Sunday, July 29, 2007


A decade which started with Rolf Harris at number one with "Two Little Boys" and finished with Pink Floyd's "Another brick in the wall" at number one, this was a decade of change, from "Glam Rock" to "Disco" to "Punk" this was a fast-moving ever-eventful ten years. Being a teenager in that decade brought many difficult choices; did you keep loyal to "Blue Peter" and John Noakes, Peter Purvis and the homely Valerie Singleton or desert to "Magpie" for the only reason of Jenny Hanley? Singles compilations also threw you into despair; did you spend your pocket money on the latest Ronco or K-Tel 33rpm? decisions, decisions. After reading your "Look-In" magazine, we watched 'Top of the Pops' (falling madly in love with Suzi Quatro, Debbie Harry and Agnetha of Abba) while eating our Cadbury Curly-whirly, which was soon to be relegated for the manly Yorkie Bar. During the 70's, bands seemed to enjoy themselves more, Slade, Mud and Wizzard always appeared to enjoy what they were doing, unlike today's seemingly miserable millionaire "Boy Bands". Had we lived in the PC-Age we live in now, then Chuck Berry's number one in 1972, "My-Ding-a-Ling" would no doubt have been banned, long before it had seen the light of the October day it was released. It was also a time when in the school playground we all wanted to be "The Leader of the gang, I am" sadly if we only knew then what we know now, then thousands of posters would have been ripped off the wall. Now we have downloads and iPods, in the seventies we had a choice of cassettes or cartridges, cartridges like Betamax videos quickly dieing a death. Saturday mornings always brought a trip to Leeds city centre and a visit to Debenhams, the reason, a look through their box of ex-chart 45's at 5p each or 5 for 20p, I bought such classics as Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" on a sunny April day and, possibly, now a rare "45", of Yorkshire show-jumper Harvey Smith singing "True Love". The record labels at the time included a picture of a sailing ship on the RAK (Suzi Quatro ) label, while other labels of the time were, Magnet (Alvin Stardust), Epic (ABBA), Bell (Gary Glitter), Chrysalis (Blondie), Vertigo (Thin Lizzy) and Harvest (Pink Floyd), The Radio One top forty gave us the chance to test the dexterity of our fingers as we compiled our own favourite chart compilation cassette, without having any inane comment from the host of the time. Were the seventies a happy, unique and innovative decade, or am I looking at the ten years through rose-tinted wire NHS spectacles?

Saturday, July 21, 2007


With its various shades of orange décor and the postcard lined beams, Sandinista has a feel all of its own. It is very easy to see why this is a popular and award-winning Leeds venue, the candle-holding spirit bottles also added to a unique atmosphere. When I visited the venue for the first time, it was to see a solo performance from Gary Stewart, who enhanced the relaxed feel within the crowd. A classic 35 minute set included GS favourites, Ballerina, Travellers Jingle and Wasted Time. Sandinista is becoming an increasingly respected venue, as it continues to promote the local music-scene and will no doubt be winning awards for years to come.

Friday, July 13, 2007


This web site started 2007 extolling the virtues of the Australian rock band, Headfirst, as the best live rock band doing the local venues. Six months on, and we see a band from Bedale called Whitefire, who are challenging for that crown. Thier gig at the Duck & Drake recently had more "air guitars" on show than at any other time over the past two years. Intwining classic rock from, Whitesnake, AC-DC, Thin Lizzy, Queen and many more, and their own quality compositions, this was a rock night with "clout." With a rawness of energy, a smoothness of performance and a music maturity beyond their years, this was a gig to be remembered.

When "The Boys Are Back in Town" hit Leeds again, make sure its pencilled in your diary and underlined many many times.

A review of Headfirst appears in the e-magazine Keeping The Music Live

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Due to its warm friendly feel and welcoming atmosphere, a visit to the Bridge Tavern, Bowling Old Lane in Bradford, is a pleasant step back in time. Surrounded by wall to wall sporting memorabilia, including many Boxing photographs, South Yorkshire Rock band “Vamp”, punched well above their weight with a stirring performance, of both their own titles and classic renditions from, Free, The Who, Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones and Dylan. At times with a Daltry-esque delivery, this was another performance of the highest musical consistency, from one of the regions most acclaimed bands. A venue and a band definitely to checked out.