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Thread: Strawbs - Kansas City, 1975

  1. #1
    Member M. Fillmore's Avatar
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    Strawbs - Kansas City, 1975

    Someone must know this.

    I have searched for but I cannot find any record of a Strawbs live show that occurred in Kansas City, Missouri in the mid 1970s.

    It was NOT the show with Strawbs on the same bill as Ten Years After and Foghat in May of 1973.

    It was NOT the show at Cowtown Ballroom on Feb 23, 1974. I was at that show. It was memorable not only for the great performance but for the fact that the Mellotron, "packed it in," as Dave Cousins put it. Cowtown, in winter, was a drafty old barn. Apparently the Mellotron did not like the cold environment. They took a break for about fifteen or twenty minutes while someone warmed up the instrument somehow. The show did go on.

    The one I'm thinking of WAS at the Lyric Theater which then may still have been called the Capri. Or perhaps the Lyric Capri. All three names were used over time. This was a great venue for Strawbs. Capacity around 3,000 and not a bad seat in the house. Very comfortable. Wonderful acoustics.

    All things considered it was, without exception, the best live music show I have ever experienced.

    In trying to remember the approximate date, I first thought it was early 1976. I have long associated this show with that time in my life. But in my search I see that in early '76 Strawbs were rehearsing or recording Deep Cuts. I also see there was a ten week tour after Nomadness was released which included US dates. That would make it late '75. I remember there were two keyboard players on stage. I remember Dave Cousins introducing songs from Nomadness. These facts point to that show being part of that tour.

    BUT I CANNOT FIND A MENTION OF IT ANYWHERE!

    Years later I heard a bootleg tape of the next Strawbs concert which took place in Denver a day or two after the one I am thinking of. Between songs, Cousins was ragging on Kansas City. Amongst his other remarks were, "Kansas City is the pits." I can understand why he might say that. If memory serves, the Kansas City show was on a Saturday evening. I think the band stayed in KC that night and Dave left the hotel the next morning just to walk around. At that time there was NOTHING to do in downtown Kansas City on a Sunday morning. It was like an Edward Hopper painting. Just buildings. No people. Nothing was open. That's simply the way it was at the time.

    I have always theorized Dave was mad because he couldn't find anywhere to get a drink which, with the blue laws of the day, would not have been possible anyway. He would be surprised to see the place today.

    Well, I guess it's not the only show that gets left out of the various timelines. But it can't be completely forgotten. Does anyone remember this Strawbs concert or have any record of it?

    Lyric Theater. Kansas City, MO. Late 1975.
    Last edited by M. Fillmore; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:39 AM.

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    Here's a review of a Strawbs show at the Lyric on 22 November 1975 (from the Kansas City Times, 24 November 1975):

    https://www.newspapers.com/clip/1045...lyric-theater/

  3. #3
    Member M. Fillmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malgeo View Post
    Here's a review of a Strawbs show at the Lyric on 22 November 1975 (from the Kansas City Times, 24 November 1975):

    https://www.newspapers.com/clip/1045...lyric-theater/

    Thank you for this. I don't know how you found it but my hat is off to you.

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    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great show. Never got to see that version of the band. I did see them a couple times with John Hawken, once in '74 or so and again about 35 years later. Have seen them several other times, acoustic and electric; always a good show.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by malgeo View Post
    Here's a review of a Strawbs show at the Lyric on 22 November 1975 (from the Kansas City Times, 24 November 1975):

    https://www.newspapers.com/clip/1045...lyric-theater/
    Hey, the reviewer used the P-word! In 1975 no less!
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    Member M. Fillmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopez View Post
    Sounds like a great show. Never got to see that version of the band. I did see them a couple times with John Hawken, once in '74 or so and again about 35 years later. Have seen them several other times, acoustic and electric; always a good show.
    Among the elements that really impressed me was the use of lighting. I know things have come a long way since but in 1975, a time when most acts used one or two spots and some colored wash lights, Strawbs incorporated lighting as part of the performance.

    In the review cited earlier The Kansas City Times reviewer, Nancy Ball, said of the the lighting during the opening song, "The visual effect was dramatic," and this continued throughout the show.

    On Strawbsweb, https://www.strawbsweb.co.uk/hist/hist3.asp, there is a line in the history, "...the well-lit, carefully rehearsed concerts drew praise from reviewers," that really hit home. It drew praise from the audience too.

    Something I did not recall was the sparse attendance. 600? That's about 20% of total capacity for this theater. Didn't bother the musicians though.

  7. #7
    That tour brought them to the Tower in Philly on Nov 28. I remember it quite well. Smallish crowd. The time before Renaissance opened and it was as sell out. I remember Mealing and Kirby well replacing Hawken on keyboards.

    Strange thing happened. I may not get it right but after the opening band - forget who that was - Cousins walks on stage - "we'll be right out" he says - and introduces a friend or protege - not sure, something like that, I forget her name - who sang a couple of songs accompanying herself on acoustic guitar.

    It was something like that and weird how it all happened. Strawbs were good. I kind of recall being unimpressed with the light show, but, hey, what do I know?

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    Quote Originally Posted by txprog View Post
    That tour brought them to the Tower in Philly on Nov 28. I remember it quite well. Smallish crowd. The time before Renaissance opened and it was as sell out. I remember Mealing and Kirby well replacing Hawken on keyboards.

    Strange thing happened. I may not get it right but after the opening band - forget who that was - Cousins walks on stage - "we'll be right out" he says - and introduces a friend or protege - not sure, something like that, I forget her name - who sang a couple of songs accompanying herself on acoustic guitar.

    It was something like that and weird how it all happened. Strawbs were good. I kind of recall being unimpressed with the light show, but, hey, what do I know?
    Here's a fairly glowing review of that Strawbs show at the Tower:

    https://www.newspapers.com/clip/1046...-at-the-tower/

    (I'm finding these at newspapers.com, fyi.) Interesting that the other review in that article (Edgar Winter Group at the Spectrum) has some nice things to say about the opening act at that show: Manfred Mann.

  9. #9
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Saw them on this tour in San Diego, headlining over Gentle Giant. It was my first time seeing GG, who were fantastic. I had seen Strawbs a couple of years before, when they were supporting Procol Harum. That earlier show was great, but the 1975 gig sounded awful. Apparently they had arrived late and hadn't had time to soundcheck. The result was painful to listen to; we walked out after a few songs.
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    Side Two of Ghosts is sublime!

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