Archive for the ‘Elkie Brooks’ Category

Elkie Brooks Sunderland Empire 1978 & memories of Vinegar Joe

Elkie Brooks Sunderland Empire June 4th 1978 and memories of Vinegar Joe
I have good memories of Elkie Brooks gigs during the period 1971, when I first saw here in DaDa, through Vinegar Joe, to the last time I saw here as a solo artist in 1978. The first time I saw Elkie she was in a band called DaDa, and was first on an Age of Atlantic package tour with Yes and Iron Butterfly. The concert was at Newcastle City Hall, and it was the first time I went to a gig at that venue. DaDa featured her husband Pete Gage, and her singing partner Robert Palmer and were a jazz-rock fusion band with lots of members and a brass section. Those three soon left DaDa to form Vinegar Joe, who I saw at Sunderland Top Rank (supporting Free; thanks for the reminder John), Sunderland Locarno, Reading Festival, Lincoln Festival and Newcastle Mayfair (on a bill with Chicken Shack if my memory is correct; which it may well not be…). Vinegar Joe were a class R&B act, and Elkie was tremendous vocally and in terms of her stage act. She was truly a wild woman of rock in those days, with swirling skirts and crazy dancing. By 1975 Elkiehad had gone solo and soon had chart success with Pearl’s a Singer and other singles. By the time I saw her again at Sunderland Empire, she was selling out concert halls across the country. By this point she was becoming a little middle of the road; however her live show was still great. I haven’t been to an Elkie Brooks concert since those days, and keep meaning to do so. She still tours and has become a national treasure. Writing this convinces me that I need to go and see her again soon. Thanks to John for mailing me the scan of the Vinegar Joe poster, which must have come from a Manchester University gig in the early 70s.