The Archive. A History Of UK Rock Festivals
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September 28th 1968.
Roy Harper,The Action, The Move,The Action, The Strawbs , Clouds ,Pete Brown.
The Bandstand, Hyde Park.
The miniscule show in the bandstand © Mick West
We received several contradictory posts in 2006 from visitors to the site regarding a show that was ( presumably ) not documented . The accounts were VERY contradictory , as people had different recollections about who played and just where the events had taken place.
First of all Steve Norris wrote .
We thought that Steve was referring to the concert on 9-28-68 which featured The Move, Clouds, Strawbs and Roy Harper, but he replied ....
Left: The Action© Mick West
The mystery deepened as Martin Shankleman sent us this missive:
Then the esteemed Mick West ( who took his camera along and took the excellent pictures featred on this page ), sent us a number of photos he took at the gig . He could not really remember when it took place either or who played - and he had lost a few negatives as well. However, he said the weather was good, the crowd tiny and he thought that the show was held in May 1968 .
SO, we have now cleared this one up, we know the complete lineup - although we have no photos of the Battered Ornaments ( one would really think that Mick would have remembered the polis hauling Pete off to the nick ) or the Move and we know that Pink Floyd were there in the audience.
Quite a few people have now confirmed this was the September 28th show, the first being Charles Thomson
I went to that event. I got to hear about a concert that Pink Floyd were doing in Hyde Park. How, I'm not sure - either word of mouth or maybe a mention in International Times. I set off with my girlfriend of the time. As we approached the venue, you could find the way because of the kind of scattered people heading in the same direction. There was a guy walking in front of us, who was obviously not a "straight": his hair was too long and, although he wore a jacked, it was cut longer than a city suit. There was at that time a sense of either being part of the alternative society and belonging - or not. And appearance was a demarcation of that.
The concert was on a bandstand. Disappointingly, Pink Floyd weren't going to be playing - I think it was because their lorry had broken down. As I recall, that was announced. I'd gone there for Pink Floyd, so no one else could really match up to them. Roy Wood was on stage, and I'd never seen anyone with such a mass of dark thick long hair and a very impressive beard to go with it. However, I don't remember him being announced as part of The Move. I was again a bit disappointed by that, as I liked The Move, and it meant he probably wasn't going to be playing The Move songs I knew. He may have played some: I can't remember. I gained the impression that he'd moved on (excuse pun) from The Move and was there in his own right or with a new band, and for years it has stuck in my mind that the band was Wizard, but that would be too early, unless it was a brief prototype appearance.
Someone sang Politician, but it wasn't the Cream. It was performed fairly aggressively, but if it was the incident where the police hauled Pete Brown off, they must have done so fairly efficiently, as I don't recall the stage being filled with policemen - and that would be the sort of thing that would stick in the mind. The only other thing that stuck in my mind was that my girlfriend had a bleeding toe, and took off her shoe to reveal a bit of blood seeping through the end of the foot of her tights.
There may have been a bit of rain: I'm not sure. But there certainly wasn't a continuous deluge. The area surrounding the bandstand wasn't huge and was overhung with trees, but there was comfortable enough space to sit or stand: most people were standing. We were reasonably close to the front, but it would have been fairly easy to have wandered around and got closer. It seemed as though there were only about two or three hundred people there. It was like a private party and a good, relaxed atmosphere. If you knew what was happening, you could be there. I don't know the date, but if it was 1968, then I would have been 15. (I used to sell OZ and International Times at school.)
I wasn't interested in the Rolling Stones performance at Hyde Park. It seemed just like an ordinary pop concert, mass entertainment without the meaning and sense of purpose of the early concert at the bandstand.
I went to the Hyde Park concert when Pink Floyd performed (premiered?) Atom Heart Mother. There was a different atmosphere altogether. The audience franchise had expanded considerably, but it was quite relaxed and there seemed to be plenty of available space for people.
A month or so later on Saturday 28th September everything was different. It was a rainy afternoon and the site was definitely not the Cockpit. My memory is of a flat area alongside Park Lane, fairly near to the Marble Arch corner of Hyde Park. This time no Stuart and no mascara (probably for the best given the drizzle) but I did meet Steve there – I still know him and he confirms the different venue. The mood was far less celebratory and liberating, probably as a result of the weather and the less concentrated setting. The bands were of a different order too – Clouds were up and coming (but never really arrived). The Move were pretty mainstream by this stage after their early 1967 pre-hit television-smashing psychedelic feedback "Disturbance period" – however, they played what my diary recorded as a "great" set which according to Steve included an appropriate "Flowers in the Rain".
Roy Harper made another appearance and I have diary evidence that The Strawbs also played. The other band I saw, not previously listed on this site as appearing, was the excellent genre-crossing Action. I think they played early afternoon. They were well past their mod icon phase and had experienced a brief spell as Azoth before re-adopting their original name. Later they became Mighty Baby and produced an excellent album on the Head label. And of course, the original Action line-up is alive and playing in the 21st century. As far as I recall Ian Whiteman definitely played this gig and the staggering (in all senses) Martin Stone must have been in the band on guitar. They were experimenting with a West Coast sound at this point and possibly included one or two jazzy numbers – certainly Whiteman played flute on some numbers.
My diary evaluation of the afternoon read: “Rainy but quite good”. And this just about summed it up. It didn’t have the atmosphere of the August concert – Steve remembers this one as "melancholic"– but nevertheless it far outstripped the later over-blown events featuring The Stones and Blind Faith, where the earlier sense of freedom and innocence had been stripped away.
As I recall the concert was originally to be held on the Saturday (I think in mid-September) but was postponed until the next day because of bad weather. It was a dull and damp day even then and the concert was held on the bandstand, presumably because it was drier underfoot. I know I went to One Stop Records off Oxford Street beforehand and bought the new Doors LP Waiting for the Sun. After 39 years I don't remember a lot about the actual music: I know that the Move didn't play any of their own stuff but covers of contemporary stuff (So You Want to be a Rock n Roll Star, Stephanie Knows Who). I vaguely recall an announcement that the Small Faces were billed to play but couldn't make it. I only saw two of the '68 free concerts (my first ever live music experience) but they were so much more relaxed and enjoyable than the '69 and '70 shows I went to.
Love and peace
I was reading about the 68 Hyde Park shows and wonder are you sure there were two bandstand shows with the Move?
Along with various people I had signed up to a (then of course snailmail) mailing list that a listener (Jean I think, she lived in Harlow) had set up when the John Peel 'Perfumed Garden' shows ended with the closure of the pirate station Radio London. John had given out her address and the suggestion we sent our addreses & phone numbers to Jean who collated them all then sent the list back to everyone. I am still in regular contact with one friend I met then!
So by 1968 various people were keeping in touch and a loose group of us managed to meet up at the series of 'back of a lorry' free shows near the lake during '68. I always believed I saw all the 68 free shows and the Move in the bandstand was after the 'lorry' ones and the only one we ever saw in the bandstand.
I can remember the weather was wet and miserable shortly before the gig and stayed dull during much of the show. I remember it all being a bit disappointing as the ground was too wet to sit and it was difficult to get close enough to see and hear. While the other shows had a magical summer quality this was rather downbeat and drab and we were standing and walking round. I have some idea that this show may not even have been one of the same series, that it was more to showcase the somewhat more commercial Move rather than be like the multi band 'underground' shows of the afternoons earlier in the year. But that may just be a result of the weather and/or last minute rescheduling which reduced the time or made it impossible to have the same range of bands.
I didn't even own a camera then and memory is so inconsistent after 40 years. I went to the Stones show the following year and still have the girl I went with, we married a couple of years later, but I have nothing tangible from the '68 shows except a warm glow of happy memories.
All the best, love the site.
I went to the bandstand concert and I cannot add anything else of great significance really. I remember the start was pretty chaotic, but eventually Roy Harper opened. I remember he sang "I hate the White Man". Then it was the Action, I believe. I was impressed because the drummer had a double bass drum set, which was unusual then.I remember Pete Brown being carted off by the police,and don't remember the Move at all!I used to take photos at all the concerts...but all the negatives gradually got lost in a succession of flat moves in the 1970's. When I found this site I was so sick I didn't still have them.
All the best with the site,
As far as I can remember Pete Brown and Roy Harper were the guilty parties who, in their own words,"disorganised this lot!". It must have been in the September as, many years later, a friend confessed to me that he had been FoH sound man for Family and been bought off them for a transfer fee of a crate of cider and a dog at the earlier concert in the park by The Fairports.
The bandstand gig I attended was memorable in that The Move knocked someone (a girl?) down with their van as they were leaving, they had played a few numbers but weren't very remarkable..Carl Wayne was definitely the vocalist and Roy Wood may well have been there, but they were subdued as having come straight from a late night gig before leaving for Birmingham.
Pete Browns Battered Ornaments, however, were joined by "Blind Owl" Al Wilson of Canned Heat for one number. He was a true blues genius and it was a privilege to have heard him "live" as he sadly died within two years. He was right at the back and I saw barely an outline.
Roy Harper was, well, Roy Harper and I was a fan in those days so the chaotic nature of the gig was "normal". I have a vague memory of Pete Brown being politely asked to leave the bandstand by one of the very few police present and there was no hassle at all. He came back on and mumbled something about the fuzz complaining that it was an illegal event and did another piece of "illegal music", or words to that effect.
The "crowd" was in the low hundreds and definitely less than 500, mostly very laid back and leaning under the trees. As you can see from the photos, it definitely wasn't too sunny and I remember there having been rain earlier but the gig was just mostly overcast. The audience dress with most people in jackets or overcoats strikes a chord as I remember being fairly cold.
This, for me was one of the best of the Hyde Park gigs as Blnd Faith were disappointing, the Stones too aggressive a crowd and "Bad Fuck Tramline" simply awful. This one was like a gig in your living room by comparison, in fact I have a more powerful PA system at home than was used here!
Kerry the Hat
definitely went to a free Hyde Park Concert which was at the Bandstand. Now I thought I saw Canned Heat at the Bandstand (could be wrong, memory isn't too hot these days). I can remember that it was a very small affair compared to Blind Faith a year later. I happened to be in the crowd with Pink Floyd, as at that time I was helping out the official Fan Club Secretary of Pink Floyd with some of the typing, which presumably is how I found out about the concert.
As others have said I don't think I can add much to whats already been said. I remember the concert being 'advertised' by John Peel on Top Gear who announced a startling line up including the Small Faces and Pink Floyd, neither of whom made it in the end (in the latters case their equipment didn't).
I remember a few hundred people, someone selling possibly the first edition of Time Out - smaller than A5 - the superb Roy Harper compering and being very funny, also performing McGoohans Blues. I was just about 15. There were some announcements early on asking if any members of Canned Heat were present (the singer was but although he was on stage I don't recall him singing.
Bev Bevan of The Move played but I don't recall Roy Wood being there. I could be wrong - it was a long time ago! I also remember Pete Brown doing a quite rude version of Politician but no police. I vaguely remember Action and Clouds and thats about it !
It was a great time. I think I bought a copy of Gandalfs Garden. Unfortunately I don't have it anymore!
PS I also went to the Blind Faith and Stones concerts but they weren't the same. Small is beautiful!
I attended all the summer 68 gigs in Hyde Park. This last one was relocated to a bandstand. I remember THe Move, Mighty Baby, Roy Harper and Clouds.When Roy announced that the Floyd coudn't play,this was greeted with boos,but the announcement that The Small Faces wouldn't appear was greeted with a resounding cheer. The hippie audience clearly still thought of them as being a bit too commercial.
The Action were also a definite , they played the best set i ever heard of them. They brought in a mouth harp Player called Sonny. I later got to know Sonny who was a periferal character at that time and even jammed with him in a band. We talked about that gig so im sure of that one
One small point on the Move they were a surprise addition being perceived as a pop band, however Roy wood played a very long guitar solo which he kinda lost control of, and after a little heckling gave it up and mouthed to the crowd .."hand cramp" shame really
If you can contribute any info on this concert Contact us
- List of concerts and artists who appeared 1968-71 ( please refer here before letting us know whether we have missed a concert , we only have pages online for shows for which we have information )
- List of concerts and artists who appeared 1975-76
- Blackhill Enterprises Role - new , Jan 2003
Concert reviews and info -1968-71
- August 24th 1968. Family Fleetwood Mac, Fairport,Eclection, Ten Years After.
- September 28th 1968. The Move, The Strawbs,Roy Harper, The Action, Clouds.
- July 5th 1969 Stones in the park
- September 20th 1969 Soft Machine, Deviants, Al Stewart , Quintesscence, Edgar Broughton Band
- July 18th 1970. Pink Floyd, Roy Harper, Kevin Ayers,Edgar Broughton, Formerly Fat Harry,Third Ear Band.
- September 12th 1970 Canned Heat, Eric Burdon and War,John Sebastian
- July 3rd 1971 Grand Funk Railroad, Humble Pie, Head Hands and Feet
- September 4th 71 Jack Bruce and Friends, King Crimson, Roy Harper, Formerly Fat Harry.
(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)
- June 29th 1974 Kevin Ayers, Nico, Chapman Whitney Streetwalkers, Kevin Coyne,Gong, Gt Moore and the Massed Reggae guitars
- August 31st 1974 Roger McGuinn ,Roy Harper and Heavy Friends , Julie Felix, Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers ,Kokomo ,Toots and The Maytals
- May 31st 1975 Don McLean, Caravan,Joan Armatrading ,Shusha, David Lewis ,Screemer
- August 30th 1975 Wigwam,Byzantium, Supercharge ,Third World
- September 18th 1976 Queen , Kiki Dee ,Supercharge, Steve Hillage