Strawbs 1972, 1973 and Newcastle City Hall 23rd September 1976

Strawbs 1972, 1973 and Newcastle City Hall 23rd September 1976
strawbsMy mate Tony had the Strawbs lp “Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios” which we listened to endlessly. It must have been 1970 or 1971. Our favourite tracks were “Fingertips”, the epic “Where Is This Dream of Your Youth”, which still sounds great today, and (strangely) Rick Wakeman’s piano solo “Temperament of Mind”. I didn’t get to see Strawbs live until May 1972 at the Lincoln festival, where they played on a cold wet evening between I think Stone The Crows and The Faces. By then Rick Wakeman had departed and the line-up was Dave Cousins (vocals), Tony Hooper (guitar), Richard Hudson (drums), John Ford (bass) and Blue Weaver (keyboards). By that point their set contained classics such as “The Man Who Called Himself Jesus”, “The Hangman and the Papist” and “Benedictus”.
There was, and is, something unique about Strawbs music which sets them apart from many of their folk-rock contemporaries. Dave Cousins voice has a strange, other worldy, yet vpleasant, quality and their songs tell great stories.
The line-up of the band changed dramatically in late 1972 and early 1973, and Strawbs began to pursue a more rock/pop sound, hitting the charts with the excellent “Lay Down” and “Part of the Union”. By the time I saw them again in, I think, 1973 at Sunderland Locarno the line-up was Dave Cousins (now the only original member), Dave Lambert (guitar), Chas Cronk (bass) and Rod Coombes (drums). This was much more a rock band; Dave Cousins even wore a bright sparkling glittery jacket 🙂
The ticket here is for a later gig, in 1976 at Newcastle City Hall. By then the band were focussing more on playing in the USA. They called it a day in 1980, but soon reformed. Cousins, Lambert and Cronk continue to play today. I’ve written elsewhere on recent Strawbs gigs which I have attended, and pretty good they are too.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by David Wraith on July 21, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    I saw the Strawbs on the 24th February 1972 at Newcastle City Hall. They were supported by the excellent Jonathan Kelly. This was the days of power cuts and the concert was delayed until about 9.00pm. Dave Cousins and Jonathan entertained the crowd waiting to get in by playing some songs on the steps. I have Dave’s autograph on the back of the ticket.


    • Posted by vintagerock on July 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Thanks David Great memories I was a bit of a fan of Jonathan Kelly. The Ballad of Cursed Anna remains one of my all time favourite songs Cheers Peter


  2. Newcastle 1976 – my first Strawbs gig ….


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