Whitesnake Newcastle City Hall 26th October 1978

Whitesnake Newcastle City Hall 26th October 1978
whitesnaketix78Support from Magnum
David Coverdale embarked on a solo career in 1977 after the split of Deep Purple. His first solo album “White Snake” was released in February 1977. All the songs were written by David Coverdale and Micky Moody, who was also guitarist in David’s band. The album wasn’t particularly successful, but its title inspired the name of Coverdale’s future band, which was to come together one year later. In early 1978 Coverdale released his second solo album “Northwinds”. The band which was to be Whitesnake was already coming together. In June 1978 the “Snakebite” EP was released, which contained the Whitesnake favourite, their cover of Bobby Bland’s “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City”. Coverdale: “Originally I had no plans to actually record ‘Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City’…if you can believe it…a song that connects so deeply with so many that I still play it today, 25 years later.”
whitesnake78prog I first saw Whitesnake at Newcastle City Hall in October 1978. They had just released the “Trouble” album, and this was the first night of their first major tour of UK concert halls. The line-up was David Coverdale (vocals), Micky Moody (guitar), Bernie Marsden (guitar), Neil Murray (bass), Jon Lord (keyboards) and Dave Dowle (drums). Jon Lord had just joined. From the programme: “David Coverdale and Whitesnake – two names that have imprinted themselves on the British Rock media and the public in the last nine months….David Coverdale and Whitesnake left audiences and industry aware that a brilliant, yet deeply experienced new force had arrived on the rock scene.”
Whitesnake were heavy but soulful. Much more bluesy than Purple, but also heavier. Coverdale had an incredible voice; one minute he could be singing the most soulful gentle blues, and then he would thrust his head back, that mane of hair would sway behind him, and he would bellow and scream some of the rockiest songs to be heard on a concert stage anywhere. And with Jon Lord in the band, you knew that they had to play some Purple songs. Their versions of “Might Just Take Your Life” and “Mistreated” were pure class. “Mistreated” in particular was a tour de force for Whitesnake; particularly because of Coverdale’s amazing vocal performances of the song. But Whitesnake wasn’t just the David Coverdale show; this was a strong rock band with two excellent guitarists who both understood, and could play, the blues, and in Jon Lord the greatest exponent of the Hammond organ.
Phil Sutcliffe, reveiwing the concert is Sounds (11 November 1978): ‘Mistreated’: the most astonishing first line I’ve ever heard is Coverdale gathering into that bellow of “I’ve been Mistreated”: the sort of passion that whitesnakeredcarmitch78enabled Samson to pull down the Philistine temple; the song is magnificent and raw, an insight like an old roaster’s painting of a butcher’s shop, life as red meat; at the end Coverdale throws his head back and howls like a wolf and we roar at him; “You like the blues? Of course you f***ing do – all northerners like the blues and don’t we know it”. Whitesnake were incredible that night, and the Newcastle heavy rock brigade now had a new band to worship alongside Rainbow and Gillan.
I saw Whitesnake 10 or so times over the next 5 or 6 years and will write about those gigs over the next week.
Setlist: Come On; Might Just Take Your Life (Deep Purple cover); Lie Down (A Modern Love Song); Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City; Trouble; Steal Away; Mistreated; Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick; Take Me with You; Rock Me Baby; Breakdown.
Thanks to Mitch for his photo of David Coverdale and Whitesnake, which he took at an earlier concert at Redcar Coatham Bowl on 24th March 1978.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Whitesnake (billed as David Coverdale’s Whitesnake) also appeared at the Ashington Regal on 7/5/78. I remember stooping for a couple of pints at Ashington WMC before the gig hoping to bump into a Chartlon or two … As you noted, They were really bluesy, quite a change from Deep Purple. Mistreated was a real gem. Seen then a few times since, got tickets for later this year (my wife seems to like cock-rock for some reason, hmmm)


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