The Groundhogs 1973 and 1974

The Groundhogs Newcastle City Hall 1973 and other gigs in 1974
groundhigscityhallmarch1973 The Groundhogs called at Newcastle City Hall twice in 1974. The first of these two gigs featured Ellis (with Steve Ellis) and Spyda as support acts. For the second gig, the support was a band called Jonesy. Ellis featured Zoot Money, ex-Peter Bardens guitarist Andy Gee; ex-Fat Mattress bassist Jimmy Leverton (later replaced by Nick South); and drummer Dave Lutton. Jonesy featured Alan Bown on horns. The Groundhogs were at the peak of their success at this time, selling concert halls out up and down the country. They had just released the album Hogwash (1972), which was followed by Solid in 1974, and the set at the time featured the classics (Split I and II, Cherry Red, Garden, Mistreated, Groundhogs Blues, Eccentric Man) and sometimes tracks like Strange Town, Soldier and Ship on the Oceon, along with newer songs such as I Love You Miss Ogyny, 3744 James Road, and Light My Light. groundhigcityhall1973 Free from all Alarm, and Sins of the Father were also sometimes featured in the set. The Groundhogs released two singles around this time: Sad Go Round and Plea Sing Plea Song. Tony was particularly busy during this period of his career, and took the time to record a solo lp, the Two Sides of Tong (TS) McPhee. He did a short tour in September 1973 to support the album, but didn’t play in the North East, so sadly I missed it. photo-13 These gigs were the last time the Groundhogs were to play large concert hall tours, although they continued to gig constantly until the band split in 1974. The line up throughout this period was Tony, Pete Cruikshank and Clive Brooks. I saw them a few other times: twice at the Mayfair (once in 1973 and again in 1974; I recall the band Back Door being the support act on one of these occasions), once at Sunderland Locarno, and once at Spennymoor Top Hat Club. There may have been other gigs that I attended, the band certainly toured a lot at this time. Tony decided to split the band during 1974, but they were to reappear in a different form in the following year. I’ll blog on that line-up tomorrow. Many thanks to John for the scan of the great poster.
I found a setlist which is listed as being from a gig at Glasgow Greens Playhouse (later to become the Apollo) during the November 1973 tour: Ship on the Ocean; Light My Light; I Love You Misogyny; Earth Shanty; Sad Go Round; Dog Me bitch; Split 1; Joker’s Grave; Train Train; Lawdie Miss Clawdie; Soldier; Split 4; Split 2; Sad Go Round. I can’t ever remember the Groundhogs playing old tunes like Lawdie Miss Clawdie, but then my memory is not so good these days…….

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mitch on January 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    I was at both these too. The Jonesy tour was at Newcastle City Hall 23/11/73 (I had also been at The City Hall the night before for Mott The Hoople with Queen supporting……and the following thursday for Rory Gallagher!) The Groundhogs went down an absolute storm – the set list printed above is spot on. The set finished with a medley of Train Train/That’s alright Mama/Lawdy Miss Claudy and then Soldier. Encores were Split P4 and Split P2. They then came back on and did Sad Go Round for a second time….and then with the audience refusing to budge came back on again for another Split P1. Fantastic.


    • Posted by Mitch on January 10, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      The Sunderland Locarno gig was 24/5/74. Lucas Tyson were the support band. Groundhogs dropped Eccentric Man, Garden, Mistreated and Still a fool from most of the 73/74 shows in order to feature Hogwash/Solid tracks. Set list was Ship on the Ocean, Split P3, I love Miss Ogyny, Free from all alarm, Dog Me Bitch, Split P1, Light My Light, Soldier, Split P2. Encores Split P4 and Cherry Red.


  2. Posted by vintagerock on January 10, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Your memory is much better than mine! Many thanks Peter


  3. Posted by Andy Fowlie on September 3, 2019 at 9:20 am

    I saw Groundhogs at the Sunderland Locarno, but they were supported by Ashton Gardner & Dyke.
    Can anyone remember that date, and the setlist ??


    • Posted by vintagerock on September 3, 2019 at 9:26 am

      Hi Andy I was also at that concert but it was at the Top Rank Suite (the Rink) not the Locarno. The Locarno had Slade on that night. I remember as I went to both concerts, thus missing Ashton, Gardner and Dyke. Best wishes Peter


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