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updated Jan 2011


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Big thank you to Robert Ellis of Repfoto for use of his great photos of Buxton 72-74, he has many more on his site, as well as many other classic photos of other rock festivals and bands - his site is a MUST visit .

The Buxton Festival.

Buxton. Derbyshire. 5th-6th July 1974

Last update Jan 2009

The Faces , Humble Pie, Mott The Hoople, Captain Beefheart *, Horslips , Chapman/Whitney , Trapeze , Chopper, Badger, Greenslade*, Strider , New York Dolls* ,Lindisfarne, Man, JSD Band.

Humble Pie's performance included:

  • Watcha Gonna Do About It,
  • 30 Days In The Hole
  • C'mon Everybody,
  • Doctor,
  • Thunderbox,
  • Let Me Be Your Lovemaker

The Faces played with special guests The Memphis Horns on brass.

* US Dolls , Greenslade and Captain Beefheart did not play .

Tony Wawryk has fond memories of the Faces set

   Another show that turned out to be more than I'd originally bargained for was The Faces, fronted by Rod the Mod. First time I caught them was at a so-called festival - held in the traditional muddy farmers field on the moors in Buxton, central England, over a cold and wet (naturally) September weekend . The previous night, 3 of the billed 6 bands didn't play - a rousing set from Mott the Hoople just about saved the day, and the next day started off no better. We all learned some new words from the keyboard player in a lowly support band, endured endless rain, except for one of those magical moments when the sun made a brief appearance while Chapman-Whitney Streetwalkers (ex-Family) sang - you guessed it - 'My Friend The Sun', and were getting pissed off nearly as much as pissed on. We also saw another star in the making - Glenn Hughes, soon to be of Deep Purple, then with a standard blues-rock outfit called Trapeze.

The faces, with Memphis Horns

photos courtesy Repfoto © 1974

   Things looked up when Humble Pie played a blinder, and for me that wasn't going to be bettered that night - I wasn't that big a fan of the top-of-the-bill Faces anyway. Well, I was completely wrong. They made me a fan, so much so that I went to see them again three months later on their Christmas tour - it really was just one big party. They made the prospect of a second cold, damp night in our rudimentary tent bearable by playing to 10,000 people as if they were all their mates.You never knew for sure what you were going to get with the Faces - they could be great and terrible within 10 minutes - but they were always fun.

    I went with 2 friends, and we had the crummiest tent you could imagine -sleep was only possible after several beers. I have to say that I have no recollection of the fighting referred to by other people on the website, although I do recall the singer in Strider getting pretty vocal with the sound tower - "Cuntie on the mixing desk", or words to such effect!
Incidentally, Greenslade, much to my disappointment, were among the no-shows - apparently their van broke down or something similar. Still got the programme - it was a memorable 3 days but I'd never do it now!

Tony Wawryk

Terry Battersby writes

I was there in '73. One of the highlights of my life. I managed Buxton '72, '73 and '74. There should be campaign medals issued.

J Bayliss had this to say

    I note the comments of your reviewers of the '73 and '74 Buxton festivals, concurr with a great deal of what they had to say, but first must offer a few corrections to facts recorded. Firstly, Strider were absolutely dreadful; the high point of their set was the end, when they threw their guitars into the crowd and walked offstage.
    From the 1974 bill listed on the site, Captain Beefheart, Badger, JSD Band and the New York Dolls all failed to show. I don't think that Greenslade appeared either, but I probably wouldn't have noticed them any way. The weather in '74 was even worse that that of the previous year and the first aid facilities were overrun with exposure cases. Mott The Hoople were the definite high point of the festival; to date , their performance at Buxton still ranks as one of the best I've ever seen.

   If 1973 was the year of the Hells Angel, 1974 was the year of the football hoolie, attracted in their thousands by the presence of Rod Stewart and the Faces.

     Running battles went on all day between different factions of Rod's Mods and the stage was liberally bottled. My mate was hit over the head by a bottle flung from the stage in retaliation by one of Lindisfarne's roadies.

    The Faces refused to play an encore and the stage was wrecked by bottles thrown by angry "fans." I remember seeing chunks of wood flying off Ian McClagen's Steinway piano.

    Pauline Cooper is absolutely right. We deserved campaign medals.

J Bayliss

   Buxton, hitched up from Bournemouth on my own, small crowd, Humble Pie ,Faces and Mott great sets, talked to Ronnie Wood through the backstage fence waiting for Rod to arrive by helicopter, we were eating from the Hare Krishna's and soaked to the skin. Met Woody in 84 and he said he loved Buxton.

Tony Raine

     I remember dozens of Rod Stewart lookalikes garbed in tartan,drinking all day in the beer tent. By the time Rod and the faces came on stage most of them had passed out and missed a great set.

John Morrissey .Oldham Lancs.

    Was at Buxton 74. Weather terrible but do remember the opening act that hasn't been mentioned. It was a local band called Chopper. A three piece band and from what I remember played a really good set. Ido remember that they had Orange Amps which really impressed me at my tender young age.
Didn't stay for Chuck Berry-the sight of roaming Hells Angels was enough for me!
Keep up the good work!


    In 73 remember the sun breaking through for Edgar Broughton at an appropriate point in one of the songs, although I don't remember at what point. The same thing happened in 74 for Streetwalkers during "My Friend the Sun" during the line " He's there in the distance if you care to see..."

    I remember Steve Robinson (the organiser) giving us leaflets to hand out in Sheffield for the 74 gig. My own personal recollection (from a distant conversation with the Captain himself in 1975) is that he was never even approached to attend. I believe that it was a matter of contractural differences that the NY Dolls did not appear. I have been led to believe that, to this day, Rod Stewart has not been paid for his performance.
Hi-light of 74 for me was between Man (of which I do have a recording) and Humble Pie.

Steve Hambleton

       I concur with other reports about this festival. This was my third consecutive Buxton and instead of camping out, this time four of us came and slept in a car. We arrived on the Thursday night in a torrential downpour which lasted all night. From the safety of our vehicle we had laughed all night as a tent pitched next to our car got a right battering. We laughed even more when we saw our mate, Tommo and his girlfriend emerge from it in the morning, absolutely soaked.        

      Pass outs were available at this festival so the car was invaluable in that we could drive into town to the pubs instead of sitting in the rain watching the second-rate acts. On the first day, Man put in a good set with Deke Leonard back in the band, a highlight of their set was "Bananas". Mott the Hoople were superb with Ariel Bender on guitar and the highlight of their set was "Marionette" when talking dummies were unveiled.

     On the second day we went to the pubs again and returned in the late afternoon for Humble Pie who put on a brilliant performance with Steve Marriott in top rabble-rousing form.As noted elsewhere though, the site had been invaded by thousands of thick dick-heads wearing tartan scarves for Rod Stewart. Ronnie Lane had left The Faces by now, being replaced by Japanese bass player Tetsu and they were increasingly being referred to as "Rod Stewart and the Faces". They put in a reasonable set but not in the same class as when Lane was in the band.
      Their refusal to do an encore however soured their appearance and the stage was totally blitzed by bottles, destroying their equipment. Not to be left out I picked up an empty oval-shaped Mateus Rose bottle which was lying on the floor and sent it flying discus-style straight through the bass drum.
Sorry Kenney.

Tim Hardman

Woody and Rod

photos courtesy Repfoto © 1974

    I went to Buxton in 1974 from Salford with my mate from school. I was 16. We slept in a round army supply tent we couldn't stretch out in. It was like a wigwam.
It pissed down all day until, as others have mentioned, the sun came out in the middle of "My Friend The Sun", to a big roar from the crowd.

    I was a big Faces fan, but my only abiding memory of the set that day was of Rod's bird. Everyone in the crowd was wet and muddy, but there stage left, in a shimmering white sleeveless cocktail dress, was an immaculate blonde.
Probably Dee Harrington.
I remember thinking: Rod, I want your job.
And then he fucked off to LA and it all went wrong.

Jon Matthews

    Me, Logie @ Gonzo walked through the gates tripped out, bought 8ft long plastic bag to sleep in as we had no tent. We travelled up from London with just a sleeping bag each, then used the comunal toilets ( scaffold tubes over open trench ). Blagged couple of northerners to put our gear in their tent for w/end, we went to see Humble Pie @ Rod Stewart an old hippie kept shouting "we want Jeff Beck man". Remember weather was like January, Marriot kept abusing a black roadie, @ Stewart was paraletic drunk swinging on stage scaffold. Had to bunk the fare back to London due to lack of funds," we rearly had a gas" as Steve would have said.

Lefty of London.

    On my first trip abroad without parents me and my friend Jan trevelled from Stockholm,Sweden to London by train.On the ferry across the channel we met Maggie Allison, a wonderful girl who lived in High Barnet, north of London.We stayed at her house for a week and had a great time. She worked for Corbett Publications, who sold programmes for the Buxton Festival. She gave us a letter from her boss saying:"The bearer of this note is helping me sell programmes, and I would be grateful if you could let her(!) in with one other",signed W.S Corbett.

    Three or four hours before the festival started it was just me and my friend inside the arena area, together with the guards and people working there of course.We just sat in the grass, drank from huge cans of beer and watched all the people gathering outside the gates.This small note opened a wonderful and free box for us, and we had two great days there despite the bad weather.I remembered that it was hard to get back to Buxton, where we stayed at The Old Hall hotel,cause the only buses which came were filled to the last place, but somehow we managed to get away from there.

Jan Hedberg

After the ordeal of 1973, glutton for punishment that I am, I returned the following year, this time with my girlfriend and a few friends. Camping was definitely off site, up in the surrounding hilly moorlands where I recall some twat playing a saxophone all through the Saturday night! Someone we knew turned up at the site on his way back from Amsterdam and his beard and hair (really!) were full of numerous carefully hidden lumps of dope. This probably accounts for why I can't remember much about the specific bands, although the Faces were fantastic. At both Buxton 73 and 74 I saw a lot of very unhappy people who hadn't taken enough clothes etc with them and too many stupid drunk idiots. This almost put me off festivals for life and the many people who have said it are right - we should have been issued with campaign medals!



I have just stumbled onto your festival site and I just want to say how wonderful this site is. I would like to say that it has brought back a flood of memories about festivals I went to in the 70’s. But alas, they are very hazy indeed, due in part that I was most definitely under the influence of substances, and the passing of time.

The few things I can remember, as it was my first festival was on the Friday night a band playing Silver machine. I thought it was Hawkwind, but Hawkwind is not in the line up according to the info on the festival programme. Maybe it was another band doing a cover version? Or was that a different festival altogether?

Again, I can’t remember much about the weather, or what I slept in (as I didn’t posses a tent), not even how I got there. But I do remember the band called Strider. They were one of the first bands on the following morning / midday. They were happily playing away to an almost deserted arena, (as most people had not surfaced from their pits & holes). In the middle of their first or second number, (even I wasn’t paying much attention) they just stopped playing and then ripped into everybody, with the words to the effect of “We’re up here playing our F***ing hearts out and you can’t even be bothered to F***ing get out of your pits to watch. I want you all to get out of your pits and get to the front of the stage right now.” That’s the gist of it, even if it’s not exactly what was said.

Well it got my attention anyway, and actually enjoyed the set, but I was one of a few who could be bothered. Shame really as their rendition of “Get Ready” is still one of the best I have heard. Another track I remember is called “Flyin’”.

Strider released 2 albums that I know of, “Strider” & “Exposed”.

The only other thing I can remember is Rod & the Faces, just.


RJ Whalley

Just found your site and it brings back many memories. This was the first festival I ever went to aged 17. Went with a couple of mates, Pop Garrett and Dean Roberts, we went on the train and remember arriving at Buxton station, what a gloomy place, coaches laid on out to the festival site.

We managed to pitch our tent up on the hills overlooking the backstage area, everything was fine the first night, even remember talking to Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople over the fence. During the bands on Saturday we watched some thieving b****** go into our tent and steal two of our sleeping bags. We left the arena and retrieved the tent, that night we erected the tent in the arena and watched Rod and the Faces from inside the tent. We froze all night, I ended up with a kidney infection, were we glad when Sunday morning came around and we could head home. Fortunately it didn't put us off festivals as we went to Knebworth to see Floyd and Reading 75 (possibly the best ever).
Glad i found your site, keep up the good work

What happened to Pop and Dean and all my hair?

Rob Elms (Coventry

I also went to this one. By now I had moved back north and was a young policeman on a training course. I got dropped off at Huddersfield in full uniform with my rucksack on the Friday evening. Got changed in the train toilets and then got the special bus service from Buxton station to the site (That bit worked well) The weather was attrocious and we were 1000' up in the hills. I had a tent and pitched it where I could sit in the dry and watch the stage. The Faces were good but not as good a when I'd een them previously with Ronnie Lane. Lindisfarne were also good but I do remember the bands that didn't show. It was a bit strange for me as I had to have short hair because of my job but I enjoyed it even if I did have to explain to a girl who needed shelter why bits of police uniform were falling out of my rucksack. My truncheon fell out of the middle of my sleeping bag when I unrolled it.

All in all a good weekend then back to the day job and a long hot bath.
Jamie Guest

I was a local lad so i walked up to the site with me mates, i was 15, i was used to the Buxton weather but it was grim up at the site on a local hillside. There were masses of bodies huddled up, trying to keep warm and this was July! I'd got a free ticket and a few quid for handing out leaflets at Birmingham Bullring for Steve Robinson the promotor. The toilets on site were a laugh, like something you'd expect to find on the Somme. There was a 6ft fence in front of the stage to keep people back and this was the warmest place to be.
Mott the Hoople were ace, very visual, i remember them substituting 'all the way to Memphis' for 'all the way to Buxton' which i thought was a hoot at the time. Lindisfarne were good and Man got the crowd going with 'Bananas'. Chapman and Whitney were already legends at the time and they were very good and it is true that the sun did come out when they sang 'My friend the sun'. It was a miracle i'm sure. Humble Pie were the best band although it was a bit of a shock to see Steve Marriott walk on stage with 'short back and sides'. I had a sore throat for days after, cos Marriott got everyone singing/shouting to 'I don't need no doctor'. Greg Ridley the basist wore a knee length leather trenchcoat to keep himself warm. The Faces were better than i'd expected but it took an age for them to come on stage, carpets and tartan backdrops had to be laid out for them. I heard later that they wouldn't come on stage until they'd been paid in cash? I remember 'Pool hall Richard' was a highlite. I don't remember how i got home but i remember as i left the site, tripping over and walking over dozens of bodies in the grass, wrapped in polyphene etc where they'd possibly been all day, oblivious to who had been on stage. There never was another festival held up there after that but it was an experience.

Steve Gibbs

74 - I went with another mate, Hicky. (Will must have learnt his lesson). I think his dad took us, but can't remember for certain. Not as wet at 73 I recall, but bloody cold!

Wally were the first band to play on the Friday evening, and I thought they were pretty good.
I was looking forward to seeing the JSD Band, but they didn't show. Then came Horslips! Absolutely the best band of the weekend for me. I'd heard of them, but never heard any of their music. I was stunned, and have been a huge fan ever since. I was also a huge fan of Lindisfarne, but can't even remember their set. Hicky and I attempted to get some kip under polythene sheets we'd brought with us during Mott's set, but I remember them being 'not bad'. On waking the following morning, I can still remember my mates hair, frozen to the ground!

On the Saturday, I enjoyed Trapeze and Humble Pie, but Chapman/Whitney Streetwalkers were for me, the high light of the day. And yes, the rain DID stop and the sun DID break through during the immortal line 'It's there in the distance' in 'My Friend The Sun'!After their set, we'd had enough, so missed the Faces. We exited the site, walked to the Travellers Rest, a few miles away, had a couple of pints, and phoned my brother, who very kindly collected us in his Triumph Spitfire, and took us home.

Nick The Goat

I too attended the Buxton festival in 73 and 74. The photographs really brought back to me how hellishly muddy and cold it actually was. I remember in 74 there was no camping in the arena, so my friend Geoff Beastall had come prepared with two sleeping bags and some plastic sheeting from which we thought we’d be able to fashion a makeshift tent. As I recall, his Dad, a builder, was insistent that this was to be returned to him intact. Some hope! what we hadn’t reckoned on was the idiots who went around the site setting polythene on fire (with people in it)!
I remember that we’d stocked up on Alcohol on our way and I there being a search at the gate of the arena. I’d got a bottle of some God-awful stuff called Whisky Mac stuffed down my trousers to try and hide it and because we’d been swigging at it prior to entry, the top was insecure! Yes, you guessed it, the whole lot was slowly glugging all down my trousers and I looked as though I’d wet myself!
I remember that Geoff had his sleeping bag wrapped around a “Party 7” and when we tried to open it, it it went off like a volcano over everything – you had to punch two holes simultaneously and we only managed one!
On the Saturday morning, hungover cold and uncomfortable we were woken by Glen Hughes from Trapeze who opened their set by shouting “come on you f****rs get out of your tents” I never really warmed to him or his career after that!
As for the music. It was the first time I’d seen SAHB and they blew me away. The rain had stopped and Alex climbed all over the lighting rig as part of his act! I went on to see them four times after that and became a committed fan.
John Peel was compere and one of the bands Medicine Head was signed to his record label – Dandelion. They were OK, but playing a Jews harp to thousands of Rock fans didn’t impress me much at the time. I can’t remember whether it was 73 or 74, but Peel came on stage in the late afternoon to read out the headline from that day’s evening paper. It apparently read “Drug crazed hippies dance nude in the mud”. Well I never saw any of it and you’d have to have been really hardy to think of even shedding a layer, never mind getting naked!
I’d always wanted to see Humble Pie and as I recall they had the early evening slot, coming on as the light was beginning to fade. In the days before video screens the only way to actually see a band was to get close to the stage and I remember as a sixteen year old pushing forwards, feeling intimidated by the so called security (Hells Angels) and the numbers of people who were off their heads on drugs. When you left your pitch to see a band there was never any guarantee that your sleeping bags and possessions would be where you left them – so the band had to be really good to take that risk.
They were followed by The Faces, who I’d seen on tour the year before and the bottling that their equipment got was incredible. I recall someone coming out and saying that if it didn’t stop the band would not play. As it was they came on and did a good set, augmented by “The Memphis Horns” (who I’d never heard of and didn’t know whether I was supposed to be impressed). It was the first time I’d seen a guitar band augmented by brass and I remember thinking “this is good”
I can’t remember much after that apart from trying to keep warm and huddling round open fires. People were burning anything they could get their hands on and the whole site had the air of a damp and desperate refugee camp.
I agree we really did deserve campaign medals.
Nevertheless, I’m now 55, still do festivals and gigs and wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Thanks for the site. It really brought back some memories.
Colin Lunn

Setlists and Recordings

There doesn't seem to be much around, but we have seen an 8mm film clip advertised for sale of Humble Pie at Buxton 74, no idea how long and of course theres probably no sound ....

Their setlist was probably

Whatcha Gonna Do ABout It
Sweet Peace and Time
Let Me Be Your Lovemaker
C'Mon Everybody
30 Days in the Hole

setlist sourced from Humble Pie.Net

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