Judas Priest Newcastle City Hall 1979 and 1980 British Steel!

Judas Priest Newcastle City Hall 1979 and 1980 British Steel!
priest79Judas Priest continued to tour throughout 1979 to 1980, moving from the Hellbent on Leather tour to the British Steel tour. Support acts were local band White Heat in 1979, and the mighty Iron Maiden in 1980. I also have a memory of attending a show at Newcastle Mayfair around this period; I think Priest may have played two nights at the City Hall and one at the Mayfair ballroom during the British Steel tour. British Steel was the sixth lp release by Judas Priest, and moved their music from dark, operatic metal, to shorter, more accessible and commercial rock songs. priest80 The album reached No 4 in the UK lp charts, their highest chart entry to date, and two singles from it reached the UK singles chart. These were Living After Midnight and the great Breaking the Law. The video for Breaking the Law is still shown on TV, and is a wonderful example of an early, very tongue in cheek, heavy metal promo. Their gigs continued to be crazy metal events, and Priest were a great favourite with the Newcastle metal crowds. The set around this time also included excellent covers of Fleetwood Mac’s Green Manalishi (1979) and Spooky Tooth’s Better By You, Better Than Me (in 1978). priest80progcover A typical setlist from 1980: Hell Bent for Leather; The Ripper; Running Wild; Living After Midnight; Sinner; Beyond the Realms of Death; You Don’t Have to Be Old to Be Wise; Grinder; Victim of Changes; Steeler; Genocide; Tyrant; The Green Manalishi. The programme for the 1980 Judas Priest tour is a true heavy metal work of art in itself. The cover shows a zipped leather suited guy wearing (of course) a studded belt complete with Judas Priest buckle. popup But the real treat lies inside. The centre fold of the programme contains a pop up of the band in all their onstage metal glory.
My copy has become a tad creased over the years, but I’ve done my best to photograph and present it here. Rob is on his motorbike in his usual leather gear, and the guitarists all have their axes held aloft. You couldn’t beat it!

18 responses to this post.

  1. “…a zipped leather suited guy wearing (of course) a studded belt complete with Judas Priest buckle. But the real treat lies inside.” I’m very sure Rob would very much agree 😉


  2. Posted by Mitch on June 17, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I thoroughly enjoy reading your daily blog Peter and I hope you don’t mind me writing in.

    Priest played consecutive nights at Newcastle City Hall on their 1979 tour – I was at both on 23rd and 24th May. Marseilles were not the support band – local band White Heat were support on both nights.
    The 1979 set list was practically the same as played on the 1978 tour – only changes were Hell Bent For Leather and The Green Manalishi were now added instead of Killing Machine and Sinner.

    The March 1980 show included no British Steel songs whatsoever despite the album being released in April 1980. Infact the set was very much in support of the Unleashed in the East live album which was more or less the songs they had played on the previous couple of tours.

    Hell Bent For Leather, Delivering The Goods, Running Wild, The Ripper, White Heat Red Hot, Beyond the Realms of Death, Sinner, The Green Manalishi, Victim of Changes, Genocide, Starbreaker.
    Encores: Take on the World. Tyrant.

    Iron Maiden’s setlist was – Charlotte the Harlot, Wrathchild, Prowler, Running Free, Remember Tomorrow, Transylvania, Phantom of the Opera, Iron Maiden. Encore: Drifter.


  3. Posted by vintagerock on June 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks Mitch for your support. I’m impressed by your memory! Yes please do keep commenting, and reminding me, when my memory lets me down. I can’t believe that I didn’t know White Heat supported. I have no recollection at all of that. Are you sure it was White Heat, and not White Spirit (who would seem a more obvious match to me)? I used to often talk to Bob Smeaton and saw White Heat several times. Will correct my entries.


  4. Posted by George on December 29, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Brilliant, thanks for posting this was my first ever rock concert, remember White Heat supporting, stepped in at last minute if i remember correctly, the singer used to put on a mask and jump in the crowd


    • Posted by bobsmeaton on August 22, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      yeah White Heat supported Priest on those two Newcastle shows, they also supported them at Sheffield City hall. I was the singer in White Heat. Those were the days!!


      • Posted by vintagerock on August 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm

        Many thanks Bob Happy days. And a fine band White Heat were too! Cheers Peter

      • Posted by vintagerock on August 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm

        Hi Bob
        Thanks for the comment.
        As you may have gathered I’ve set out to try and write about the gigs I saw “back in the day”. It’s turning into a mammoth task. I’ve covered over 1,000 gigs and bands and still have some way to go.
        I remember seeing you at many of the gigs and used to chat with you. I think I first ran into you in the (all night) queue for Zeppelin Earls Court tickets outside the record shop (Volume?) just around from the City Hall. I was with a group of mates and we parked my car next to the queue so we could catch a nap. A few guys didn’t like that idea, and were trying to turn my car over. You warned me that they meant business, so I moved my car. Does that ring any bells? It was a long time ago……I was at the time a young guy with long black hair (but then lots of people were)
        Saw you in White Heat several times. I think I recall gigs at the Bedrock festival (the Playhouse or Guildhall?) and a packed gig at the Mayfair (think it may have been your farewell)…my memory is going these days..
        Happy days
        Cheers Peter

  5. Posted by Bob Smeaton on April 6, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    HI Peter yeah,White Heat played the Bedrock Festival in 78 and 79. We played our final gig at a sold out Mayfair during Feb of 82. I did see Zep at Earls Court, they were my favourite band at the time. i used to worship Robert Plant, i thought i could sing like him, i couldn’t, but did make a good attempt at growing my hair in his style. Those were happy days. I am in the process of writing my memoirs at present and they cover my love of music and my time in White Heat and on through my adventures making music docs. Its a fun ride. I am trying to get it all down before my memory fades.


  6. Posted by Ian on March 9, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Thanks for the info – I was at the 1980 concert.
    Fast forward 38yrs to 2018: I’m seeing them in Canada on March 28th in Oshawa (just east of Toronto), with by son.


  7. Posted by Nigel binnie on May 12, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    Hi, I’ve a confession to make! Priest were due to play 2 nights at the Mayfair; which left my 14 year old brother devastated as he was too young to get in. He decided to write to the Band; Fan Club and the Evening Chronicle and asked them in hope, to change one of the Gigs to the City Hall, guess what? they did and my brother ended up on a 2 page spread in the Chronicle after Priest played the “Hall” due to his request!!


    • Posted by vintagerock on May 13, 2020 at 8:44 am

      Great story Nigel I wasn’t aware of this! Best wishes Peter


    • Posted by George Cook on May 14, 2020 at 5:48 am

      Crazy that Nigel, I was just talking about this to one of the lads at work the other day. I was gutted when they announced the dates as I was too young for the Mayfair as well.


      • Posted by Nigel on May 21, 2020 at 10:12 pm

        I was at his House and I found the Chronicle cuttings in his office, we all met the Band at the Hotel next to where the Studio nightclub use to be, think its a Premier Inn now

      • Posted by vintagerock on May 22, 2020 at 12:45 pm

        great story Nigel happy days Peter

    • Posted by Barry O’Gorman on July 5, 2022 at 11:25 am

      I remember this in the Chronicle and attended the gig at the City Hall. There seems to be a bit of confusion about the two gigs. I can still remember being told to “stop standing on the chair and sit down” by one of the staff then an metal head saying to me “ f!!k him mate,stand on the chair”.It was my first taste of live metal and it was magic. The place was packed!!


      • Posted by vintagerock on July 5, 2022 at 11:29 am

        Thanks Barry for sharing your memories. Yes Priest were a formidable force in those days and still are! Happy days Peter

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