Archive for the ‘Pop Group’ Category

Patti Smith in 1978 at Reading Festival (27th Aug) & Newcastle City Hall (29th Aug)

Patti Smith in 1978 at Reading Festival (27th Aug) & Newcastle City Hall (29th Aug)
pattiflyer1Patti Smith is a force of nature; outspoken, compelling, authentic, passionate, kooky, arty, funny, challenging, cheeky and the craziest rock ‘n’ roll anti-star to arrive on the scene during the late ’70s. She exploded out of the new wave movement, but there was always much more to her than punk rock. Patti wears her rock and pop influences on her sleeve, and her music owes as much to The Who, The Stones and Dylan as it does to the Pistols and The Ramones.
I first saw her live in 1978, twice in three days; on a Sunday night closing the Reading Rock Festival, and then again onTuesday at Newcastle City Hall. Patti had just been in the UK singles charts with “Because the Night” which she co-wrote with Bruce Springsteen, and which reached No. 5.
Patti closed the 1978 Reading Festival, headlining the Sunday which also featured Ian Gillan, Tom Robinson and Foreigner. She was amazing and had the whole crowd with her as she stormed, screamed and snarled “Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger”, tore into “Gloria”, “Because the Night” and sanf great covers of the Byrds’ “So You Want to Be (A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star)” and the Who’s “My Generation”. Stunning.
pattiplectrum I have a “Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger” plectrum which Patti threw into the crowd at Reading. I scrabbled around the ground, in the mud for it, after she threw a handfull into the crowd.
Set list; 27th August 1978, Reading Festival
Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger, Privilege (Set Me Free), Redondo Beach, Free Money, Ghost Dance, It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World, So You Want to Be (A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star), Ask the Angels, 25th Floor, Because the Night, Gloria, You Light Up My Life, My Generation, Godspeed
I saw Patti two days later concert at Newcastle City Hall and she was equally as electric. Support came from The Pop Group. The set was slightly longer than her Reading performance. The last song was a wonderful performance of the Stones’ “Time is on my Side”. I have a flyer from the City Hall concert, the front (see above) has a picture of Patti saluting, “78 Speed…(?) and “r.e.f.m.” (Radio Ethiopia Field Marshall ?), and some other words I can’t quite make out. The back (see below) includes some egyptian hieroglyphics and a copy of the lyrics of “Ghost Dance” in Patti’s own hand.
“What is it children
That falls from the sky
Ti Yi
Ti Ya
Ti Ye Yi-Yi.

Mana from Heaven
of the most high
food from the father
Ti Ya
Ti Yi”

Set list, 29th August 1978, City Hall, Newcastle
Godspeed, Till Victory, Privilege (Set Me Free), Kimberly, Redondo Beach, Space Monkey, High On Rebellion/25th Floor, It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World, So You Want to Be (A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star), Pumping (My Heart), Because the Night, Radio Ethiopia, Babelogue, Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger, Gloria, My Generation, Time Is on My Side

Public Image Ltd, Creation for Liberation Benefit Gig, Manchester Belle Vue, 23rd February 1979

Public Image Ltd, Creation for Liberation Benefit Gig, Manchester Belle Vue, 23rd February 1979
pil79This was Public Image Ltds 5th gig, and their first in the North of England. I’d been a massive Pistols fan, having seen them twice in 1976 and 1977, so I was looking forward to this one. I’d bought their first album, and found it quite strange and rather disconcerting, it was so different to the Sex Pistols. Marie and I went to the concert which was in the massive Kings Hall our at Belle Vue Manchester. We drove down and stayed at a hotel in the city centre (the Portland I think).
The concert was entitled ‘Creation for Liberation’ and was a benefit gig in aid of the ‘Race Today Friendly Society’. Also on the bill were Bristol’s The Pop Group (punky/jazzy/art-rock), Merger (a great reggae band), and poets Linton Kwesi Johnson and John Cooper Clarke. We arrived early to see all the bands. I remember seeing a lot of people from the Manchester punk scene; a couple of members of the Buzzcocks were in the crowd. Everyone had turned out to see what John’s new band was like. I remember both dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson (“England is a bitch’ was a stand-out) and local hero John Cooper Clarke (super fast) going down well, and then there was a long wait for PIL. Pil_ButtonThe line-up of PIL was: John Lydon (vocals), Keith Levene (guitar); Jah Wobble (bass) and Eddie Edwards (from the Vibrators sitting in on drums for this one gig). There was a long, cold, ait before PIL came on stage. When they did, they wandered on and Lydon famously said to the waiting crowd, “No gimmicks, no theatre, just us. Take it or leave it”. They then launched into ‘Theme’ and played a set which featured songs from their first album, and the controversial Pistols songs ‘Belsen Was A Gas’ (this was the last time that PIL would ever perform the song, and the last time that it was performed live until the Pistols played it again during their reunion tour in 2002). The sound was poor and murky and you couldn’t hear Lydon’s vocals very well at all. John was as scary and engaging as ever, but overall the band’s performance was a little shaky, and lacking the power and depth that PIL can achieve on a good night. I was hoping we would get a Pistols hit for the encore (I should have known that was never going to happen), but they simply played ‘Annalisa’ again. It was great to see Lydon on stage again, and in a strange way, this was a memorable concert. It represented everything that PIL was about at the time: challenging, strange, not quite what you would expect, noisy and discordant.
Set List: Theme; Annalisa; Low Life; Religion; Attack; Belsen Was A Gas; Public Image; Annalisa
Thanks to Paul B. Toman for allowing the use of his image of the PIL button badge through the Wikimedia Commons licence agreement.