My friends and i were there for this concert. Took some good photos of Alex Harvey and of course Yes. And only looked at them a few weeks ago. But back memories
Monday, May 17, 2021 1:29 PM
To Mike, Cardiff: You are a pitiful loser. Please don't mention crappy punk bands on the webpage of the biggest band in the world, YES. Thank you, very much.
Sunday, February 14, 2021 5:11 AM
Only just found this site, so thought I’d leave a quick note. I too was a 16 year old Brummie. Never been to a gig before. It was everything that has been already said, but it fired me in to a real big YES fan. I’ve since seen YES and the individual members play live well into treble figures. IMO the Full Circle and 35th anniversary back to back tours with the classic line up was outstanding and playing at there best. Also add that I do have a bootleg of the ‘Rainy Show’ and it does capture Jon promising to come back! It is a terrible recording as you can imagine, but a great momento of my first gig.
Andrew T. Finney
Friday, November 8, 2019 5:16 AM
A little more information regarding the gig at the Victoria Ground with Alex Harvey and Yes in 1975.
I had primarily gone there to watch Yes perform after seeing them a few years earlier at nearby Trentham Gardens Ballroom possibly following the release of the Fragile album. The Alex Harvey band took to the stage minus Alex himself and started to play, meanwhile, Alex could be heard singing off stage somewhere. Behind the the speakers from floor to ceiling and spread across the width of the stage was a huge white net curtain. Suddenly a black mark appeared on the net and started to form the letter 'V' followed by an 'A'. Eventually, the full text was revealed as 'VAMBO RULES', or was it 'ROOLS'?. It was Alex with a spray can of black paint writing from the back of the curtain. Mr Harvey then appeared to cheers and continued the set.
I also remember a couple lying down on the centre spot under a piece of polythene and copulating in front of those around. Obviously the music and act weren't to their taste?
Following the Yes set, they exited upward stage left (to the audience). In those days the security was non-existent and myself and another fan managed to climb over the barrier and collar Patrick Moraz before he disappeared into the dressing room. We spent a good five minutes asking him questions before he left for backstage.
I must have really enjoyed the concert as a failed to remember the rain! A great day that has lived in memory for so many years. (Except the rain of course)!
Monday, February 15, 2016 12:48 PM
My recollections of the event. First, the rain. Started at about the end of the SAHB set and just got worse as the evening went on. I was drenched but happy, under a plastic sheet with just my head sticking through (beanie hat getting soaked); less happy was Steve Howe of Yes when part of a canopy collapsed under the weight of rainwater and it cascaded over him and the pedal steel guitar he was playing at the time. That was when Yes decided to cut their set short apparently. Next, the aggro. A load of Alex Harvey fans from Glasgow had come down for the gig and got into a ruckus with local kids. The band (this was during SAHB's set) eventually stopped playing, with Alex imploring 'I've tried aggro! It disnae work!' Then one of the bouncers dragged a kid by his head past the stage. 'You! Stop that or ALEX WILL BE ROUND TAE SEE YE!' Lastly, and to my shame, as a Port Vale fan I thought it my duty to cause as much damage to Stoke City's pitch as possible. I made one or two holes in the turf; it was nowhere near as much damage though as 35,000 punters on a soggy night. I don't think they ever did it again........
Monday, February 8, 2016 2:25 PM
Only just found this site - how strange to be putting the down now after all these years thinking about this day. I went with my then girlfriend. We were both 16 and it was the big day out others have talked about here - we travelled from Coventry.
I now think of it as the turning of the world. We only went to see Yes, had heard of and heard songs by Gryphon and Ace but SAHB were an unknown.
They were brilliant, terrifying, another life. The music was full of energy and danger. The stage show was gripping. Their world view was everything two prog teenagers had never thought of embracing in their world, but knew to be out there - Jacques Brel, 'Delilah' revealed to be the nasty song about domestic violence we still can't accept even now. That was why it was such a revelation.
Yes the outbreak of violence was awful - I remember that the band stopped when someone flung a ball of newspaper set on fire with lighter fuel. But how lame, tame and…old…Yes seemed when they came on. Only a year or so later we were realising that the Adverts, the Damned, the Clash were our realities, trying to express the day, the future, not people trying to get us to escape our lives with their floaty costumes and misty fantasies. When you look at the QPR videos, you get a sense of how flat it all was by then. I loved Yes, but this was when i realised they didn't care about me.
Saturday, October 18, 2014 9:35 AM
A very special, very wet night SAHB did steal the show indeed Gordon! The Yes stage set was ace too Went to the pub afterwards with some great friends Dave Hurst and his wife Adrianne and a very special lady Pauline !!!! Yes is not Yes without Jon!
Saturday, May 10, 2014 6:43 AM
Only just found this. I was onstage for most of the concert. I was there for BBC Stoke. After a while we were getting small shocks through our feet !!! The concert went on with a sense of foreboding. One of Gryphon was a the brother of my lodger, Steve and stayed at my place in Hanley. Alex Harvey stole the show. I seem to remember a brick wall on stage ????
Wow, this brings back back some memories!!
Having just seen Yes in Manchester we decided to make the treck over to Stoke to see them again (with the added bonus of seeing the Alex Harvey band). The rain put paid to Yes's set and like everyone else who was at the show we still wait for the 'free one'!!
Alex Harvey, well what can you say! This was a hugely under-rated band and the albums never really gave them the justice that they deserved.
We were stood about 20 ft behind where the trouble broke out (to the bands right) and when he stopped the set and pointed over in our direction we all looked at each other and wondered what the hell he was threatening us for!! (Laughing to myself thinking about that). Anyway the show went on; In my mind Alex Harvey stole the day with a blaster of a show.
Come to think of it, there were some great shows around that time.
Deep Purple on the Burn tour at Manchester's old Belle Vue site was particularly good!!
As they say....Happy Days....
I was just 16 in 1975 and must've cadged the cash for the ticket or saved birthday money. Yes, it was very wet and that dampened the spirits a bit, but I've seldom been as excited as I was when Jon and Co came on stage. I remember the tracks played quite well, and especially remember the astonishment when during Ritual, the Roger Dean stage set lit up from inside and started to move (I had no idea of that effect beforehand). I had to doss down after the gig with some distant family for that night and as I arrived I must have looked like a drowned rat - apparently there were extra late trains though. My other memory was seeing a gorgeous girl with brown eyes and silver hair across the crowd whom I still worship - if only phone cameras had existed I would have a picture [sigh]. Great days, fond memories just before revision leave and 'O' level exams. Yes is still my music of choice when I have to work long and hard into the night - dunno what it is but it works for me.
What a wonderful site! All these reviews bring it 'flooding' back (sorry). Me & my friend Andy were 14 yr old Brummies at the time, so you can imagine what an adventure this day long gig was for us. In our nascent hippy minds we were Bilbo & Frodo on some amazing quest...and so it turned out to be. I started gigging young (D.Bowie, Brum Town Hall '73, 12yo) so had already my fair share of experiences, but this was my 1st all-day-outdoorer & with the bands on offer they'd have been hard pushed to pick a more diverse foursome. Gryphon fitted perfectly in with our hobbit imaginings & had obviously been transported to the stage via witchcraft from a bygone age. Ace brought us abruptly up to date & to this (rigidly prog) mind broke the mystical spell. SAHB!!! well & truly shattered all & any hippyisms. I remember stripy jumpers, clown make-up, beer-cans & bust ups. I remembered I was 14...and wanted my mummy! For me they stole the show. The weather & truncated set was obviously not in Yes's favour, but how do you follow an act like SAHB?? Impossible & unfair. Despite this handicap, Yes were of course brilliant as always, soldiering on masterfully & wonderful to see some much needed life blood in the shape of Patrick Moraz, who played an absolute blinder. How could you this possibly get any better? Well how about meeting Jon A & Patrick M afterwards, having a chat & getting their autographs on tickets (sadly long gone)! In the excitement the ragged & soaked blanket I'd artfully draped around myself had fallen to the floor & to top it all Mr Anderson said to me in his inimitable northern-slightly-cracked-pixie voice, "You've dropped your cloak". What more could a 14 yr old hobbit aske for?!
My first ever outdoor gig. I was 18. Had listened and listened to Yessongs for years and couldnt wait to see them in person. When the ticket arrived in the post weeks beforehand, I held it for hours reading it over and over. I found it difficult to believe that I was actually about to hear these gods of prog rock for real. Travelled from Dublin on my own (no one else I knew liked Yes enough to come! I felt like a pioneer from depressed troubles strewn Ireland). Dont know how i found my way to Burslem, Stoke, cos i hadnt a clue! Funny I dont remember the rain. Ace played How Long first and then Gryphon played their own odd brand of stuff. Alex Harvey stole the show. Right from the start the sound was absolutely crystal clear. Drums, Bass, Keyboards, Zal's guitar - yes he had the clown's face on and AH's vocals were perfect. Each song was stunningly punched out and i really felt that this band would be a very hard act to follow on the day. The violence. Yes I remember Alex stopped half way through a song and railed the fighting fans "Hey, Yuh! Ahm talkin to YUH!" and then threatening that "the concert is cancelled!". Am I allowed say, that i taped the show?! Unfortunately, the tape got lost. I still miss it! The gods of prog came on but i do remember not being wholly impressed after such huge anticipation. The set was full of guitar tunings and organ splashes in between songs. I really wanted them to be great but i guess the rain played its part and it was pretty much a washout. Made up for it tho when they played Dublin in 2003 - they were brilliant and have never sounded better. Looking at the QPR live video, i wonder were they ever a big stadium band at all?! Love the site. Great to read all the comments and have the memories stirred.
I travelled from Manchester with some friends to see the Stoke gig. I was nineteen and had to see YES at every opportunity but didnt consider going to the QPR gig with Stoke being so much closer to home. I remember Ace playing "How long" at least twice by poular demand. I was just near the idiots at the front who were drunk and started to cause a bit of trouble. Alex Harvey threatened to come down and sort it out if they didnt stop and stop they did! The Yes set started ok but the rain was gradually getting so bad you knew the show was in danger of being called to a halt. When the awning at the back finally gave way the band started to leave but Anderson dragged them back to perform one more song Roundabout I think. Fast forward to Reading later that summer and yes it poured down! Thats why Jon said "we seem to bring rain" during the opening numbers.Cheers to all that were at Stoke.
This was my first outdoor concert and travelling alone as a young kid of 17 , i was grateful for the symathetic looks and general feelgood factor. 'How Long' ace was and still is one of my all time fav's, can't remember if they did it.
the early show saw Ace and Gryphon do short sets albeit i can't remember much except they perhaps sounded or looked similar to gentle giant a group i saw when Man supported them at the town hall.
Alex harvey certainly produced a barnstormer with Tomahawk kid, Faith Healer and She's got the Jack.
Despite the rain Yes had an immpressively created stage set, Patrick was so so very good and complimented Steve howe who produced a wonderful lick on the opening Sound Chaser, for all good people, it was so soon its over.
Thanks to Alex Harvey and a real supergroup Yes , a raindrenched crowd were only midly dissapointed by the shortness of the set.
I can corroborate many of the comments made concerning the Stoke concert. I was there as a 16 year old with a group of fifth form students from a school in Liverpool. The English teacher had persuaded the headmaster to allow us to loan the school minibus for the trip. Many had not been to a concert at all before. I had been to the Yes show at the Liverpool Empire on April 28th. That was my first ever concert. Yes were, and still are, my all-time favourites, and I just had to see them again; thus the Stoke trip. I found Gryphon to be a superb group and afterwards I really got into their old-English style music purchasing 'Gryphon" and "Midnight Mushrumps". I had heared of SAHB before, and I am sure I had seen them on the Old Grey Whistle Test. I remember the violence, which if I recall was rather minor. Alex Harvey had warned the crowd of the violent undertones in "Framed", the performance of which included Alex putting a noose around his neck. If I am not mistaken the violence took place during that number. We watched the bands from various spots around the ground, as the area in front of the stage was well packed. However, after SAHB and before Yes, there was a considerable break. It had already started to rain and many headed for the stands to dry out and get refreshments. We saw our opportunity and headed straight for the front. Although soaked to the skin, we had a great view and saw exactly why the concert was called off. The stage roof was effectively a canvass sheet. The sheet had been collecting water for some time and could no longer hold the weight. The sheet split, or two sheets parted, and water poured down onto the amps fusing them out. The show stalled as the roadies worked hard to recover the situation. Yes pressed on with an acoustic version of "Long Distance Runaround", which I don't recall being done acoustically at the Liverpool gig. eventually they threw in the towel, cancelling because of fear of electrocution to the band members. I also recall the promise of a free concert, but it was made by Steve Howe if I am not mistaken. One of my clear memories of the day is a 2000-a-side footy match; some joker just had to bring a ball! When we returned to our minibus the tyres had been slashed, which just topped off our disappointment. I didn't see Yes again until the Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe tour. But I have managed to see them 6 times since and they remain as great as ever. Long may Yes continue.
Having been to two nights at Newcastle City Hall the previous month, I made the trip down from Newcastle to see Yes, open air at Stoke.
Having read Brian's piece, my memories of the day were enhanced somewhat, Alex Harveys' reaction to the rioting was class !! I don't remember Ace at all. I had seen Gryphon for the first time at the City Hall, a university band if i recollect, they had just released an album "Red Queen To Gryphon Three" (which I later bought). The music was different to say the least, but enjoyable nonetheless (the long haired guy on the penny whistle was amazing). Gryphons set was no less enjoyable at Stoke.
I had never seen Alex Harvey before, although I'd heard some of his music. Zal Clemenson (lead) was absolutely amazing and looked the part too in a tight bright green outfit, his mannerism if I remember was almost clownish (did he have his face painted??), but what an axe player.
I remember the rioting (and the beer cans!!) but Brians piece brought back to me AH's threat to "sort it out" himself.
As for the rain, man, didn't the heavens open!! I don't remember Yes getting through 40 mins, I thought it was much less than that, but It certainly was not 2 hours!!!
And yes, Jon Anderson.........what about our free gig!! You should come back and honour that matey although it'd have to be the Britannia Stadium now!!
I never saw Yes in concert again and probably never will now, If anyone has a copy of the QPR gig vid that year, I'd love a copy!! or where can I get one in the UK.
Accounts I have heard from attendees corroborate the story that Yes *did* shorten their set considerably due to rain.
I attended this show with my friend Pat Kelly. We were both teenagers with little cash, but decided after the Glasgow shows at the Apollo, that we had to see them again.
The show was on a Saturday afternoon in May. My parents were dead against us making the overnight trip to England. However knowing my determination (I had previously attended a Yesshow with Bronchitis), my father actually took us to a truck depot near Glasgow where he knew there were overnight trailers travelling to Stoke. We managed to hitch a non-stop ride all the way to Stoke. (250 miles).
The support acts were Ace, Gryphon, and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. The weather was fine during these acts. However there was an outbreak of violence in the audience during the SAHB set. SAHB were a Glasgow band playing raucous rock including a "pre-punk" version of Tom Jones' "Delihla".
The concert date was very close to the then annual England Vs Scotland football match. SAHB had brought many fans down from Glasgow, and during their set non-SAHB fans started to chant "England...England..". This was returned with interest as the Scottish fans hurled abuse, and then fighting broke out between the warring factions.
Alex Harvey stopped the SAHB set, and threatened to come into the audience and sort out the troublemakers himself. Amazingly this did the trick, the violence ceased, and the whole event proceeded as if nothing happened. Yes only played for around 40 minutes. The rain actually started during the opening song "Sound Chaser", and gradually got worse. My fading memory cannot recall all of the setlist. However, they brought forward the acoustic part of the set including "Long Distance Runaround" "Your Move" "Clap" with a transparent drape across the front of the stage, but to no avail as the wind was opening the curtain, and rain still reaching the stage. As I recall the reason given for abandonment of the show WAS fear of electrocution.
(Alex Harvey's brother Les had been electrocuted on stage with Stone the Crows just one year earlier - Steve Howe stood in for Les Harvey when Stone the Crows played Reading Festival that year).
As the band left the stage, Jon said "We will come back and do a free show show for you...promise". They never have ....Yet!!
Just to put the record straight regarding the 1975 Stoke gig. It did rain (terribly), but Yes continued for at least 2 hours despite the awful conditions.
I remember feeling that Steve wanted to quit as he seemed to have the most problems. His pedal steel was humming badly every time he touched it, and the rain didn't help with any intricate playing.
It really must have been quite dangerous to play in those conditions, but Jon wanted to keep going. The lighting also suffered, several props worked for a short while and had to be abandoned, but all in all, it was my first Yes concert and an experience I'll always remember (along with all the other Yes concerts too).