Tag Archives: UK tour

1963 ➤ With The Beatles the day Kennedy was shot

Beatles, UK tour, 1963, Globe theatre, Stockton-on-Tees,  Beatlemania, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, CBS News, video, JFK, assassination, President Kennedy, Nov 22,

Beatles live onstage in Stockton, Nov 22, 1963: George Harrison at the microphone on the night Kennedy was shot

❚ WHERE? LIVE, ONSTAGE IN STOCKTON-ON-TEES. Count the simple Vox amps behind the band and note how one is perched on a chair! This picture was taken on Friday Nov 22 1963 at the 2,400-seat Globe theatre when the Beatles played the art-deco venue on their first nationwide tour. The band’s half-hour set during twice-nightly performances at 6.15 and 8.30 was supported by seven other acts with tickets priced from 6 shillings to 10s 6d, when a workman’s weekly wage might be £7.

Beatles, UK tour, 1963, Globe theatre, Stockton-on-Tees,During the first house in Stockton, England, the assassin’s bullets killed John Kennedy in Dallas, USA. At 43 he was the youngest man elected to the US Presidency and during the cold war era as the Soviet Union threatened world peace the hopes of the West rested on his shoulders. In Britain TV programmes were interrupted to break the dramatic news just after 7pm.

In those days we’d seen nothing as electrifying as the Beatles and while their audience at the 18th date on their first serious tour were discovering the power of The Scream, these fans remained respectfully seated throughout the show. Even so, personal accounts say the second house in Stockton was distinctly more subdued. Shocked by the news about JFK, Lynda Richardson, a fan travelling back to Redcar by coach, said: “No one spoke a word all the way home.”

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Also on this day the Fab Four’s second album With The Beatles was released on Parlophone eight months after their chart-topping debut LP and it immediately broke sales records. Lennon’s raw vocals barked fresh life and sexual danger into the Motown covers Please Mr Postman, Money and You Really Got a Hold on Me. With its eight original compositions, this was the album that moved William Mann, classical music critic of The Times, to write that Lennon and McCartney were “the outstanding English composers of 1963”.

 With The Beatles , album ,vinylEarlier in the year three Beatles singles had gone to No 2 and to No 1 twice in the UK chart and now another with advance sales of a million copies – I Want To Hold Your Hand – was racing up the chart to become the Christmas No 1.

This November, too, the Daily Mirror coined the word Beatlemania to describe the tour’s first gig, a phenomenon really triggered with the release of the single She Loves You in August. During the tour, The Beatles had also stopped the Royal Variety Performance – playing four numbers and watched by half the nation in a TV show of recorded highlights – when John Lennon famously quipped: “Will those in the cheaper seats clap your hands. The rest of you can just rattle your jewellery.” The group guest-starred on BBC TV’s flagship Morecambe & Wise Christmas Show, while their own Beatles’ Christmas Show was to run at London’s Astoria Finsbury Park for 30 performances (100,000 seats) featuring the Fab Four in comic “skits” with six pop acts in support including Cilla. By this stage the Fabs could go nowhere without a personal police escort. [See, How does a Beatle live? – at Shapersofthe80s]

Globe theatre, Stockton-on-Tees,

The Globe, Stockton, 2009: a glorious interior in art deco style

Today the Globe in Stockton, a small market town in County Durham, is a disused shell which is Grade II-listed. Built in 1935, its facade is enlivened with fluted plaster and the interior retains riotously colourful art deco features typical of the period. As a “super-theatre” the Globe hosted opera, ballet and an annual pantomime, together with touring variety, musicals, and pop concerts by Tommy Steele, the Rolling Stones, Searchers, Seekers, Billy J Kramer, Herman’s Hermits, Animals and Swinging Blue Jeans. It closed as a theatre in 1975, eked out the role of bingo hall until 1996 and then closed its doors.

The Theatres Trust describes the Globe as “an excellent example of its kind” and it is one of 68 buildings on its At-risk register. In 2009, Stockton-based Jomast Developments Ltd announced plans to restore the Globe and recruited theatre expert David Wilmore to the task. He called the Globe “a real Sleeping Beauty”. Finally last month Jomast reported that the Heritage Lottery Fund has earmarked £4m towards an £8m project to transform the Globe into a live entertainment venue for music, comedy and other events, with a capacity of 2,500 and the potential to create 64 jobs. The new venue is likely to open in 2016.

THE DAY AMERICA’S CAMELOT FELL

❏ View The Beatles on CBS Morning News with Mike Wallace on November 22, 1963 (despite the erroneous date on the video), the day JFK was shot … In old-school TV style Alexander Kendrick reports grudgingly on Britain’s energetic threat to The American Way under the title, The Beatles, New Phenomena In Britain. Asked about the band’s future Paul McCartney says: “We could have quite a run.”

ANOTHER LEGEND IN THE MAKING

➢ At the Northern Echo in 1963 its young editor was Harold Evans, who went on to build the international reputation of The Sunday Times. On Nov 22, after putting the Echo to bed, he was being driven to Stockton for the annual press ball when news of JFK’s assassination came over the car radio. He immediately returned to his Darlington office and produced an entirely new paper. Evans decided The Beatles were worth a few downpage column inches squeezed into the Teesside edition only.

PHOTO UPDATES

➢ Ringo Starr’s lost Beatles photo album, Nov 2013 – “All anyone could talk about when we came to America was our hair. The boots were famous. The jackets were famous. The pop songs were famous, but they came in about third. The hair was first.”

➢ Fab finds: Never-before-seen Beatles photos, Nov 2013

➢ Five wild JFK conspiracy theories still troubling Oliver Stone

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➤ Reborn Alison Moyet lets herself off the mainstream leash

Robert Elms ,interview,album, Alison Moyet

No longer “a cheap date”: Robert Elms with Alison Moyet today

❚ ALISON MOYET HAS COMPLETED her eighth solo album, The Minutes, with Guy Sigsworth on production creating a whole new synthesised sound. It is released on May 6 on the Cooking Vinyl label. Today she talked to Robert Elms on his BBC London show about slipping into “electro-jazz” and being able to say No to merely doing more cover versions. “I wanted to play a bit.”

She surprises Robert by saying, yes she is a mainstream artist, but regards herself as an instrumentalist, that her first instrument is “a voice – I love chanson, like Brel or Michel Legrand. But as well as being a voice, I’m an artist where voice is not the main thing, it can be about the lyric or the melody. I don’t always want the voice to be the focus!”

Alison Moyet, the Basildon punk, high priestess of electronic pop and peerless soul singer, set out as Genevieve Alison Jane. An Essex girl born to a French father and English mother, she left school at 16, became famous at 21 as singer in Yazoo, and released her triple-platinum solo debut, Alf, at 23. She found fame hard to handle at such a young age, but hindsight has helped her appreciate those experiences. “For a while in the mid-80s, it was amusing to be a pop bitch, but that changed, and it stopped being enough. Now I am able to put my early work into context and find pleasure in the innocence of it.” Between 1984 and 1987, Moyet was Britain’s biggest female solo star.

➢ Robert Elms interviews Alison Moyet on BBC London 94.9 and plays two singles, 4 May 2013 (last half hour) – on iPlayer for seven days

➢ On video, May 15: Alison Moyet talks to Absolute 80s Martyn Lee about her new album The Minutes

♫ Preview clips from Alison Moyet’s The Minutes, out May 6. The first single When I Was Your Girl is on sale already

➢ The Minutes tour starts Sep 30 in Cork and hits London’s Royal Festival Hall on Oct 15, ends Oct 31

➢ Moyet’s comeback single – ‘my happiest studio experience’

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1983 ➤ A True romance aboard Spandau’s triumphal Thames riverboat

Spandau Ballet,1983, tour, Gary Kemp

Spandau over Bournemouth, 1 April 1983: Gary Kemp teases the screamers at the Good Friday show in the Pavilion Theatre. © Shapersofthe80s

❚ YES IT’S 30 YEARS SINCE Spandau Ballet scored their only No 1 chart hit single with True, coinciding with their epic “Spandau Over Britain Tour”. By May 3, True the album reached No 1, while the single remained at No 1 as well. The band’s official website is celebrating with a month of recollections from 1983 and asking UK fans to offer their own memories. Naturally Shapersofthe80s was there on the waterfront and has a few inside stories of its own.

The month-long tour ended in triumph at London’s Royal Festival Hall 30 years ago today, on Friday April 29, because True hit the top spot in the UK singles chart and the night before Spandau topped the bill on Top of the Pops – only two weeks after its release. After the London gig there followed a right old knees-up for friends and family aboard a Thames riverboat. As it cast off Shapersofthe80s was onboard and snapped a True romance as Steve “Spiny” Norman took to the dance floor with bass-player Martin Kemp, while Steve’s mum Sheila tried to muscle in. Here are our snaps, never seen before.

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The band’s third album True, produced by Tony Swain and Steve Jolley, had preceded the tour and was to yield several chart hits across the world, Gold among them. The tour moved on to Europe in the summer and to North America in the autumn, when Shapersofthe80s will have some wild eye-witness scenes to report – laters…

➢ May 1 update: all five members of Spandau Ballet have agreed to an individual ‘TRUE’ Twitter Q&A session with fans, according to the official Spandau website – Q&A sessions start at 8pm (BST) on the official Spandau Twitter account, not their personal accounts, as follows: Gary May 3, Martin May 6, John May 7, Steve May 9, Tony tbc.

➢ 30th anniversary interview with Gary Kemp
at UK Official Charts website

The Observer OMM Oct 4, 2009

The Observer OMM Oct 4, 2009

HOW IT ALL BEGAN FOR
THE ANGEL BOYS

➢ Read the story of Spandau Ballet,
the Blitz Kids and the birth of the New Romantics
in my feature at The Observer

➢ Photographer Neil Matthews, another friend of Spandau from their earliest days, has been celebrating with an exhibition of his popstar photos titled My 80s Through the Lens, at The Great British Restaurant, 14 North Audley Street, London W1K 6WE. All images can be viewed online and are for sale in limited editions printed on smart archival paper. As well as Spandau, his subjects include Bananarama, Blue Rondo, Bauhaus, Haysi Fantayzee, Malcolm McLaren, The Jam, Nick Heyward, Bow Wow Wow and more.

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➤ A pregnant silence over Bryan Ferry’s next tour

Jazz Age, CD, album,Bryan Ferry Orchestra, UK tour, dates
❚ CONFUSINGLY FOR ROXY MUSIC FANS a UK tour 2013 has been announced under the title of An Evening With Bryan Ferry, pretty much simultaneously with the release of The Jazz Age, an album played by the newly convened Bryan Ferry Orchestra. Familiar tunes include Virginia Plain and Do the Strand among 13 tracks which are all rendered as instrumentals only. It celebrates Ferry’s four decades as an icon of the music scene … Scott Fitzgerald described the sound of the Gatsby era as “yellow cocktail music” and, 80 years on, Ferry reimagines his best known songs performed by a swing orchestra from the Roaring Twenties. Vintage microphones and a bass sax in place of a double bass conspire to create an authentic sound, but without one breath of Ferry’s voice. “I am the Diaghilev figure, directing not playing,” he says. Whether next autumn’s 21-date tour will feature any vocals – or even require his presence on stage – is as yet unknown!

♫ HEAR JAZZ AGE TRACKS AT SOUNDCLOUD


❏ Includes recent Radio 4 interview: “I’ve been listening a lot to 20s music, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, early Duke Ellington. It’s quite raw, but very passionate and dynamic music.”

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➤ Le Bon takes wing during Duran’s return to Brighton

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❚ EXTRAORDINARY! IS IT POSSIBLE THAT Simon Le Bon’s voice sounds better than ever??? Even on an amateur concert video (above, posted at YouTube by Soralella71)) there was plenty of power and range to the tenor voice soaring over The Brighton Centre last night when Duran Duran opened with Before The Rain — all the more impressive since it was injuring his vocal chords that halted the AYNIN world tour in its tracks last May. There are 11 more gigs to play on this UK and Ireland leg of the tour, so fingers crossed.

➢ “Fizzing with the insouciant pop-funk of their most famous Eighties material” — today’s review at The Arts Desk

AUDIENCE VERDICTS AT FACEBOOK

❏ Corinna Scammell: Thankyou for Brighton — totally bloody marvellous and you did Secret Oktober!
❏ Lindsay Franklin: Bloody Brilliant Show last might in Brighton boys — it’s been too long! Last time I saw you was in the 80s. Even better now. Outstanding.
❏ Dan Thekebabman Burgess: Really enjoyed the show last night guys. Great job, simply amazing!
❏ Julie Stalford: Last night in Brighton was a fantastic night guys, thankyou so much, what a great great live band. Loved it.

Duran Duran, UK tour, Brighton Centre, John Taylor,video

John Taylor at Duran’s finale in Brighton last night: “That was definitely worth the wait. Thank you!” (Video grab from Soralella71 at YouTube)

A sentimental postcard from
John in Birmingham

➢ Dec 3: John Taylor on a DD family outing You can’t blame the Brum crowd for their sense of ownership of songs like Planet Earth and Rio, they were written in their back-yard. We have lived in a lot of cities over the years and there have been a lot of places I have called home for a time, but you know, there’s really only one, and that’s the city of Birmingham. It beget us and it made us. Thanks to it for a great night. / Read more online

➢ Ten killer DD vids to say welcome back to the UK

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