Archive for the ‘Bay City Rollers’ Category

David Cassidy Once in a Lifetime tour Newcastle 2005

Once in a Lifetime Tour featuring David Cassidy; David Essex; The Osmonds and Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers
I have come to the end of coverage of the letter C in my blogging on past concert experiences, (unless I have forgotten any, which is always possible) and will finish things with another guilty pleasure concert. This was, I think, the first “Once in a Lifetime” tour, which has now become an annual event (is there some bizarre logic there?). This show featured four legends from the seventies in concert together. I must admit, it was the presence of David Cassidy that drew Marie and I along to this gig. We’d both enjoyed seeing him at the City Hall a few years earlier, and quite fancied seeing him again. I bought tickets as soon as they went on sale and we ended up with front row seats in the first block. The rest of the bill was David Essex, The Osmonds (minus Donnie and Marie) and Les McKeown fronting his version of the Bay City Rollers. The gig was good fun, with the two Davids putting on the best show in my view, and getting the best crowd reactions. Its interesting that the concept continues with this year’s show featuring David Cassidy again, with support from Leo Sayer, Smokie, and Hot Chocolate, all bands that I saw and enjoyed in the 70s. Maybe I should go along again…….

The Bay City Rollers Sunderland Locarno 1974

The Bay City Rollers Sunderland Locarno 1974
Another guilty pleasure today. In fact, this is perhaps THE most sad admission I could make in terms of my gig going. OK I’ll admit it, I did go and see the Bay City Rollers….. and I survived to tell the tale, although only just. Actually, I think the Rollers deserve more respect than they ever get. I once read an article which described them as part of the true origins of punk rock, a bunch of Scottish street kids who played music for kids like themselves, and I sort of agree with that. In the history of pop The Rollers are often seen as a joke, which I think is sad.  The Bay City Rollers played in Sunderland at the Locarno, just as they were taking off. It was probably in early 1974; when Shang-a-Lang was hitting the charts. They played on a Friday, which was a normal rock night, and a strange choice of billing. The normal faithful rock/hippy crowd, who went every Friday come what may, stayed away in droves, but I decided to go along with a couple of mates just to see what it was like. The ballroom was full of young girls and a smattering of skinheads. On any other Friday, I would have known almost everyone in there; that night I saw almost no-one I recognised, other than a handful of regulars who, like us, had come out of habit and curiosity. I couldn’t actually hear much of the Rollers set over the screaming, and the sound wasn’t wonderful. I do remember them singing hits such as Shang-a-Lang; Remember; Saturday Night and Summerlove Sensation (all from their first lp Rollin’) alongside a number of covers such as Be My Baby. Musically they weren’t great, but the way they worked the crowd was very impressive, Les on his kness at the front singing to the girls and all of the guys hamming it up. That was night was eventful for me for another reason. I was walking around the balcony when a skinhead came up to me and punched me hard in the face for no reason at all. I was dazed, and walked away; not very hurt, but pretty shocked. He was with a group, so it wouldn’t have been sensible to retaliate. However one of them came up to me, asked if I was OK, and explained that his mate was just edgy, and didn’t like guys with long hair. Just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I guess, but it did spoil the rest of the evening for me. I never did go and see The Rollers again, which is something I regret. From then on they played theatres and concert halls.  I guess my experience that night put me off going along.