Sorted out some old photos I’d scanned in from negatives a while back today. they were taken in August 1981 at Gateshead International stadium at a 2 day event called Rock on the Tyne. On the bill were Ian Dury above and Elvis Costello below. Also on the bill were Doll by Doll, the Polecats and an up and coming young band from Ireland called U2!
It should have been the second time I’d seem U2 but when they were due to appear at our university a few months earlier as part of the Radio 1 roadshow they’d pulled out a few days before the event and had been replaced by another of the bands appearing that day the Polecats. At one point we spotted a couple of the band in the back stage area and got them to sign our program, we then managed to talk one of them into taking the program over to the other two to get them to sign it too!
We only went on the Saturday mostly to see U2 I think. The bands we liked that were appearing on the Sunday (Rory Gallagher and Lindisfarne) we’d already seen. The stage was positioned in such a place that it faced the grandstand which was good from an audience point of view but created a nasty echo as the sound bounced back. The highlight of the day was definitely Ian Dury as Elvis Costello was going through his country phase and was as dull as dishwater compared with how he was when I saw him at Glastonbury a few years later.
I’m going to write some more about the day and dig out the program tomorrow to scan so I can send it to the UK Festivals website which currently only seems to have pictures from the second day on it!!
I was driving home tonight listening to the news on the radio and the reporter was talking about the start of the Olympic torch relay and said that it meant that there was 70 days to the start of the Olympics. This caused a huge smile to appear on my face……….because it meant that there were 71 days to the start of our holiday!!