Caravan: Southampton University 23/11/73

Procul Harum were originally booked but couldn't make it - Caravan stepped in at half the price. There was no support band - plans to stage an alternative Caravan concert by dah-dahing along to an acapella, punter-generated version of Nine Feet Underground were abandoned... During the concert, one of the numbers performed was 'The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again', which Pye introduced as being about a dirty old man with a schoolgirl fixation (very non PC, I know, but hey, this was the 70s!). Also noteworthy was a rendition of 'C'Thlu Thlu' off their new album 'For Girls', the only time I've ever heard this number performed...

Stomu Yamashta's East Wind/Hatfield and the North, Southampton University 1/2/74

Support band Hatfield and the North played a couple of long improvised numbers that had more clout than expected, presumably to give headliners East Wind a run for their money. For East Wind, Hugh Hopper's bass playing was as masterful as ever, despite attempts to distort it via the obligatory fuzzbox. Gary Boyle was a guitar-playing automaton, whose expression never altered; Yamashta was stage front behind a battery of beatables waiting to be tapped, rattled or thrashed, sporting a dayglo wig that made him look a bit like the drummer in the Muppets...

Henry Cow/Red Balune, Solent Suite, Southampton c1975

Red Balune roped off the area in front of the stage by wrapping some plastic dayglo orange tape around four of the pillars - one problem chaps - you've roped me into the enclosure! Henry Cow's line-up was Frith, Cutler, Hodgkinson, Greaves, Lindsay Cooper and Dagmar Krause. The painted backdrop was suitably grey, oppressive and Orwellian (just like the music). Highlight of the set was watching Tim Hodgkinson's hands fluttering over the keyboards moments before crashing down, releasing loud, textured blocks of sound of various densities. Highlight two was watching a lounge lizard in a white suit trying to chat up Dagmar Krause during the intermission. No regrets, Coyote...

Steve Hillage Band/Trevor Rabin & Band: Gaumont, Southampton, 16/11/79

I can remember absolutely nothing about Trevor Rabin & Band. Then came Steve Hillage, crouched over his guitar in silhouette looking for all the world like Pan, Greek god of music and nature - an image that haunts me still... 1979 was a depressing year, the materialistic 80s were looming and bandwagon jumping punk bands were being praised despite their clear lack of talent, so it was a real treat to see Hillage waving the remnants of the freak flag in the 70s sunset.

issue 20 - the issue that never happened!
- barry h king's top 5 gigs