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The Edinburgh Festival 1979


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The tale im about to tell you is all true . It's about me & my 4 mates & our first music festival at the time i was 21 the oldest of the group the other lads were all 20. One night in August we were watching top of the pops in High Pit Club Cramlington when one of the lads ask did we fancy going to the Edinburgh festival on September the 1st it was a saturday. The 5 of us said we'd go so one of the lads got the tickets we decided we'd have a quiet friday night & not go to the Town that Friday we used to go every friday. Anyway we met up in the club had a couple of pints & a few games of pool.

We then went over to the Burton House across the road for another couple of beers & to feed the jukebox. We all sat round a table talking about the festival. We decided that we'd try and get an early bus into town & the first train up to Edinburgh we had no idea were we were going in Edingburgh except it was a place called the Highland Showground Ingleston. A mate of ours from the club said there was a big market there on a Sunday & it was close to the airport. One of the lads was worried that he may sleep in the following morning we'd all had a canny drink when one of the group said "why dont we go tonight" slightly tipsy we all agreed. This was about 10pm the plan was we'd all nip home grab our tickets & get the last bus into Town then get the train up to Edinburgh at least we'd all be up there. We all caught the last bus into town & walked to Central Station we got the midnight train to Waverly Station in Edinburgh then the ticket collector to us we'd be in Edinburgh by about 20 past 1.

We all looked at each other then decided it'd be ok we have a kip on the station. We got to Edinburgh found a couple of benches in the station & closed our eyes the beer was kicking in & we all needed some sleep. After about 20 minutes we were woke up by 2 policemen who told us we hadvto leave the station or they'd lock us up gulp. We left the station not knowing were we were going we managed to ask a guy how could we get to Ingleston. He was pissed & nentioned something about a bus station behind Princess Street he was pissed but we took his word .

On leaving the station we found ourselves on Princess St & after going down a side street with no lights we came across the bus station it was deserted apart from a drunk  fast asleep on one of the benches in the station. We were shitting ourselves one of the lads read the bus timetable & worked out which bus we needed it was about 2 am the bus we needed didnt leave until 6:30 am we all stayed awake & spoke in whispers eventually daylight came & a friendly middle aged woman turned up we explained were we were going she said we'd get the same bus as her. 6:30 came & so did our bus we told the driver were we were going & if he'd tell us when we were there his reply was " Yes but you may be a wee bit early" what did he know he was only a bus driver.

After about 20 minutes he stopped the bus & said we were here. We got off the bus we were in the middle of nowhere about 20 yards away we spotted a high stone wall you could see some kind of sheds over the wall the place stunk. We looked over the road & there in a farmers field was a single tent one of the lads saying "that must be the campsite. There wasn't one person around to ask so we followed this wall around eventually coming to a big gate with a poster that said the Edinburgh Music Festival was on today it was about 7:30 when to our horror one of the lads read out gates open at 12:30.

What could we do we all had headaches were hungry & thirsty just then we saw a plane landing & we saw the airport in the distance. We had a plan we'd go to the airport use the toilets get some food & drink & be back to join the queue we'd be ok. We got to the airport just after 8:am we all got sorted toilet a bit of a wash some paracetamol & a sandwhich. We found some nice seats in the airport sat & drank our coffee & ate our sandwiches. Something weird happened we were knackered & we all closed our eyes for 10 minutes (or so we thought) one of the lads woke us up sayingvit was 20 to 12 we all jumped up quickly left the airport & walked back to the show ground our faces must have been a picture as we got to the venue as there was now a massive queue..... more to follow

Edited by trooper
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Continued ...

Eventually we get in inside it looks like big field with an old wooden stand around part of it with the stage up front & what appears to be a clubhouse btwvthe line up was

Van Morrison

Talking Heads

The Chieftains

Steel Pulse

Squeeze

The Undertones

The Cheetahs 

Something for everyone really anyway by now we'd recovered from our hangovers & were ready for some beer. We got in the queue & evetually got inside there was basically 2 tables selling the tinyiest cans of beer like tins of pop size. We all decide we'd buy 8 each we could always cojeback for more later .on. It was my turn to be served i asked for 8 cans of lager the old cow laughed at me & said i wasnt getting served & if i didnt get out she'd call security this happened to another 3 of the lads & she reluctantly let the 4th lad have 8 cans.

We went back on the grass & decide we'd have 1 can each & share the other 3 the lad he got served said he go back for more when we were ready. We sipped our beers they tasted great we drank up & our mate went for fresh supplies only to return empty handed the old cow refused to serve him this time. By this time Steel Pulse were on & everyone was dancing around having a great time.

Just then this guy came from nowhere & stood next to us he had long hair down past his shoulders & an impresive beardvto his chest (a hippy) the odd thing about him he was wearing a 3 piece suit shirt & tie & highlybpolished shoes he was carrying  a bottle of Bells Whisky we he proceeded to drink in about 10/15 minutes as the whisky took effect he seemed to go into a trance as was dancing like some possesed he the proceeded to take all his clothes off throw them down in a pile when he was completley naked then he dissapeared into the crowd & we never saw him again.

By the time Talking Heads hit the stage we heard people sayingvthe buses would be cancelled at 10 o clock there'd been a lightening strike called so with this in mind we all decided we would leave after Talking Heads we managed to get back to Edinburgh station & made the 9:00 train back to Newcastle then we had to run up to the Haymarket to catch a bus back to Cramlington. We all went home & met up in the club the following night when we toldcsome of our other mates they were pissing themselves laughing at us. I still went to loads of gigs at the City Hall afterwards but never went to another festival until 1985 when me & another mate went to see Deep Purple at Knebworth but thats another story for another day.

 

Edited by trooper
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6 minutes ago, trooper said:

Sorry lads i was never much good at comprehension 

No bother mate. 

 

How much did that trip cost all together? Also, why wouldn't the old cow serve you?

Edited by The Fish
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4 minutes ago, The Fish said:

No bother mate. 

 

How much did that trip cost all together? Also, why wouldn't the old cow serve you?

It cost about £25 altogether i think was was ticket for the festival & bus & train tickets. The old cow said we weren't old enough despite me being the oldest & the other lads being 20 i had a youthful looking face back then.

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Just now, trooper said:

It cost about £25 altogether i think was was ticket for the festival & bus & train tickets. The old cow said we weren't old enough despite me being the oldest & the other lads being 20 i had a youthful looking face back then.

£25 man. You couldn't get a taxi home from town for that now.

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Yeah i know,my first concert at the City Hall in 1976 was to see Dr Feelgood tickets were something like 80p or £1 really cheap back then my first pint of Harp Lager in a pub cost 16p if you went to a working mens club it was about 13p

My first full time job was working in a food warehouse in Felling in 1976 my wages were £15 a week for 45 hours. I paid £5 board & had £10 for myself i was minted lol

Edited by trooper
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2 minutes ago, trooper said:

Yeah i know,my first concert at the City Hall in 1976 was to see Dr Feelgood tickets were something like 80p or £1 really cheap back then my first pint of Harp Lager in a pub cost 16p if you went to a working mens club it was about 13p

It's crazy when you see some of the acts that played at The City Hall years ago compared to the size of venue they'd be playing nowadays. That was when a load of them were at their peak as well. Led Zep, The Stones, Bowie amongst others.

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25 minutes ago, Alex said:

It's crazy when you see some of the acts that played at The City Hall years ago compared to the size of venue they'd be playing nowadays. That was when a load of them were at their peak as well. Led Zep, The Stones, Bowie amongst others.

Yeah i agree i was one of the 1,000 or so that saw Guns n Roses at the City Hall in 1987  they closed the balcony off by the time they came back to play in the region at Gateshead Stadium they were the biggest band on the planet. I remember going to see  Rainbow for 2 consecutive nights in 1977 they didnt go on stage until about 9:30 as it had taken the road crew all afternoon & most of the evening to fit the Rainbow in the City Hall

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41 minutes ago, Alex said:

It's crazy when you see some of the acts that played at The City Hall years ago compared to the size of venue they'd be playing nowadays. That was when a load of them were at their peak as well. Led Zep, The Stones, Bowie amongst others.

Mayfair as well. Riverside for more niche acts or bands early in their careers.

 

I can't stand arenas or stadia. What's the fucking point? 

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1 minute ago, Renton said:

Mayfair as well. Riverside for more niche acts or bands early in their careers.

 

I can't stand arenas or stadia. What's the fucking point? 

Aye, just with the City Hall getting a mention but you're right about the others too. Totally agree about arenas and stadiums as well.

As an aside I was listening to 6Music yesterday and they played Hummer by The Smashing Pumpkins which reminded me and my lass of the time we saw them at the Mayfair just after they'd released Siamese Dream. It was a class gig. They were supported by the relatively unknown (back then) The Verve (who were label mates of Smashing Pumpkins iirc). We also bumped into a lass from our school who we knew from the year below who later became a model and went on to marry Evan Dando. When I worked it out that would've been 24 years ago ffs.

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I saw this young man upstairs in the Percy Arms in 1988 it was the Thursday before i was going to Donington on the Saturday the line up that year was Iron Maiden, KISS, David Lee Roth, Guns n Roses, Megadeth & Helloween i said to Tom's dad it's a shame he couldn't get to Donington on the Saturday as DLR's guitarist played a Jem Floral 7 stringer like young Tom. The story goes that Toms dad John took my advice they travelled to Donington on the Friday afternoon & arranged for Tom to play at The Moria Arms in Donington village apparentley Steve Vai's guitar technician was in the pub & took them backstage to meet Steve & the rest is history

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I've got Tom on my friends list on FB he was telling me he's just recording a new record for release in the new year. After falling out with the music industry he's now decided to record & start playing live. He's currentley the manager of a music shop in town.

This was Tom a couple of years after Steve Vai took him under his wing 

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