Roxy Music Newcastle City Hall 27th & 28th October 1974

Roxy Music Newcastle City Hall 27th & 28th October 1974
roxytix74It was 1974 and Roxy Music were on a roll. Things were very different from the last time I saw the fledgling band perform at the Lincoln pop festival jamboree in 1972. In the two years that had passed Brian Eno had left the band, they had hit the singles charts with “Virginia Plain”, “Pyjamarama” (wonderful and one of my favourites) and “Street Life”, and were just about to release their fourth album. Eno had been replaced by local hero Eddie Jobson, whose violin virtuosity I had marvelled at when Fat Grapple stormed out local Locarno ballroom, and John Wetton was the new guy on bass, fresh from prog super maestros King Crimson. So all was good in the Roxy camp, and the band were truly at the height of their powers. There is a view that Roxy were never really Roxy again after the genius that is Eno left the fold, but it doesn’t hold water in my book. Yes Eno was a vital part of the early band, but the 1974 line-up was strong enough to stand on its own, and although Eddie Jobson may not have seemed as enigmatic as his predecessor, his musical skills are without question. I’d missed a couple of Roxy tours, and realised how foolish I had been, so made sure that I went along this time. They played two sold out nights at Newcastle City Hall. roxyprog74I went along with a group of mates to the first night, and we were so knocked out by Roxy’s performance that a couple of us decided to go along the following night and try and buy tickets outside. We succeeded, and this is one of the few occasions where I went to see a band two nights in a row (and enjoyed both concerts). Amazingly, I was in the same row of the stalls both nights. Bryan Ferry was at his best, stylish and cool, although sometimes looking a little nervous and uncomfortable on stage. And Eddie Jobson was simply brilliant. Oh and the songs: “Mother of Pearl” a beautiful classic, the dark brooding menace of “In Every Dream Home” which we thought to be curious, funny and shocking all at the same time, and the hits “Street Life” and “Virginia Plain”; the crowd went completely bonkers. By the last encore of “Do the Strand” the entire City Hall was going absolutely nuts, singing and dancing along. Great memories. Can I go back and relive this one please? 🙂
Setlist: Prairie Rose; Beauty Queen; Mother of Pearl; Out of the Blue; A Song for Europe; Three and Nine; If It Takes All Night; In Every Dream Home a Heartache; If There Is Something; All I Want Is You; The Bogus Man; Street Life; Virginia Plain; Editions of You. Encore: Re-Make/Re-Model; Do the Strand.
Roxy line-up: Bryan Ferry (vocals and ultra cool suaveness) Andy Mackay (oboe and sax), Phil Manzanera (guitar), Paul Thompson (drums), Eddie Jobson (keyboards, synth and violin), John Wetton (bass).
Support came from the excellent, under-rated and almost never mentioned these days Jess Roden, who was a great soul / R&B singer.

13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mitch on April 16, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    I was at the 28th Oct 1974 City Hall show as well as the Nov 72, March 73, Nov 73 and Oct 75 Newcastle concerts.

    The 1974 Newcastle concert was excellent and was recorded for the ‘Viva Roxy Music’ live album. Five tracks from Newcastle appear on the vinyl album which was released in 1976 – Out Of The Blue, The Bogus Man, If There Is Something, In Every Dream Home A Heartache and Do The Strand. The latter three take up all of side two of the LP and sound superb. Ferry even changes part of the lyrics on Do The Strand to ‘Eskimos and Geordies’ which receives a tremendous cheer from the crowd.

    I also totally agree with you Peter as regards Jess Roden – one of the best British vocalists of all time yet he totally slipped under the radar. He was promoting his debut solo album as support act on the 1974 Roxy tour. Roden’s set list at this gig was:

    Sad Story, I’m On Your Side, Feelin’ Easy, What The Hell, Live Love And Learn, Trouble In The Mind.


    • Posted by vintagerock on April 16, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Hi Mitch I regret missing the 72 and 73 gigs
      Now that you mention it I can remember Ferry singing “Eskimos and Geordies”. I think I have a copy of the live lp on vinyl. I hadn’t realised it was recorded at Newcastle(or if I had I’d forgotten)
      I’m going to dig it out and listen to it
      Cheers Peter


  2. Posted by jocelyn on October 29, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Remake Remodel came from the Newcastle gig too – listen to Jobson and Mackay doing their Blaydon Races solos while Ferry elected to big-up his solo efforts with the piano intro from Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.


    • Posted by vintagerock on October 29, 2014 at 11:23 am

      Many thanks Jocelyn Now you say it I think I can remember the Blaydon Races solos Cheers Peter


      • Posted by vintagerock on October 29, 2014 at 9:49 pm

        Hi Jocelyn Which album are you referring to? Remake Remodel isn’t on the Viva live album? Cheers Peter

  3. Posted by Tom on July 5, 2017 at 11:41 am

    The Viva Roxy Music release should definitely have been a double album.
    Bowie was a genius and, like many great artists, a bit of a magpie. Ferry/Roxy never get the acclaim they deserve for their ground breaking music . I love Bowie and the seventies was my era but Roxy (is it the fact that they didn’t break America) and their impact always appears to get air brushed out or diminished in the light of Bowie. They were spectacular then and their music still stands the test of time forty years plus after it was recorded. Nevr a truer title for a release Viva


    • Posted by olivier Swingedau on January 28, 2021 at 10:17 am

      Absolutely ! “VIVA” should have been a 2-lps album (Viva in Newcastle, Viva in Wembley I think). The sound of Newcastle is absolutely brilliant, never a bootleg !! I don’t know the deep truth of this story, but it is unknown to me (any band)…


  4. Roxy Musique will be playing this set list at Washington Arts Centre in October. I hope you can make it.


  5. Posted by peter mallan on November 8, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    i was at that gig on the last night best gig i have ever been to and i have been a fan ever since i was standing in front of the stage in front of ferry and the tv camaras kept roling past but i have never seen any footage of this show


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