Posted by: docdenbow | July 26, 2012

Way Back To The Bone – 1974

The year would be 1974, I would be about 14 years old. The Civic Hall in Wolverhampton was the local place to see top bands from all over the world. Being young and rather impressionable I had been banned by my parents from travelling to Birmingham, some 12 miles away, by train to savour the delights of rock n roll so the local venue had to do. I was
far too young to gain entrance to licensed premises (ie night clubs that sold booze and stayed open until 2.00am) so any band I wished to see live had to play at the Civic or I wouldn’t get (or be allowed) to see them.

I was a major Trapeze fan, and was at the time singularly unimpressed by the “new” Deep Purple’s “Burn” album, seeing it at that time as a waste of not only Deep Purple’s massive talents – but also those of Glenn Hughes. For this reason I had made no attempt to get tickets to see Purple as they passed through my hometown in 1974.

“Hot Wire” was the album Trapeze were promoting on that tour -they’d bounced back since Glenn Hughes’ departure with the recruitment of two additional band members, Peter Wright on bass and Rob Kendrick on guitar. The latter coming in to allow Mel Galley the luxury of delivering lead vocals himself. Honorary “Trapezers” like Terry Rowley and local newspaper writer John Ogden leant their assistance in the recording process as usual as did some well known and unknown (to me atleast) session performers. Chris Mercer went on from this album, and no  doubt others, to record with some of the biggest names in rock music -Bryan Ferry notably.

The album itself was full of real enthusiasm and some genuinely great songs, but the spark was missing – that spark being the extraordinary vocals of young Glenn Hughes.It was a slightly different sound to the band with the rockier moments being rockier, and the funkiest moment, the brilliant “Feel It Inside” being the funkiest tune Trapeze had released to date. To digress a moment, I had always wondered  what this would’ve sounded like had Glenn Hughes sung it instead of the limited if enthusiastic and soulful Mel Galley. A Friday evening ilate 1990s gave me the answer. At the Robin Hood in Brierly Hill a four piece Trapeze (Hughes, Galley, Holland and Erickson) with John Ogden  playing congas tore that song apart – truly magnificent!

Anyway back to the gig – me and a few similarly young and enthusiastic kids were up at the front of the stage waiting for Trapeze to play. They opened their set with “Back Street Love” which as on the album they followed with “Take It On Down The Road” Memory here lets me down, for I have no idea what songs they played until they got to “Way
Back To The Bone.” As Mel Galley played the “der der duh duh” guita riff – he was also making those same gestures that David St Hubbins made to Nigel Tufnel in the immortal “This Is Spinal Tap” movie. You know the one, a calling to someone to join them on-stage. From stage right (as we mere mortals in the audience watched) strode Glenn Hughes!

The cheer was deafening.

The band ripped through “Way  Back” “Medusa” “Black Cloud” (I think) “Jury” (dead sure!) The band were  absolutely brilliant and whenever I’ve seen remarks attributed to Glenn Hughes saying he’d never sung in a band without a bass ( ie circa BlackSabbath time) I always think back to that glorious night at Wolverhampton Civic Hall in 1974 and wonder – am I the only fan who remembers that night??

Well am I?? I know Glenn Hughes does….

Ciao For Now




  1. Do you have a rough idea when this gig was? The band’s September UK tour hit Wolverhampton Civic Hall on 22nd September (but Purple were in Germany that night). Someone else who was there thought it might have been Christmas 1974.

    • I felt it was on the Hot Wire tour for sure and Glenn has confirmed to me that he did sing with Trapeze in Wolves. We do have a conflict of datesA band called Little Acre supported. Hmm you may have a point, it could have been 1975….but I remember that whatever the date Glenn was there.

      • The other Trapeze fan was sure it was Christmas 1974. He’d met Glenn in a pub over the Christmas 1975 period and didn’t think that the two events were close to each other. Found this online, in a thread called ‘Best Gig Ever?’: “A great night at the Civic in Wolvo the day (after?) Elvis died, with The Count Bishops, Little Acre and Trapeze, brilliant, has stuck in the memory.” But that would have been August 1977…

      • Dunno, I bought the Hot Wire badge at the gig that’s all I can say. I’ll ask Glenn when I get chance

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