In 1965, the Century Theatre in Newcastle hosted ‘The Big Show’. The lineup included major british artists of the time, such as the Honeycombs, Tony Sheveton, Manfred Mann and The Kinks.
The footgage below, found in the NBN archives and digitalised by the GLAMx Lab, shows some of these artists firstly, catching the Koondooloo, one of Newcastle’s famous ‘punts’, and then, being greeted in front of the Great Northern Hotel, by hundreds of ecstatic fans.
Despite the warm welcome this is Ray Davies’ account of his time in Newcastle:
“But as tours went this tour was pretty dull really. There
were more old queens in Australia than you would care to
imagine. I remember after a gig in a small city – Newcastle I
think it was called – there was such an absence of crumpet that
a couple of members of our tour staff dressed up in drag and
we had a party. I mean, these guys were on the surface very
butch Aussies and a decade or two older than us, but one
of them was dressed in a grass skirt and had lipstick on. He
pinned me against the wall, put his lips right close to mine and
asked if I wanted to do it with him’ All Day and All of the
Night’. I mean, Aussie woofters, forget it. Much too serious
to get emotional about. The only thing that sustained me was
the thought of those wonderfully masculine childhood cricket
heroes. It was a sad night at the hotel all round, I seem to
recall. Manfred came in and complained that Paul Jones had
been the only person who was capable of attracting a chick
who resembled something other than a kangaroo, and after a
walk around the town, Manfred had gone back to his room
and walked in on another member of his group and interrupted
the poor chap’s wank” (1994, p.210).
Davies, R. (1994). X-ray. New York: The Overlook Press, p.210.
Post curated by Camille Elettra Brogi (WIL Communications student)
Video Edited by Camille Elettra Brogi
Digitised by Phillip Lloyd in the GLAMx Film Digitisation lab, Cultural Collections, University of Newcastle (Australia)