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September 20th 1969.
This is the concert from 1969 that has been forgotten, overshadowed by its gi-normous predecessors in June and July of the same year , to date we have very little information regarding what went on at this show, but we recently received the following details of film that exists of almost the entire show .
The following concert from one of the Free Hyde Park concerts was recorded on videotape and exists in our collection.
* Soft Machine
* The Deviants
* Al Stewart
* Edgar Broughton Band
is excellent quality shot on a tripod stage front. Al Stewart's set was not
taped, but the other acts all appear on the tape.
for the excellent website which has proved very useful in researching some memoirs.
I am writing about the Soft Machine/Deviants concert, 20th September 1969. I cannot provide a full review as such but will give the limited information that I can recall (as there is little to-date at the website).
I attended the Soft Machine concert shortly before going to university. I travelled up to London (from Southend-on-Sea) with a group of friends on the Saturday morning. The concerts had outgrown the "cockpit" area by this time and this was was the first to be staged on the big field next to Park Lane. However, unlike the all the subsequent concerts the stage was sited at the Marble Arch end of the field near Speakers Corner (rather than at the Serpentine end). Before the concert we could see some of the speakers on their boxes waving arms about but I think they gave up when the gig started as there was no way they could compete with the sound system. There was a small group of Hells Angels as security around the stage (as with the Stones) and it was a very fine and sunny afternoon.
The Edgar Broughton band did their usual set with audience participation for "Out Demons Out".
Eclection made a surprise appearance with a new singer Dorris Henderson replacing Kerrilee Male to sing alongside Michael Rosen. Presumably this appearance was to make up for their postponement from the Fleetwood Mac concert of 68.
Quintessance gave a very good performance that worked well on a sunny afternoon as did Al Stewart.
The Deviants appeared in black leather jackets and did a rock set that got the audience going, especially the Angels. There were lots of references to dope and acid and it was evident that the band had participated (along with many of the audience, of course). During the set, a blonde, tattooed and topless women (presumably an Angel) managed to get onto the stage where she also removed her pants and began to dance to the music. She was about to leap on Mick Farren when she was grabbed by roadies and carried off-stage.
Soft Machine were brilliant but a bit too technical for the audience at that time and unfortunately, for many it became a little dull rather than providing a climax to the show.
Hope that is useful.
The Soft Machine show came at the end of a long summer. It felt as if, for most of the audience, it had been a summer of total overindulgence. It certainly had been for me.
I remember Al Stewart sitting down on a chair on stage and playing a mellow set of bedsitter folk songs. Quite a few people seemed to like him, but I found him rather wishy-washy (yawn).
I remember that the Deviants were absolutely not wishy-washy ~ very aggressive and angry. I've heard them described as being the first real punk band. Works for me.
But most of all I remember being entranced by the sublime musicality of the Soft Machine. A brilliant band. So totally outside.Imprinted on my memory is the sight of Robert Wyatt singing, and playing amazingly complex drum patterns, wearing just a pair of Y-fronts.
really remember the other acts, but I'm sure I sang 'Out, Demons, Out!' with
Edgar and the boys one more time. Great times, indeed!
Great web site :).
In 1969 I was living in Kilburn, North West London and went to three of the three free concerts in Hyde Park, The Blind Faith Concert, The Stones Concert and the Soft Machine Concert. The stage for The Soft Machine Concert was near Speakers Corner and not by the lake as the previous concerts had been. It was though, another glorious summer’s day. Before the concert started, they played "Come Together" from "Abbey Road" over the PA system and maybe one or two other tracks. Somehow someone had managed to get an advance copy of the LP, which was not released until 26th September.
music was great with The Edgar Broughton Band, The Deviants and The Soft Machine
but a few of us wondered who Al Stewart was as he was a little hard to hear.
The most memorable bit for me was when The Deviants were playing and a semi-nude
young lady got up on stage and began to dance. As she started to remove the
rest of her clothes there was a huge cheer from the crowd. Then a Hells Angel
also got on stage and took his leather jacket off to another great cheer but
then he put the jacket over the young lady's shoulders and guided her off the
stage, this time to a chorus of boos from the disappointed audience. It was
though, another wonderful afternoon in Hyde Park with great music and relaxed
atmosphere, what more could you want on a warm summer's day in London.
I was at this concert and can confirm that the acts included Eclection as well as those on your list.
I noted some of the lineups as follows:
Eclection: Dorris Henderson, Georg Hultgreen (later Georg Kajanus of Sailor), Gerry Conway, Trevor Lucas, John Palmer. I think Michael Rosen had left by then.
Quintessence: Raja Ram, Shiva Shankar, Maha Dave, Allen Mostert, Sambhu Babaji, Jake Milton.
Soft Machine: Mike Ratledge, Hugh Hopper, Robert Wyatt.
DJs were Pete Drummond and Jeff Dexter. Roy Harper also made an announcement but did not play.
I’m pretty sure this was the concert where the headline act was meant to be Jefferson Airplane but they hit work permit problems.
All the Best
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Concert reviews and info -1968-71
(These pages include large photogalleries of the concert, most especially King Crimson and Jack Bruce. )
Concert reviews and info -1974-76( all updated Nov 2018)