Nothing quite prepared me for seeing my Hatfield heroes Dave Stewart, Phil Miller, and Pip Pyle playing totally fresh material that I'd never heard before. Although they were playing most of "Queues and Cures", their first album hadn't yet been released. A spectacular show that truly cemented my Canterbury obsession...
2) Camel-Sheffield City Hall: Oct. 4, 1977
Having just arrived for a year of University in England I set out to the steel city for a concert featuring one of my favorite bands. The show had a magical quality and a big bonus was the presence of Richard Sinclair on bass and vocals. It was worth missing the last train home and spending a sleepless night wandering around Sheffield waiting for the station to open up the next morning!
3) Dave Stewart/Barbara Gaskin-Schuba's Tavern, Chicago: Summer of 1989
A rare appearance by the reclusive Dave Stewart at a very intimate venue.. By far the most pristine live sound that I've ever experienced at a concert. Barbara's vocals had an icy perfection to them and the band (a trio) had a very full sound. I still remember the version of "Amelia" that had the audience in silent rapture.
4) Steve Hillage/Glenn Phillips Band-Leith Hall, Edinburgh: Oct. 23, 1977
After an astounding set by guitarist Glenn Phillips it seemed like Hillage could never compare. Despite the slightly leaden funk underpinnings the lead guitar soared in a fashion that only a rare few have ever achieved. A tremendous dose of positive vibrations for certain.
5) Richard Sinclair-Abbey Pub, Chicago: May 11, 1994
Hearing Richard playing solo is the essence of Canterbury. Songs from Caravan, Hatfield & the North, and his two solo discs filled the air with a crystalline sound that was both nostalgic and up-to-date at the same time. Here is a man who projects warmth and joy with his music, and who we all hope keeps on producing new sounds for all of us.