“ELP CONCERT – BLUDY FANTASTIC (Supp Group Biggles – Steve Palmer)”
So, my very first pop concert was Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends eh?
Apparently, they were BLUDY FANTASTIC!
This show was at the Gaumont Theatre in Southampton.
Built in the 1920’s and originally called the Empire, the theatre had a lively mix of films, stage theatre and musicals until the late 50’s when it changed it’s name to the Gaumont and became more of a variety venue. In the 60’s it let the ‘evils’ of Rock & Roll onto its stage, hosting concerts by, amongst many others, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
The stage didn’t always lend itself well to live shows, mainly because it wasn’t very deep.
That didn’t matter to the 14-year-old me. I was, again, amazed by the armadillo-esque creatures breathing fire from the wings, Carl Palmer’s massive drum set – on a huge riser – and Keith Emerson’s collection of synths, pianos and Hammond organs.
Just as at the Oval a few weeks earlier – and I have no doubt that band did the exactly same set – Emerson stabbed his Hammond with a selection of knives, rocked it backwards and forwards to create weird noises and basically took on the appearance of a long-haired caped madman.
With acknowledgement to the trivia fanatics amongst you though, I will tell you that the band’s lead singer was Gary Holton, later of glam/punk-rock worthies, The Heavy Metal Kids.
The same Gary Holton who was to appear as dodgy cockney carpenter Wayne in classic TV comedy series Auf Wiedersehen Pet.
I can find nothing by Biggles to share (maybe to your advantage?) but here’s a MySpace Page showcasing a few Heavy Metal Kids songs. Nothing whatsoever to do with my ELP gig in 1972, but still good to get a blast from IMHO!