The 1980's. A decade with Folk out of fashion and the band having young families to raise and other outside business interests. Steeleye reformed in 1980 after its only period of non-existence. In the early 80's especially, it was never more than a part time job for the members. They still managed to tour the UK every year apart from 1983, released 3 studio albums and had multiple tours of Australia and the US!
Rumours of a return started around this time in the press. Chrysalis Records approached Maddy and Rick to return for a new album after Warwick Records had approached Chrysalis to Licence a 'Best Of' collection for them to sell via their normal TV Advert route (which never actually happened). Chrysalis realised that with the interest and free advertising this would generate, that an album of new material would sell well along side it. They were only interested however if the classic line up returned, which meant Maddy and Rick reaching out to the rest of the band.
The band themselves were struggling with Solo efforts, with none being as successful as they would have liked. This offer gave them the opportunity to explore their own songwriting in a band setting that had a better chance of success. They also decided that it would be a shame not to tour with the new album.
Apparently the the band wanted Mike Batt to produce new album but he was taking 2 years off music, sailing around the world. They got in Gus Dudgeon, long time producer for Elton John.
Adrian Hopkins takes over from Tony Secunda and handles all Management/Promotion etc for the band.
Maddy/Bob/Peter/Rick/Nigel/Tim reform band in the 'Classic Line Up'
20th: Torquay - Harbour side. Per Poster. 1st Appearance Back?
Europe?? I have seen one mention of a tour in Europe
1st August: 'Maddy Prior Band' Single - Wake up England(Kemp)/Paradise(Prior) (EMI).
This song did not appear on either of the 'Maddy Prior Band' albums and was released 2 years before the first of them, which was not on the EMI label. So it was a bit of a curious release. Whether it was released to latch-on to the Steeleye relaunch, or was actually an already committed to single, and a potential album was aborted because of the Steeleye re-launch is not known. Not available on any collections.
14th November : TWELFTH ALBUM: Sails of Silver (Chrysalis)
With the return of the Classic line up the band for the first time released an album of mainly original compositions. As Maddy said: "What we came up with reflected traditional themes, yet sounded contemporary". When the band first practised Gus Dudgeon did not think the songs were strong enough and so sent them off to write some more. Tim Hart said that they were at one point one track short and so he went off into a little studio to finish the words to 'My Love' so they could add it to the Album. Rick did the same with 'Where are they now', sitting up all night to finish it the day before recording.
The Tim Hart booklet, 'The Complete Steeleye Span', was given with initial purchases of the LP at HMV.
1.Sails of Silver 2.My Love 3.Barnet Fair 4.Senior Service 5.Gone to America 6.Where are they Know 7.Let Her Go Down 8.Longbone 9.Marigold/Harvest Home 10.Tell me Why. Bonus Live tracks from 1996/7 on CD reissue: 11.Thomas the Rhymer 12. My Johnny was a Shoemaker 13.The Lark in the Morning.
SINGLE: Sails of Silver. Written by Tim Hart. (b side: Senior Service)
Winter UK Tour Comeback Tour
support: Canis Major (and Michael Chapman at selected venues)
3rd Nov Brighton Dome
4th Ipswich Gaumont
5th Birmingham Odeon
6th Southport Theatre
7th King Georges Hall, Blackburn
8th St Georges Hall, Bradford
11th Colston Hall, Bristol
12th Winter Gardens, Bournemouth
13th Southampton Gaumont
14th Manchester Apollo
15th Newcastle City Hall
16th Edinburgh Odeon
18th Hammersmith Odeon
20th: BBC2 TV: 'Jake Thakray and Songs'. Guest Appearance by 'Maddy Prior Band' on one of these 6 episode series. Recorded at the
Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath, during 1980. The episode is still held by the BBC and Jake's songs from it have appeared on a collection DVD but not sadly this guest appearance by Maddy. It is not known how many songs they played but the guests usually did 2 or 3.
March / April
Single: Gone to America / Let Her Go Down (Chrysalis). Released to support the upcoming tour.
Spring UK Tour
Set List, thanks Chris! The new album still dominates with 7 songs whilst Rogues in a Nation and Little Sir Hugh are brought into the set : Little Sir Hugh; Sails of Silver; Black Jack Davy; Let Her Go Down; Gone to America; Two Magicians; Rogues in a Nation; Barnet Fair; Back Goes Limerick; Longbone; Poem; Senior Service; Where are They now?; Thomas the Rhymer; All Around My Hat. Encore: Gaudete; Sligo Maid. Encore 2: Cam Ye O'er Frae France; Reel.
21st Mch Ipswich Gaumont
22nd Fairfield Halls, Croydon
23rd Brighton Dome
24th Birmingham Odeon
26th Gloucester Leisure Centre
27th Stoke Hanley Victoria Hall
29th Liverpool Royal Court Theatre
30th Glasgow Apollo. £3.75. Up from £1.50 in '75 & '78. Last appearance at the Apollo.
31st Endinburgh Usher Hall
1st April Newcastle City Hall
2nd Sheffield City Hall
4th Free Trade Hall, Manchester
5th Wolverhampton Civic Hall
6th Leicester De Montford Hall
7th ST Georges Hall, Bradford
8th Assembly Rooms, Derby
10th Colston Hall, Bristol
11th Hammersmith, Odeon
12th Croydon, Fairfield Halls
14th Oxford New Theatre
15th Portsmouth Guildhall
16th Poole Arts Centre
17th Cornwall, St Austell Coliseum
25th London, Barbican Bank holiday with Akimbo.
July17th Fete des Leus Frasnes-Lez-Couvin, Belgium.
27th BBC2 TV: ' The Other Music'.
Documentary about The folk revival from 1945 to now. Not sure what is shown but Steeleye Span definitely featured.
Not a Steeleye release, and although the 'Friends' were many, it included Maddy on a most songs, along with Rick on Bass, Peter on Fiddle and Bob on vocals on a couple.
After 7 years the band return to Australia for their third tour here. This, and the 1984 tour have provided plenty of live material that has since been released. Support act was a local band, 'The Cobbers'. The set list very much in line with the last couple of years with 'Alison Gross' a welcome addition. Noted as being a very successful tour. Virtually all of the Adelaide concert is available on the 'Gone to Australia' and 'A Rare Collection - 1972-1996' CD releases. The gaps can be filled from the 'On Tour' LP.
Set list: The King; Black Jack Davy; Sails of Silver; Let Her Go Down; Alison Gross; Barnet Fair; I have a Wish; Gone to America; Longbone; Bach goes Limerick; Little Sir Hugh; Thomas the Rhymer; All Around My Hat; Gaudete; Royal Forester; Sligo Maid; Cam Ye O'er France.
28th Sydney Capitol Theatre
29th Canberra Theatre. 2 Shows. Evening show was sold out so an additional show was put on starting at 5.30pm
30th Brisbane Festival Hall
2nd Newcastle Civic Hall
4th Sydney Capitol Theatre
5th Melbourne Dallas Brooks Hall
6th Melbourne Dallas Brooks Hall 2 shows 5pm and 8pm
8th Adelaide Opera Theatre.
On Tour album recorded during the Sound Check with the Audience applause then dubbed in. One of the two Adelaide concerts was then recorded and played out in full on Australian Radio on 28th December on ABC-FM.
9th Adelaide Opera Theatre.
10th Perth concert Hall
The 'Maddy Prior Band'
Release album 'Hooked on Winning. (Kempire Music/PantLife) plus Single: 'Face to Face'
The Album features Rick Kemp and is made up of original songs written by Rick and Maddy. In line up was also Richie Close, keyboards; Mick Dyche, guitar & Gary Wilson on drums. It was released on Nigel Pegrum's own record label - Plant Life. It was Maddy's first 'solo' album since the two with Chrysalis back in 1978. The band played more 'pop' sounding original songs but despite pretty decent Radio/TV/Festival/Press exposure they were never commercially successful. There was a follow up album in 1983.
Maddy Prior band c1982:
14th August: Cropedy Appearance for 'Maddy Prior Band'. A DVD of the weekend ('A Peculiar Old Weekend') with the band singing 'Love's not just a Word' is available. It is also on YouTube 'HERE'. They are at 7 minutes in.
"Over a dozen European Festivals"/European Tour?
There is a T Shirt that is printed "European Tour 1982" that was for sale on Ebay. No dates on it.
20th Aug: 'Billingham Town Centre' 'Folklore festival, Cleveland.
27th August: Rimini, Italy. (Bootleg): BlackJack Davy; Sails of Silver; Alison Gross; Let Her Go Down; Barnet's Fair; Long Lankin; Royal Forester; Longbone; Bach Goes Limerick; Little Sir Hugh; Gone to America; Thomas the Rhymer; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; All Around My Hat; Gaudete; Jigs.
Australian Tour?? One mention of it but no evidence.
Nov/Dec: Winter UK Tour . Tim Hart's last Tour
No support on this tour which of course proved to be Tim Hart's last one. Thanks to Gary Bowman we now believe that this is the tour when the band brought back 'Lyke Wake Dirge' briefly as the opening number, along with the tall hats and cloaks that they opened their 1973 sets with. A little later in the 80's Maddy Prior confirmed in an interview that they did try and bring the song back but in her words 'It didn't really work', which is why it could have been this tour, and hence why it appears by the time we get to Birmingham, where Chris Haines attended (full set list below), it had been dropped!
Saucy Sailor and Sir James the Rose are added since the last UK Tour but Sails of Silver still features heavily and overall the set list did not change much from 1980-82. Gary also recalls the Lyke Wake Dirge merging into 'Robbery with Violins' and then Royal Forester.
Birmingham Set List thanks to Chris Haines: Rosebud in June; Black Jack Davy; Saucy Sailor; My Love; The King; Alison Gross; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; [Interval] Prince Charlie Stuart; Gone to America; Sails of Silver; I live not Where I love; Let Her Go Down; Longbone; Where are they Now? Long Lankin; Barnet Fair; Thomas the Rhymer; Sir James the Rose; Senior Service; Royal Forester. Encore: Bach goes Limerick; All Around My Hat. Encore 2: Gaudete; Reels.
12th Goldiggers, Chippenham
13th Ipswich Gaumont
16th North Herts Leisure Centre, Letchworth
17th The Gatehouse, Stafford . w Michael Chapman
18th Apollo Theatre, Oxford
19th Odeon Theatre, Birmingham (set list above)
20th St Austell Coliseum
21st Fairfield Halls, Croydon
22nd Winter Garderns, Bournmouth
25th Charter Theatre, Preston
26th Apollo Theatre, Manchester
28th Coatham Bowl, Redcar
29th Queens Hall, Edingburgh
30th Sugarhouse, Lancaster
2nd Queensway Hall Dunstable
3rd Southampton Gaumont
5th Dartford Orchard
6th Hammersmith Odeon London
7th Sheffield Lyceum
8th Theatre Royal, Nottingham
9th Ceasars, Bradford
10th Theatre Royal, Norwich
TIM HART LEAVES THE BAND
TIM HART ON WHY HE LEFT STEELEYE (from Sleeve notes on solo CD)
“I left the band because I'd had enough of it, and I had two kids and a wife and I wanted to spend some time with them. Steeleye had done it all, but it had got downhill and we were playing smaller and smaller concerts and there wasn't the same thrill. We'd played Carnegie hall, we'd played the Albert Hall, we'd played the LA forum, we'd done all these major things, and when you go back to playing poxy little 900 seaters, to think it's time to call it a day; it's not going to go up from there and we're not getting any younger and the material's not getting stronger. I felt Steeleye had run its course—I wasn't getting any pleasure out of the concerts. I looked around the band and they looked bored, the audience looked bored, it was no longer exciting, and the proportion of spectacles in the audience, which is one of the things you notice from the stage, had become deafening—the audience glinted back at me, which meant they were getting older. They used to be at the front of the stage waving, and then they were staying in their seats and glinting. Also you get to a point where you ask yourself if you're going to do this for the rest of your life, and the answer is no—I'm not Mick Jagger—and so at some point, you have to step out and start to do something else before it's too late, and I wanted to arrange, I wanted to produce, and that's what I did for a while. I'd also done a couple of kids albums, nursery rhyme albums, during that intervening period, and I worked with Andy Richards, the synthesiser player; I really enjoyed working with him and found I had much more freedom for my ideas working with Andy, and I disliked the thought of having to go back to Steeleye. This tour came up and I made my mind up—I went to the manager and said I was going to leave at the end of the tour, I didn't want to let people down, but I wanted out. At the end of the tour, I just slunk off. That was in 1982—the last gig was the Theatre Royal in Norwich. I remember that—as I packed up my guitar, I thought that's the end of that, I'll call them all up tomorrow morning and tell them I've left.”
Live LP: "On Tour"
An LP only Australian release recorded on Steeleye's 1982 tour of Australia. Fortunately most of the tracks were later released on the 2001 CD: 'Gone To Australia (1975-1984). Maddy later described this a 'bad album' despite listening to it after the gig and it sounding pretty good. I assume therefore she is referring to the mixing/post production values rather than the concert itself.
'Maddy Prior and the Answers' Album: 'Going for Glory'.
Again a set of original Rick/Maddy songs. This time a new band name (albeit with virtually the same band) and a new label - 'Spindrift'.
With limited Steeleye activity around this time and I suspect a little disappointment with Record sales of 'Sails of Silver' plus doubts about Tim Hart's future in the band, then it would have been seen as good time to try again with Rick/Maddy band. Chrysalis only gave Steeleye a one album deal in 1980 and that Sales were not high enough to justify any more, despite Adrian Hopkins trying in '85 (see below) and was the key reason for a lack of a Steelye album '80-'86. In addition, all the outside interests of the band members & raising families meant the band would continue on an ad-hoc basis for most of the 80's .
The most interesting song on this album was probably 'Deep in the Darkest Night' which Rick wrote and had Dave Stewart working on it plus Annie Lennox backing vocals. (They were neighbours to Maddy/Rick at the time) It was nearly a hit with regular radio plays but the Eurythmics suddenly got big and to the record company wouldn't licence anything else with Dave or Annie playing on.
8th July: TV Appearance for the 'Maddy Prior Band' 10.15-1045, BBC 1.
Their own billed show. No further details other than the Radio Times description: "The Maddy Prior Band - Maddy progressed from winning a talent contest in Blackpool through a succession of arts festivals to the world of folk music and Steeleye Span. After Steeleye Span disbanded, Maddy and her husband, Rick Kemp , formed the Maddy Prior Band."
23rd August: 'Maddy Prior Band' on BBC Radio 2 'Folk on Two' with Jim Lloyd.
Summer: Appearance for' Maddy Prior Band' at the 'Trowbridge Pump Festival'
Unknown Date (1983)
Jan/Feb: Australian Tour 'Gone to
The 4th tour of Australia. And the bands first ever tour, or even appearance, without Tim Hart. After a two year break the band introduce 3 new songs - Lady Diamond & Scarecrow which will make their way onto the next album in 1986, and the 'Autumn to Spring Medley', which is available on the 'Rare Collection 1972-1996' CD. Blackleg Miner also appears, which apart from one known time at the Albert Hall in 1974, has not been heard live before, certianly not for a whole tour.
10th Perth Concert
hall. Bootleg: Back Goes Limerick; Blackleg Miner; Black Jack Davy; Longbone; Bachelors Hall; Spotted Cow; Thomas the Rhymer; Harvest Home - 'Autumn to Spring Medley'; Scarecrow; Lady Diamond; Royal Forester; All Around My Hat; Encore: Gaudete; The Mason's Apron
13th Sydney Town Hall
17th Cairn Civic Centre
18th Townsville Civic Centre
21st Brisbane Mayne Hall
23rd Canberra School of Music
24th Gellong Civic Centre
25th Melbourne Dallas Brooks Hall
28th Launceston Tasmanian Folk Festival
1st Adelaide Opera Theatre
Feb/Mch: UK Spring Tour (lots of dates missing!)
15th Feb: Digbeth Civic Hall, Birmingham. with Richard Thompson
16th Liverpool Empire. (per Liverpool Echo)
22nd Dundee University (ebay ticket stub)
5th Theatre Royal , Plymouth
10th Dominion Theatre (assume London)
11th Fairfield Halls, Croydon. 6 tracks played from this tour on 'Folk On Two' on 17th Dec '84. Royal Forester; All Around My Hat; The Drunkard (Maddy a capella); Thomas the Rhymer; Gone to America; Jigs.
17th Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
19th Dominion Theatre London. (German newspaper cutting)
1984: Towngate Theatre, Basildon. Date unknown so not sure on which tour
1984 Kendal Leisure Centre. Date unknown. Could be Spring or Autumn
April/May: US 'Reunion' Tour US tour for '1st time in 7 years'
Finally Returning to the US for their 6th tour. The tour was tied tied to the fact that they had just signed to US record Label Shanachie who probably promoted the tour. Lady Diamond continues to be played and a continued re introduction of old songs (Bachelor's Hall; 'When I was on Horseback' & Hard Times Old England') with less reliance on Sails of Silver album.
Bach Goes Limerick; Black Jack Davy; Longbone; Bachelors Hall; When I was on Horseback; Hard Times of Old England; Thomas the Rhymer; Marigold/Harvest Home; The Spring Will Bring us Together; Blackleg Miner; Let Her Go Down; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; Lady Diamond; Royal Forester; All Around My Hat; Gaudete/Jigs/Gone To America.
23rd April Buffalo
24th Venues hard to make out from photo
25th Venues hard to make out from photo
26th Venues hard to make out from photo.
27th Bearklee Performance Centre, Boston. On Bootleg
28th Venues hard to make out from photo
29th Adams Theatre, Washington. The Band played two sets here so extra tracks not played on rest of tour, including Brown Girl and Scarecrow, both rarely played live. On Bootleg
Set 1: Bach Goes Limerick; Black Jack Davy; Longbone; When I was on Horseback; Spotted Cow; Marigold/Harvest Home; The Spring Will Bring us Together; Blackleg Miner; Let Her Go Down; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; Thomas the Rhymer; All Around My Hat. Set 2: Hard Times of Old England; Brown Girl; Scarecrow; Spotted Cow; Gone To America. Bachelors Hall; Black Leg Miner; Lady Diamond; Thomas the Rhymer; Royal Forester; Gaudete/Jigs
1st Venues hard to make out from photo
2nd Venues hard to make out from photo
3rd Ripley's Music Hall, Philli, PA 2 shows Bootleg: Set 2: Hard Times of Old England; Brown Girl; Scarecrow; Spotted Cow; Gone To America. Bachelors Hall; Black Leg Miner; Lady Diamond; Thomas the Rhymer; Royal Forester; Gaudete; The Masons Apron; All Around My Hat.
4th Bottom Line, NY (2 Shows) Thanks to Hugh, who was at one of these shows, says Brown Girl was played, and so similar to Adams Theatre above, they mixed up the set when playing the same venue more than once. An article says they had six shows at the Bottom Line so I assume two a day.
5th Bottom Line, NY (2 Shows)
6th Bottom Line, NY (2 Shows)
13th-15th Bracknell Folk festival. Incl Dave Swarbrick, R Digance.
21st & 22nd July: British Forces Folk Federation: International Folk and Music Festival. Edinburgh School, Münster, Northern Westfalia.
Steeleye Headlined for two days. Thanks to Roland who told us about the Festival, the Radio show and has provided some great visual reminders.
Festival was broadcast on the 'Folk review' BFBS Radio programme in Germany (with Wally Whiton)
The show played half an hour of songs from the show: (The actual festival included Scarecrow.) Black Jack Davy; Spotted Cow; When I was on horseback; Autumn to spring medley; Hard times of old England; All around my hat.
August: UK Summer Tour.
The only time I have seen a summer Steeleye Tour, this tour seemed to be worked around some festival appearances. These tour dates are mainly thanks to Chas Gilbert.
10th (fri) Cropedy Folk Festival
12th St Austell
17th Brighton, The Dome. w. M Chapman
18th Farnham Maltings,
24th Schoten, België, Small festival with support - De Nieuwe Snaar.
26th Aug Nostell Priory Festival, Wakefield.
Other acts incl. Van
Morrison, The Band, The Damned, Marillion. This was around the time of the Miners Strike and the festival had let the local Striling Miners in, so Maddy did an anti Thatcher rant and then they played 'Blackleg Miner', as they frequently did around this time. They dedicated it to the Miners which was sometimes controversial depending where they played it! At this festival they did not play 'All Around My Hat', which was unusual. Many thanks to
Eddy Bewsher for the information and for use of his photos below.
17th Dec: BBC Radio folk on two. Presented by Jim Lloyd, With Martin Simpson. Tracks played from the Fairfield Halls concert (Croydon) from 11th March: Royal Forester; All Around My Hat; The Drunkard; Thomas the Rhymer; Gone to America; Jigs.
May/June: US Tour (Rose 6 months old on tour)
There will be more dates. The band split 'headlining' with Fairport Convention as they took in turns to play first. I think this is a tour when a major venue fell through at the last minute meaning the tour was not a commercial success.
31st Tower Theatre, Upper Darby, PA
2nd June Lisner Auditorium, Washington DC w. Fairport Convention
6th (?) Beacons Theatre, NY (2 nights?)
7th June Beacons Theatre, NY w. Fairport Convention & Renaissance. Per 1986 programme this was Xtra Show. Bootleg played on Folkcast: Hard Times Of Old England; Black Jack Davy; Black Leg Miner; Thomas The Rhymer; Let Her Go Down; When I Was On Horseback; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; All Around My Hat ; Royal Forester; Gaudete ; Jigs
11th: Gloucester Festival. Headlined. Set list included: Hard Times Of Old England, When I Was On Horseback, Thomas The Rhymer, Blackleg Miner, Spotted Cow/Reels, Let Her Go Down, Isabelle.
October / November
SINGLE: Somewhere in London (Written by Peter Knight) / Lanercost. (Flutterby records - own label)
This was a record label created by Adrian Hopkins especially to release this single and the upcoming album. When the band were working on a new album, which was being financed by Adrian, Adrian went back to Chrysalis records to see of they would release it. However, they had a change in policy and unless artists was going to sell 500k+ copies they were being dropped from the rota. In defiance of this Adrian wanted to call his label 'Butterfly' records but Chrysalis has already trademarked the name and hence he changed it to 'Flutterby' ! This label then released the album in question 'Back In Line'. It was due to the issues of getting a a record label that delayed the album's release.
'Somewhere' UK Tour.
Thanks to Jamie we know that they opened with 'Hard Time of Old England' and played a familiar 'greatest hits' set which only included 'Edward' as a new song from the upcoming album, and of course the new single which was sarcastically dedicated to Chrysalis.
12th October Wolverhampton,
15th Cardiff, ST David's Hall
23rd Northampton, Derngate
3rd Nov. Wimbledon
6th Oxford, The Apollo. (Now the 'New Theatre')
21st Nottingham, Theatre Royal. Recording of Blackleg miner for 'Back in line' album.
22nd Birmingham Odeon
20th Dec TV Appearance: BBC: Pebble Mill at One
They sang 'Somewhere in London' and 'In The Bleak Midwinter'. I say 'sang', It looks mimed. It is also on Youtube. Sadly it is very much 'of the 80's' and I can't yet face linking it directly!
??? Fairfield Halls, Croydon
22nd Odeon Theatre, Birmingham.
23rd Dominion Theatre, London. (Final Concert per programme)
Touring with Steeleye Span - by Adrian Hopkins (Band Manager)
At passport control in getting on a plane: "Maddy Prior – where is your passport"; "I put in the suitcase",
which had actually been checked in in Heathrow"! Eventually found it after lots of running around and just got on the now delayed flight!
"Where is Nigel, we need to book in the drum kit", but had decided to take a private booking in Milton Keynes at his studio that day, jst for £100. Quick phonecalls and a frantic journey as he arrives just in time with the drum kit, again delaying a flight.
Bob Johnson was terrified of flying , really terrified – needed Valium and Brandy most flights just to get him on....and that was fine until flights have delays, and the drinking continues... One time there was an evening flight to the US in the fog with a long delay to the flight. Eventually they get through the gate but Bob climbs up some random stairs in the middle of the runway -- but there is no plane at the top! Despite lots of shouting he almost gets the top!
"Maddy Prior, writes a postcard to her kids in the airport when going on a plane to a festival in Spain"; it says: "If I never see you two again just remember Mummy loves you" She quickly hands to one of the staff at the airport to get it posted, but they read it and think it’s a suicide note!! They took her off the plane and she had to get on a flight the next day.
France on strike, and a flight is delayed, there happened to be a free bar in the airport for an event which the band managed to get invited to, lots of drinking, but then they quickly need to board... but Rick is missing, drunk. He decided to go off and find out why the plane is delayed. He went missing, they delayed the flight for a while, but as Maddy has the baby they need to travel together, so in goes Adrian goes in to get Maddy off the lane, leaving Bob – who is convinced the plane will now crash as Maddy has made it off - "she will make a bloody career out of this" were his words! Meanwhile Rick had managed to get as far as traffic control before being promptly arrested and returned to Adrian/Maddy escorted by airport security!
28th May BBC Radio 'Folk On Two' Session. See 'BBC Sessions' page for full details.
Thought to be recorded in the week before transmission. Maddy noted that this line up had not played the Blacksmith before so 'they were putting that right' and called it Blacksmith MkIII
28th April : THIRTEENTH ALBUM: Back In Line
Released on the Flutterby label, one effectively owned by Adrian Hopkins and the band. It marked 6 years since the last release of new material, the most in the bands 50 years history so far. Part of the reason for the delay was Chrysalis dropping Steeleye and so Adrian had to create a new label. Mainly original compositions by Rick and Maddy who were working as a duo & in a band at the time. Vince Cross on DX7 (synthesizer) was a session musician listed on the album.1.Edward 2.Isabel 3.Lady Diamond 4.Canon by Telemann 5.Peace on the Border 6.Blackleg Miner 7.White Man 8.Lanercost 9.Scarecrow 10.Take My Heart. Bonus Tracks on reissues: 11.Somewhere in London. 12. Spotted Cow (Live) 13. One Misty Moisty Morning (Live)
May: UK Tour 'Back in Line' (15 dates).
Advertised as 'Back in the Studio, Back on the Road'. Support Bill Zorn & John Benns. Recording of songs for 'In Collection' Live album. .
8th Edinburgh Queens Hall
9th Newcastle City Hall. Tickets £5.
10th Carlisle Sands centre
11th Manchester Palace
13th Coventry Warwick Uni
14th Ramsgate Granville Theatre
15th London Woolwich Coronet
16th Southend Cliffs Pavilion
17th Swansea Penyrheol Centre
19th Ipswich Gaument
21th Poole Arts Centre
22th St Austell Cornwall Coliseum
23th Bristol Colston Hall
24th Eastbourne Congress. Almost certainly recording of songs for 'In Concert' Live CD (Park Records): The Blacksmith; The Weaver and the Factory Maid; Spotted Cow; One Misty Moisty Morning; King Henry. Plus 'Betsy Bell and Mary Gray' which appears on the 'A Rare Collection 1972-1996 CD' and is listed as from this concert, hence why I think it is the source of the 'In Concert' CD tracks which are just shown as '1986'
25th Peterborough Cresset
June: US Tour??
I really don't know if this tour took place or whether the dates are from 85 or 87. Just doesnt quite stack up.
21st Beacon Theatre, NY
22nd Philadelphia. w. Strawbs.
24th Pittsburgh. Bootleg? (Graffiti)
Ruth Seaton James auditorium, Bermuda. Pictures on FB prove it took place and it was noted as being 1986. Pictures also include Rick Kemp.
4th-5th 'Hartlepool Dock Rock'. Including Madness, Lindisfarne; Doctor Feelgood. Up to 60,000 expected.
Sept/Oct: Australian Tour 'Back In Line'
Another tour of Australia, their 5th so far.
Lark in the Morning; Lady Diamond; Blacksmith; Peace on the Border; Lanercost; Wee Weaver; Edward; Spotted Cow; Take my Heart; White Man; Betsy Bell; All Around Hat; One Misty Moisty Morning; King Henry; Long Lankin; Gaudete; Jigs
?? Tweed heads, NSW. Apparently the PA system broke so Maddy ended up singing sat in the audience at one point!
30th Sept Perth Concert Hall
2nd Oct Adelaide Festival Theatre
3rd Melbourne Dallas Brooks Hall
4th Hobart, Tasman Hall
6th Geelong Ford Theatre
7th Appearance on Network 9 TV: 'Ray Martin Midday Show'. Singing 'Lady Diamond' Live in the Studio. See 1st Video below!
8th Sydney Town Hall
9th Newcastle Civic Theatre
10th Bonaderry, RSL Club
11th Canberra Theatre
12th: Appearance on Network 9 TV 'The Sunday Show'. All Around My Hat and Take My Heart (fades out into end credits) played live in the studio. 2nd video below is 'All Around My Hat'
14th Brisbane, Lyric Theatre
15th Seagulls, Rubgy League Club
October: British Tour??
City Hall, St Albans. Rick still playing. Jamie recalls the first three songs as 'King Henry; Weaver & The Factory Maid; Longbone plus 'Betsy Bell and Mary Grey' (Peter & Maddy). They also played 'Pheonix' which appears to be a Rick original song which he later played on a solo album. Nigel Pegrum conformed the name of the song to Jamie backstage!
Kirkland Charity Concert
1986 London Festival Hall (supported by Renaissance)
'Early 1987' A Steeleye Span newsletter announced a forthcoming single called 'Green Man' coming out on Flutterby Records. Thanks again to Jamie for this info! The single was not released, (maybe in part because Rick left around this time). We don't know if the song was actually recorded. It is known that the single was part of a concept album that Bob had been working on, although I'n not sure if it was for Steeleye or not. All the songs revolved around A 'Green Man'!
Rick Kemp (Bass) leaves band.
Reported at the time and since, as due to a repetitive strain injury to his shoulder which prevented Rick from touring and effectively meant he left the band. In a more recent interview (RnR) it was noted that it was mainly due to panic attacks from going on stage at the time and Rick was 'quite ill'. Adrian Hopkins noted that it had been an issue for a while and ironically Rick told him he was leaving after the one tour that Rick had not been saying to the band that he was leaving at the end of! In his time off he got a degree, got into motorbikes and did some art exhibitions. His route back into music was via 'The Gathering' (which included Jerry Donohue and Gerry Conway) and working with Maddy as a duo.
Mark Williamson (Bass) replaces Rick
Picture below with Mark is from fRoots interview in 1988. He did not appear on any recordings/albums.
Spring UK Tour (13 dates) Support: Wild Billy Barret & Stephen Two-Name
they played Padstow on this tour which is the earliest it has been noted as appearing, 2 years before the next album where it features.
1st Nottingham, Royal Centre
2nd Ipswich Corn Exchange
3rd Lincoln Ritz
4th Hereford Leisure Centre
5th Whyvale Theatre, Swindon
7th Northampton, Derngate
9th Bristol Hippodrome
10th Worthing, Pavillion
11th Lewisham Concert Hall
12th Beck Theatre, Hayes
13th Oakengates Town Hall
14th St Davids Hall, Cardiff
16th Cheltenham Town Hall
25th May Barbican Theatre London w.Akimbo.
20th June Verona Italy, Café Dante (more dates?) w.Edward II, Red
Hot Polka's. Tim Hart & Maddy Prior. Included: Four Nights Drunk; One Misty Moisty Morning; Betsy Bell and Mary Gray; Gaudete; Improvisation.
2nd Dranouter folk Festival. Broadcast on Belgium Radio
Mark Williamson on Bass (thanks Johan for all details on this Gig!). Padstow appears again. Padstow; Female Drummer; 4 Nights Drunk; Wee Weaver; One Misty Moisty Morning; Lady Diamond; All Around My Hat; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; Hard Times of Old England; King Henry; Encore: Gaudete; Canon by Telemann. (using Loop pedal); All Around My Hat (reprise)
Summer USA Tour
Mark Williamson was with the band on this tour and in Cambridge sang a song for the first encore 'All I have to do is Dream', I don't know if he did every night.
30th Aug. Philli Folk Festival. Videos below are both from this concert, a rare chance to see Steeleye live in the 80's on video and the audio quality is pretty good. (3 more available are One Mistry Moisty Morning ; King Henry and Padstow).
2nd Sept. Nightstage, Cambridge, MA; Per bootleg: Padstow; Lady Diamond; White Man; Isobel; Take My Heart; Canon by Teleman; Betsy Bell & Mary Gray; Hard Times of Old England; One Misty Moisty Morning; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; Encore: All I have to do is Dream; All Around My Hat; Jigs; Blues Jam.
5th (2 shows) Bottom Line, NY
9th Birchmire. Per Bootleg: Padstow; Sir James the Rose; 4 Nights Drunk; The Blacksmith; White Man; Let her go Down; Wee Weaver; Canon by Teleman; Betsy Bell & Mary Gray; Take my Heart; One Misty Moisty Morning; Lady Diamond; Cam Ye all Frae France; Hard Times of old England; King Henry.
Chris Staines (Bass) joins Band.
Joined after the US Tour and before the next, so between 9th Sept and 9th Oct, not much time to prepare! Chris does not appear on an album, or even on any promo shots I can find, but he can still be considered a full member of the band, especially as this line up with Chris actually recorded in Chris Staines' studio (mid 1988) but nothing ever surfaced, since once Chris Staines left there was little option to use it. (Thanks to Simon Jones for the info!)
Autumn UK Tour
(Chris Staines definitely in the band now even though the publicity photos all still had Mark, so must have been a late change.) . Jamie notes that although Chris was more prominent on vocals that Mark he did not take lead on any. Jamie also says that 'Following Me' was played on this tour, predating it on the next album by 2 years.
9th Oct Canterbury, Marlowe Theatre. Att 935
22nd Lancaster Town Hall
26th Southport Art Centre.
31st Milton Keynes Leisure Centre
1st Nov Derby
Detailed Simon Jones Interview with Maddy Prior in fRoots. Maddy said 'we have Chris Staines in the band now.' In other later interviews it has been said that Mark and Chris only did one tour each but I suspect that it was not that simple. Maddy also mentioned that they 'recently' tried to re-create 'Lyke Wake Dirge' but it 'didn't work'.
Rick and Maddy toured in the Spring as a duo.
'Tonder festival', Denmark. With Runrig
Silly Sisters (Maddy Prior and June Tabor) Album: 'No More to the Dance' (Topic Records) 2nd and last Silly Sisters Album which was accompanied by a Tour.
November: Winter UK Tour
2nd Colston Hall Bristol,
3rd Madeley Telford,
4th Arts Centre Southport,
6th Carnegie Workington,
7th Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall.
11th Poole Arts Centre,
13th Crucible Sheffield,
14th Theatre Royal York,
16th St Davids Cardiff,
17th Cresset Plymouth,
18th RCH Nottingham,
19th UEA N0rwich,
20th Apollo Oxford,
21st Tunbridge Wells,
22nd Corn Exchange Cambridge,
24th Warwick University,
26th Beck Theatre, Hayes, The advert listed Mark Williamson but this must be a mistake given the info above
27th Lewisham Theatre
'end of 1988'The Pavilian, Hemel Hemstead.
?? date. London - Paris Theatre
April: Tim Harries (Bass) join the Band.
joined "2 weeks before a tour" and in
'early 1989'. Tim was from a classical/Jazz 'Double Bass' background and was at the time playing with 'Bill Bruford's Earthworks'. He became the second longest serving Bass player for Steeleye and was in the band until 2001 by which time he had started singing and songwriting on albums.
He was asked to play Bass on the recording of the Padstow single as a session musician as he had been doing some work at Nigel Pegrum's studio and Chris Staines had just left. With a tour imminent they asked him to join. See his profile page for more information about Tim.
10th: SINGLE: Padstow (Flutterby Records, distributed by EMI).
Arranged by Maddy Prior and based on the traditional song sung at the Padstow May Day celebration every year. Tim Harries debuted on the recording of the single.
"20th Anniversary Tour" + Special Guests 'Better Days'
Many thanks to Paul Dengate, guitarist from Better Days who kindly sent the dates/flyer for this tour as well as a review of the concert at the time and a photo (below) of Folk Rock band 'Better Days' in action. The band had fiddler Garry Blakeley who supported Steeleye on other occasions and currently plays with the Feast of Fiddles Tour. This was the last tour for drummer Nigel Pegrum.
9th Hexagon Theatre, Reading (Tim's first gig)
10th White Rock Theatre, Hastings
11th Birmingham Town Hall
12th Spinnery Hill Hall, Northampton
13th Mwldan Theatre, Wmldan
16th Octagon Theatre, Yeovil
17th Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
18th Palace Theatre, Redditch
19th Wyvern Theatre, Swindon
20th Bal Tabarin Ballroom, Bromley
21st Brentford, Watermans Arts Centre - Nigel's last gig
Nigel Pegrum (Drums) leaves the Band
Leaves after recording the album and does not tour. He had been planning for a while to emigrate to Australia with his Australian wife. Nigel had been in the band 15 years having been their only full time drummer.
Liam Genockey (Drums) Joins the Band.
Previously worked with Peter Knight and they both lived in Hastings at the time.
11th Aug Cropedy Festival.
Now confirmed as Liam's first gig with Steeleye. Set List: Lady Diamond; Black Jack Davy; Shaking of the sheets; Two Butchers; Searching for Lambs; Seagul; The Weaver and the Factory Maid; Let Her Go Down; A Canon by Teleman; Betsy Bell and Mary Gray; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; Thomas the Rhymer; All Around My Hat; The Masons Apron; Gaudete.
Band Signs to Dover Records, an arm of Chrysalis. It must have been just in time for this single as the single is labelled as 'Flut 4'
SINGLE: Following Me (Dover Records), Written by Peter Knight. b Side: 'Two Butchers'
FOURTEENTH ALBUM: Tempted and Tried (Dover Records)
A new Album made to celebrate the band 20th Anniversary. Dover were an arm of Chrysalis. A mix of traditional and original tracks, with all 3 original tracks written by Peter. A return to a more 'Steeleye' sounding album with less 80's production, no keyboards and more acoustic guitar from Bob. Recorded just before he left it was Nigel Pegrum's last album. It guested Martin Ditchum on 'extra percussion'. Maybe because Nigel left before the album was 100% finished.
1. Padstow. 2. The Fox 3. Two Butchers 4. Following Me 5. Seagull 6. The Cruel Mother 7. Jack Hall 8. Searching For Lambs 9. Shaking Of The Sheets 10. Reels: The First House In Connaught, Sailor's Bonnet 11. Betsy Bell And Mary Gray.
September: "Tempted and Tried", a 20th Anniversary Celebration" Tour.
Whilst not a long tour it was significant for being the 20th anniversary tour, new members in the band and being filmed (released on video and shown on TV at the time) and currently available as a re-issued CD and DVD called "Access all Areas" available on Amazon. Additional tracks were played form the Croydon concert on BBC Folk on Two
Sailor's Bonnet; Black Jack Davy, The Fox; Shaking of the Sheets; Two Butchers (not on DVD); Following Me; The Weaver and the Factory Maid; Thomas the Rhymer; When I was on Horseback (not on DVD); Seagull (Not on DVD); Searching for Lambs (not on DVD); Padstow; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; Jack Hall; Gaudete; All Around My Hat;
15th Sept. Croydon - Fairfield halls.Tracks from this played on BBC Radio 2.
16th Hayes - Beck Theatre. Recorded for 20th Anniversary concert.CD/Video/DVD. [Video Below.]
17th Stafford - Gatehouse Theatre
18th Colne - Municpal Hall
20th Exeter - St Georges Hall
21st Cheltenham - Town Hall
22nd Bruton - Kings School
23rd Cambridge - Corn Exchange
24th Wilfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
26th Leeds - irish Centre
27th High Wycombe - Town Hall
11th Oct: BBC Radio 2 'Folk on Two' Steeleye Span in concert
from the Fairfield Halls, Croydon. Repeated in 'Folk On Two' 7th February 1990 but may have been different tracks.
Black Jack Davy; Shaking of the Sheets; Two Butchers; Searching For Lambs; Sailor's Bonnet; Thomas the Rhymer; Padstow; Cam Ye O'er Frae France;