Tony McPhee’s Terraplane late 70s

Tony McPhee’s Terraplane late 70s
groundhigsigned After the Groundhogs disbanded in 1976 Tony McPhee formed a new band called Terraplane, featuring Alan Fish on bass, and Wilgar Campbell (ex Rory Gallagher) on drums. This band gigged quite a bit, but didn’t release any new material. Two tracks (Down in the Bottom and Shake for Me) were taped as demos in 1977; and are the only recordings of Terraplane apart from some backing tracks for Billy Boy Arnold on an album called Checkin` It Out. Down in the Bottom is an old Howlin’ Wolf song which often features as the encore in the current Groundhogs set. I saw Terraplane twice, once at Sunderland Locarno, and again at an open air concert in Gypsie’s Green Stadium South Shields.
The thing I remember most about the South Shields gig was not the music. I’d just bought a really cool pair of black Denson Chelsea boots. These were old stock winklepickers from the 60s, which you could pick up cheap in shoe sales in the late 70s (which I’d bought them all up 🙂 ). This would place the gig around 1977 or 1978, I would think. I went along to the gig with a couple of mates, and we decided to take a short cut into the stadium over the back fence. The points of my winklepickers got stuck between the bars of the fence as I climbed over, and I fell forward to the great joy of my mates. My boots remained stuck in the fence, and I landed on the ground in front. The boots were badly scraped and all but ruined 😦 , and I felt rather stupid for the rest of the day. My memory tells me that the set was all new songs, and although I enjoyed seeing Tony and he played guitar as well as ever, the material was unfamiliar and I missed the old Groundhogs favourites. I seem to remember that Cherry Red featured as an encore.
By the early 80s Tony was fronting a band called simply the Tony McPhee band, who I never saw, although one of my mates did go to see them at Middlesbrough Rock Garden and came back with good reports of the gig. Tony’s autograph above was obtained at a later 80s gig, but I’ve included it here as I didn’t have any Terraplane material. The Tony McPhee band released one single: Time of Action, which was a limited edition pressing of 1,000, and is available from the Grondhogs official website. I’ll move onto the next chapter in my Groundhogs history tomorrow.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Rob on December 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I was thinking of the gig at Gypsys green as I attended this with a couple of school mates., but couldn’t find a date for it or any of the other bands who played. I do have a memory of a singer or member of a band climbing up the stage cover which if I remember was made of covered scaffolding. Anyway thanks for the blog it brings back loads of memories of gigs attended in the late 70 s onwards .


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