Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Big bands, wee ( or just odd) gigs...and Fife, Kingdom of Rock!

This all stated with an emailfrom Sandy and Fiona Forbes, who comprise the moving force behind the excellent Kirkcaldy Acoustic Music Club.

Recalling the importance of the 1960s Island compilation album You Can All Join In (we had a 'sampler LP' thread running on the show last week) Sandy mentioned the stellar lineup of bands that appeared during the 60s at, of all places, the YMCA in Kirkcaldy:

I mentioned some bands including John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Peter Green was part of the line-up that played and also Mick Taylor who was with the Stones for a while.

Other great bands were Dean Ford and the Gaylords who became the Marmalade, The Pathfinders, The Writing on the Wall, The Chris McLure Section, Jimmy James and the Vagabonds, Rosetta Stone, East of Eden, Tear Gas with Zal Cleminson, The Stoics with Frankie Miller, The Groundhogs, Earth who became Black Sabbath, The Bay City Rollers and probably my favourite Rory Gallagher with Taste.

The Tremolos even tried a change of image and came as the “new heavy” Tremolos and we also had a band that didn’t seem to fit the “heavy rock” era in any way whatsoever, the Third Ear Band

Nazareth played their debut gig at Kirkcaldy YMCA having changed their name from, I think, The Shadettes. Days afterwards Nazareth shot into the singles chart.

Fiona recalled Robert Plant and the Band of Joy and remembers listening to the radio with Jimmy Young interviewing a lady caller who went on to say her son played in a band. “Oh yes, what’s the band’s name” says Jimmy. “Robert Plant and the Band of Joy” says the caller. At which Fiona’s ears pricked up because they had just played Kirkcaldy YMCA a few weeks before. We often wonder if Jimmy Young made the connection to Led Zepp.

Well, reading this out yesterday on the show opened the floodgates. Not only did Fife appear to have been the epicentre of Scottish rock'n'roll activity throughout the 60s and 70s, but there were som eextraordinary memories of incongruous band/venue matches.

Brian Johnstone mentioned that
I can vividly remember seeing The Clash and Richard Hell and the Voidoids at the Kinema in Dunfermline back in the 70s - I can still feel the globules of spit seeping down my neck!

But it was Brian Petrie who pointed me in the direction of the extraordinary kinemagigz website, a detailed history of the Kinema venue in Dunfermline (still functioning as Velocity) and the 10,000 odd gigs that have taken place there, including such luminaries as Jethro Tull and Cream. What on earth was it about Fife?

Thanks to everyone else who sent in their memories....there are some more still coming in!


Gordon said...

Just to add to Sandy and Fiona's list there was Ambrose Slade (prior to becoming the skin head era Slade), Clouds (twice) who were on that Island sampler and who were chosen instead of Free and my favourites at that time The Poets! Zal also performed with the Bo Weevils(sp)and Mustard! I remember Mick taylor on guitar but not Peter Green at the John mayall show band I think Andy Fraser was on base and other memebrs were Keef hartley and Dick Heckstall Smith. Sandy and Fiona do fantastic work for live music in Kirkcaldy. Cheers, Gordon Higgins, Staffin, Isle of Skye

Anonymous said...

Does anyone recall a local band playing in the YMCA in Kirkcaldy, early 70s called prism?