The Archive.
Best viewed at 800x 600 resolution.

last update June 2009


Big thanks to our sponsor Neil !

For information on today's festivals see

The Crystal Palace Garden Parties.

June 7 1975.

Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, Steeleye Span, Billy Cobham, John Cale , Jack Bruce Band with Carla Bley and Mick Taylor .


    A very intriguing mix of fusion, folk-rock and rock-pop, with the indefinable Mr Cale thrown in for good measure.This would have been a very interesting show.

Photo © Bruce Gary ( Jack Bruce's Drummer )

An audience tape of the Jack Bruce set exists

  • Morning Story
  • .Keep It Down
  • Pieces Of Mind
  • Politician
  • Out Into The Fields
  • Spirit
  • Ticket To Waterfalls
  • Weird Of Hermiston
  • Post War
  • Smiles And Grins.

I was 15, along with 4 other school mates and this was my first outdoor gig, the 1975 Crystal Palace Garden Party.
Jack Bruce band- excellent. although Jacks voice was a little ropy if i remember rightly.
John cale- Now heres the funny thing, i don't remember him being there, although i do remember Bryn Haworth playing, maybe taking his place? He was ok, and a pretty good guitarist.
Billy Cobham- Went over my head a bit, but an awesome drum kit none the less, and obviously an incredible drummer.
Steeleye Span- Without a doubt a doubt the Spans stole the show. They were awesome and Peter Knight did an amazing electric violin solo with tons of echo used to maximum effect. Everyone, and i mean everyone was dancing. I ended up about 50 yards from where i'd been sitting. I've been a fan ever since.
Steve Harley- Oh dear, what a shame! I'd really been looking forward to this, but unfortunately he was so far up his own backside that day that he just didn't connect with the audience. In fact he hardly spoke. Great band though with Jim Cregan and that famous acousic guitar solo. I think we left early and left him to it, along with many others.

Vivid memory- The guy next to us smoking the biggest joint i have ever seen!
Great day.
I'll try to track down an old mate of mine who may have a program.

Good site, keep up the good work.

My second Garden Party was in June '75 and I distinctly remember it being a scorcher. I'd gone along to see Cockney Rebel and Steeleye Span. Again, I have great memories of others on the bill. I remember Mick Taylor (still the greatest Stones guitarist ever) stealing the show with The Jack Bruce Band and John Cale looking legendary. I have no recollection of Billy Cobham whatsoever, don't ask why? Steeleye were superb and Maddy Prior was on top form with her singing and step dancing. I remember there being a boat on the lake and Maddy stepping into it and singing whilst being rowed across the lake. It was very hot. So hot in fact that a good number of us chose to jump into the lake to cool off prompting Maddy to disembark and get back onto dry land again - the stage. Now this, as I remember, was a shame as a number of people swam towards the stage and ended up on a submerged pontoon that had been erected for Steve Harley to use in his show. He was to create the impression that he was walking on water. Perhaps Alan's recollection that Steve Harley was "so far up his own backside" is borne out by this. Anyway, an announcement was made that Cockney Rebel would not appear until everyone was out of the water. Unfortunately, a few of us didn't hear what was being said and a barrage of bottles and cans rained down into the lake making us exit pretty quickly. All in all though, another great day at the Bowl. I never got to go to anymore. I have no idea why either. So to you all, have a great summer 2008 and may the sun shine brightly on all your festivals.


Garden party features

   We have been endeavouring to collect audience or sbd tapes of the performances at this festival , so we can effectively review the performances, provide set lists and band line-ups. The intention is to also display as many personal histories of the festival as possible.

Any info to add ?-well don't just sit there , Contact us

Back to the main Archive.