

Wishbone Ash
If I’m honest I only bought Argus because it had a cool over.

Saw them around Topographic but it’s only Fragile and Close To The Edge that do it for me.

Enough already ! I'm late for Tom Phillips !

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