“went to Oval pop festival – E.L.P + Focus absolutely brilliant. W.A. not bad. Argent, Genesis – shit / Cort 9.47 /
So what – 36 years later – can I remember of my first ever rock gig?
Actually – and maybe surprisingly – this Oval gig was my one and ONLY rock “festival”, but very much my induction into the “bigger leagues” of music.
I’d love, simply LOVE, to be able to write a long, lengthy piece about the day, reporting that I can clearly remember every nuanced moment, every guitar solo, everything the crowd chanted out or sung along to and the track listing of every act.
But as regular readers will have realised by now realised, this is about as likely as George W Bush admitting he stole the 2000 Presidential election.
Instead I give you these, the very briefest of memories about the day….
• Graham, Trev & I sat on the grass left of centre to the stage about half-way back.
• In those days there were no video screens so what we could see was, let’s say, minimal
• I remember Peter Gabriel coming out at one point with the big flower head
• Fudd was a made up group. They didn’t exist. Mainly to hide the fact that Cream bassist Jack Bruce was going to appear as a surprise guest performer in a lengthy jam session alongside Focus’ Thijs Van Leer and Jan Akkerman. Many people around us thought it was great. I thought it was self-indulgent rambling shit.
• ELP had two huge mammoth armadillo-style tanks at each side of the stage which breathed smoke and fire during the band’s performance.
• Keith Emerson stabbed his keyboard with knives.
• Wishbone Ash were more entertaining than I imagined
E.L.P + Focus absolutely brilliant. W.A. not bad. Argent, Genesis – shit = My succinct review of the day’s proceedings
I took no photos and can remember little else. Which is quite sad – in many ways – for an event that really DID have such an effect on my life then, and later.
An extensive search online yielded one solitary image taken by someone else at the show…
Plus I found tracklistings for Genesis’ set…
• The Knife
• Fountain of Salmacis
• Get ’em out by Friday
• Watcher of the Skies
• The Return of the Giant Hogweed
and Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s…
• Endless Enigma
• The Sheriff
• Take a Pebble
• Lucky Man
• Piano Improv
• Take a Pebble
• Pictures At An Exhibition
Isn’t it strange that I can recall little else? You’d think that something so important to me at the time would stick in my memory, but perhaps my mind was somehow on other matters like “How do I get to the loo?” and “Will we catch the train home?” to truly relax and soak up the atmosphere?
I needn’t have worried about missing the train as “cort 9:47” attests.