Archive for the ‘Chris de Burgh’ Category

Supertramp Newcastle City Hall 14th October 1977

Supertramp Newcastle City Hall 14th October 1977
supertrampprogI first saw Supertramp when they played as support for Ten Years After at Newcastle City Hall in 1971. It was at the time of their second album “Indelibly Stamped”. The thing I remember most was that the album sleeve was quite controversial for the time, as it featured a picture of the tattooed torso of a woman, including her bare breasts. Apparently two gold stars were pasted over the nipples for the US issue of the lp. The line-up of the band at the time was Roger Hodgson (vocals and guitars), Rick Davies (keyboards and vocals), Dave Winthrop (flute, saxophone, vocals), Frank Farrell (bass) and Kevin Currie (drums). They played a solid set that night, but I’d gone to see TYA, and the truth is I remember little about their performance. I next saw them at the 1975 Reading festival. By this time the band had released “Crime of the Century” and were starting to receive major recognition, particularly for “Dreamer” which reached No 13 in the UK singles chart. I made a point of watching their performance that weekend, and was impressed by them. The band’s line-up had changed quite a bit by then with Hodgson and Davies being the only members remaining from the band I saw in 1971. They were joined by John Helliwell who as well as playing sax, flute and singing also took on the role of addressing the audience and cracking jokes with the crowd, Dougie Thomson (bass) and Bob Siebenberg (drums). supertramptix The next, and last time, I saw Supertramp was at Newcastle City Hall on 14th October 1977. By then they were a major band. They had released two more albums “Crisis? What Crisis?” (1975) and “Even in the Quietest Moments…” (1977), both of which were chart successes. They also hot the UK singles chart with “Give a Little Bit”. Support came from a new artist called Chris De Burgh. Their set is likely to have included: Give a Little Bit, Bloody Well Right, Lady, Dreamer, Give a Little Bit, Bloody Well Right, Sister Moonshine and Crime of the Century. I enjoyed the show, but can’t pretend that I was a big fan. Supertramp went on to even greater success with the “Breakfast in America” album and hits including “”The Logical Song”. I never saw them live again, which I now regret as their music has grown on me over the years, and I realise now how great a band they were. Supertramp last toured a few years ago, although the current line-up does not feature Roger Hodgson, with Davies and Helliwell now fronting the band. I really should try to see Supertramp, and Roger Hodgson, again if/when they next play.

Chris De Burgh Newcastle City Hall 1979

Chris De Burgh Newcastle City Hall 1979
I first saw Chris de Burgh supporting Supertramp on their Crime of the Century tour. I seem to remember seeing him as support act for a few other people, one of which was definitely Gallagher and Lyle. This tour was to promote his 1979 album Crusader, and the set featured tracks from this and his earlier lps. Highlights at the time for me were Spanish Train and Spaceman came Travelling. Chris found early success in South America and mainland Europe, before he made it big in the UK. This gig was, of course, well before his massive success with Lady in Red. Chris’ early albums feature some great song; he is a wonderful story teller, and quite under rated as a songwriter. Although it feels a sort of guilty pleasure to admit that I liked Chris de Burgh, and he was really good in concert in those days. I guess it doesn’t quite fit the “vintagerock” them, but this was a pleasant evening spent with a guy who has a bunch of good songs to sing. Those early lps are certainly worth checking out. I haven’t seen Chris de Burgh since the late 70s, although I did have a ticket for a recent concert at the Sage, but couldn’t make it in the end and sold my ticket.