Roger Chapman and Friends play Family, supported by Edgar Broughton 18 Jan 2018 Newcastle Academy

chapman tixAnother trip down  memory lane. This was Roger Chapman, supported by a band comprising of ex Family members and others, playing a selection of Family songs and other Chappo favourites. Add into the mix, my old hero Edgar Broughton as support act, and I was guaranteed a great night.

The venue was half full, comprising mostly old fans of Family. Now Family were always great favourites in the North-East, from the days when they played the Bay Hotel in Sunderland, Sunderland Locarno and Newcastle Mayfair in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I was lucky enough to see them once or twice in those days and pretty formidable they were too. Their music was a mix of rock, jazz and psychedelia; quite unpredictable and topped by Chappos tremendous searing, throaty vocals. I ran into a few old friends and had a good chat with them, which started the night off well.

800px-Roger_Chapman_-_Werner_Rennen_2018_03First up was the legend that is Edgar Broughton. I used to look up to Edgar as a role model; a fearless guy who stood up for, and fought for, what he believed in and what he was passionate about, which was freedom, socialist values and doing the right thing. I have seen Edgar many times over the years, and his spirit remains undiminished. The format has changed, the old Edgar Broughton Band is no more after a sad falling out with his brother Steve, which he sings about in a song that has the lines “We Were Warriors Together”; and how true that was! Now he sings solo with a batch of new songs; his passionate, emotional voice supported only by his acoustic guitar. “Out Demons out” is no more, the only Edgar Broughton Band songs being “Green Lights” and “Hotel Room”, if my memory serves me right. Sadly, several of the crowd talk over him while he sings, the unfamiliar songs raising polite clapping. But to me, who now recognises all the songs, this was a great performance by a great man.

ROGER SETTop of the bill was, of course, Roger Chapman and his band playing songs by Family; all well known by the crowd.We were treated to old Family favourites such as “Top of the Hill”, “Drowned in Wine” and the hit song “Burlesque”, closing with the wonderful “The Weavers Answer“. The encore started with my personal favourite “My Friend the Sun“; I am back in the field at the rainy Buxton Festival when Chapman and his Streetwalkers sang that song and the sun came out. A treasured moment; we all cheered the sun and all was well in the world for a few wonderful moments when the time stood still for me. The closer was “In My Own Time”. Chapman remains in good voice, as emotional as ever and his power undiminished. Everyone went home content. Happy days for ageing rockers. It don’t get much better than this.

Update on November 8, 2021. We found a copy of the set list upstairs in my “vault” of memorabilia (see image). I have no recollection of how I got this! Jackie thinks we picked it up from the floor on the way out. I wonder if we asked the guy on the mixing desk (who was directly in front of us) to give it to us? Anyway it remains a mystery. The abbreviated song titles had me wondering for a while but I eventually worked out that “sun” referred to “My Friend the Sun” and the others then fell into place. Anyway, it is nice to have and I thought I would add it to the post here. The encores don’t quite match the set list below, which I found on the Internet. Goodness knows which one is correct. They may well have deviated from the planned, printed, set list on the evening.

Setlist: Prisoner; Who Pulled the Night Down; Hey Mr Policeman; Drowned in Wine; Habits of a Lifetime; Kiss My Soul; Top of the Hill; Run for Cover; Processions; Hung Up Down; Burlesque; The Weaver’s Answer. Encore: My Friend the Sun; Shadow on the Wall / Shortlist / Toenail Dragging; In My Own Time

Many thanks to Frank Schwichtenberg for allowing his picture of Roger Chapman in 2018 to be used courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

4 responses to this post.

  1. Good review! Re Edgar Broughton, he played Club 85 in Hitchin a few years back – support to someone I cannot remember. He was again performing solo and, as it was a Saturday night with a proportion of the “mating crowd” in attendance, encountered lots of audience chatter. He stopped mid-song, politely called the worse offender out & carried on with a much more attentive audience. Handled the situation with great aplomb.


    • Posted by vintagerock on October 27, 2020 at 5:47 pm

      Thanks Steven. Pleased you like my review. As you will gather Edgar Broughton is a bit of a hero for me cheers Peter


  2. Great to read this, uplifting to know that back in 2018 Roger Chapman was still in fine voice. Family were one of the bands well loved by myself and the lads i hung out with on our estate. Someone would have a copy of Bandstand another would have Old Songs New Songs and between our parents stereograms and youth clubs we got to know most of their songs and saw them at the city hall. Edgar Broughton Band were always a band name on posters for the Mayfair and probably the kardbar too. I was of course to young to visit such places then .


    • Posted by vintagerock on October 28, 2020 at 10:40 am

      Hi Brian

      The kard bar; now you are bringing back memories for me. Is it still there? Yes Roger is still in fine voice. Best wishes Peter


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