Magazine Redcar 1978 and Newcastle 1979

Magazine Redcar 1978 and Newcastle 1979
magflyer I have fond memories of seeing Magazine in concert a few times during the late 70s and early 80s. In particular, I recall being impressed with Howard Devoto’s stage presence the very first time I saw the band, which was at a show at Redcar Coatham Bowl in 1978. This was their first major UK tour. Howard spent the entire night up high on a mike stand on a raised platform, looking menacingly down at the audience and snarling out the vocals at us all. It was pretty spooky, and quite different to the punk rock gigs that I was used to at the time. It was an amazing gig, and the crowd were mesmerised by Howard and the band.
Howard Devoto, of course, formed Magazine in 1977, having left the Buzzcocks during their early days. magredcar The line-up of Magazine in July 1978 at the time of the Redcar gig which I attended was Howard Devoto on vocals, the late great John McGeoch on atmospheric, discordant and truly inventive guitar, Barry Adamson on thundering, pumping bass, Martin Jackson on drums, and Dave Formula on swirling keyboards. This was the classic Magazine line-up. They had just released their first album “Real Life” and the single “Shot By Both Sides”, which reached the lower regions of the UK chart (No 41 to be exact) and is a true classic of the new wave era. magcityhall I saw Magazine at least twice more during that period of exhilarating punk gigs, including a concert at Newcastle City Hall, where they were supported by an up and coming band called Simple Minds :), and at a Saturday night gig at Newcastle University Students Union Canteen. “And The Light pours down on me”, and “Shot by both sides” are two of my favourite songs, and Magazine concert performances at the time were amazing.
Laura later became familiar with the band through Morrissey, who has covered a couple of their songs. So when Magazine reformed in 2009 we both decided we should go along and see them, and made the trip to London on a cold Friday night to see them perform at the London Forum, and to see if they would live up to their legend. They did indeed and it was another great gig, which I blogged on at the time.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mitch on December 3, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I was at the Redcar gig which was on Sunday 2nd July 1978. This was an excellent concert. Support band The Zones were great too.

    Magazine’s Redcar set included their entire debut album.

    Setlist in order was –
    Definitive Gaze, The Great Beautician In The Sky, Touch And Go, Recoil, Burst, Goldfinger, My Tulpa, Motorcade, Parade, Boredom, Give Me Everything, My Mind Ain’t So Open, Shot By Both Sides.
    Encores: The Light Pours Out Of Me, Big Dummy.


    • Posted by vintagerock on December 3, 2013 at 10:11 am

      Thanks Mitch I thought they were great that night in Redcar. Best time I saw them. Thanks for the setlist; I’d no idea what they played that night Cheers Peter


  2. Posted by MR KEVIN SWITHENBANK on May 22, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    Magazine @ Newcastle university canteen 1977-8 (not sure which), Anyway, one of the best gigs still to this day I’ve been to, very loud and very unusual as well as very good, A small venue that makes you feel as if its the back room of a pub and not a ballroom like venue. . IMO>> Howard seemed like someone I had never seen before, someone from another world, not another planet but from a culture that was totally removed from anything I had any knowledge of, his odd-shaped head and receding hair adding to the sense of strangeness that seemed to flow from him, his figure even seemed weird, 24-inch waist black jeans, size six white baseball boots with a shaggy purple double thickness mohair jacket three sizes too big, A black skin tight muscle T-shirt with cigarettes tucked in to the capped sleeve (the things you remember) the light pours out of me lifted the roof of the canteen and the bright white light emitting from the stage reminded me of the film alien encounters when the space ship doors open and the light blinds everyone from seeing what is happening (not sure of that film was yet made) but it all feeds in to the memory banks for old age reminicing. . .the bass player Jhon McGeoch was amazing as was all the band, Dave Formula playing the keyboards along with Spencer or Doyle on the drums (both drummers played with the band back then so I’m informed) but the bass did stand out. lots of good drummers and guitarists, but great bass players are not so stand out and to do so must be very good or/and very clever.


    • Posted by vintagerock on May 22, 2021 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Kevin

      Yes Howard was literally out of this world at the time and a joy to see. Happy days Peter


  3. Posted by Bill ford on September 1, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    I was at that concert at Coatham bowl in 78. I got my album cover signed by the band.


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