Archive for the ‘FESTIVALS’ Category

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Whoever said that the second chances are never good did not imagine that we would experience something like what is happening this 2020. With the whole world on pause due to the evolution of the global pandemic and with the live music sector holding its breath facing a summer without festivals, we can only look forward: towards 2021, specifically, the year in which we are going to recover everything that will be pending from 2020. So, we are especially proud to announce that the first names in the Primavera Sound Barcelona 2021 lineup feature a majority of artists who reconfirm their presence at the festival as well as the occasional very special new addition. A first selection of artists that condenses the spirit of the festival for an edition that is as long awaited as this 20th anniversary edition is, and that will be updated soon with new names, both from the 2020 lineup and new surprises. There is no doubt: in 2021, Primavera Sound will still be Primavera Sound.

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The Hold Steady were on a roll before quarantine, with a great new album and their sporadic weekend runs that are also always great, and since quarantine started, they’ve been releasing recordings from those weekend runs on Bandcamp and donating a portion of the proceeds to the venues they were recorded at. It’s a very cool thing they’re doing, and it reminds you how great of a live band The Hold Steady still are, but for today’s live video roundup we’re going back in time to when The Hold Steady were supporting “Boys and Girls in America”.

The Hold Steady are a band you really need to see live — they and frontman Craig Finn especially display a great deal of showmanship — and this pro-shot video really makes it feel like you’re right there with them, rocking out with all the enthusiastic fans in the crowd.

show from the Hovefestival in Norway June 26th 2007.

01 – Stuck Between Stations 0:59, 
02 – The Swish –
04:50,
04 – Chips Ahoy!
09:03,
05 – Hot Soft Light
12:22,
06 – Cattle And The Creeping Things
16:25,
07 – Massive Nights –
20:14,
08 – Party Pit –
22:55,
09 – You Can Make Him Like You
26:51,
10 – Multitude of casualties
30:39,
11 – Stevie Nix –
34:03,
12 – Same Kooks –
39:10,
13 – Hornets! Hornets! –
42:12,
14 – Your Little Hoodrat Friend
46:50,
15 – Southtown Girls –
51:28,
16 – Killer Parties –
56:20,

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No photo description available.

The number of artists appearing is pretty huge and features some bands that went on to become major artists in the latter half of the 70s and beyond, There were also many worthy artists such as Rory Gallagher, Humble Pie and The Incredible String Band, compared to festivals such as the Isle of Wight or Bath there were not as many big names that would draw fans from the far corners of the country to attend. The roof of the main stage consisted of  polyethylene sheets held up by a crane . A large marquee ( circus tent ) had collapsed and been abandoned. The people running the concession stands looked worried  and came on with the hard sell. The word was they would be lucky to break even . No more than 40, 000 people came and many of them did not stick out the full four days. The organizers were going to end up with a loss of 100.000 pounds., having forgotten that ticket sellers know a dozen ways to line their own pockets and that pass out tickets can be resold with ease.

Fridays nights lineup was a pretty spartan one , with no really big name bands featuring . This was perhaps fortunate as the smallish audience was on the receiving end of some of the worst weather . When Alexis Korner and band ( Peter Thorup , Ian Wallace, Boz and Mel Collins ) opened up his set was marred by heavy rain after only a few numbers. Alexis did not kick up a storm but Dr Isiah Ross who followed him, essentially a one man band – managed to deliver the goods . Buddy Miles eight piece band delivered a blistering set that was noticeable for the tightness of the rhythm section, Buddy Miles being complemented by Ronald Johnson on bass. Humble Pie (this was one of their 1st if not the 1st gigs with the new replacement for Peter Frampton, Dave “Clem” Clemson, from Bakerloo.) They were very good, too .The crowd hit the ceiling when they broke into “I Don’t Need no Doctor”.

Rory Gallagher played a very popular acoustic set featuring numbers like Pistol Slapping Blues and Going to My Home Town and this brought the audience to life, proving that given the right mix of charisma , good songs and fine playing the weather becomes irrelevant, Rory Gallagher who really knows how to handle open air playing , set some huddled bodies moving under the protective plastic  coverings

An audience of 25,000 showed up for Saturday, which would have disappointed the organisers. The poor weather continued to drench the audience , rain and high winds were battering the stage at times. The opening bands struggled to get through to the wet audience, huddling in their plastic wraps. The first ever performance by Roxy Music at a festival went pretty much unheralded , Steve Goodman received a luke warm response and even the great Albert Lee of Heads Hands and Feet could not rouse the audience to their collective feet. Even specially written numbers such as “ Great Western Shuffle ‘ did not bring them to life. The Great Western Express Festival was billed as the ‘festival they could not stop’ and was held at Bardney near Lincoln UK over the period Friday 26th May 1972 to Monday 29th May 1972. The advance ticket price of £4.50 got you four days worth of music including, Genesis, Rory Gallagher, Don McLean. the Beach Boys, the Faces, Joe Cocker, Monty Pythons Flying Circus etc.
Rory and his band headlined the first night and also were on again on the Saturday in place of Helen Reddy who apparently was pregnant and unable to attend.

Wishbone Ash were generally festival crowd pleasers , as their twin guitar attack gave them an extra attack. set was a reasonable explanation of why their Argus album. They weren’t allowed to do an encore due to lack of time but the crowd would have been happy to have had them back for more.

Rory Gallagher (replacing Helen Reddy who was unwell due to her imminent pregnancy ) played a short set as the opener for the evening session and once again , he did a sterling job . The Strawbs were next and they had a few sound problems which marred their set . Stone the Crows, minus guitarist Les Harvey, who had been electrocuted onstage a few weeks before in freak accident , were received rapturously by the audience. Let down at the last moment by Peter Green, who was supposed to take over Les’s spot, the band were fortunate to have recruited Steve Howe of Yes , who stepped in and did a great job at two days notice. One of the most poignant was Stone the Crows singer Maggie Bell. There had been many rumours about if they would play and who would be on guitar, even up to a day before there were rumours that Peter Green would step in. The most memorable moment was when halfway through the set Maggie dedicated the song “Fool on the Hill” in memory of Les, she sang the song with tears in her eyes and I have never yet heard anyone put so much emotion into a song. With Jon Anderson sitting in on backing vocals, Maggie Bell delivered a vocal tour de force, no doubt purging herself of the grief associated with the loss of Les through her impassioned performance. Rod Stewart and the Faces could not manage to top the Crows, they went down well, but reports say this was a show that was more or less going through the motions ( as many Faces shows tended to be in this era ).

Sunday was a bit better weather wise but during the night the folk tent had blown down and some of the acts booked to play there were rescheduled onto the main stage itself. The first highlight was the fantastic reception given to Lindisfarne , with half the audience apparently claiming to be from the groups home town of Newcastle. The bill toppers for the Sabbath were the Beach Boys and for them it was one of the more bulls eye success on this their best relieved UK tour ever. Sunday was the Beach Boys set ,They were going through their “big beards and hats” phase. They took the stage about 11pm and closed 2 hours later with “Good Vibrations” and “Caroline No”. Reclusive genius Brian Wilson was introduced but did not play with the band. Then the fans were stomping in the mud along with Slade playing surprisingly well live for a “pop group” Roxy Music, before they were famous.

Joe Cocker with the Chris Stainton Big Band – his first show after years of seclusion with alcohol and drug addiction. Everyone was waiting for Joe Cocker, the festivals closing set and headline attraction. But first a succession of medium rank British artists like Jonathan Kelly, Jackson Heights and Vinegar Joe. And then immediately before Cocker, came the group which for many people stole the show. Sha Na Na already pretty big over here, the British feel for nostalgia being what it is . The sun shone for a few seconds and the group had to do three encores.
Cocker
had already lost but it was made worse by the damp hour wait that preceded his set. He didn’t look thrilled by his reception , didn’t seem to care. He sang well, but it was his blasé attitude that largely turned off the audience.

Clive Palmer said The place was decimated by a hurricane the night before; it smashed up all the caravans so there was no accommodation. They put everyone on for half-an-hour in succession on the day we were there. It was all muddy. Typical disaster festival.’ Or, as the Lincolnshire Echo so eloquently put it on 27th May: ‘Festival fans fight wind, rain in pop swamp.

Hamish Imlach had been playing in Droitwich on Friday night and arrived at the site at 4am: ‘I was supposed to have a caravan to sleep in and had the paperwork to get me through the gates. Thousands of people were still arriving. I got through but couldn’t find anyone to direct me to the caravan, and ended up sleeping in the car with cement sacks over me until seven am. It was freezing and pissing with rain. I squelched through the mud to learn that the marquees had blown down, so we wouldn’t be performing but we would still probably get our money.’ However, the folk singers, the only ones with acoustic instruments, had a great session in the artists’ bar, Mick Softley going round all the big stars with a cleaned-out ashtray to collect money for their drinks.
At nine am on Sunday word came round that the acoustic artists would be put on the main stage. Hamish wasn’t keen. ‘I was talking to Clive Palmer and he said his group were going to go on the main stage. I said, “Ach, if you go on I’ll go on. We only had to do three numbers each anyway. I can do that even though I’m wrecked.” We went up, eleven o’clock on a Sunday morning, the start of the official programme, and there was a fair crowd sitting there. They were all pissed off; soggy, harassed by the police, ripped off by everybody. I chose the right songs, in the right place at the right time. I got three encores, everybody going daft, Stanley Baker shaking me by the hand and offering me a ride in his helicopter!’.

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The Who were scheduled as the second to last act (before Jefferson Airplane) to play on Saturday, August 16th. When they actually started playing it was already Sunday morning around 5:00. They played their exceptional Tommy album, a Rock Opera dealing with the struggle of a deaf, dumb and blind boy who later finds a cure and gains stardom with his messianic movement. The finale of this performance took place during sunrise which occured at 6:05 am, The story of a deaf, dumb, and blind boy who is cured of his ailments and gains stardom became a legendary performance. Although not an apex performance in the Who’s career, Woodstock helped solidify the band’s place in rock history.

In 1969 The Who performed most of the songs from “Tommy” with some modifications due to time constraints. During the set Abbie Hoffman took the stage and protested the imprisonment of MC5 member and White Panther leader John Sinclair on charges of marijuana possession. Hoffman was met with a few unfriendly words from Townshend as well as a guitar to the head. A clip of this can be heard the Who compilation “Thirty Years of Maximum R&B”. While Townshend has some rather strong words expressing dissatisfaction with the performance, it is still seen as a historical in the rock and roll world.  Townshend, angry that someone took the stage, yelled: “Fuck off! Fuck off my fucking stage!”, hit him with his guitar and sending him off stage again. Townshend then added: “I can dig it!”; And after the song “Do You Think It’s Alright?”: “The next fuckin’ person that walks across this stage is gonna get fuckin’ killed! [crowd cheers] You can laugh, I mean it!”  A 16 second sound bite of the incident can be heard on The Who compilation set entitled Thirty Years of Maximum R&B (Disc 2, Track 20, “Abbie Hoffman Incident”).

The lone highway that led to Woodstock was jammed with traffic, so the Who left the hotel early to play its Saturday night show. When the group arrived, word was out that bands weren’t getting paid; the promoters had decreed it a free show and stopped trying to collect tickets because so many people had turned up. The Who refused to go on until it received a cashier’s check, but all the banks were closed.

The Who have long expressed disdain for their Woodstock performance, and in a new interview, singer Roger Daltrey noted that a series of delays and equipment problems prevented them from playing until 5AM.

“You’ve got to remember, by the time we went onstage, we’d been standing in the mud for hours,” he told The New York Times. “Or laying in it, or doing whatever in it. It wasn’t actually that muddy backstage, but it wasn’t comfort, let’s put it that way. … That’s all you could do. Waiting, waiting, waiting. We were young, and life is a lot easier when you’re young. I wouldn’t do that show now. Sod that. I’d walk away from it. I’m joking. No, I’d walk away and come back 10 hours later.”

Daltrey said he has never listened to the Who’s set to reassess it with years of detachment. But, after noting it was the band’s worst gig, he still has vivid memories of what went wrong.

“It was a particularly hard one for me, because of the state of the equipment,” he said. “It was all breaking down. I’m standing in the middle of the stage with enormous Marshall 100-watt amps blasting my ears behind me. [Keith] Moon on the drums in the middle. I could barely hear what I was singing.”

While promoters scrambled to find money and the wait stretched out, the band found trouble, as it often did. The drummer Keith Moon and the bassist John Entwistle dropped acid and partied in the back of a station wagon with a pair of young female fans. The guitarist and chief songwriter Pete Townshend drank a cup of coffee backstage, and realized it was spiked with acid. When the singer Roger Daltrey took a break from his bottle of Southern Comfort to drink some tea, he, too, began to hallucinate.

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Finally, after a wait that totaled 14 hours, the Who went on early Sunday morning and played its new album, the epochal rock opera “Tommy.” Moments after the set finished, the activist-prankster Abbie Hoffman, also high on LSD, crashed the stage, and said, into Townshend’s microphone, that the focus shouldn’t be on music, but on the MC5 manager John Sinclair, who was in prison on a minor marijuana charge. Townshend, according to his memoir, “Who I Am,” “knocked Abbie aside” with his guitar. The crowd roared at Townshend’s act of non-nonviolence. After years of struggling commercially in the United States, the Who had found a way to establish who it was.

 

The Who have long expressed disdain for their Woodstock performance, and in a new interview, singer Roger Daltrey noted that a series of delays and equipment problems prevented them from playing until 5AM.

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