Update: 1970s list now available!
During the 1960s Bradford University’s Students’ Union played host to a cornucopia of bands, including plenty of rock, folk, blues and jazz groups. We’ve often been asked if well-known groups played so back in 2004 I asked our then Special Collections Assistant John Brooker to compile a definitive list from Javelin magazine. Now available online: Music at the University of Bradford Students’ Union 1965-1970. And here’s a selection of photographs to give you a flavour of the music the Union was offering to students:
Black Sabbath, who played in May 1970, a “future super group”. Already popular in Bradford (apparently very well received when they played St George’s Hall with Blodwyn Pig), the band were tipped by reviewer Ron Yaxley for the top: “See them whilst you can!”.
Another super group in the making did not impress “Bryan” at the 1968 Freshers’ Ball: Status Quo have “so little talent and even less personality. They were not worth the £175 that Ents paid for them”.
However Bryan was very impressed by legendary blues group Chicken Shack. At a later concert (in February 1970 – unfortunately couldn’t get the images to reproduce well) Chicken Shack thrilled Terry Carroll: “This just had to be the greatest show seen at Bradford Union for a long time … the ecstatic fans got to their feet and rocked … dance ends with scenes reminiscent of Hair”.
The Union also hosted many folk artists. Here’s Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick, “two of the most original and talented singers on the British folk song scene”, guests at the University’s folk club in December 1968. They were well received: “During their act there was certainly no need to ask for quiet, as is so often necessary”.
“Get with it with a banjo-uke!”. This image from 19 October 1967 shows a woman playing a banjo-ukulele. Her name isn’t given, but she is “one of the Travellers – a folk-singing group from Chesterfield”. I couldn’t find out anything about this band though there is a well-known Canadian folk group of this name …
Do you remember these or other concerts at the University? Do let us know! Interested in gigs after 1970? We’re hoping to do some research on these soon (expect something about Nirvana, Motorhead and Infest …).