Jethro Tull Sunderland Top Rank 1972

Jethro Tull Sunderland Top Rank 1972
tullposter There is a story surrounding this gig. You won’t find it listed in any of the Tull gig histories on the internet, but it definitely took place, and I remember it well. I first heard of this gig directly from the local promoter Geoff Docherty. I was in the Rink (or Sunderland Top Rank to give it is formal name) buying tickets for another event, and Geoff was in there ay the same time. “I’ve got Jethro Tull coming in a few weeks time” he said. Now I already had a ticket to see Tull play at the City Hall in early 1972, as part of the tour that they were doing to promote their new lp Thick as a Brick (TAAB). The tour was already advertised, and the only North East date was the City Hall concert, so an extra Sunderland date prior to the tour didn’t seem very likely. But sure enough, posters advertising the gig with support Tir Na Nog soon appeared outside the Rink, and I bought tickets with a group of mates. Gigs at the Rink at that time tended to be on a Sunday night, and I think that was the case for this concert. The gig was obviously a warm-up for the TAAB tour. I returned my ticket for the City Hall (they would let you do that in those days, as long as they could sell it on), as I didn’t fancy seeing the band twice within a few days (big mistake, as it turned out). Tull NCH 15.05.82. (3) The night of the Sunderland gig came, and it was excellent. It was great to see Tull play in a relatively small ballroom venue, and I was right down the front, straight in front of Ian Anderson. The place was full, but not too packed. But the gig wasn’t quite what I had expected. First Tir Na Nog didn’t play. They were support for the main TAAB tour, but weren’t at this gig. And the other surprise was the set itself. I was expected an early run through of the Thick as a Brick album, but what we got that night was a Jethro Tull favourites set, which was great, but it also meant that I never got to see TAAB played live in its entirity until recently. The strange thing was the band had the stage set up ready for the TAAB show, with the telephone there ready to ring, but they didn’t perform any of the album. Anyway it was a great gig. Looking back I should have made the effort to go along to the City Hall as well. Not sure why I didn’t. Maybe it was sold out by that point, not that that usually stopped me. Oh well, writing this blog sometimes unearths regrets that I have about gigs that I missed, but hey ho such is life :). The line up of the band had changed since the last time I saw them with Barriemore Barlow replacing Clive Bunker on drums. Thanks to John for the scan of his poster and to Doug for the photograph of Ian Anderson, which he took at Newcastle City Hall some years after this gig.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by martin Carrell on January 15, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    I was there as well. Nice write up, brought back memories of the concert. Saw Bowie and the Faces at the Rink that year as well. Incredible when you look at the groups that appeared locally at the time: Free, the Who, Zeppelin etc.


  2. Posted by Phil Wilding on November 4, 2018 at 8:48 am

    My first concert. The ticket cost me 50p.


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