1972 - 1973

The start of the Classic Line up, global tours and the move from Electric Folk to Folk-Rock


Jump to 1973

Rick Kemp (Bass) joins

Rick had been a session musician and worked with Michael Chapman for a few years. It was through his session work at the same studio that the last two Steeleye albums were produced, that encouraged Sandy Roberton to approach Rick to join Steeleye. He had a couple of experimental gigs in December '71 before officially joining in Jan '72.

Bob Johnson (Guitar) joins

Bob officially joined in January '72. He had played in a number of small pop/rock bands in the 60's without much success. While living with Peter Knight they started doing some folk club gigs and this is where Bob became interested in bringing pop sensibilities into traditional music. Once Peter joined Steeleye Bob became disillusioned with the music industry, becoming an office worker for a while before Peter asked him to join Steeleye. Just before joining Steeleye he made a trad. folk album with Dulcimer player Roger Nicholson. 

Inevitably after bringing in two 'rock' musicians the band moved to an even more intensive folk-rock sound. This was mainly driven by Bob's selection of big ballads and arrangements that demanded heavier rock driven rhythms. Bob said he had ideas about how the band should approach this music and when he joined. Although he recognized he was the new boy, in order to stay true to what he felt, he felt he had to encourage this approach to creating more contemporary arrangements to traditional lyrics. Critics noted that a lot of folk purists 'washed their hands' of the group at the point. But enough stayed loyal (Including AL Lloyd) and they quickly gained a new and enthusiast following, equating it to other forms of alternative rock at the time.  It was very quickly a completely new audience that followed the band. 

Steeleye Span Mk III

(l-r) Peter Knight; Bob Johnson; Maddy Prior; Tim Hart; Rick Kemp

Earliest pics of new line up. Bottom image enhanced by Mark Warbington

American Jo Lustig becomes Manager and signs Steeleye to Chrysalis Records. 

Not sure of exact date of signing to Chrysalis but could be as late as June when there was an NME article (17th) saying they had signed and there would be a new album in the Autumn. 

A further sign of the bands clear intention to become a full time and commercially successful operation was the appointment of the flamboyant American Jo Lustig, who had an immediate impact getting the band a 10 album deal with Chrysalis - a small but growing and ambitious Record Label who had eyes on the US. With the two new members having a more 'Rock' background the scene was set for a move into a bigger 'Folk Rock' sound. The sound naturally became more 'muscular' (per Bob). With Jo taking the band into more popular arenas the band would adjust accordingly playing in a more 'modern' way.

Band Practices in the 'Irish Club', Deaton Square, London

31st Jan: BBC 'Top Gear' (John Peel Session): See 'BBC Sessions' for full details.
21st Feb: BBC Radio 1 'Friday Night is Boogie Night' (John Peel Session). See 'BBC sessions' for full details.

Jan-April -UK TOUR

Long Series of UK dates to introduce new songs and fully bed in the new sound. 

The debut of the new line up with a mixture of new songs from the early rehearsals and some Tim & Maddy duo songs.

Set List: We Poor Labouring Men; Unaccompanied song; Ups And Downs ; Saucy Sailor; Oak Tree/Pigeon On The Gate; Maddy's Poem "Hurry Curry"; Spotted Cow; I Live Not Where I Love (Tim and Maddy); Black And White Rag (Pete, Bob and Rick) ; Rosebud In June; John Barleycorn; Sheepcrook and Black Dog; Royal Forester; Encore: Seamus Tunney's Favourite/Bride's Favourite. (set list based on Manchester)

28th Jan Bath w.Dando Shaft
29th Winter Gardens, Weston Super Mare.
3rd Feb Durham Uni (Dundee per MS)
4th Feb Edinburgh Caley
5th Feb Stockport College of Technology
10th Feb Trowbridge Town Hall
11th Feb Lancaster Uni, Morgan/Keith Christmas
18th Feb Hornsey Town Hal.
The tour was in the midst of 3 hour Power cuts due to the Miner's Strike. This particular show was brought forward to try and finish before the 9pm cut. However, the cut came early, so under emergency lighting the band stayed on stage, holding candles singing unaccompanied for the last few songs! Thanks to Clive Pilcher for his recollections of this!
19th Feb Hatfield Poly
23rd Feb Manchester Uni (set list above)
24th Feb Birmingham University Guild
25th Feb Cardiff Uni
26th Feb Exeter Uni (Dando Shaft)
3rd March Southampton Uni
4th March   Reading Uni
7th March Liverpool Uni. Additional date per NME
9th March Oxford Poly
10th March London Queen Elizabeth Hall. Additional tour date per NME
11th March Sheffield Uni. Additional tour date per NME
17th March London Central Poly
24th March Farnborough Technical College Swastika & Ben
1st April Boston Starlight

8th: Manchester Free trade Hall.
 Spotted Cow; We Poor Labouring Men; Unaccompanied song (?) ; John Barleycorn; Gaudete; Seamus Tansey's Fancy/Bride's Favourite; Ups And Downs ; Dancing at Whitsun (Pete and Tim); Black And White Rag (Pete, Bob and Rick) ; King Henry; Rosebud In June; Unaccompanied song; Royal Forester; Ups and Downs. Encore: Maddy's Poem "Hurry Curry"; Unaccompanied; "Poaching song" ; Oak Tree/Pigeon On the Gate.
9th   Croydon Fairfield Hall Amazing Blondell. 
12th Birmingham Town Hall Town Hall

May: Recording of 'Below the Salt' at 'Sound Techniques. Chelsea.

May - Short British Tour

5th May Newcastle Mayfair
6th Norwich City College
9th May - King Henry Recording Session
?th May London Noth East Poly. 
12th London Livingstone House w. Patto. (per advert)
13th St Albans City Hall
19th Brighton Uni of Essex
20th London City Uni  with Dando Shaft
23rd Oxford Town Hall
27th Northampton Square Bandstand, London
29th Lacock Folk Festival
May??  'May Ball' Emmanuel College, Cambridge. (Thanks to Martin for this gig. They mainly played Below the Salt tracks)
May??  Cecil Sharpe House
31st Port Madoc Criccieth Memorial Hall 

 1st: BBC Radio Session: 'Sounds of the 70's' (recorded 17th May). See 'BBC Sessions' for full details.

10th June Bremen Free Folk Festival (Germany)   Other European dates?  
13th June Cambridge Uni. Emmanuel AND St John's College. w.Al Stewart (2 concerts)
 17th Bradford Uni.
 18th Swindon Wyvern Theatre
 23rd Reading Town Hall. 
Jigs (opener), Spotted Cow, Rosebud In June, John Barleycorn, Black And White Rag, King Henry, False Knight On The Road, Gaudete, Singing The Travels, Ups And Downs, Royal Forester, Encore: Reels, General Taylor (with sound engineer Gordon Graham up on stage to join in!)

26th Dublin National Theatre. 
"first visit to Ireland" Rosebud In June, Spotted Cow, King Henry, Black & White Rag, Ups And Downs

 4th: BBC Radio 1 'Friday Night is Boogie Night' (John Peel Session). Full details on 'BBC Sessions' page.

Unknown Dates
  European Dates? Per 'Tim Hart's Complete Steeleye Span Story' there should be some gigs, also hinted at in article. There is the Bremen concert on the 10th June so I assume around those dates

July 17th - August 19th: Staying at a house near Edinburgh while rehearsing and then performing 'Kidnapped'


3rd-17th Aug 1972. Edinburgh, Lyceum Theatre. 'Kidnapped', another Keith Dewhurst play.
Musical adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Kidnapped'.  Once again directed by Bob Bryden. Jo Lustig suggested a West End run in the Spring but it never happened in the end. Ran for 2 weeks per NME. See Review below. During the press photo call the band played Rag Doll. Included the songs: General Taylor, Rosebud In June, Cam Ye O'er Frae France, Parcel Of Rogues, Young Neil My Darling, Bonny Moorhen. Ended with Jacobite Rock ('an hilarious vocal from Kemp') plus some Jigs. Maddy since said they didn't enjoy this play as much as Corunna as they only played music rather than acting. 
additional dates:
 18th London, Lyceum Theatre. A 'normal concert performance
 19th London, Lyceum Theatre. Final two Kidnapped performances.

Steeleye played at the back of the stage on a raised platform. 

26th /27th August. Festival, Chelmsford Agricultural Showground

4th Album: 'Below The Salt'

Released 15th September and the 1st in a 10 Album Chrysalis deal

Click on image for details & song by song review

A new record Company, new band members, a new manager and a new direction. All the tracks are traditional but some have a more rock sound element and in King Henry start Bob's introduction of the 'Big Child Ballads'. If you ate 'below' the salt at the dinner table it meant you were poor. The album returned the band to the charts reaching No.43. The album was produced by the band as they didn't replace Sandy Roberton. Songs were chosen by Maddy and Tim mainly with Pete adding the jigs and Bob 'King Henry' and 'Gaudete'.

In an interview with Nick Clark in the 90's, Bob described how they would work up the material on this and future albums:

"Maddy's songs were, for the most part, traditional melodies, whereas I would occasionally write the melodies and chord structures, (E.g. Thomas, Long Lankin, Alison Gross, King Henry etc). All the lyrics were traditional. In rehearsals Peter played the dominant role in arranging the 'top-end' of the song including vocal harmonies. Rick and I would work on the rhythm end and construct guitar and bass riffs together. This 'top and bottom' approach became a major part of our sound until the drums came. "

rare 'Below the Salt' Chrysalis promo photo

21st Sept SINGLE John Barleycorn/Jigs:Bride's favourite/Tansey's Fancy 
1st single release for Chrysalis. Did not chart.

29th Sept MAXI SINGLE: 'Jigs and Reels'. (Pegasus label - B&C).
featuring all three jigs and reels from Please to See the King and Ten Man Mop. Controversial release as of course the band had now signed with Chrysalis but obviously B&C decided to get their money's worth. This release was not welcomed by the band apparantly.   

Grangemouth Festival

23rd Sept. Grangemouth Festival, Scotland. With Jeff Beck Status Quo & Lindisfarne. 12k people at a damp 1 day festival. Steeleye were third last before Status Quo and Jeff Beck. Compare was John Peel.

1972 UK 'Below the Salt' Autumn Tour

Sept/Oct: Autumn UK 'Below The Salt' Tour. First major tour for Mk3 line up. Support from Amazing Blondel. Very positive reviews for the tour. One concluded: "Steeleye go marching on in triumph"

Set list combined Manchester, Bradford & Newcastle. (So not every song played each night): Spotted Cow and/or The Ups and Down; Cam Ye O'er Frae France, Gaudete, Rogues In A Nation (or John Barleycorn), Saucy Sailor; Bride's Favourite/Tansey's Fancy, (and/or Bank Of Ireland)/Lucy Campbell); The Weaver & the Factory Maid, SheepCrook & Black Dog, King Henry, Gaudete, Truck Drivin' Man (aka 'Cup of Coffee' with Tim on Mandolin and Peter playing Bluegrass fiddle) , Royal Forester, Encore: Rag Doll, Reels: Oak Tree/Pigeon .

30th Sept Royal Festival Hall, London
1st Oct Uni of Wawick
5th Uni of Cardiff
6th Loughborough Uni
12th Town Hall Oxford
13th Free Trade Hall, Manchester
14th Leeds Uni
17th Birmingham Town Hall.
18th Univ of Aberystwith
19th Fairfield Hall, Croydon
20th Victoria Halls, Stoke upon Trent
21st Liverpool Stadium
22nd St George's Hall Bradford
23rd City Hall, Sheffield
24th Town Hall, Middlesbrough
26th City Hall, Newcastle.  (Bootleg available)
27th Univ. of Strasthclyde
28th Caird Hall, Dundee (Pictures below)

15th Oct BBC Radio 1 ' Sounds on Sunday'. (Recorded 19th Sept) Whole hour on Steeleye Span. See 'BBC Sessions' for details.

24th Oct John Peel Session. (Recorded 2nd Oct) See 'BBC Sessions' for full details.

Nov 1972: 1st US TOUR

This first US Tour was mostly Supporting Procul Harum (along with Tir Na Nog ) plus a series of solo dates.
This tour was alongside the launch of the Chrysalis label in the US, which was distributed by Warner Brothers.  The tour went well with some reviews saying Steeleye outshone Procul who just repeated their set list from a previous visit. An article suggested that Steeleye sold 10k albums in the first week followed 2k in each town. It was a distressing tour for Peter as he had an antique fiddle stolen.
In a US newspaper article after the tour (written in Feb 1973) it said about this US Tour that Steeleye travelled 20,000 miles and gave 84 performances in 77 days, which suggests a few double performances and some additional dates to what is listed. The tour was probably extended for a series of solo/club dates (not with Procul)  into December. 

SET LIST: Based on Brown Uni and Washington, incomplete: King Henry, Black & White Rag, Three Drunken Maidens, Reels: Bank Of Ireland, Cam Ye, Gaudete, Ups & Downs, Royal Forester, Truck Driving Man, Spotted Cow; Reels: Mason's Apron, Rag Doll

 1st Nov Syracuse Loew's State Theatre  
 2nd Palace Theatre, Albany, New York.
 3rd Meehan Auditorium, Brown Uni, Providence, Rhode Island. Supporting Procol Harum.
 4th Buffalo, NY Kleinhan's
 5th Boston Aquarius Theatre. Write up on Procol site: Steeleye 'played a lively set to generous applause"
 6th New York Queens College.
 7th Washington DC George Wash uni
 8th Alumnae Hall, Brown Uni, Providence, Rhode Island. Steeleye back to Headline.
 ?th New York Academy of music. Not sure if Steeleye there.
 10th Fieldhouse, Denver Colorado.
 12th LA Santa Monica Civic
 15th Detroit Ford Theatre
 17th John Carrol Uni Gym, Cleveland, Ohio.
 18th McGonigle Hall. Temple Uni, Philadelphia/
 19th Baltimore Lyric theatre
 20th Hartford Yale Uni 

 21st-26th: Ash Grove Theatre, Los Angeles. 2 shows a night. Residency supporting Loudon Wainright III. Rick has since noted that one one these concerts was done with no music at all, for no particular reason than 'why not'! (Don't know what they did perform!).  Buddy Hollies' 'Crickets' came to one of these concerts to meet the band after of course 'Rave On' had been done by the band.

Per a cutting, the 'tour' (? The US one?) extended to December 13th with a series of 'club dates' with Loudon Wainwright. This makes sense given a newspaper article at the time. 

8th Dec: Alumnae Hall, Brown Uni, Providence, RI, USA (mistaken for one above or more club dates)  

Single: The Holly & the Ivy / Gaudete

Released on the 24th Nov by Chrysalis it was the first, yet 'unsuccessful' attempt to release Gaudete. It was not until a re-release in 1973 that it became a hit, it even takes second billing on this release. The Holly and the Ivy was not recorded on an album but has appeared in various collections. 

27th Nov: BBC Radio 'Sounds of the 70's' with Bob Harris. (recorded 11th Oct) Full details on the 'BBC Sessions' page.

 30th Dec: Royal Festival Hall, London w.Amazing Blondell


(120 appearances!) The busiest year for the band in all their 50 years. 2 long tours in the US, including supporting Jethro Tull creates Front page media interest in the UK. New Album, UK tours and a Christmas Hit!

6th Jan: Front page on NME for 1st time

January: Recording of 'parcel of Rogues' at 'Sound Techniques, Chelsea. (Jan & Feb)

13th Jan 'Full House' BBC TV appearance.

"Synopsis: 10.45 Steeleye Span. Imagine a group of village singers in 18th-century England playing electric guitars and percussion instruments - that's the kind of music Steeleye Span make, traditional airs from all over the British Isles performed in the rock idiom. Steeleye Span are MADDY PRIOR, TIM HART , PETER KNIGHT , BOB JOHNSON , RICK KEMP"
They played Gaudete; Spotted Cow; One Misty Moisty Morning; Cam Ye O'er Frae France. No footage currently from this Sunday night Live Arts show is publically available but it does exist, as the BFI found the tapes when researching a Ken Loach play that was on the same episode. Steeleye was shown again on 19th Aug '73 in a 20m program called ' Steeleye Span and Roger Woodward' on BBC2. (Spotted Cow & One Misty Moisty Morning were repeated), fragments apparently from this repeat do exist but again have not surfaced. Finally Gaudete was repeated on the Russel Harty Plus Program below (3rd March) and this has been seen once on Sky Arts Dec 2023. This set of pictures is the only record we have. 

'Fanfare For Europe'

15th Jan: 'Fanfare For Europe' Concert. Albert Hall, London.

(With Planxty & Derek Brimstone) Last concert in a series of Nation Events, part of the UK Governments 'celebrations' on the UK's ascension to the 'Common Market (EU). A two-week festival of culture: a ‘Fanfare for Europe’, showcased by 300 different events. It was the first time for years a 'pop/Rock' act had been allowed to play at the venue to due to previous 'disturbances'.
The set included the 'Rockers Encore' that the band had started doing regularly which included dressing up and playing one or two 50's Rock 'n Roll covers. Prime Minister Edward Heath was at the concert (and was boo'ed during it!) and met the band afterwards. The following day the 'Daily Express' ran the headline "Pop fan Heath at Saucy Sailor Show'. So when Heath saw the band the following year at the Albert Hall again, the band dedicated 'Saucy Sailor' to him! 
All the songs were illustrated with slides projected on to a large screen.
One reviewer said the audience was "wildly enthusiastic" and that "Steeleye has not yet received in Britain all the critical acclaim they clearly deserve, but it is coming, it is coming fast and it is coming soon, and when it comes it will be an avalanche. 

SET LIST (Exact order unknown): Saucy Sailor, Misty Moisty Morning, Sheep Crook And Black Dog, 'The Oak Tree/The Pigeon On The Gate' Spotted Cow, Cam Ye O'er Frae France, Alison Gross (Sung by Tim), Three Drunken Maidens, Gaudete, Parcel Of Rogues, Robbery With Violins, Encores: All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go, Hello Mary Lou.
The Band meeting British PM Edward Heath

'Sound Of Britain'

17th Jan: Frankfurt Jahrunderthalle. Big 'Sound of Britain' concert with Genesis (who replaced Gentle Giant at the last minute), Amazing Blondel & more. It was recorded and broadcast on radio. We now believe that it is highly likely to be the source of the 'Harvest of Gold' live Steeleye tracks. The tracks fit in nicely with the concert 2 days before and Maddy makes comments in the intro (to Three Drunken Maidens) suggesting it was recorded on the Continent. This makes a partial (or full?) set list of:

One Misty Moist Morning; Reels: The Bank Of Ireland/Lucy Campbell; Three Drunken Maidens; Gaudete; Royal Forester; Reels.

27th January - NME article: 'Group are to be featured in a film documentary which Anglo-EMI Productions are making about Radio 1'. There was a clip of Steeleye singing 'Hello Mary Lou'

Potential US Tour. Maddy in an interview in Dec '72 said they were returning to the US in January. No evidence and not mentioned in NME so likely to have been cancelled/moved to March.

12th February: John Peel 'Top Gear' Session. See 'BBC Sessions' for full details and track listing

27th Feb NME article Bob Interview:' People in the band who shall remain nameless (Tim & Maddy) still baulk at the idea (of going heavier). Pete actually sits right in the middle. If it was left up to Rick and I there'd be a drummer in without a doubt and the whole thing would be slightly heavier.' 

3rd March: ITV 'Russell Harty Plus' (11.30pm) TV Appearance

Chat show with Shirley Bassey and Joe Bugner. They showed the band singing Gaudete. It looks like this was a repeat of the band singing it on the 'Full House' TV show (Jan '73 above). It was shown recently in December 2023 on Sky Arts as part of the 'Guy Garvey: From the Vaults' series as part of a Christmas special.

Feb/March 1973: UK Tour 

 Support was Planxty on some dates.

SET LIST: (Based on Newcastle Bootleg): One Misty Moisty Morning; The Ups and Downs; Sheepcrook and BlackDog; Jigs- The Old Oak Tree-Pigeon on the Gate; Three Drunken Maidens; The Bold Poachers; Alison Gross; The Black and White Rag ('Pot Black'); Spotted Cow; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; Robbery with Violins; Gaudete; Royal Forester; Encore: Rag Doll; Jigs (including 'Four Poster Bed'); Truck Driving Man. Note that this is the only mention of a song/tune called 'Four Poster Bed' in the encore. It is an Irish tune and followed Rag Doll in the set. 

2nd Feb Brighton Poly
6th Leeds Uni
15th Leicester De Montford Hall
16th Portsmouth Poly
17th London Kingston Poly
24th Eastbourne Congress Theatre with Lloyd Watson
27th Bristol Colston Hall. Included en core of 'Rag Doll' and 'Truck Driving Man'
2nd March St Andrews, Norwich
3rd City Hall, Newcastle. 60p with Pete Scott & Derek Brimstone. Bootleg: 
4th Crucible, Sheffield (support Swan Arcade) and apparantly some of the show was broadcast on Radio Sheffield a few days later
9th Royal Court, Liverpool
10th Free Trade Hall, Manchester. Turned away 1,000 people per SOUNDS article.  
12th College, Worcester
13th Town Hall, Birmingham. Included 'Truck Driving Man'
14th Guild Hall, Plymouth
16th Hull Uni
19th Usher Hall, Edinburgh
20th City Hall, Glasgow

Click on image for full details

5th Album: 'Parcel Of Rogues'

Released: March 30th. The 2nd album for Chrysalis made the top 30 and further developed the heavier and varied sound of the band. Produced by the band and Jerry Boys. It cemented the theme of members of the band bringing more complete songs/ideas into rehearsals. Rick Kemp played drums on 'Wee Wee Man'/'Cam Ye and initially Alison Gross but that mix was dropped. Bonny Moorhen was recorded during the sessions and released on 'Original Masters' - there were too many 'Scottish' songs on the album according to Chrysalis! Alison Gross originally had Tim singing it but was ill when recorded. Rogues in a Nation/ 'Cam Ye' had been in the play 'Kidnapped'. 'Hares on the Mountain' was from Peter's and Bob's time as a duo and 'Bold Poachers' was introduced by Tim. Click on image for full details and an NME article about recording the album.

BBC TV 'In Concert'

Broadcast on April 12th, 30 minutes of Steeleye in concert (Radio Times). "Traditional folk music, supplied at 240 volts by our most recent transatlantic musical export". (The image opposite was included in the Radio Times)
The show was wiped and no off air video recordings have surfaced. Not known where recorded. In fact, until recently we didn't even know the setlist but thanks to John Winterbottom and Steve Hawkins who uncovered an audio recording they made 47 years ago (!) it can now be confirmed....

One Misty Moist Morning; Reels- The Oak Tree/Pigeon on the Gate; SheepCrook and Black Dog; The Ups and Downs; Rogues in a Nation;  Cam Ye O'er Frae France ; Gaudete; The Royal Forester.

April/May: 2nd US Tour: 'Parcel Of Rogues Tour'.

A mixture of solo dates or supporting either Procol Harum and Gentle Giant. 'A very chaotic tour' by all accounts with a very demanding and badly planned itinerary with lots of travelling. According to NME they could command 4 times the fee of last year due to rising popularity. This tour was very costly because Jo Lustig was racking up a large amount of expenses getting the band around and it was partly the reason the band changed manager as Jo wasn't optimising the opportunities of these tours and was putting too much on 'Band Expenses'.   'All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go' appeared as an encore, all part of the 'rockers encore' that the band frequently did at the time. This tour gives a good chance to hear 3 concerts on off-air Radio recordings. One day would be nice if the Master Tapes were found and officially released to hear them in great quality.

1st April: Massachusetts. This was the start of the Procul tour but its not 100% known whether Steeleye was at this one.
5th Hartford Uni, Conn.  With Procol Harum. Hello Mary Lou and Gaudete sung.
8th Ash Grove in Los Angeles California 
10th Masonic Auditorium, Detroit. Guests of Procul Harum. (thanks Karl!)
11th Ohio State University, Columbus With Procol Harum. (not 100% that they were there supporting Procul)
13th Folk Festival , Penn State Recreational Hall, University Park, PA, USA
15th Muhlenberg Memorial Hall, Allentown, Pennsylvania. Supporting B.B. King.
16th Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio. With Procol Harum. (Thanks Karl)

17th/18th Main Point, Bryn Mawr, PA. Listed as 'Sigma Sound Studios' on some bootlegs. 2 shows. Live Broadcast. Was briefly available on a 2024 streamed 'album' called 'Traitor's Wages' (Live 1973). Was available on Spotify etc. See cover below. It is however just a 'good' quality off air recording. 
Ups & Downs, Oak Tree/Pigeon, Weaver, Spotted Cow, Saucy Sailor, Robbery With Violins, Cam Ye, Gaudete, Royal Forester, Truck Driving Man, Reels

19th The Dome, CW Post College, Greenvale, Long Island NY. With Procol Harum. 
Bootleg: One Misty Moisty Morning; Oak Tree/Pigeon on the Gate; Up's and Downs; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; Alison Gross; Robbery With Violins; Spotted Cow; Gaudete; Royal Forester; All Dressed Up and Nowhere to go; The Masons Apron.

20th Tower Theater, Philadelphia, NY. With Blood Sweat and Tears. 
21st My Fathers Place, Roslyn, NY. Broadcast on WLIR-FM - Long Island.
Some tracks on the Bootleg - 'Sunken Meadows', The rest on a separate Bootleg: One Misty Moisty Morning; Up's and Downs; Oak Tree/Pigeon on the Gate; Sheep Crook & Blackdog; Spotted Cow; Jigs/Reel; Rouges in a Nation; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; Alison Gross; Robbery With Violins; Gaudete; Royal Forester; The Masons Apron.

?? 23rd ish: 2 shows in San Francisco at 'Winterland' venue.
With Sha Na Na (per 'Complete Steeleye Span Book'). This is now disputed. It appears that Steeleye did not play these gigs with Sha Na Na. But, they did at some point play with them, possibly Stamford California - one cutting has a review, seemingly from 20th April (but could be 13th) in Stamford California with ShaNaNa.

22nd Carnegie Hall, New York  Supporting 'Blood Sweat and Tears' (per 'Complete Steeleye Span Book')
26th Supporting Beach Boys, Regis College, Denver, CO.  Little known about this unique performance
27th The Capitol, Passaic, NJ.  (Supporting Mahavishnu Orchestra). Per a wiki page for this group. 
29th San Diego (per article original end date of the tour)

Supporting Gentle Giant:
1st May Majestic Theatre Dallas Tx.
4th Armadillo World HQ, Austin Tx 
6th: Santa Rosa Theatre, Houston.
8th/11th/12th & 13th May Ash Grove Theatre Los Angeles Residency. 
This appears to be a week long residency. It is assumed 'Rag Doll' was recorded while in LA at this time. Per NME the band return from US and spend next 4 weeks rehearsing but the dates don't quite stack up if they returned for a second residency later in May (below).

23rd-27th May: Ash Grove, LA. One Week Residency. 
 Further residency dates. This comes from a newspaper archive site so reputable. This residency fits in with further hints in articles about a further solo US Tour dates with Sha Na Na but no exact details found. Later this tour was said to have been 7 weeks so these dates all do work out.

Traitor's Wages (Live 1973). 

Live album from the above US Tour, recorded at the Sigma Sound Studios on the 17th or 18th April 1973. Released Jan 2024. This was the only released full concert from 1972/73 featuring the drum-less 72/73 line up. It was briefly available on Spotify/Apple Music etc. It wasn't a Soundboard recording unfortunately, but rather a cleaned up off-air recording. It was suspected to be of dubious origins and its withdrawal from streaming services suggests it was not properly licenced.  

1st June BBC Radio Session - 'Speakeasy'. - see 'BBC Sessions'

June- Nigel Pegrum joins (Drums)

Joined '2 weeks before US tour'. (NME) The band, whilst touring the US supporting big bands realised they needed to beef up their sound, and with the upcoming US tour supporting Jethro Tull in big stadiums they had little time. Rick had been pushing for a while for a drummer. Tim and Maddy were not so keen. Bob said 'There were a lot of arguments' and said Tim threatened to leave!
Jo Lustig actually put an advert in the music press asking Nigel to get in touch! He had been tipped off by Charles Murray (NME journalist) that Nigel would be a good fit. He met them in the 'Irish Club' London and auditioned.
In a US newspaper article Peter said about adding a drummer: "It wasn't our image to have one, but the music needed one. The music was slightly stale, slightly stagnant, Nigel is a very tasteful drummer, out of all the ones we auditioned he was the best".

Steeleye Span Mk IV

The 'Classic' Steeleye Line-Up:
Rick Kemp; Maddy Prior; Tim Hart; Nigel Pegrum; Bob Johnson; Peter Knight

UK & Ireland Tour 

 A few UK dates to introduce Nigel and as a warm up for US Tour. 

 15th June Nottingham Trent Uni. Nigel's first gig per MS review as well as NME. 

 16th June Bristol Colston Hall. 
Lyke Wake Dirge (first time) into Robbery With Violins/Jigs, Misty Moisty Morning, Weaver And Factory Maid, Sheepcrook And Black Dog, Alison Gross, Wee Wee Man, Cam Ye O'er Frae France, Gaudete, Royal Forester, Musical Priest, Long Tall Sally (Rick singing) (NME Article).

17th June (most likely date) Norwich Folk Festival. Alan wrote in to say he attended and spoke to Rick about the addition of drums.  

19th Cork - Savoy
20th Limerick - Savoy
21st Dublin State Hall  
A TV show also recorded in Dublin per MS article
22nd Dun Laoghaire Pavillion, Dublin
 23rd Oxford Uni x2 Uni Balls the same evening. Jesus College and St Edmund Hall. (with Spencer Davis Group)
Taken during final rehearsal before leaving for USA. Probably 1st photo with Nigel

3rd US Tour - Supporting Jethro Tull

June/July 1973. Breakthrough US Tour playing in big arenas (4 nights at the LA Forum) to big crowds discovering UK Folk music for the 1st time.

Coming off the back of a '7 week tour' in the US, Steeleye came back to support Tull as the 'offer was too good to refuse' and the 'great opportunity for such vast exposure'. (newspaper article). However, the fee they received was not enough 'to pay for the airfares and hotel bills' but as Rick said: ' There were bands that would pay money to be on this tour'.

Audiences were shocked by Steeleye who came on dressed in Cassocks, tall hats and blue ribbons covering their faces (all made by Maddy) with Nigel playing the Oboe. They were also floor lit from below and so cast huge shadows. Dressed like this they came on stage singing 'Lyke Wake Dirge' which is a brooding lamentation at a vigil of a deceased person before they are buried. It created an image that grabbed the crowds attention from the start. The crowds even started lighting their cigarette lighters and holding them in the air - a very early example of this at concerts. The shows were very visual with Maddy dancing, Peter doing somersaults and a dramatic light show, which tied in well with the 'Passion Play' which Tull were touring with. As an English folk band playing to an American Rock audience, they made an impressive impact, often comments are made that it was this tour that got the band so many lifetime American fans. The bands got on well and Ian Anderson worked on the next Steeleye album.

Maddy Prior: "Touring America to any English band must be a revelation. Americans are spontaneous and make great audiences. They freed us from more constraints. It has been a long road losing those English inhibitions. Five nights at the LA forum with Jethro Tull, 18,000 seats. We were opening our set with the Lyke Wake Dirge, a grim piece of music from Yorkshire concerning purgatory and we all dressed in dramatic mummers ribbons with tall hats. The effect was stunning. Five gaunt figures in line across the front of the stage, lit from below casting huge shadows, intoning this insistent dirge alarmed some members of the audience whose reality was already tampered with by 70s substances. It was most satisfying.”
Nigel noted that the set list had already been worked up when he joined and the only one they all worked on together was the jigs at the end of the concert.

30th June: Onondaga War Memorial Auditorium, Syracuse, NY
 2nd July: Metropolitan Sports Arena, Minneapolis, Mn. Now confirmed as having Steeleye as support act.   
3rd Pershing Centre, Loncoln, NE. Crowd of 7,500
4th Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, MO
6th/7th Jethro Tull played at the Coliseum, Denvor, Co. But not known for sure if Steeleye were in support on these nights. Confirmation would be welcome!
8th University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. Crowd of 15,000 which gave Steeleye a standing ovation.
9th County Civic Centre, El Paso, Texas, 6,300 crowd.
10th The State Fair Arena, Oklahoma City (thanks Randy for this extra date info!)
12th Tarrant County Convention Centre, Fort Wrth, Texas
13th Convention Centre ArenaSan Antonio, Tx
18th LA Forum (added night due to demand)
19th Sports Arena, San Diego
20th LA Forum
21st LA Forum
22nd LA Forum 
In various places, including Maddy, it has been often quoted that the residency was for 5 nights, but a 5th date has never been confirmed, and this also agrees with Jethro Tull concert listings so we can be quite sure it was for 4 nights only. 

23rd Coliseum, Oakland, Ca. Agrees to Jethro Tull listings

Set lists: No firm set lists from this tour but the following have been noted as being played - 'Lyke Wake Dirge'/'Robbery With Violins'; 'One Misty Moisty Morning'; 'Alison Gross'; 'Gaudete'

28th July US TV: KCET PBS-TV. Ch. 28. Los Angeles.

Aired 28th July and repeated 30th July as a half hour special. It was also shown on 2nd Sept (repeated 8th sept) because the original airing was postponed due to news coverage, but this may have only been in some regions. Repeated again on Ch7 14th Oct. We assume the performance was recorded on the April US tour (The bootlegs confirm that Nigel did not feature). It also has a very similar track listing to the BBC TV 'In Concert' performance which was also broadcast April (but it definitely a different show) and the April tour. It was 'taped at KCET' and was performed in a small room in front of a small studio audience. Another article suggested that it was taped in England, but that doesn't seem realistic. A video recording has never turned up but decent audio bootlegs are easy to find. It is now known that the video does exist, so we just need someone to licence it!

One Misty Moisty Morning; The Oak Tree/Pigeon on the gate; Sheep Crook & Blackdog; Parcel of Rogues; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; Gaudete; Robbery with Violins; Tune collected by 'Sally Grodpile'.

Lyke Wake Dirge

Thanks to Chris Haines we can see for the first time (image from a UK gig) what the band looked like when they took to the stage singing the Lyke Wake Dirge dressed in the Mummers outfits. 

When they supported Jethro Tull they came out in a darkly lit stage with blue spotlights lighting up each band member. This unique image gives you an idea of the impact it would have had on the big stages of America with the big theatre lighting.

Cambridge Folk Festival Headliners. 28th july

Another significant milestone for the band coming straight off the back of the US Tour. It introduced the bigger 6 piece band to a large UK Folk audience and has often been identified as a crucial moment for the band, when Steeleye truly became a fully fledged 'Rock' band with a very polished stage presence. The heavier sound and theatricals alienated (they reacted in 'shock and horror'!) many of the 'pure' folkies at the festival but introduced them to a new bigger audience. On a blazing hot evening they opened with Lyke Wake Dirge again and did the full 'Rockers Encore',  (note picture in review, and the pictures below, are of the band in their Rockers costumes including Maddy with her 'Rockers' wig on.) 

Below are an amazing set of photos sent to me by Tom Steenbergen who took these while he was there with his own band 'Fungus'. If anyone wishes to reproduce these photos then please contact me so I can pass your details on to Tom. The 1st 3 photos are of the 'Rockers Encore' (see section below) and last is the band once again in their Mummers costumes for 'Lyke Wake Dirge'. 

'Rockers Encore'

It was at this time that the band started doing the 'Rockers encore'  - dressing up and playing 50's Rock 'n Roll covers. It was inspired by touring with and watching ShaNaNa in the US who dressed up as 50's heavy rockers to do their set. 

Thanks again to Chris Haines for this photo - a very rare one of the band dressed up! See the 'Rare Tracks' page for a full list of the songs that were played at various gigs.  Initially they started with Long Tall Sally, To Know him is to Love him and Do Ron Ron (Per Tim Hart)


 1st Aug: 'London Music Festival' Alexander Palace.  With Incredible String Band. Included the Rockers Encore (including the dressing up). They played Da Doo Ron Ron, Long Tall Sally and Sing Something Simple.
 11th Aug: Harrogate Royal Hall - Harrogate Arts Festival. Headline with Bridget St John.
28th/29th Aug: There is a poster that has Steeleye Supporting Jethro Tull again in the US (Madison Square Garden) but I can't imagine these dates happened given that they had not long been back and then played Manchester on the 31st.
 31st Free Trade hall, Manchester

1st Blackburn St Georges Hall
3rd Edinburgh Empire Festival with Planxty
16th White City, London
18th BBC TV -Recorded a spot on 'Mostly Country' - Record Mirror 25th Aug (or at least they were due to, but seen no other mention)
29th Festival Theatre Chichester
 30th Leicester De Montford Hall
Included: Lyke Wake Dirge; Drink Down the Moon; Sheep Crook and Black Dog; The Weaver and the Factory Made; Royal Forester; Gaudete and a Rockers Encore

 8th: Royal Albert Hall, London. (sold out)
Included Rockers Encore 'as usual' at this time. The Times gave a great review saying "Steeleye moves to the Head of the Class". Also features the first known performance of Thomas the Rhymer.
Lyke Wake Dirge, Misty Moisty Morning, Alison Gross, Sheep Crook And Black Dog, Cam Ye O'er Frae France, Thomas The Rhymer, Lark In The Morning (the song), Drink Down The Moon, Gaudete, To Know Him Is To Love Him, Doo Ron Ron, Long Tall Sally, and ended with a 'C&W number' (Truck Driving Man (?)) (NME Review).

 19th Oct: University of Houston. "Steeleye Span Fan Club" ..!
"Will be meeting at 1pm to run through plans to watch the repeat viewing of the 'One of a Kind' concert (KYW-TV repeat of the above KCET performance) and a brief informal discussion of the lyrics to 'Cam Ye 'Oer Frae France'." They then met on the 20th Nov to discuss plans for an excursion to Austin to meet with the LA branch. It finished with 'bring your own spoons'..!!
How very very cool, I had to include this! They seemed to keep meeting during 1974.

20th Oct: Record Mirror announces Steeleye have been signed by the BBC to headline their own TV series.

November / December: Recording sessions for Now We are Six start in the run up to next tour

7th Nov: TV Appearance - BBC 2: 'George Hamilton IV and other Folk'

Feat. Steeleye Span. No other details. 30 minutes long and also featured Wally Whyton and 'Y Triban'. Does exist according to 'TV Brain' (off air recording)

Parcel of Rogues UK Tour

27 dates from Oct-Dec.

This is the first big venue full tour for the band, up until now the tours have been at mainly smaller venues but this tour has fewer smaller venues, mainly Uni's where the band were still very popular. The combination of good press coverage from the US tours, TV appearances and a new album have grown popularity and interest in the band.  The (2nd) release of Gaudete during the tour further helped coverage. 

Interestingly an article on CashBox, US Trade mag, referred to this as a 'record breaking tour' and 'breaking box-office records previously held by such 'Heavies' as Pink Floyd' . Various Support acts including Horslips, Planxty and Alan Stivell.

Incomplete Set list, based on Hove and Manchester : Lyke Wake Dirge, The Weaver and the Factory Maid; Three Drunken Maidens; Drink Down The Moon, Two Magicians, Mooncoin Jig, Thomas The Rhymer, Gaudete, Alison Gross, (costume change) To Know Him Is To Love Him, Doo Ron Ron, Long Tall Sally or Truck Driving Man Reels

26th Oct Lancaster Uni. Provisional first date after Albert Hall
27th York Uni
28th Newcastle City Hall
30th Bradford Uni
1st Nov Portsmouth South Parade
2nd Southampton Uni w.Horslips
3rd Leicester Uni
6th Hove Town Hall
9th Fairfield Halls, Croydon. w.Harvey Andrews
10th Exeter Uni. w.Horslips
11th Bristol Colston Hall. w.Horslips
12th Plymouth Guildhall. w.Horslips
15th Glasgow Apollo. w.Mike Maran. £1.20
16th Aberdeen Music Hall
17th Edingburgh Usher Hall. w.Mike Maran
18th Birmingham Town Hall. w.Alan Stivell
19th Oxford New Theatre
20th Swansea Brangwyn Hall. w.Harvey Andrews
21st Derby Kings Hall
23rd Sheffield Uni. w.Dave Burand
24th Liverpool Empire. w.Alan Stivell
25th Manchester Opera House. w.Alan Stivell
27th Preston Guildhall. w.Planxty
28th Newcastle City Hall. w.Planxty (Duplicate of Oct above?)
30th Bradford Uni. w.Planxty (Duplicate of Oct above?)
1st Dec Leeds Uni. w.Planxty
2nd Norwich City Hall. w.Richard/Linda Thompson

November/ December -  Filming of Electric Folk Series

23rd November 1973 - Midnight Special (NBS TV USA) 

Newly posted (2024) on YouTube is Steeleye's performance of 'Cam Ye O'er Frae France' on the 'Midnight Special' episode from 30th November 1973. It's in great quality but was a one off performance sadly. Steeleye are at around 59 minutes in. It was recorded on 15th October at the 'Rainbow Room' in London, part of the Big Biba store/restaurant in South Kensington. 

Single - Gaudete / Holy and the Ivy

9th Nov. The single that took Steeleye into the charts. This was a 2nd release of the single Gaudete (using same cat No.). This time using a later 1972 pressing but with no picture sleeve. After being released a year before it got some more airplay in 1973 and hence the re-release of the single and being noted as  being 'by popular demand' on a single tour/advert below

It's success was helped by being a perceived as a Christmas song and was BBC Radio 1's 'Single of the Week'. The first Latin song to ever chart in the UK, and only one of two to this date.

8th-29th Dec: Gaudete gets to Number 14 in charts

Enters the chart at 48 and peaks at 14 on the 22nd and 29th Dec off the back of an appearance on Top of the Pops and a lot of radio play. Becomes a Christmas staple staying the Top 40 for 8 weeks and is now a Christmas staple heard every year and features on various x-mas collections. 

13th Dec: BBC TV 'Top of the Pops' 

On Top of the Pops. Only known image. Sadly wiped by the BBC

10th Dec: In Concert on Capital Radio.
No record of this found but was mentioned on a Tour Advert. Does anyone know anything about this?!

Unknown Date: Short Film (30m) "Radio Wonderful" (1973)
Shown in cinemas during 1974 as a prelude to the the main film. A documentary about Radio 1. Included a clip of Steeleye playing 'Hello Mary Lou' from their BBC Session.

Dec-Jan '74 Recording Now We are Six at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London.

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