Two eye-witness reports on the London Drury Lane concert.
First this: there is some confusion about the date of this concert. It seems all regular sources quote the date of 28 April, but Mark has very good reasons to insist it was the 22nd of April instead. The chances of two concerts are close to zero, so one of the dates has to be correct. For neither of the dates have we been able to find conclusive evidence. If anyone has a newspaper article or an original ticket or something, we'd appreciate to hear about it. firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I went by car as it was raining to Wood Green tube and then to Leicester Square. Walked to Drury Lane Theatre in the rain and awaited start of concert. I went into the auditorium even before they were open and saw Van practising on electric grand piano.
When the time came, his performances on many synthesizers was fantastic. Met a couple of guys from Edgware who were also into Van and chatted about records etc.
After interval, Vangelis joined by a couple of ace percussionists and they performed extracts of China (and I shall buy it) which were fantastic on the multitude of equipment that was on stage in many drums, gongs, tubular bells, glocks and xylos and of course synthis. After the end much clapping by the capacity audience brought no less than 3 encores. Pulstar, China and Alpha, which I shouted for.
The atmosphere was great but I had to return home by tube saying ciao to those fellas who I'll probably never see again."
I wasn't quite seventeen at the time.
I met a friend from school at Gants Hill tube station to go to the concert. He wore denims and I wore this ludicrous flared pair of brown suit trousers, which I remember he mentioned being quite punkish. I'm not sure if that was a put-up or a put-down. We walked to the gig from Covent Garden tube.
Our seats were in the stalls in the far left hand side as you looked at the stage about a quarter of the way from the front.
Vangelis sat at the piano with a bunch of synthesizers round him. Most of the concert, he'd set some sequence up on a synth and then improvised on the piano for a bit. At one point, he plucked "Tao of Love" from China on a little horizontal harp-like instrument.
Second half he came back on with two percussionists - he was at the front of the stage on his keyboards and they were on a raised platform behind him. Best moment of the concert for me was "Pulstar" which started off with the two drummers pounding out a beat in unison and then Vangelis came in with the theme.
I thought it was a great concert but my mate seemed fairly non-plussed about it.