Wishbone Ash Newcastle Odeon 10th October 1974

Wishbone Ash Newcastle Odeon 10th October 1974
wishbone74tixTed Turner was replaced by Laurie Wisefield, who had been in Home. Andy Powell had seen Home in New York and was impressed by Laurie’s guitar work, so when Ted Turner announced his departure he seemed the obvious replacement. Laurie was to stayed with Wishbone Ash for 12 years. I’d seen Laurie in Home, and knew that he was an excellent guitarist. I could also some similarities between the melodic rock music of Home and Wishbone Ash, so I thought that he would fit well with the band. With Laurie fully onboard, Wishbone ash decamped to America and recorded “There’s the Rub”, which was their fifth studio album, the title coming from Shakespeare’s Hamlet; “To sleep—perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub.” The album contains a number of tracks which would become live favourites including “F.U.B.B.” (which caused controversy because of the acronym’s meaning: “F***ed Up Beyond Belief”), the haunting ballad “Persephone”, and “Lady Jay” which was based on the Dartmoor folk legend of “Kitty Jay”.
Wishbone Ash toured the UK in Autumn 1974, calling at Newcastle Odeon on 10th October to play to a sold out theatre. I went with my mate Norm. We had bought tickets late, perhaps even on the night outside and ended up with single seats upstairs in the circle. We watched the support act, local band Bullfrog, in our separate seats a few rows aoart. There was an empty seat next to me, so for Wishbone Ash’s set Norm sat in it, only to be challenged by an usherette shining her torch at him, when a guy arrived late to claim the seat, and he had to move swiftly.
TheresTheRubWishboneAshSetlist (thanks Mitch): Don’t Come Back, Silver Shoes, Lady Jay, The King Will Come, Warrior, Throw Down The Sword, Persephone, FUBB, Blowin’ Free, Time Was.
Encores: Home Town, No Easy Road, Where Were You Tomorrow.
Local blues rock band Bullfrog gigged a lot around that time, and were very popular in the north east. They featured Pete MacDonald on vocals who would go on to have chart success in the band Goldie with the hit single “Making Up Again”. Bass player Steve Thompson explains on his web site how they got the call for this gig: “On October 10th 1974 I got a call from our manager to say there was a gig going that very night supporting Wishbone Ash could I contact everyone and get the band together for the show. I rang round everyone including the roadies and we were ready to rock. When the call came in I had been dying my platform boots (well it was the 70’s) I fancied green but because of that call I had to turn out that night with one green boot and the other still the original cream colour. The show was at Newcastles Odeon Cinema, the one and only time we ever played there. This was before they split it up into smaller cinemas and was a huge venue.”
The next time I saw Wishbone Ash was headlining the Reading Festival in 1975. I’ll write about that tomorrow.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mitch on January 23, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I was at this one too. Wishbone Ash have always been one of my all time favourites having seen them in concert on 40+ occasions and this show was one of the best.

    Laurie Wisefield was a great fit for the band and the There’s The Rub LP would be in my top three WA albums alongside Argus and the first one.

    They played the entire There’s The Rub album at this show.
    The complete setlist was:
    Don’t Come Back, Silver Shoes, Lady Jay, The King Will Come, Warrior, Throw Down The Sword, Persephone, FUBB, Blowin’ Free, Time Was.
    Encores: Home Town, No Easy Road, Where Were You Tomorrow.

    I also recall really enjoying support band Bullfrog’s set. They only ever released one record which was the excellent Free-like single ‘In The City’. I have this and still often play it. I remember they also performed it at this concert.


  2. Posted by Neil Thompson on January 23, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Bullfrog did the TV show ‘The Geordie Scene’ in 74 – I remember watching it and they were incredible. The audio is online on their website and there’s a great Free type ballad on it – wish I could see it again (Never got that Goldie thing though – I was too much into punk rock by then!)


    • Posted by vintagerock on January 23, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      Yes I agree that Bullfrog were excellent Neil. I saw them a few times at Sunderland Mecca and Newcastle Mayfair. I also recall seeing Pete MacDonald singing in another local band called I think “Kip”. There were a load of great local bands around in the early 70s; Brass Alley, Lucas Tyson, Beckett, Fat Grapple all come to mind, and there were many many more. Cheers Peter


  3. Posted by Neil Thompson on January 23, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Great bands, Peter – saw Lucas tyson and Beckett at the Mecca. Beckett’s album is very different to most rock albums with the orchestration – it takes a lot of listens to get used to it – but after a lot of plays it really gets to you – the last track especially. There was a brilliant jazz rock band from Durham in the mid 70s – they were called Dexter and they had some great riffs – I’d love to hear their stuff again. All the best


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