|Issue 12 - May 1973|
|SOC'EM Rally At City Hall|
|The mere fact
that over 2,000 people turned up to fill the City Hall was a tribute
in itself to SOC'EM and a slight smack in the eye to the City Council.
SOC'EM are the only action group in the north-east to really get something
together in opposition to the senseless destruction of Newcastle City
Centre. And we should all be very thankful for that.
However, despite their box office success, an evening with SOC'EM left me feeling rather uneasy about the whole thing. So they have influence and they've proved it. Flowers on stage, comperes, telegrams from 'show biz personalities', councillors and TV stars, all add up to helpful publicity. Perhaps it's their methods, though, that leave something to be desired, for the whole night reminded one of the kind of show the Council themselves would be apt to organise. We'll just have to wait and see what comes of it all.
The entertainment itself was well presented and varied enough to appeal to everyone. Mums and Dads were well catered for by a juvenile jazz band, Chris Langford, Dick Urwin and Scott Dobson, Jon Silkin and intervals. For the numerous kids present, pop stars Alan Hull and Ray Jackson performed happily if moderately, while the High Level Ranters (minus Ally) went down very well with everyone. The TV style panel game was farcical and too much like the real thing to ever be a success with a live audience.
If you're a freak, there was little to enthuse over except perhaps a nice little set from the Newcastle Big Band, and the Pickard reading his new poem, America. Alan Hull provided a slight turn on by roaring that people who lived in Darras Hall "should be shot with shit from a rubber gun". Perhaps he was right. There seemed to be plenty of them present.