1970 ? – Thin Lizzy
20 October 1972 – Thin Lizzy
1972 – Gary Glitter & The Glittermen
1973 – Bay City Rollers
The Glitter Band (two appearances)
Suzi Quatro (booked pre Can the Can – appeared after – tried to duck out !)
Geordie (with Brian AC/DC Johnson)
Jimmy James & The Vagabonds
Other chart bands appearing in the early 1970s included Blackfoot Sue (with their hit single, Standing In The Road – 1972), Smokey (Living Next Door To Alice- 1973), Kenny (the Bump) and Hot Chocolate (at the time of their Brother Louie single in 1973). Another chart band making an appearance was Geordie, who had two Top 20 hits in 1972 and 1973, also making several appearances on Top Of The Pops. Although now largely forgotten, their singer, Brian Johnson, was catapulted into the spotlight after replacing the late Bon Scott as vocalist with AC/DC in 1976. Black Lace, performers of such classics as Agadoo and We’re Having A Gang Bang, also appeared at the Corn Exchange. Apparently, about twenty people turned up to see them.
Also worthy of note was an appearance by Mud (or more likely, Les Gray’s Mud), who were almost the Top Of The Pops house bands during much of the 1970s. Again, establishing an exact date has proved difficult, but I remember standing next to a rather frail looking Les Gray in the Nag’s Head lounge and it was several years after the last of the major hits, probably in the early 1980s.
Possibly forgotten by many is an appearance by Chicory Tip, whose greatest hit came with Son Of My Father, in 1972. Unusually, this appearance was in Wherry’s Warehouse, which was on the east side of North Street opposite Wherry’s Lane. It took place a year or two after the biggest hit single, but they were still sufficiently well known for it to have been regarded as a bit of a coup at the time.
In recent years, one of the very few well-known bands to play here was 1970s mega-band Wishbone Ash, although with only one of the original members. With few modern teen-appeal bands playing their own instruments of making appearances, it is the nostalgic, tribute acts or rock cover bands that make up the bulk of live music at a local level. Recent live tribute bands have mimicked Queen, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzie, AC/DC, Oasis and Abba, but it seems that local music lovers are now forced to travel well out of town to see bands playing original music.