Archive for the ‘Arbre’ Category

Durham Dome Festival 1973 – 1980

Durham Dome Festival 1973 – 1980
chrisjaggerDurham Dome fest took place during the years 1973 to 1980. Several pleasant sunny afternoons and evenings were spent down on the Riverside Race Course in Durham.

From local alternative hippy North East zine Mother Grumble, which organised the Durham Dome fests:
“Durham Domefest 1st July 1973
So many people, magical music, listening in the sunshine, smiling, free.
And there was free music.
And there was lite and love.
Riding bureaucratic storms to do this together, so many people helped make this happen, and will again.
Policeman, friends, lovers, strangers all together down at the riverside.
Old folks, young folks, we’re going to grow and grow, help them who can’t come and do another show.
Contact Mother G to plan and build the next one, new faces, new bands
Loudest sound in Durham town, the people can never let the people down.
There are no words, we can all see there, we have all been there, see you next time.
Durham’s first free open air music for the people, by the people – it’s all too beautiful
Meet you at the next one.
And don’t be late.”

The festival would feature a host of local bands playing on a domed stage, with a few name bands joining in. I recall sing Chris Jagger, Jack the Lad, Isotope and Global Village Trucking Company play alongside Arbre, Hedgehog Pie, Steve Brown Band, Village (think they won the Melody Maker contest?) and Raw Spirit. Prefab Sprout played at one of the later festivals, and I read that Supertramp also played at one of the Dome fest, although I don’t recall seeing them. I went to several of the Dome fests, including the first, although I don’t recall which ones I actually attended.
I recall a real buzz about Chris Jagger who turned up unannounced and played on a sunny afternoon. It was at the time of his “You Know the Name but not the Face” lp, which places it around 1973. And pretty good he was too.
The Dome fests were happy friendly events; you would turn up, chat to friends and lie in the sun on the grass by the river, listening to some music. You never knew which bands would play, and that was part of the fun of it. Everything seemed so much simpler. Happy Days 🙂

Liverpool Express Newcastle City Hall 1977

Liverpool Express Newcastle City Hall 1977
Support from local band Arbre
livextix Liverpool Express were formed in 1975, by members of the legendary Liverpool 60s beat band The Merseybeats. They are best known for their two hits “You Are My Love” (which Paul McCartney once famously declared to be one of his favourite songs), and “Every Man Must Have A Dream”. I won tickets for this gig in a competition in a local newspaper. “You Are My Love” is a great pure pop song with beautiful harmonies, and was quite a favourite of mine at the time. newcastle festival1977 The City Hall was reasonably full for this gig, which was part of the 1977 Newcastle Festival festivities. Guitarist Billy Kinsley was playing his trademark Gibson Firebird, which the Merseys were well known for; in fact all three front men played similar guitars, and still do to this day. Kinsley rejoined the Merseybeats after Liverpool Express folded, and remains in the band today, alongside fellow founder member Tony Crane. Liverpool Express were quite well known for a short time, appearing on British television quite frequently; particularly Top of the Pops. As well as playing their own hit singles, I think they also played a couple of Merseybeat hits.
Support for the gig were Arbre, a local band fronted by brothers Phil, Peter and Paul Caffrey who have been singing together for most of their lives, and still do today as the Caffreys. Arbre were signed to DJM records, which was home to Elton John at the time. They were promoted as Britain’s answer to the Eagles, but split after a few years and a couple of albums.