The CP Garden Parties, 1971-80. One for the old rockers?

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Ulysses
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The CP Garden Parties, 1971-80. One for the old rockers?

Post by Ulysses »

I heard a few rumours down the years about some fairly high-profile concerts being held in the Crystal Palace Park here in Sydders during the 70s. I was told they were held on the site that the concert bowl now sits on. It's not a very big site so I dismissed it.

A few years back I went to see Coldplay (I know!) at the stadium in the park and got to thinking, was this a wind-up? Were there ever any concerts? Is it an urban myth? Given how poorly conected Crystal Palace is I doubted it could have been anything more than a low-scale affair.

Wrong.

It turns out from 1971-80 some really big bands played at these 'Crystal Palace Garden Parties'. Sometimes they'd have up to 5 parties each year.

It turns out Pink Floyd; The Faces; Elton John; Beach Boys; Lou Reed; James Taylor; Bob Marley; Elvis Costello; Procul Harem; Leo Sayer; Eric Clapton and others played to large crowds.

So:

Why did it stop? Crowds were big and the concerts were attracting huge names. The actual sets were said to be pretty good also.

Anyway:

This is the good bit, I think. You can navigate through the years at the bottom of each page...and it's worth scrolling down to the bottom of each page as some pages have more than one concert detailed on them.

I wish I was old enough to have been there!


http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/Garden-party-71.html
CaptainCarCrash
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Post by CaptainCarCrash »

Proprer good job mate :D :D :D
CaptainCarCrash
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Post by CaptainCarCrash »

I really like the Floyd flyer with Mountain, Mountain were a great band and must have disbanded soon after this gig. Do you rember Weekend World with Brian Waldren? The theme tune was from the chorus section of a song called Nantuckett Sleigh Ride. Nantucket was a whaling community in the USA in the old days and apparently a Nantuckett sleigh ride is when you Harpoon a whale and it drags the boat while it is trying to escape.
Hence the following

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0JrV86EKCs

Sorry I highjacked your thread but I think that is a great story and makes for some interesting trivia.
Ulysses
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Post by Ulysses »

mikecg:

You haven't hijacked it at all mate. I'm glad of the further info. I hadn't mentioned that Santana was 'there' either. Santana enjoyed something of a revival back in the late 90s with Supernatural...

I'm not too much of a muso/concert goer but I did manage to see James Taylor [finally] when he played the O2 quite recently. He was fantastic. I did attend Coldplay in the hope of seeing what our neck of the woods could do and I was faintly of the hope that we would see more concerts there after Coldplay...

The O2 had other ideas.

I'm only 33 so only know any of this music from growing up in the 70's and my own efforts to get to know this era. By all means feel free to reminisce - I hope others can join you.
CaptainCarCrash
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Post by CaptainCarCrash »

I'm only 41 *Sighs* Ulysses and I suppose I'm too young really but the bands of the 70's are really important from a Rock guitarists point of view.

It's one subject few can argue with me about, well it's the only subject I really know I suppose ;-)
nork1
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Post by nork1 »

Ah yes... back in the day. OK, the 70's were a bit (but not much!) before my time but I did go to these:

http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/glc-festivals-1985.html

http://www.songkick.com/concerts/777749 ... alace-bowl

http://archivedmusicpress.wordpress.com ... june-1991/

...plus the sex pistols about 5 years back.

The 1985 anti-heroin gig sticks in my brain mainly due to the bizarre grand finale - Hawkwind (yeah, anti-drugs... right!), Spear of Destiny and half a dozen other 'not so mainstream' bands up on stage with Vera Lynn singing 'We'll meet again'. Strange end to a strange day.
Ulysses
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Post by Ulysses »

All I meant was to highlight I'm too young to have been there unfortunately. Neither of us are any age.

I think it would have been interesting to see our sanitised concerts of today versus their more relaxed affairs and to compare and contrast.

Is it better to be in a comfy corporate box mere feet away from Stevie Wonder [as I did but last year] and be indoors with a cracking sound-rig as he blasts all the hits out then nip to the loo during pauses between songs...all very pleasant, all very clinical

Or go to the gigs in the 70s and be rained on whilst fighting for standing room and hope to make out the sound. All of this against the backdriop of Elton John and Clapton being strung out on coke and Marley being as stoned as his audience...

Surely there's a happy medium somewhere?
Last edited by Ulysses on 9 Dec 2009 18:33, edited 1 time in total.
Ulysses
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Post by Ulysses »

Fantastic stuff nork1. I agree, here's hoping everyone was straight! There'd be a few nasty trips seeing Vera Lynn on stage with that Motley Crue (pun not intended).

It's funny the things you remember. Spirit In The Sky (original version) by Dr And The Medics is one of my favourites from growing up. And as for the Boo Radleys...they were named after the character from 'To Kill A Mockingbird'? No idea what songs they did though!
MartinH
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Post by MartinH »

I remember seeing the Beach Boys at the Bowl in 1972 and thinking to myself "God, if only Hendrix was alive". By the way, Spirit in the sky was originally by Norman Greenbaum and was a number one hit in the UK in 1970.
Ulysses
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Post by Ulysses »

It was a terribly wet day that day I believe? Their playlist didn't really go down too well in rainy England?

Do you know why they stopped the concerts come 1980 MartinH?
simon
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Post by simon »

I went to the 1980 show, which I believe was Bob Marley's last gig in the UK, possibly Europe.
Was a great afternoon with a very strong line up. The Q Tips were fronted by Paul Young and we knew them from the pub R&B/soul circuit.
I would disagree with Joe Jackson's set list on that site as I'm sure he played Different for Girls and Stepping Out. Indeed, when I walk my dogs there now I often imagine I can hear Stepping Out's wonderfull piano drifting over the water.
The other gig I remember very well was the 1981 GLC Only Rock and Royal show, on Royal Wedding day with Ian Dury and Sprit. I did laugh at this account http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/glc-festivals-1981.html where someone says: "There was only one slight incident when some young troublemakers were chased out of the site." What actually happened was that at least 100 NF skinheads ran into the crowd from the east side, kicking people, kids included, before a larger crowd chased them back into the woods. Again, I sometimes relive that moment when I'm up there as I found myself at the front of the chasing group and rugby tackled one of the Nazis, giving him a physical what for, before chasing the others out of the place!
Thing is; it is a really good place to hold such events and in these days of festivals all over the place its a shame there is nothing comparable these days.
Rebelmc
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Post by Rebelmc »

Well, I was there in August 1991, along with about 10,000 other people, to see Gary Clail and the On U Sound System, Big Dish, Squeeze and headliners Level 42.

Gary Clail got booed off (and set fire to the curtains) Big Dish were totally forgettable, but Squeeze and 42 were superb (apart from Mark King's leather trousers; not a good look!).

The other thing I remember was it was a boiling hot day and the smell coming off the pond was cruel!!!

By the time Level 42 came on, we had been reduced to sitting on the ground (my then wife was very pregnant at the time) and you could feel the bass lines through the floor. After my daughter was born, the wife would put her carry chair on the worktop, while she was cooking or washing up; whenever a Level 42 record came on the radio, she would stop what she was doing and listen intently until it finished, then go back to gurgling or sucking her fingers (the kid, not the wife :wink: ).

As to why the concerts stopped, I seem to remember it was for the same reason everything else has either finished completely or been severely curtailed; the local noise police got involved.............
CaptainCarCrash
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Post by CaptainCarCrash »

Trust local authority Plod to ruin it, one of my mates, a keyboard player and a really noisy git works for the council with the noise pollution people. His db counter is a good tool though. It's amazing really how few live music venues exist now due to extortionate license fees, a bit like pubs, they are a dying breed.
Ulysses
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Post by Ulysses »

Level 42 eh Rebelmc? I must admit Running In The Family is a bit of a favourite album. Seems during my early teens my Dad's tape collection in the car would stretch to about 3 different tapes...

Everywhere we would drive (and bear in mind we'd often drive back from mid-Germany to Birmingham to visit relatives) would be to the sound of that album plus Johnny Hates Jazz - Turn Back The Clock or Bob Marley And The Wailers - Legend.

I'd imagine Noise Police plus H&S would make for a much less enjoyable concert these days. Although I note they did try to reprise the concerts recently...2009 didn't seem to happen.

http://www.thebowl.org.uk/
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