2nd April 1979 – On The Stage – one night only – NANA MOUSKOURI
This was Greek singer Nana Mouskouri’s first visit to Southampton. During the span of her music career she released over 200 albums and singles in at least twelve different languages, including Greek, French, English, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Hebrew, Welsh, Mandarin Chinese and Corsican. From 1968 to 1976, she hosted her own TV show produced by BBC, ‘Presenting Nana Mouskouri’. Her popularity as a multilingual television personality and distinctive image, owing to the then unusual signature black-rimmed glasses, turned Mouskouri into an international star.
Her appearance at the Gaumont was part of a nationwide tour to promote her new album named Roses and Sunshine. This album consisted largely of folk and country material, and included work from sources including Neil Young, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan and John Denver. It was well received and one of the album’s tracks, “Even Now” (not the same song as the 1978 Barry Manilow hit), became a staple on beautiful music radio stations in the United States.
3rd April – for one night only – DAVID ESSEX
DAVID ESSEX– the 31 year old star was making his third visit to the Gaumont. He had just completed his contract at London’s Prince Edward Theatre where he had played Che in premiere production of Evita, opposite Elaine Paige. He was now promoting his new album ‘Imperial Wizard’ which would reach number 12 in the album charts.
4th April – on the screen – JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR – for one day only – a rerun of the 1973 Universal produced American musical drama film directed by Norman Jewison and co-written by Jewison and Melvyn Bragg based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice rock opera of the same name. The film originally screened at Southampton’s ABC Cinema and features a cast of Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson, Yvonne Elliman, Barry Dennen, Bob Bingham, and Kurt Yaghjian, centres on the conflict between Judas and Jesus during the week before the crucifixion of Jesus.
Neeley and Anderson were nominated for two Golden Globe Awards in 1974 for their portrayals of Jesus and Judas, respectively. Although it attracted criticism from some religious groups, reviews for the film were positive.
5th April – TOM ROBINSON BAND
Live on stage – for one night only – TOM ROBINSON BAND, a British rock band, established in 1976 by singer, songwriter and bassist Tom Robinson. The band’s debut single “2-4-6-8 Motorway” was a top five hit on the UK Singles Chart in 1977, and their third single, “Up Against the Wall”, is seen by some as a classic punk rock single; while their début album, Power in the Darkness (1978), is regarded as a definitive late Seventies punk album. This was the band’s only appearance at this theatre and the tour coincided with the release of their second album ‘TRB Two’.
Support band were Straits
6th April – THE SPINNERS
Live on stage – for one night only – The Spinners, a folk group from Liverpool, England, that formed in September 1958. The group was unusual for its time in having a multiracial membership. They had four albums in the UK Albums Chart between September 1970 and April 1972. They produced over forty albums, and made numerous concerts and TV appearances. In 1970, they were given their own television show on BBC One that ran for seven years. They also had their own show on BBC Radio 2.
This was their second of five one night appearances at the Gaumont before they retired in 1988, after thirty years together.
7th April – KATE BUSH
Live on stage – one night only – KATE BUSH – an English singer, songwriter, and record producer. Her first album, The Kick Inside was released when Bush was 19, with some songs written when she was as young as 13. EMI originally wanted the more rock-oriented track “James and the Cold Gun” to be her debut single, but Bush, who already had a reputation for asserting herself in decisions about her work, insisted that it should be “Wuthering Heights” and with it she became the first female artist to achieve a UK number one with a self-written song. At the time of her concert at the Gaumont, her second single, “The Man with the Child in His Eyes”, had reached number six in the UK charts and made it onto the American Billboard Hot 100. It went on to win her an Ivor Novello Award in 1979 for Outstanding British Lyric. Bush was the first female artist in pop history to have written every track on a million-selling debut album.
8th April – 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA
On the screen – for 2 weeks (except 11th, 12th, 13th and 19th) – A holiday revival of 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA – a 1954 American Walt Disney Technicolor adventure film and the first science fiction film shot in CinemaScope. The film was personally produced by Walt Disney through Walt Disney Productions, directed by Richard Fleischer, and stars Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas and Peter Lorre. It was also the first feature-length Disney film to be distributed by Buena Vista Distribution. The film is adapted from Jules Verne’s 19th-century novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
The film was a critical and commercial success, being especially remembered for the fight with a giant squid, and Mason’s definitive performance as the charismatic anti-hero Captain Nemo. It won two Academy Awards for Best Art Direction and Best Special Effects.
11th April – ELTON JOHN
On the stage – for 2 nights – ELTON JOHN started out by writing songs for other artists, including Lulu, and by working as a session musician for artists, such as the Hollies and the Scaffold. In 1969, he released his debut solo album, Empty Sky and then In 1970, John’s first hit single “Your Song”, from his second album, reached the top ten in the UK and the US.
By 1979 and his second visit to the Gaumont 32 year old Elton John was promoting his new album, his thirteenth studio based disco-influenced, Victim of Love. The album is the shortest of Elton John’s career, and is atypical of his recording career in several respects. He neither wrote the songs nor played piano or keyboards, only providing the vocals. It was his first album without any of his original band members; the album was poorly received – but these two nights were total sell-outs and were considered as ‘warm-ups’ for his historic concert the following month at the Rossia Concert Hall in Moscow in the Soviet Union.
13th April – WRESTLING SPECTACULAR
Live – one night only – another promotion from Dale Martin. This evening’s event featured the latest craze, tag wrestling. Two of Britain’s biggest wrestling stars were featured, Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks.
19th April – MARTY ROBBINS
On the stage – one night only – MARTY ROBBINS, an American singer, songwriter, actor, multi-instrumentalist, and racing driver. One of the most popular and successful country and western singers of all time for most of his near four-decade career. Robbins often topped the country music charts, and several of his songs also had crossover success as pop hits. Robbins was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1975. For his contribution to the recording industry, Robbins has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6666 Hollywood Boulevard. This was his second visit to the Gaumont.
The support bill included Nancy Peppers who was Born In Scotland but by 1974 she’d relocated to Nashville TN. recording some tracks at Capital. Nancy was a huge Patsy Cline fan, so got all the musicians and engineers, who worked with Patsy on the road and in the studio, it was a magical session, so much so that the CMA asked Nancy to perform at Fanfare, the rest is history….. these tracks have not been released. Nancy was signed to United Artists Records in 1977. Leaving For Better Times was released in 1978 when Mervin Conn asked her to perform at the Wembley Country Music Festival which gained her a lasting fan base and a spot on Marty Robbins UK tour.
22nd April – THE MANITOU
On the screen – for two weeks – (except April 23, 25, 28 and May 3) – GAUMONT – THE MANITOU, an American horror film from AvcoEmbassy, produced and directed by William Girdler. It stars Tony Curtis, Michael Ansara and Susan Strasberg. It was based on the 1976 novel by Graham Masterton, which was inspired by an old legend about the American Indian Manitou spiritual concept. Girdler died in a helicopter accident prior to the movie’s release.
The double bill was completed with THE REINCARNATION OF PETER PROUD, a 1975 American horror mystery film directed by J. Lee Thompson from American International Pictures. Peter Proud is based upon a 1973 novel of the same name by Max Ehrlich, who wrote the screenplay. The film stars Michael Sarrazin in the title role, along with Margot Kidder, Jennifer O’Neill and Cornelia Sharpe.
23rd April – BILLY CONNOLLY
on stage – one night only – BILLY CONNOLLY is a Scottish stand-up comedian, musician, presenter, actor and artist. He is sometimes known, especially in his homeland, by the Scots nickname “The Big Yin”. This was his first appearance in Southampton. Connolly had several jobs in engineering before becoming a folk singer. It was a gradual move into comedy and in 1974 he released an album titled Solo Concert. Releasing a live double-album by a comedian who was virtually unknown was a huge risk, but it was a success and made the charts, bringing him to the attention of a wide audience. By the time of his 1979 visit to the Gaumont with his ‘Big Wee Tour Of Britain’ (69 dates in 84 days) he was an international sensation.
25th April – THIN LIZZY
On stage – one night only – THIN LIZZY, a hard rock band formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey and bass guitarist and lead vocalist Phil Lynott, met while still in school. Lynott led the group throughout their recording career of twelve studio albums, writing most of the material. The singles “Whiskey in the Jar” (a traditional Irish ballad), “Jailbreak”, and “The Boys Are Back in Town” were major international hits. This, their second visit to the Gaumont was on the back of their first live album “Live and Dangerous” and was one of the last concerts that Gary Moore performed as part of the band.
28th April – MAGAZINE
On stage – for one night only – MAGAZINE – an English post-punk band active from 1977 to 1981. The band was formed by Howard Devoto after leaving punk band Buzzcocks in early 1977. Devoto had decided to create a more progressive and less “traditional” rock band. This was their only appearance at the theatre and was to promote their second album, “Secondhand Daylight”, which made the UK Top 40 and featured a greater use of synthesisers.
3rd May – JAMES LAST AND HIS ORCHESTRA
On stage – for one night only – GAUMONT – JAMES LAST & HIS ORCHESTRA, in April 1979, Hansi (James Last) celebrated his fiftieth birthday in London and kicked off a short UK tour, which gave Southampton its first opportunity to see the James Last Orchestra. This coincided with his most successful recording released in Great Britain – “Last The Whole Night Long” which entered the British charts, reached number two and stayed in the charts for forty five weeks.
6th May – BILITIS
On the screen – for five days only (not 10th May or 12th May) – GAUMONT – BILITIS, a 1977 French romantic and erotic drama film, which was directed by photographer David Hamilton with a music score by Francis Lai. It starred Patti D’Arbanville and Mona Kristensen as the title character Bilitis and Melissa, respectively. The film was loosely based on a poem cycle by Pierre Louÿs entitled The Songs of Bilitis set in ancient Greece, although the film is set in modern Europe. The poems were meant to be autobiographical poems by the title character. It tells the story of a teenage schoolgirl who spends the summer with a couple whose marriage is on the rocks, and develops a lesbian crush on the wife. Meanwhile, she pursues a local teenage boy and tries to find a “suitable male lover” for the wife. Although Bilitis can be best described as a coming of age film, the title character, Bilitis, ends up returning to school at the end of the film, realizing that she is not yet ready for adulthood.
Watch the film – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1v_TvNSiak4&list=PL9nymPF8rKsVfdbDRPXsf1zj4Y-Ycruco
In support – YOU’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY – a short British adult comedy telling the story of Tom who, having lost his license through driving under the influence of drink, hires Bente, an au pair, to be his chauffeur. He readily succumbs to her charms, resulting in his wife Jacqui hiring her own male au pair, Aron.
10th May – CHILD
live on stage – one night only – CHILD was a British pop group which found success in the late 1970s. The band was a four-piece, consisting of Dave Cooper (guitar), Graham Bilbrough (vocals)and twins Keith (bass guitar) and Tim Atack (drums). Following the release of the first four singles Dave Cooper left to form rock band Crash Alley and Mike Mckenzie joined on bass guitar with Keith Atack switching to guitar. Their biggest hit was a cover of the Conway Twitty song “It’s Only Make Believe”, which was a top ten hit in 1978. Child were one of the few breakthrough ‘pop’ bands in the age of punk music, their popularity enhanced by an image that saw them become the darlings of the teen mags, being voted the second most popular UK band amongst teenage girls in a 1978 poll conducted by the magazine Fab 208. This popularity saw them embark on this major sell-out UK tour, with scenes of fan hysteria reminiscent of the earlier Bay City Rollers.
12th May RENAISSANCE
Live on stage – one night only – RENAISSANCE, an English progressive rock band, best known for their 1978 UK top 10 hit “Northern Lights” and progressive rock classics like “Carpet of the Sun”, “Mother Russia”, and “Ashes Are Burning”. This was their second visit to the Gaumont. They had developed a unique sound, combining a female lead vocal with a fusion of classical, folk, rock, and jazz influences. Characteristic elements of the Renaissance sound are Annie Haslam’s wide vocal range, prominent piano accompaniment, orchestral arrangements, vocal harmonies, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, synthesiser, and versatile drum work. The band created a significant following in the northeast United States in the 1970s, and that region remains their strongest fan base.
The original line-up included two former members of The Yardbirds, Keith Relf and Jim McCarty, along with John Hawken, Louis Cennamo and Relf’s sister Jane Relf. They intended to put “something together with more of a classical influence”. Renaissance was born, and the band released a studio album in 1969, and another in 1971. Subsequently, John Tout replaced Hawken on keyboards, followed by a period of high turnover of musicians until the “classic line-up” of Haslam, John Tout, Michael Dunford, Jon Camp, and Terry Sullivan was established, although none of them were in the original band. They were assisted with lyrics on many songs from Cornish poet Betty Thatcher-Newsinger. From 1972 to 1979 Renaissance released seven successful studio albums, toured extensively, and sold out three nights in a row at Carnegie Hall with Tony Cox conducting the New York Philharmonic.
13th May – RUSH
Live on stage – for one night only – This was the second appearance at the Gaumont by RUSH, a Canadian rock band consisting of Geddy Lee (bass, vocals, keyboards), Alex Lifeson (guitars), and Neil Peart (drums, percussion). Formed in 1968, the band went through several configurations until arriving at its longest and most popular line-up when Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group’s first tour of the United States. Rush is known for its musicianship, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction, fantasy, and philosophy. Rush came to the United Kingdom to record Hemispheres in 1978 at Rockfield Studios in Wales. This album saw the band members expanding the progressive elements in their music. “As our tastes got more obscure,” Lee said in an interview, “we discovered more progressive rock-based bands like Yes, Van der Graaf Generator and King Crimson, and we were very inspired by those bands. They made us want to make our music more interesting and more complex and we tried to blend that with our own personalities to see what we could come up with that was indisputably us.” It was on the back of this that the band returned to Southampton.
The support for the evening was MAX WEBSTER, a Canadian hard rock band formed in 1973 in Toronto, Ontario, that was taking a night off from their own European tour to play alongside fellow Canadian musicians.
14th May – ROXY MUSIC
Live on stage – for one night – GAUMONT – ROXY MUSIC, an English rock band formed in 1970 by Bryan Ferry, who became the band’s lead vocalist and chief songwriter, and bassist Graham Simpson. Alongside Ferry, the other longtime members were Phil Manzanera (guitar), Andy Mackay (saxophone and oboe) and Paul Thompson (drums and percussion). Other members included Brian Eno (synthesizer and “treatments”), Eddie Jobson (synthesizer and violin), and John Gustafson (bass). The band took a break from group activities in 1976 but reunited during 1978 to record a new album, Manifesto, but with a reshuffled cast. Jobson was not present, and was reportedly not contacted for the reunion. (At that time, Jobson was touring and recording with his own band, UK.) The sleeve of Manifesto indicated that the revived Roxy Music line-up consisted of Ferry, Manzanera, Mackay, and Thompson, along with Paul Carrack (keyboards), Alan Spenner (bass), and Gary Tibbs (bass); despite this all other media pointed to Roxy Music being a quartet with the latter three musicians being regular collaborators of the band. Three singles were spun off from Manifesto, including the major UK hits “Angel Eyes” (UK No. 4), and “Dance Away” (UK No. 2).
This tour to promote the album ‘Manifesto’ was the band’s second visit to the Gaumont, the previous one had been back in 1973.
The support for the evening had been provided by The Tourists, comprising Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart.
15th May – ASHANTI
On the screen – for FIVE days – ASHANTI (also called Ashanti, Land of No Mercy) is a 1979 film, produced by Georges-Alain Vuille, and directed by Richard Fleischer was a co-production between Warner Brothers and Columbia Pictures. Despite its impressive cast and setting (on location in the Sahara, and in Kenya, Israel, and Sicily). Ashanti is an action adventure film, set against the background of modern-day slave trading, with a man who determinedly takes on a perilous journey in order to find his beautiful wife, who has been kidnapped by brutal slave traders.
It was widely panned by critics upon release. Michael Caine was reportedly very disappointed with the project and claims it was the third worst film along with his previous films The Magus and The Swarm (despite appearing in other failures in the 1980s), after director Fleischer and co-star Beverly Johnson, were both removed from filming two-thirds of the way through the shoot. Fleischer departed after being hospitalised with sunstroke.
A major reissue of FUN WITH DICK AND JANE was used to bolster the programme’s attractiveness following the critical lambasting that Ashanti received. The 1977 American film starred George Segal and Jane Fonda. Directed by Ted Kotcheff, the film is caustically critical of the “anarchy” of the American way of life. The character names come from the Dick and Jane series of children’s educational books, and the title is taken from the title of one of the books in the series.
20th May – THE HILLS HAVE EYES
On the screen – for five days – (Not Weds 23rd and Thurs 24th) – THE HILLS HAVE EYES – a 1977 American horror film written, directed, and edited by Wes Craven and starring Susan Lanier, Michael Berryman and Dee Wallace. This was a re-visit to Southampton, having played in the City two years previously. The film follows the Carters, a suburban family targeted by a family of cannibal savages after becoming stranded in the Nevada desert. Following Craven’s directorial debut, The Last House on the Left (1972), producer Peter Locke was interested in financing a similar project. Craven based the film’s script on the legend of cannibal Sawney Bean, which Craven viewed as illustrating how supposedly civilized people could become savage. The Hills Have Eyes was a box office success and spawned a franchise. All subsequent films in the series were made with Craven’s involvement. Reviews for the film were mostly positive, with critics praising its tense narrative and humor. Some critics have interpreted the film as containing commentary on morality and American politics, and the film has become a cult classic.
FLASH AND THE FIRECAT provided the support – an American action-crime movie from 1976 directed by Beverly Sebastian and Ferd Sebastian . The main roles are played by Tricia Sembera , Roger Davis and Richard Kiel .
23rd May – JOHN WILLIAMS AND SKY
live in concert – one night only – Sky were an English/Australian instrumental rock group that specialised in combining a variety of musical styles, most prominently rock, classical and jazz. The group’s original and best-known line-up featured classical guitarist John Williams, bass player Herbie Flowers, electric guitarist Kevin Peek, drummer Tristan Fry and keyboard player Francis Monkman which was how the band formed in 1979 when they recorded their self-titled debut album (Sky) which was highly successful in Britain and Australia, quickly reaching gold record status and eventually topping out as a platinum record. The album featured versions of Eric Satie’s “Gymnopedie No. 1” and Antonio Ruiz-Pipò’s “Danza”, as well as original compositions by Monkman and Flowers. Monkman’s ‘Cannonball’ was a minor hit single, and the keyboard player also contributed the twenty-minute second-side composition “Where Opposites Meet” (intended to combine and display the band’s diverse influences). When the band toured the UK in 1979 this was one of their first dates, and they went on to sold-out concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and for five nights at the Gaumont’s sister, the Dominion Theatre in London.
24th May – GEORGE HAMILTON IV
Live on stage – one night only – George Hamilton IV was an American country musician. He began performing in the late 1950s as a teen idol, switching to country music in the early 1960s. By the mid-1960s, Hamilton’s music began showing a decidedly folk influence. This was especially evident with 1966’s “Steel Rail Blues” and “Early Morning Rain” (both by Gordon Lightfoot), and 1967’s “Urge for Going” by Joni Mitchell. Another 1967 hit was “Break My Mind” (by John D. Loudermilk). One more Hamilton song of this genre was a moderate hit in 1969—the Ray Griff-penned “Canadian Pacific”. His last Top 5 single came in 1970, with “She’s a Little Bit Country”. After his American chart success declined in the early 1970s, Hamilton began touring the world, across Europe, the Soviet Union, Poland, Australia, the Middle East, and East Asia, this being his third visit to the Gaumont. These widely acclaimed international performances earned Hamilton the nickname The International Ambassador of Country Music.
27th May – JUDAS PRIEST
Live in concert – one night only – Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band formed in West Bromwich in 1969. Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the latter half of the 1970s, the band struggled with indifferent record production and lack of major commercial success or attention. Judas Priest recorded their major-label début in January 1977 at The Who’s Ramport Studios, with Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover as producer. The album features significant developments in heavy metal technique, in particular its use of double-kick drumming on tracks such as “Dissident Aggressor”, and includes a pop-metal cover of “Diamonds & Rust” by folk singer Joan Baez. Sin After Sin appeared in April 1977. It was the first Priest record under a major label, CBS, and the first of eleven consecutive albums to be certified Gold or higher by the RIAA. They recorded 1978’s Stained Class, produced by Dennis MacKay, and Killing Machine (released in America as Hell Bent for Leather). While the first three Judas Priest albums had considerable traces of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple in them, as well as ballads, Stained Class did not contain any ballads aside from “Beyond the Realms of Death”. Killing Machine was the first nod to a more commercial sound, with simpler songs that brought back some blues influences. At about the same time, the band members adopted their now-famous “leather-and-studs” image. This concert, part of their 1979 world tour was the first of three sold out visits to the Gaumont. The band has sold over 50 million albums. They are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time.
The support on this tour was from a yet to be recognised band, Iron Maiden, appearing here a year ahead of their first album release. The band received a tremendous reception, unusual for support bands in those days.
27th May – WATERSHIP DOWN
On the screen – for TWO weeks (Not May 30th or Jun 1st) – A second Southampton outing for WATERSHIP DOWN, a 1978 British animated adventure-drama film, written, produced and directed by Martin Rosen and based on the novel Watership Down by Richard Adams. It was financed by a consortium of British financial institutions and was distributed by Cinema International Corporation in the United Kingdom and became one of the biggest films of the year at the UK box office. It features the voices of John Hurt, Richard Briers, Harry Andrews, Simon Cadell, Nigel Hawthorne and Roy Kinnear, among others, and was the last film work of Zero Mostel, as the voice of Kehaar the gull. The musical score was by Angela Morley and Malcolm Williamson. Art Garfunkel’s hit song “Bright Eyes”, which was written by songwriter Mike Batt, briefly features.
There was a supporting programme including a short documentary.
30th May – THE TUBES
Live in concert – for one night only – THE TUBES are a San Francisco-based rock band, formed in 1972. Their eponymous 1975 debut album included the single “White Punks on Dope”. The Tubes put their creativity and art skills mainly into their live performances, in which songs could be full-fledged production numbers with props and costumes built at The Tubes Warehouse by the band, crew and friends. Everything was satirised, from a beach movie parody for “Sushi Girl,” to leather clad S&M hijinks in “Mondo Bondage,” to the game show antics of “What Do You Want from Life?” At their peak, their live act featured dozens of other performers, including tap dancers and acrobats. The Tubes’ stage productions were choreographed by Kenny Ortega and featured cast members Sharon Collins, Caty Bevan, and Loryanna Catalano.
This show was rife with allusions to mainstream film: Dr. Strangelove (1964), Rollerball (1975), Saturday Night Fever (1977), Grease (1978)] then-forgotten B-movies [Wild Women of Wongo (1958), Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)], music (Tom Jones, punk rock, a medley of Nelson Riddle television themes), contemporary pop culture (Patty Hearst, the Viking program), television (Let’s Make a Deal, Fernwood 2Nite, the anime Raideen), and literature (Nelson Algren’s A Walk on the Wild Side). The show was expensive to produce, however, and while they earned the band a reputation for being one of the most entertaining live acts of the time, It left the band hugely in debt to A&M Records.
1st June – WRESTLING SPECTACULAR
Live – one night only – Wrestling Spectacular – the sixth evening of wrestling to be held at the Gaumont organised by Dale Martin and one of the last to be held at this venue.
10th June – CARRY ON EMMANNUELLE
On the screen – for seven days – CARRY ON EMMANNUELLE – a 1978 film from the Rank stable, was the 30th in the series of Carry On films to be made, and was released in November 1978. This was the last Carry On film to be made until Carry On Columbus in 1992. The film was to be the final Carry On for many regulars, including Kenneth Williams (in his 26th Carry On), Kenneth Connor (in his 17th), Joan Sims (in her 24th) and Peter Butterworth (in his 16th). Beryl Reid, Henry McGee and Suzanne Danielle make their only appearances in the series here. The film featured a change in style, becoming more openly sexual and explicit. This was highlighted by the implied behaviour of Danielle’s character, though she does not bare any more flesh than any other Carry On female lead. These changes brought the film closer to the then popular series of X-rated Confessions… comedies, or indeed the official Emmanuelle films it parodies. This film, as well as the original cut of Carry On England were the only films in the series to be certified AA by the British Board of Film Censors, which at the time restricted audiences to those aged 14 and over.
The British comedy was paired with SPEEDTRAP a 1977 police chase action film starring Joe Don Baker and Tyne Daly.
17th June – PLAYBIRDS
On the screen – for five nights (NOT 20th or 21st June) – PLAYBIRDS – is a 1978 British sexploitation film, made by Irish-born director Willy Roe and starring 1970s pin-up Mary Millington alongside Glynn Edwards, Suzy Mandel and Windsor Davies. It was a second visit to the City. When a series of female centrefolds from the glamour magazine Playbirds are murdered by an obsessive fanatic, police officers from Scotland Yard are called in to investigate the lurid world of pornography.
The supporting feature was Intimate Games, a 1976 British sexploitation film starring George Baker about a psychology teacher who assigns his university class a project about personal fantasies.
20th June – STATUS QUO
Live – for TWO nights – STATUS QUO – IF YOU CAN’T STAND THE HEAT TOUR – Status Quo are an English rock band who play boogie rock. The group originated in The Spectres, founded by Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster in 1962, while still schoolboys. After a number of lineup changes, which included the introduction of Rick Parfitt in 1967, the band became The Status Quo in 1967 and Status Quo in 1969. By 1979 they’d issued 12 studio albums and had 17 top 40 hits, including “Pictures of Matchstick Men” in 1968 and “Whatever You Want” in 1979. Their 1979 “If You Can’t Stand The Heat Tour” kicked off at Wembley Arena on 9th May 1979 and played nationwide culminating in 2 nights at Southampton’s Gaumont before playing 4 nights at Hammersmith Odeon (now Apollo).
24th June – SHIVERS
On the screen – for five days (not Thurs 28th or Fri 29th) – SHIVERS, a 1975 Canadian science fiction body horror film, only notable for being the first to be written and directed by David Cronenberg. Starring Paul Hampton, Lynn Lowry and Barbara Steele. The film received largely negative reviews from critics. The residents of a suburban high-rise apartment building are being infected by a strain of parasites that turn them into mindless, sex-crazed fiends out to infect others by the slightest sexual contact.
Making up the double bill RABID, a 1977 Canadian-American horror film, again written and directed by David Cronenberg. It features Marilyn Chambers in the lead role, supported by Frank Moore, Joe Silver and Howard Ryshpan. Chambers plays a woman who, after being injured in a motorcycle accident and undergoing a surgical operation, develops an orifice under one of her armpits. The orifice hides a phallic stinger that she uses to feed on people’s blood. Soon, those she feeds upon become infected, whose bite spreads the disease and soon causes massive chaos starting with Quebec and ending up in Montreal.
28th June – THIRD WORLD
Live on stage – for one night only – THIRD WORLD, a Jamaican reggae fusion band formed in 1973. Their sound was influenced by soul, funk and disco. Although it has undergone several line-up changes, Stephen “Cat” Coore and Richard Daley have been constant members. They were signed by Island Records in 1975 and toured Europe with The Wailers. The band’s self-titled debut album was released in 1976. The album included a cover of “Satta Massagana”, originally performed by The Abyssinians, which became a local hit. Hamilton and Barovier were replaced by two more former Inner Circle members, singer William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke and drummer Willie Stewart, before the recording of their second album, 96° in the Shade (1977), which included several local hits. Notable among its eight tracks were “1865 (96° in the Shade)”, a reference to the 1865 Morant Bay rebellion, “Rhythm of Life” and the album’s only cover, “Dreamland”, written by Bunny Wailer. They played in front of 80,000 people at the Smile Jamaica festival in 1976. Third World’s greatest success came in the late 1970s peaking with their cover version of The O’Jays’ “Now That We Found Love” from their third album Journey to Addis. After its initial recording, the single was remixed at the behest of Island Records Special Projects division head, Alex Masucci, with new vocals and an uptempo beat. “Now That We Found Love” became a hit single on both sides of the Atlantic in 1978, reaching the top 10 in the UK. This concert was part of a short tour of the UK.
29th June – STEVE HACKETT
Live – for one night only – STEVE HACKETT, an English musician, songwriter, singer, and producer who gained prominence as the guitarist of the progressive rock band Genesis from 1971 to 1977. Hackett contributed to six Genesis studio albums, three live albums, seven singles and one EP before he left to pursue a solo career. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010.
Hackett released his first solo album, Voyage of the Acolyte, while still a member of Genesis in 1975.
In 1978, Having released two albums, Hackett was faced with the task of assembling a band to perform the material live. This became a group with John Hackett on flute, bass pedals, and guitar, Dik Cadbury on bass and vocals, Nick Magnus on keyboards, John Shearer on drums, and Pete Hicks on lead vocals. The subsequent European tour was Hackett’s first as a solo performer. Hackett used this band on his next album, Spectral Mornings. The supporting tour called at the Gaumont and went on to include a spot at the Reading Festival in August 1979. Hackett looked back on this period, and the atmosphere within the group, as a hard working but positive one.