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Roy Harper and Trigger.


   If you've never heard of , or seen Roy Harper play , then you are missing out. He is one of the Great British Angry Songwriters of the 60s and 70s and he has had a long but mainly obscure career, due mainly I think to his refusal to be tamed by the rock establishment .Although he has rubbed shoulders with the likes of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, their celebrity never really transferred into major record sales for Roy. He is not an easy listening artist -even with a rock accompaniment and his political views do not concur with those of the the silent majority. However, if you don't mind having your complacency disturbed , then check out his albums  Folkjokeopus, Stormcock and Bull In a Ming Vase. All have flaws, but they also contain large chunks of pure genius .

Again , I'm indebted to Chris Atkins for this info on Harper's Knebworth 75 show. .

Roy Harper and Trigger

Harper's set was in two parts. The first was Harper on acoustic guitar accompanied by a small orchestra (string and brass) conducted by David Bedford. The second part was Harper plus Trigger.

Chris Spedding (guitar ex Jack Bruce band, Battered Ornaments etc.),
Dave Cochrane (bass)
Bill Bruford (ex Yes and King Crimson).

This performance was, I believe, the last with this Trigger line-up, Bruford and Spedding moving on to other things, Dave Cochrane staying with Harper for several more years.

Harper's set list

Twelve Hours of Sunset
Another Day
(Electric with Trigger)
Hallucinating Light
Highway Blues
Too Many Movies
The Spirit Lives
The Game
Grown Ups are Just Silly Children

(Again, I don't have a copy but a 30 min audience tape exists of Referendum, Highway Blues, Too Many Movies and The Spirit Lives). A BBC recording of a Harper/Trigger concert at the Paris Theatre, London is available through Harper's own Science Friction label. This was recorded two
days before the Festival on the 3rd of July and consists of the electric half of the concert (from Hallucinating Light to Grown Ups are Just Silly Children) .

    I have a copy of the tape and its pretty awful quality. The wind ( the curse of British outdoor rock fest tapers) blows the sound around something awful. However, there may be better recordings of this show around, by this time there were more tapers about and just like Knebworth 74 there are at least two versions of most of the sets, although some have not been freely traded. 

    Roy Harper has spent most of his career working as a solo artist. But in this period ( his most successful commercially ) he did work with a band . Regarding his music of this era he said this.

Interviewer: the sounds of your records in particular were gradually getting bigger and bigger until by about, what, seventy-four/seventy-five and around the time of the HQ album and stuff, you were then beginning to kind of, as a listener, look at them as being fully fledged kind of rock albums, really to sit in that category

Roy: it's a shame really that I didn't have the.... I never got the.... the wealth together to be able to maintain that kind of a band because I felt that was the direction that I should have gone in.... I feel as though.... I feel as though I'd like to get back to that kind of a thing on record but I can't sustain it with a band. I think that there's more chance of sustaining it now than there ever was because there's musicians who are very very good now, who are willing to work for much less than they would have been in those days. It was a fortune to get the best players in those days.



The performances from Knebworth 75 that are known to exist on tape .Pages contain recording details , photos and links .

As far as we know none of the other acts were recorded . But here are the details of their performances , plus a photo of Linda on-stage provided by Henry Cobbold.

Site details .

Can we get a witness ?

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Knebworth Concerts 1974-86


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