Ralph McTell Newcastle City Hall 1974

Ralph McTell Newcastle City Hall 1974
Support from Prelude
ralphmctellticket I’ve only seen Ralph McTell once in concert, back in 1974. He was already well established on the folk scene at this point, having played several major concert tours, and filling the Royal Albert Hall twice in 1973. This tour was to promote Ralph’s seventh album “Easy” which featured Danny Thompson, John Kongos and Bert Jansch. I think Danny Thompson was with Ralph on the tour. It was of course the great song “Streets of London” which drew me to the gig. “Sreets of London” was recorded in 1969, but wasn’t released as a single until 1974, reaching No 2 in the UK singles chart. At one point it was selling 90,000 copies a day, and won Ralph the Ivor Novello Award and a Silver disc.” The song was inspired by McTell’s experiences busking and hitchhiking throughout Europe, especially in Paris and the individual stories are taken from Parisians – McTell was originally going to call the song Streets of Paris; ralphmctellprog but eventually London was chosen because he realised he was singing about London. The song contrasts the common problems of everyday people with those of the homeless, lonely, elderly, ignored and forgotten members of society” (from Wikipedia). I loved that song at the time, and enjoyed hearing Ralph McTell sing it. The City Hall was packed for this concert, and I was surprised just how many people were already fans of the guy, and knew the songs well enough to sing along to most of them. Support came from local folk trio Prelude, who had their own UK chart success in 1974, with a distinctive a cappella version of Neil Young’s “After the Goldrush”, which reached No 21. Singer Irene Hume explains how the song came about: “We were standing at a bus stop in Stocksfield and we just started singing it. There was no particular reason, it was just a nice song. The way we do it now is really no different from the way we did it at the bus stop. We included it in our act and it went down really well – even the rowdier clubs listened to it. We certainly never thought of it as a possible single”.

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