Memory:Nicholas Brand

From The Gentle Giant Home Page
This fan memory was written by Nicholas Brand.

The story behind my fondness for the band goes like this : in late '72 or early '73, the Groundhogs were playing at the Odeon, Edinburgh. My mate Dave Rowbotham and I really liked the Hogs, and went to see them. Gentle Giant came on first, and literally blew us away! They played about a 45 minute set, and we were entranced, we'd never seen so many instruments played by one band. Stray were next (ordinary heavy metal type stuff, pretty dull), then the Groundhogs. Tony McPhee played synthesiser at the same time as guitar, it was a great set, we loved it. But as we huddled on the gratings at Waverly Station waiting for the first train back to Fife, it was Gentle Giant we were talking about - the Hogs had fulfilled our expectations, but the Giant were something else! We acquired copies of the first album and were sold on them straight away. When next we heard of them, a group of us, including my younger sister, who was (sort of) going out with Dave by this time, arranged to go and see them. The Caley Cinema is just down the road from the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, and was a popular place for live music at the time. Ex-Tull bass player, Glenn Cornick, had a band called Wild Turkey who played support - I remember they were very good and I bought their (I think) one and only album, but then it was time for the real thing! Gentle Giant played at least 2 hours that night, and though my memories are a bit faded now, they played a lot of stuff from "Octopus", I still remember "Think of me with Kindness", I'm almost sure that the photo of Kerry Minnear was taken during that number. Ray played a violin solo at one point (we were in the front row) and he winked at me after I'd taken the photo (No. 5). The drum solo was superb (if you can call 3 guys beating hell out of a single kit a solo!) and we left feeling we'd seen one of the concerts of our lives. I never did get to see them again live.