Sensational Alex Harvey Band on tour 1976

Sensational Alex Harvey Band on tour 1976
sahbprog76 SAHB toured again in May 1976. I have a programme for the tour, which I think must have come from The Who concert that I attended at Charlton at the end of May 1976. SAHB shared the bill, headlined by The Who, with Little Feat, The Outlaws and Roger Chapman’s Streetwalkers. I’ll blog on that event when I come to cover The Who. I also have a vague memory of sneaking into the City Hall to see the encore of a SAHB gig at Newcastle City Hall that year. The band played two nights at the City Hall in early May as part of the tour, with support from Pat Travers. I didn’t buy a ticket (big mistake, in hindsight) as I knew I was going to see them at Charlton at the end of the month. I’d been out in Newcastle, and wandered along to the City Hall with a couple of mates. The gig was coming to an end and the doors were open to let people out. We wandered into the Hall and caught the band playing Delilah and The Faith Healer. The programme for the 1976 tour comes in the form of a comic book, complete with a free banger (see below) just like the ones that came free with our comics in the 60s. The cast was: The Teacher: Alex Harvey; The Actor: Zal Cleminson; The Punk: CHris Glen; The Buffer: Ted McKenna; The Professor: Hugh McKenna; Dr Killjoy: As himself. The story is Vambo v Dr Killjoy with, SAHB as superheroes saving the word through Vambo Rool! The story starts: “England is under the oppressive rule of Dr Killjoy – Sinister head of the Ministry of Boredom! His rule has ground the will from the people.” Vambo coming to the rescue…sahbbanger Vambo, featured in the song Vambo Marble Eye, was a teenage punk and super hero of the future. When performing the song Alex would spray paint an imitation brick wall with the slogan ‘Vambo Rool.’ Alex and band were one of the best live bands around at the time, and certainly went down well with the Charlton crowd. I saw Alex and the guys once more after this tour, at the (very very muddy) Reading Festival 1977, which was their last live performance. Alex was reportedly not so well by that stage of their career, and it wasn’t their best gig, but still a strong point of the festival. I did see Alex once more in concert in 1980 and I’ll blog on that gig tomorrow. Typical setlist from the 1976 tour: Love Story, School’s Out, Tomahawk Kid, Isobel Goudie, Dance to you Daddy, Amos Moses, Framed, Midnight Moses, Vambo Marble Eye. Encore: Delilah, The Faith Healer.

8 responses to this post.

  1. I too attended that May 1976 Charlton FC gig and I remember it rained all day. Love Story and Schools Out were both played that day, as The Penthouse Tapes album had been released in March earlier that year. Their next new album ‘Sahb Stories’ was only briefly featured as it was released in July that year. Later that year the band would tour that album and feature more new material. This can be heard on ‘British Tour ’76 (MLP07CD) which was released in 2004 on the UK-MLP label with the band’s approval and it features: Fanfare, Faith Healer, Tomahawk Kid, Isobel Goudie, Amos Moses, Vambo, Dance To Your Daddy ft April Kisses, Boston Tea Party, Delilah & Framed. It was recorded at Leicester’s De Montfort Hall in autumn 1976 for a live radio broadcast, mixed live on the night and mastered from the original tape reels, so it sounds brilliant. The band say in the sleeve notes it sounds even better that the ‘Live’ album from 1975!.


  2. I was at the SAHB 6/5/76 gig at the City Hall. I remember being really impressed by Pat Travers, who I had never heard of before. SAHB were excellent, Vambo and The Faith Healer were the highlights for me. I can’t remember which song it was but Alex came on stage with what appeared to be a rifle with searchlights shining out of the barrels. He proceeded to lay it down on the stage while he sang and it beamed up right into my eyes, couldn’t see a damned thing for the rest of the song. Years later, I saw SAHB (without Alex) a few times, as my mate was a huge fan and he had met the band on many occasions. A year or two ago, I saw a Rory Gallagher tribute band at Kendal Brewery and it comprised a Dutch guitarist, Gerry MacEvoy (original bass player) and Hugh McKenna (ex-SAHB drummer). My friends and I ended up drinking with them after the gig and my mate (the SAHB fan) ended up taking Hugh for a trip round the Lakes the following day!


  3. Posted by Kevin Gibbons on January 7, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Thanks for the post. I was trying to find the date of this tour, as it was the first proper gig I ever went to at Leicester De Montfort Hall. It was a great introduction to Rock concerts, SAHB were brilliant, and Alex was a totally superb front man. A sad loss so long ago. Pat Travers also impressed me, and was throwing free flimsy plastic singles into the audience (Makes no difference), still got it somewhere. Cheers!


  4. Posted by robert taylor on February 3, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    I went to Swansea and charlton got same programme


  5. Posted by Neil Bates on March 7, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Bit late but I still have the tour programme Nd tour t shirt


  6. Posted by Andy Macdonald on March 7, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    SAHB live a great band. First saw them at Leeds University February 1977. Pat Travers support. He was very good. Bought Pat Travers album from Boston records Bradford.
    Got the comic book sahb programme. In good condition. Might sell!
    Later saw SAHB at St. George’s Hall Bradford.
    Happy memories!


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