Argent in concert 1972 – 1974

Argent in concert 1972 – 1974
I first saw Argent in concert at Sunderland Top Rank on a double bill with Beggars Opera. I have a feeling it was a 12 midnight to 4am show that they put on now and then, sometimes on bank holiday weekends. Both bands were heavily organ-based; I had already seen Beggars Opera before, but Argent were new to me. Hold Your Head had just been realised, which places the concert sometime in 1972. I remember everyone standing on the tables in the Rink, singing to Hold Your Head Up; think they played in twice, once in the set and once as an encore. (Update note: I’ve just seen someone selling a poster for the gig on ebay. It was on Sunday 28th/ Monday 29th May 1972, from midnight to 4am. The gig was promoted by Fillmore North ie Geof Docherty. Support for Argent came from local bands Brass Alley and Beckett, and Beggars Opera. Tickets were all of 60p). I was impressed enough to go and see Argent again at Newcastle City Hall in 1973. Their lp at that time was “In Deep” which features the track God Gave Rock and Roll to You, later to be covered by Kiss. Argent were back at the City Hall in 1974, boasting a quadrophonic/stereo show, which featured speakers around the hall; I remember I was sitting right next to one on the balcony. The ticket advertised the concert as quadrophonic downstairs and stereo in the balcony! Interesting concept. The lp for this tour was Nexus, which was pretty heavy prog rock stuff, with tracks such as The Coming Of Kohoutek (great title) and the mega opus Music From The Spheres, which clocks in at over 8 minutes on the lp and was probably longer live. Alongside these new songs, The Zombies’ Time of the Season also got an outing in concert in those days. By 1974 Russ Ballard had left the band to be replaced by John Verity and guitarist John Grimaldi. Argent was a class act. Some great songs, and some top keyboard form Rod Argent. I remember being jealous of Rod Argent’s (very) long hair, and being fascinated by Russ Ballard’s guitar which had holes drilled through the body. A few years after Argent had split, I saw Rod Argent at a free keyboard demonstration concert at Middlesbrough Town Hall. I notice the ticket for the 1974 tour shows that Clancy, who were part of the pub rock scene of the early 70s, were the support act. Argent have reformed recently, and have been playing a few concerts in the past week. I would like to see them again, but haven’t caught up with them yet. (Update note: I found a flyer for the Quadrophonic gig at the City Hall so have added it here). I have since seen Rod a couple of times with Colin Blunstone and with The Zombies, who he tours with now. photo Update on 26/12/12. I’ve added a scan of the poster from the gig at Sunderland Top Rank, which John bought on ebay. This shows that it was a midnight to 4am show, on May 28/29 1972 (late May bank holiday). The Line-up was Argent, Beggars Opera, Beckett and Brass Alley.

8 responses to this post.

  1. I’m really inspired along with your writing skills and also with the structure on your blog. Is this a paid topic or did you customize it your self? Either way stay up the excellent quality writing, it is uncommon to see a great blog like this one nowadays..


  2. Hi there,
    Thought you may be interested to know I have started an archive of John Grimaldis music at the above website.
    Started with the 8-10 tracks we had, currently running at 80+ from before Argent to his sad demise in 1983.
    Feel free to spread the word , thus is for posterity. We are trying to improve the quality as we go…..but this was either cassette or reel to reel…most was not studio quality to start with.



  3. Posted by Roger Llywelyn Henderson on May 26, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    I’m seeking the date of an Argent gig that I attended at Swansea Top Rank in about November ’73 at which ‘Hold your head up’ was recorded for the ‘Encore’ album. Nothing to be seen on line at all. Can anyone help?
    Many thanks


  4. Posted by Tony Anderton on October 28, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    Thanks for the information, Vintagerock. You’ve provided me with the information I was after, which is the date of the Argent gig I attended with my mate Davy at Newcastle City Hall in either late-74 or early ’75, and now I know that it was December 2nd 1974. You say that you were in the balcony; however, towards the end of the show, Davy and I ran up from the stalls to the balcony the whole of one side of which was practically empty so we could have a good old head-banging session there for the rest of the show. Argent were (and still are) such an underrated band. I just regret that Russ had left by then. Anyway, best wishes.


  5. Posted by Kevin king on January 17, 2021 at 10:46 am

    Actually the album they were touring was CIRCUS.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: