The return of the 'Classic' line up
20th: Torquay - Harbour side. Per Poster. 1st Appearance Back?
Europe?? I have seen one mention of a tour in Europe.
After an unsuccessful first two solo albums/tours Maddy's focus switched to forming the Maddy Prior Band.
May: Maddy Prior Band dates, including Dudley Festival and the Lacock and Chippenham Folk Festival
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 next album (and not on the EMI label). So a bit of a curious release. Whether it was intended to be followed up with an album (and did the singles lack of success put paid to it) or whether it got derailed due to the Steeleye reunion is not known. The style is different from 1978's Changing Winds solo album as it moves to a more contemporary pop/ light rock sound which would continue onto the two Maddy Prior Band albums. Not available on any collections but was recently seen on a live TV performance on the BBC (see Jan 1981 below).
September: Appearance at the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath, songs from which featured on 'Jake Thackray and Songs' TV show (see Jan 1981 below)
Line Up - Prior; Rick Kemp, Nigel Pegrum, Richie Close (keyboard) and John O'Connor on guitar. This line up also probably recorded the single above. Ritchie and John had both worked with Maddy on her last album.
14th Nov. (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". Not least due to Peter playing more keyboard than fiddle. When the band first practised Gus Dudgeon (Elton John's producer) thought they had only had 1 1/2 songs (Let Her go Down and verse of Tell Me Why) and the others needed to have more contemporary arrangements. Gus sent them off to write some more or alter them and gave them 2 weeks! Tim said that they were at one point one track short and so he went off into a little studio to finish '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. Bob described the overall sound as too 'sophisticated' and the whole band referred to it as a transitional album. The Tim Hart booklet, 'The Complete Steeleye Span', was given with initial purchases of the LP at HMV. The Album was not a commercial success and Steeleye were dropped by Chrysalis.
Double A side. Both written by Peter Knight. Released around April to support the upcoming tour. 2nd and last single from the album but again didn't trouble the charts, not unexpectedly so.
23 dates and coming quite quickly off the back of the comeback tour (which by all accounts went well) with another set of big venues, although plenty of empty seats per one reviewer.
One review (Leicester) said 'Maddy's singing was assured as ever, effortless but still with bite and clarity, and the group's four-part harmonies were perfect'. 'Peter Knight's fiddle playing sparkled - especially on the quirky Bach Goes Limerick, and Nigel's drumming drove the group through their folk rock set with plenty of power'. 'The somber side of the music was best illustrated in songs like Gone to America and Black Jack Davy, while the humour abounded in 'I have a wish' and 'Where are they Now' (dedicated for the night to the Cambridge Boat Crew!). ' With such a rich variety of music it is strange the bands only hits have been All Around My Hat and Gaudete. For their dedicated fans, who have stuck by them even through their temporary break-up, their concerts provide one of the highlights of the year'.
Another review noted that 'Maddy turned piped piper at the end of the recent Newcastle City Hall gig, skipping through the audience with youthful energy, leading a train of enthusiastic fans up and down the aisles'. Steeleye are currently enjoying something of a renaissance since their successful reunion tour last year, finding that their brand of folk rock is still popular today.' Talking about the break up Maddy said "It was getting very claustrophobic being together all the time. You don't get to see the rest of the world quite so clearly when you feel you are up against it all the time and one gets so enclosed in a band". "At the end we are all at each others throats but, having each gone away and done our own things, we get on very well together now. We decided to do one tour as a reunion and then we were offered the chance to an album. There was lots of money involved and we just couldn't refuse!'
In Liverpool the sprinklers came on straight after the performance leaving all the stage equipment covered in water! There was a chance the next gig in Glasgow would have to be called off (I don't know if it was)
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; Bach Goes Limerick; Longbone; Poem by Maddy; Senior Service; 'I have a wish' (some gigs) 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 (Lots of empty seats)
11th Hammersmith, Odeon
12th Croydon, Fairfield Halls
14th Oxford New Theatre
15th Portsmouth Guildhall
16th Poole Arts Centre
17th Cornwall, St Austell Coliseum. Maddy and Ricks baby, Alex made an appearance at the of the concert for feeding!
May 25th London, Barbican Bank holiday with Akimbo.
A set of songs that carried over from the UK Spring tour keeping virtually all the Sails of Silver tracks. I have seen a reference to a Video/DVD that has some highlights but I have not seen it. However, a recording of almost the whole set has recently turned up. I have put up on youtube a playlist of all the 'Sails of Silver' tracks played at the festival. Click here for the playlist
Little Sir Hugh; Sails of Silver (See Below); Black Jack Davy; Two Magicians; Let Her Go Down; Barnet Fair (Below); Gone to America (Below); Longbone; Bach Goes Limerick; Where are They now?; Thomas the Rhymer; (songs maybe missing from this point) All Around My Hat. Encores: unknown
Below are three rare songs from the Vienna Folk festival!
July 17th: Fete des Leus Frasnes-Lez-Couvin, Belgium.
A return to a major Festival for the returning band. Recorded by BBC. Tracks played on Radio 2's 'Folk on Two' programme (3rd Sept '81 & 29th March '82). In total the following were broadcast in the UK: All Around My Hat; Cam Ye; Long Lankin; Royal Forester; Gaudete and Senior Service. (The latter is on Youtube - LINK) . 'Hat' can be found on a Cambridge Folk Festival collection CD, the others on Bootlegs. Almost the whole concert was broadcast on Belgium Radio (Most of the set is available as a 'BBC Transcription Disc' LP). A high energy set with fewer Sails of Silver tracks and Peter's RAT pedal on overdrive! Chris Dobson has kindly confirmed that they played two separate sets.
Based on the bootlegs, the sets lists were:
Set1: Black Jack Davy; Two Magicians; Saucy Sailor; Longbone; Sir James the Rose; Thomas the Rhymer.
Set 2: Sails of Silver; Long Lankin; Cam Ye (not included on BBC Transcription Disc) so not sure where played in set); Senior Service; Royal Forester; Encore: All Around My Hat; Gaudete.
3rd: BBC TV Highlights of the 17th Cambridge Folk Festival
Included Cam ye o'er Frae France/All Around my Hat. A short video clip was shown on the 2005 BBC Folk Awards when Steeleye were awarded the Good Tradition Award so all the footage should still exist somewhere.
18th BBC TV: Pebble Mill at One.
Appearance by Steeleye Span. Performed 'Saucy Sailor' . Pete's pickup falls off his violin at the climax of the song for a few moments!
Sept/Oct: Maddy Prior Band on tour.
One review described the 'mixed, weird and wonderful repertoire entranced even those who went along hoping to hear 'All Around My Hat', and they noted that the latest single 'Wake Up England' was banned at certain times on Radio One. Songs 'Woman in the Wings' and Girls on the Town' also featured.
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.
Unknown Date (1981)
Isla St. Claire " The song and the Story". Children's TV programme plus Soundtrack LP
This TV series (plus LP) features Scottish presenter and singer Isla St. Claire singing traditional songs backed by members of Steeleye Span (band not on screen) - Rick Kemp and Nigel Pegrum. It also features Richie Close who was part of the 'Maddy Prior Band'. Some songs can be seen on You Tube.
Unknown Date (1981)
Tim Hart & Friends - My Very Favourite Nursery Rhyme Record (EMI - Music for Pleasure). 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.
Tim Hart's final year
28th Jan 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 Feb 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
February. 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. 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.
Feb/Mch: The album was followed by a 'Nationwide Tour'. The following is from the promo leaflet (Rick did not play keyboards!) from the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage (15th March). They also went to Manchester Free Trade Hall ('Performs Showcase '82 with Home Service) on 27th Feb, Clifton Hall, Rotherham on 25th Mch & The Pomegranate, Chesterfield on 29th Mch.
“Maddy Prior has worked as a soloist with several groups since the demise of the original Steel-Eye Span: now she’s formed her own band, including former Steel-Eye colleague Rick Kemp on keyboards — and, after the launch of their debut album in February, they come to the Craig during their nationwide tour, on Monday 15 March. Best described as electric folk/rock, and playing largely original material, the new Maddy Prior Band look set to become a major voice in contemporary music — don’t miss them! Strong support from one of Britain’s top folksinger-songwriters, Mike Chapman”.
12th Nov 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 Dec 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
No Steeleye gigs this year. One of only 4 years in over 50!
An Australian only LP 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) and now the album is available in full on the 2022 Chrysalis 'Good Times of Old England' box set. 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. Click on Image or link below to see the full set list and where all the tracks can be found.
With Steeleye not active in '83, 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 a good time to try again with the Rick/Maddy band. They released an album, single, gained radio play, a TV show and festival appearances, but never with the commercial success required for more significant record company backing. A newspaper article suggested the band had 'mixed reviews'
March: Some gigs for The Maddy Prior Band, including the Wirral Metro College Theatre (20th)
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'.
Rick wrote this single (with unreleased b-side 'Western Movies'.) Dave Stewart was the producer/arranger and Annie Lennox sang backing vocals and played the flute. They were neighbours to Maddy/Rick at the time. It was about to be a minor a hit with regular radio plays but the Eurythmics suddenly got big and so their record company wouldn't licence anything else with Dave or Annie playing on so it quietly got withdrawn.
8th July: TV Appearance for the "Maddy Prior Band" 10.15-1045, BBC 1 (North West)
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."
10/11th July Harlow Jazz and Folk Festival. Billed as 'Maddy Prior' but I assume the whole band
19th August BBC Radio 2 'Ralph McTell and Friends'. Feat. Rick Kemp & Maddy Prior. Sung 'Deep in the Darkest Night' . You can hear it on Youtube.
23rd August: 'Maddy Prior Band' on BBC Radio 2 'Folk on Two' with Jim Lloyd.
Trowbridge Pump Festival (Summer): Appearance for' Maddy Prior Band'
29th Sep: Borough Hall, Staffordshire (Maddy, Rick, Richie Close, Mick Dyche & Gary Wilson)
18th Oct HM Theatre Aberdeen. Maddy Prior Band supporting Ralf McTell.
A report said there was several hundred there and Maddy almost stole the show proving that at last she has shaken off her English Country maiden image of the last decade.
17th Nov Phoenix Arts Centre, Leicester
27th Nov Gateway Theatre, Chester.
(1983) (EMI - Music for Pleasure)
The 'Friends' included Maddy and Rick again but not Bob or Peter. There was a Promo video made for 'Drunken Sailor' see below.
A busy year touring UK, Australia and US. A new album was planned by the end of the year but didn't materialise (see below under 1986 & Flutterby records)
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 2 new songs - Scarecrow which will make it's way onto the next album in 1986, and the 'Autumn to Spring Medley', which is available on the 'Rare Collection 1972-1996' CD. Lady Diamond will also feature on the next album. Blackleg Miner also appears, which apart from one known time at the Albert Hall in 1974, has not been heard live before, certainly not for a whole tour. This version in close to what ended up on the 'In Concert' CD recorded in 1986 although a little higher tempo.
Back Goes Limerick; Blackleg Miner; Black Jack Davy; Longbone; Bachelors Hall; Spotted Cow; Thomas the Rhymer; Harvest Home - 'Autumn to Spring Medley'; Scarecrow; Brown Girl; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; Let Her Go Down; Lady Diamond; Royal Forester; 'All Around My Hat; Encore: Gaudete; The Mason's Apron; 2nd encore: Gone to America.
Note there are probably still some dates missing. Thanks to a Newcastle Uni archive newspaper, the Nottingham review below and the Folk on Two gig we can piece together some of the set list. The Drunkard is the only suprise as its not been heard since it's release in 1976.
Jigs (starting with Peter solo); Blackleg Miner; Black Jack Davy; Bachelors Hall; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; Let Her Go Down; Autumn to Spring Medley; Lady Diamond; Royal Forester; The Drunkard (Maddy a capella); Thomas the Rhymer; All Around My Hat. Encores: Gaudete; Jigs; Gone to America.
Opposite is a review from Nottingham on 17th March
A review from Bangor Uni was also very positive:
'There was an unfamiliar mix of age groups at Bango Uni on Friday for the appearance of modern folk heroes Steeleye Span. Casually dressed students mingled with more formally attired older people for a concert by a group who have managed to transcend the conventional divisions between age and musical appeal. The crowd appreciated much of the new material but it 'best of' tracks that really wowed the 600 eager fans. They have come on a lot since the world first heard the lilting Latin harmonies of Gaudete a few Christmases ago. The bulk of the material on Friday was more in teh style of All Around My Hat- their best known number. It took some time to take effect, but the sounds got the multitude - young and more mature - moving enthusiastically to the music. The vocal range and confidence of Maddy Prior was truly phenomenal. She oozed personality throughout the set, and bounded about the stage like a two year old. The band obviously still enjoy paying and their enduring rhythms, and the fluidity of the arrangements provide something new every time. The Jazz experience of Peter Knight and Bob Johnson is an invaluable asset. Nigel Pegrum, the drummer who is actually born in Trefriw, said later that the band survived two split-ups, which they now preferred to see as just 'rest period for rejuvenation. It obviously helped a Bango. They were as fresh as ever'
15th Feb: Digbeth Civic Hall, Birmingham. with Richard Thompson
16th Feb Liverpool Empire. (per Liverpool Echo)17th Feb Saltford University
18th Feb Davenport Theatre, Stockport
19th Feb Oxford Apollo Theatre
22nd Dundee University (ebay ticket stub)
23rd Feb Newcastle Uni (SU newspaper archive - thanks Neil for the tip off!). Michael Chapman support
24th Leeds Uni.
26th Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
28th Feb Huddersfield Polytechnic
1st Mch Stafford Borough Hall
2nd Mch Bangor University
4th Mch Theatre Royal Bath
5th Mch: Theatre Royal , Plymouth
8th Forum Theatre, Hatfield
10th Mch Dominion Theatre
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.
15th March Brewery Arts Centre, Kendall
17th Mch Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
1984: Towngate Theatre, Basildon. Date unknown so not sure on which tour
1984 Kendal Leisure Centre. Date unknown.
April/May: 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 & Scarecrow continue to be played and a continued re introduction of old songs (Bachelor's Hall; 'When I was on Horseback' as a Maddy/Peter duet & 'Hard Times Old England'). There is less reliance on Sails of Silver album and 'Brown Girl' is played on this tour in a style that would have fitted on Sails Of Silver (Peter on keyboard and a guitar solo)
(95 minute set): 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/Mason's Apron/Gone To America.
29th April; 1st and 2nd May: Adams Theatre, Washington. The Band played two sets here each night so extra tracks not played on rest of tour, including Brown Girl and Scarecrow, both rarely played live.
On Bootleg (29th) :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
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 - 6th Bottom Line, NY (2 Shows every day)
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.
'When I was on Horseback' (Live 1984)
As noted above this song is returned to the set list, and probably for the first time since 1971. It is however now reworked into an atmospheric duet between Peter and Maddy, in a style which they would continue to perform occasionally in the future, most notably 'Betsy Bell and Mary Gray' (1989)
May: 'Elephant Folk Festival' St Germans Cornwall. 26th/27th May.It was actually The Maddy Prior Band that was initially booked by the promoter but Steeleye fulfilled the date. I guess this pretty much marks the end of the 'Maddy Prior Band' as future Maddy solo tours were billed 'Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp'
July: 13th-15th Bracknell Folk festival. Incl Dave Swarbrick, R Digance. They kicked off with Blackleg Miner.
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.
The only time I have seen a summer Steeleye Tour, this tour seemed to be worked around some festival appearances. The PR mentions the 'Best of' CD coming out
10th (fri) Cropedy Folk Festival.
11th St David's Hall, Cardiff
12th St Austell, Cornwall Coliseum
14th Haven Theatre, Boston
17th Brighton, The Dome. w. M Chapman
18th Farnham Maltings,
19th Windsor Theatre Royal
24th Schoten, België, Small festival with support - De Nieuwe Snaar.
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.
Continued part time touring and a final attempt at a Christmas single!
After a busy 1st half of 1984 there was a quiet end to '84 and start of '85 because a planned album had not materialised. Bob in an interview in 1984 had said they would be busy in 1985 if a new album was out, however a record deal from Chrysalis was not forthcoming which delayed the album.
Jan: Peter Knight toured with Trevor Watt' Moire Music (with Liam Genockey)
Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp started touring as a duo. Billed as featuring songs from 'Going For Glory' and 'perhaps one or two old favorites'. Venues included Nettlebed Folk Club, Mansfield Leisure Centre.
Written by Peter Knight). b-side Lanercost. Released on Flutterby records (Band+Adrian Hopkins label). Radio play and TV appearances were not enough to get the single into the charts.
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. (which must have been as early as 1984). 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 these issues in getting a record label that delayed the album's release. Bob mentioned in a 1984 interview that they were making a new album that year.
'On the road to promote the release of their first single for four years' (newspaper article)
No confirmed set list. A program was available but most of it was reproduced from the 1985 program. This tour however was recorded - 'Backleg Miner (Live)' was included on the next album. Sadly nothing else has been released yet from the same concert. But 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.
One review (Leicester) said: "Take a bow, Steeleye Span! A Packed Haymarket Theater and 2 deserved encores last night shows why such a fine band has stood the test of the time".."Maddy Prior was in irresistible form.. Peter Knight stole the limelight..with his remarkable fiddling and impish sense of humour". Review mentions Long Lankin, Thomas the Rhymer, Hat and Gaudete in an 80 minute set
12th October Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, (£3.50)
13th? Fairfield Halls, Croydon (not sure exactly when this concert took place, may have been Dec)
14th Leicester, Haymarket Theatre. Jo Benns support
15th Cardiff, ST David's Hall
19th Aldershot, Princes Hall.
23rd Northampton, Derngate
3rd Nov. Wimbledon
6th Oxford, The Apollo. (Now the 'New Theatre')
7th Southport Arts Centre,
8th Bangor University
?th Macclesfield, (The 'Centre')
21st Nottingham, Theatre Royal. Recording of Blackleg miner for 'Back in line' album.
22nd Birmingham Odeon
20th Dec BBC TV: Pebble Mill at One
They sang (Mimed) 'Somewhere in London' and 'In The Bleak Midwinter'. Sadly very much of the times with regards fashion!
3rd Dec BBC TV 'The Chris Stuart Chat Show'
Similar mimed appearance on 'The Chris Stuart Chat Show'.
Short UK Christmas Tour billed as 'Steeleye Span's Yuletide Show'. 'Selective major venues' per Oct/Nov tour programme. It was a Christmas show with Christmas Trees and even artificial snow falling on the stage! Included Lady Diamond; Black Jack Davy; King Henry; Thomas the Rhymer; Somewhere in London; The Holy and the Ivy
21st Nottingham Royal Concert Hall. Near Capacity
22nd Odeon Theatre, Birmingham. (Plus Harvey Andrews)
23rd Dominion Theatre, London. (Final Concert per programme).
Back in the Studio and Back on the (world) Road to support the album.
Released on the Flutterby label, (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 Adrian having 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. The single 'Somewhere In London' was not included on the LP but added to a later Park CD 1991 re-issue along with 2 live tracks - 'Spotted Cow' and 'One Misty Moist Morning'.
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
May: Article in US magazine Billboard said Steeleye had signed a four album deal with Schanachie (for US distribution) which would start with 'Back In Line'. It also mentioned an East Coast tour in June (see below) and West Coast tour in September (which does not appear to have taken place).
15 dates and advertised as 'Back in the Studio, Back on the Road'. Support Bill Zorn & John Benns.
Recording of songs for 'In Collection' Live album.
One very positive review noted that the audience was not made up of "ageing relics from the sixties with long hair and denim" but rather they were "mainly respectable 'accountant-types and their wives".! They also noted that Gaudete and All Around my Hat were both played and that they would remember the 'astonishing violin playing of Peter Knight for a long time.
I suspect the set list, although not known for sure, will almost certainly be almost identical to the US Tour set list below (which we do know is 100% correct). The assumption that the 'In Concert' Live Collection was recorded on this tour (see Eastbourne below) and features 6 songs that were also on the US Tour add weight to this theory.
8th May 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 where the songs for the 'In Concert' Live CD (Park Records -1994) were recorded: The Blacksmith; The Weaver and the Factory Maid; Spotted Cow; One Misty Moisty Morning; King Henry. Plus 'Betsy Bell and Mary Gray' - The latter 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. £5.50 most expensive seats.
"Bermuda is a 20 sq mile island, 650 miles off the coast of North Carolina. In the 1980's when I lived there, about 5,000 mainly British Ex-pats worked there, making up about 10% of the population. Entertainment was limited, but every bar had a live singer/guitarist and there was a thriving Folk Club. The club encouraged local entertainers and also brought in overseas acts once a month. Many of these were British entertainers who were touring the US. In 1986, we got rather carried away and brought in Gordon Giltrap, Tom Paxton, Peter Yarrow (of Peter Paul & Mary fame) Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span.
As one of the Folk Club organisers, I met the band at the airport and spent several evenings with them. After the gig, three of them (Maddy certainly, probably Peter and Nigel) piled into the back of my car for a ride into town, and sang hymns in harmony. An unbelievable experience."
Thanks Bob for the pictures below!
4th-5th July 'Hartlepool Dock Rock'.
Including Madness, Lindisfarne; Doctor Feelgood. Up to 60,000 expected.
Integer ac vehicula eros, sed dictum sapien. Donec dignissim porttitor ante, sit amet placerat dui. Donec mollis vel arcu et efficitur.
Another tour of Australia, their 5th so far and one with good press coverage and TV appearances.
Lark in the Morning; Lady Diamond; Blacksmith; Peace on the Border; Lanercost; Wee Weaver (? Unlikely) ; 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
'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). Adrian Hopkins told me that the potential single was part of a concept album that Bob had been working on. Per Adrian - "All the songs revolved around A.... 'Green Man'!" Adrian described it as a very typical 'fantasy' Bob concept.
Update in 2023 -
Now of course we know that the song was recorded and has now been released on the 2023 'Green Man Collection' along with a new reworking of the song. The song was found after 40 years on a cassette - the only copy of it anywhere. It was re mastered for inclusion in the collection.
One newspaper report noted that the band were going to tour the Middle East in March. Another newspaper said on 9th April 'They had come hot foot from the Middle East where they have been performing'. Did these dates take place?!
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. The Back In Line album was released on CD ready for this tour.
Reviews noted that 'Cam Ye Oer Frae France'; 'One Misty Morning' were played along with 'Several new numbers'
1st April: Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall.
We know from some promo material (e.g. T Shirt below) that the band embarked on a 'World Tour'. in '87. It appears that we have dates missing for concerts in Europe and maybe more dates were in the US than we have. We have details for the UK tours.
25th May Barbican Theatre London. with 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 August: 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; Weaver & the Factory Maid; 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)
4th year in a row that they visited the States. 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. A good tour as a source of bootlegs as well as the videos from the Philli Folk festival so we get to see Mark Williamson. Likely a few missing dates here.
28th Aug. Old Poole Farm, Harleyville, PA.
30th Aug. Philli Folk Festival. Videos below are from this concert, a rare chance to see Steeleye live in the 80's on video and the audio quality is pretty good. (2 more available are One Misty Moisty Morning and Padstow). A better quality audio bootleg was recently (2023) made available.
Padstow; Sir James The Rose; 4 Nights Drunk; White Man; The Weaver and the Factory Girl; Betsy Bell & Mary Gray; Failed attempt to play Canon By Teleman (couldn't get the loop to work); One Misty Moisty Morning; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; King Henry. (assume some missing)
1st Sept. Black Thorne Tavern, Boston, MA. ('Smallest venue on this tour')
2nd Sept. Nightstage, Cambridge, MA; (Review below)
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.
3rd Iron Horse CoffeeHouse, Northampton, MA. 2 shows
4th & 5th (2 shows both days) Bottom Line, NY
8th & 9th Birchmere, Alexandria, VA.
Per Bootleg: Padstow; Sir James the Rose; 4 Nights Drunk; The Blacksmith; White Man; Let her go Down; 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.
[24th Dec - WDPS-FM (Ohio)- 'Off She Goes' featuring Steeleye Span'. No further details known]
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 than 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. This was also the case for 'Jack Hall' played here for the first time. We also know that there were quite a few songs played from 'Sails of Silver and Back In Line'. This tour features the only known appearance of 'She Moves Through the Fair' played as a Peter and Maddy Violin and Vocals duet which they did many times over the years. One review also confirmed that there was no All Around My Hat.
Simon Jones concluded his review in Folk Roots with 'Span were tight as you like and having a bloody good time. hell, this set would have made a very respectable live LP. With Maddy in perfect voice, the fizz, bubble and clout returning in copious amounts, and with three encores, things look quite rosy. Another review said Steeleye were 'Tight and bristling with enthusiasm'
Partial set list (Victoria Hall & Fairfield Hall mainly): 'The Female Drummer'; 'Four Nights Drunk'; 'Jack Hall'; White Man'; 'She Moves Through the Fair' (Maddy/Peter vocals and violin duet); Marrowbones; 'Edward' ;'Following Me'; 'Cam Ye O'er Frae France'; 'Thomas The Rhymer' ' 3 Encores - 'Gone to America' / Jigs / Gaudete.
9th Oct Canterbury, Marlowe Theatre. Att 935
10th Eastbourne, Congress Theatre.
14th Croydon, Fairfield Hall
15th Lowestoft, Sparrows Nest Theatre
16th Stevenage, Gordon Craig Theatre
18th Oxford Apollo Theatre
19th Swansea, Penyrheol Theatre.
20th Cardigan, Theatr Mwldan
21st Hanley Victoria Hall, Stoke On TrentReviewed in Folk Roots by Simon Jones so we know some of the set list (see above)
22nd Lancaster Town Hall
23rd Leeds Astoria
24th Manchester, Apollo Theatre (Noted in review the Stalls were only half full)
27th Reading, Hexagon Theatre
29th Southport Art Centre
31st Milton Keynes Leisure Centre
1st Nov Derby Assembly Rooms (With Guest Steve Philips)
A quiet year before the 20th Anniversary year
(Sept, Topic Records) 2nd and last Silly Sisters Album which was accompanied by a Tour (Sept). They featured on a BBC Radio concert recording from one date which is widely available as a Bootleg. It is also Here on Youtube. Maddy said in an interview that it was because June had moved into the same area as Maddy (the Borders) that the project came about. They had talked about it over the years but it was their proximity that actually made it happen.
30th Aug: The City Of Leicester Show. With Postman Pat making a personal appearance!
25th Sept: Lister Park, Bradford Free Concert. Included Steeleye
Oct: Maddy and Rick play a few dates, including at Foakes Hall, Dunmow (21st); Globe Hotel Warwick (31st).
Still had Chris Staines in the line up. One preview said 'it will include songs from their forthcoming album ("early 1989") as well as old favourites'. This fits in the rumours of recording at Chris Staines' studio around this time). Other previews mention they had just released 'Portfolio' (which was just a collection) and songs would feature from that. Sadly no set list so please say if you recall anything about this tour!
2nd Nov Colston Hall Bristol,
3rd Madley Court Telford,
4th Arts Centre Southport,
5th Hexham, Queen's Hall
6th Carnegie Hall, Workington,
7th Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall.
11th Poole Arts Centre,
12th Leisure Centre, Bletchley
13th Crucible Theatre, Sheffield,
14th Theatre Royal York,
16th St Davids Hall, Cardiff,
17th Cresset Peterborough,
18th Royal Centre, Nottingham, with Keith Pearson
19th LCR at UEA Norwich,
20th Apollo Theatre, Oxford,
21st Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells,
22nd Corn Exchange Cambridge,
23rd Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage,
24th Warwick University Arts Centre,
26th Beck Theatre, Hayes, The advert incorrectly listed Mark Williamson
27th Lewisham Theatre
'end of 1988'The Pavilion, Hemel Hemstead..??
?? date. London - Paris Theatre
December: Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band on tour