Queen Newcastle City Hall 11th December 1975

Queen Newcastle City Hall 11th December 1975
A bit of an adventure involving a ladder and a night at the opera.
In late 1975, Queen recorded and released A Night at the Opera, which was at the time, the most expensive album ever queen 75 progproduced. The album was a massive success, and featured the hit single “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which was No 1 in the UK charts for nine weeks and is the third-best-selling single of all time in the UK. This propelled Queen to megastar status, their late 1975 tour sold out in record time, and they were No 1 in the charts at the time of the concerts. For some crazy reason I didn’t get tickets for the City Hall gig, but as the day of the Newcastle concert approached, I became more and more determined to go.
So on the night of the gig I turned up outside the City Hall determined to blag a ticket somehow. Now I had done this several times, and had always managed to buy a ticket, sometimes paying a little more than face value. But that night was different. Demand had been huge, and no-one was selling any tickets. No touts and no spares. A group of us were hanging around with the same idea, all desperate to get in to the show. Time was passing and we could hear the support act, Mr Big, take the stage. Soon they finished their set, and things were getting desperate. Then one guy had an idea. He spotted a ladder around the back of the venue, and looking around, he also spotted an open window. So he climbed up the ladder and squeezed through the open window. A couple of us followed. freddy75The window was tiny, but I managed to squeeze through, finding myself above a sink in the upstairs ladies loo. Luckily there was no one in the ladies 🙂 I quickly sneaked out, and found myself in the circle,  just as Queen took to the stage, exploding into Bohemian Rhapsody. Queen were amazing that night, although I must admit that my enjoyment of the gig was hampered to some extent as I remained on edge throughout the concert, in constant fear of being approached by a steward, and ejected from the venue. I stayed upstairs standing at the side throughout the gig. Luckily everyone was standing, so I easily blended into the crowd. The crowd went crazy for Queen that night; they had now actually become stars;  it seemed to me that they always knew they could and would.
Setlist: Bohemian Rhapsody, Ogre Battle, Sweet Lady, White Queen (as it began), Flick Of The Wrist, Bohemian Rhapsody, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, The Prophet’s Song, Doing All Right, Keep Yourself Alive, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods…revisited. Encore: Now I’m Here, Hey Big Spender, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen
Thanks again to Mitch for his photo which was taken by him that night.

Addition to blog entry on 17 May 2021.
I always regretted that I did not get a programme that night. By the time I emerged from the ladies toilet, after climbing through the window Queen were onstage and I did not have a chance to buy a programme. But through the wonders of eBay I managed to put this to rights, and bought a 1975 UK programme for £30, which I think is pretty cheap. I have attached the image within my blog entry above.

9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Alan Conner on March 6, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I was there that night with my mates in the last row on the balcony, I’ll never forget it,as I had already tripped up the stairs and broke the heel off my platforms. We went to Bloomers after the gig and ended up meeting my future wife. She must have fancied the no shoes look.
    I’d followed Queen ever since seeing them perform Liar on the Old Grey Whistle Test and was looking forward to seeing them. The only real recollection I have of the concert itself was Bohemian Rhapsody as I’d been wondering how they were going to perform it.
    Really enjoying your blogs, I’ve been to a few of the same concerts at the City Hall but I’ve got a terrible memory so your recollections are helping me to remember a few of them from around that time, The Pretenders, Bowies Glass Spider Tour,Santana with Earth,Wind and Fire as support, Dr Feelgood, Robin Trower, John Miles, Status Quo to name just a few. So pleased I discovered your blogs, thanks for the memories


    • Posted by vintagerock on March 6, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      Hi Alan Many thanks for your support Pleased you are enjoying my ramblings. Cheers Peter


  2. Posted by Mitch on March 7, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Another great blog Peter.

    You missed a couple of songs from the set list – they played Brighton Rock (which included a Brian May guitar solo which echoed around the hall) and Stone Cold Crazy.

    I remember that they came on stage to the ‘I see a little silhouetto of a man’ section of Bohemian Rhapsody playing over the PA and then the band slammed into the ‘So you think you can stone me’ part with an explosion of lights. Terrific.


    • Posted by vintagerock on March 7, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Thanks for the update Mitch. I think I was clambering through the toilet window as they came on stage 🙂 Peter


  3. Posted by mark on June 11, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Friends & I bought tickets the day they came out (which I think was September? ) & we were sat smack in the middle of row B.

    Mitch’s post (above) sums up the intro nicely – I remember it was so loud (in terms of both noise & lights) we where nearly blown backwards into row C.

    if you dig around on Youtube there is bootleg of the Manchester concert from the same tour


  4. Posted by Blue Boy on May 8, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Wished I had been a couple of years older. Was only thirteen (nearly fourteen Jan 76). Caught them for the first time on the Crazy Tour both nights on 3rd and 4th December 1979! Best nights of my life at that point. Queen are the ‘love of my life’ from 1973 to date, equal to Everton FC (yes,yes, I know, why does a Geordie support Everton?), and both only second to my wife!

    My best moment/memory being the rendition at the end of ‘In The Lap Of The Gods…revisited’. The atmosphere, emotion,the heat, the energy…it was tangible and I still get chills down my spine thinking about it now!

    Spend thousands on their music (and others) and memorabilia. Will always be my first love in music.


  5. I was there that night with friends from school. I just saw the film Bohemian Rhapsody and am currently on a bit of a Queen obsession again. I’m old school and prefer their first four albums but will never forget that night. As they burst onto stage after the “operatic bit” played to a dark hall. Flares went off and Freddie strutted. Glad I was there. I will never forget it. Great to see the song list too!


  6. Posted by Edward Rhodes on April 8, 2021 at 11:53 am

    I am writing a book on this particular Queen tour, and I was wondering if I could use your recollection of the show in the book, or if you want, write one exclusive to the book! If you are interested please email me. 🙂


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