Go to home pageGo to history PageGo to opening night pageDates 1930-1959Dates 1960-69Dates 1970-71Dates 1972Dates 1973Dates 1974Dates 1975Dates 1976Dates 1977Dates 1978Dates 1979Dates 1980Dates 1981-82Dates 1983-PresentVarious Photographs of the Theatrelive albums of concerts at the theatrefilms that have been shot at the theatreContact me & Info 1973      
6th January   Status Quo, JSD Band Status Quo and JSD Band advert Status Quo Ticket 1973
    This was part of their "Piledriver" world tour
7th January Uriah Heep, Silverhead Uriah Heep programme Uriah Heep ticket
10th January Wishbone Ash, Stackridge Wishbone Ash ticket
    Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert Record
13th January Eric Clapton’s “Rainbow Concert”, Average White Band
  Eric Clapton & Band on stage
    “I think it's difficult to make any comment about this concert  
    without reminding that it had been mainly the effort of Pete Eric Clapton Ticket Jan 1973
    Townsend to get Eric back to life. I agree with those saying
    it's not Eric at his best, but let's all just remember that
    listening to the voice of Eric and the sound itself a success.
    I'm afraid that without the Rainbow Concert we would have
    probably missed all the great music played by Eric in the
    following years.”
  Line-up: Rick Grech & Eric Clapton

Ron Wood (gtr, bvoc) / Eric Clapton (gtr, voc) / Pete Townshend (gtr, bvoc)/ Steve Winwood (keyb, bvoc) / Rick Grech (bass)/Rebop (perc)/Jim Capaldi &Jimmy Karstein (dr)

  Pete Townsend & Eric Clapton
19th January

Chuck Berry, Roy Young Band,

With: Trapeze(1st show), Baby Whale(2nd show)

Chuck Berry Programme
23rd January Van Morrison  
28th January Isaac Hayes Movement   Isaac Hayes advert Isaac Hayes Ticket
4th February Chuck Berry, Fumble Press Ad Chuck Berry Ticket 1973

Des Henly of Fumble recalls

"The first time I met Chuck Berry was on a cold winter's night in February 1973, in north London when he was topping the bill at the Rainbow Theatre.Fumble were the opening act. We were all delighted to be playing with Chuck, a rock ‘n roll legend, and enjoyed our role as the band who played the first half of the show. After we’d finished we settled down to watch Chuck from the side of the stage.
The first time I saw him, he was still backstage, having a discussion with Peter Bowyer, the promoter, and I sensed all was not right. Chuck had always had a reputation in the music business of being very awkward at times.
This apparently dated back to his formative years in rock ‘n roll when he was exploited (as were many) by avaricious publishers and promoters, who were invariably white!
Chuck was now a legend and did things his way. I strained my ears to listen! Ready for the stage with his guitar over his shoulder, he was asking for his concert fee before he took the stage.
With minutes to go before the scheduled start, this unorthodox request clearly caused much consternation with the promoter.
Given little choice however, I saw Peter reach for his cheque book, but it was obvious Chuck was still not happy.
“No thank you man, I mean cash, I want cash!”. Peter looked worried before, but now he was panicking, and pleaded with Chuck to accept his cheque. At this point Chuck took his guitar off his shoulders and stepped towards his open guitar case as if to put it away. Peter realised Chuck meant it!
He sent his staff scurrying off in all directions to beg steal and borrow the necessary cash, from the box office till, from their own wallets, wherever it could be found. Miraculously, only running about ten minutes late, and with the 2,000 plus crowd becoming impatient for Chuck’s appearance the money was raised and given to the man.
Oblivious to the impatient fans, he slowly counted every note, and when satisfied, he folded the notes and stuffed a wadge into each of his two front trouser pockets. Strapping his guitar back on his shoulder, I heard him say to Peter, with his best “show smile” “Well thank you man”. At this point he turned and walked onto the stage, to a tumultuous roar. “Hey Rainbow, I Love You” (another tumultuous roar).
I will always remember seeing Chuck strutting around on the stage with his pockets bulging from the wadge of notes he was carrying. As always, he was brilliant, and I was glad to meet “the man”.

9th February Genesis, String Driven Thing   Genesis "Bootleg" record of the concert Genesis ticket
  Genesis perform 'Foxtrot' for the first time with full costumes  
10th February Colin Blunstone, Steelers Wheel    
16th February Deep Purple, Nazareth Deep Purple on stage Deep Purple ticket
  Richie Blackmore recalls:
  At the end of that tour we played what was then the Astoria at Finsbury Park, with all this stuff, and it was only a three thousand seater! The problem was that once you get used to playing at a certain volume level it's very difficult to back off - it becomes almost like a security blanket - and the thinking was also that if you didn't play at that volume level then you weren't giving of your best. Unknown to us, the Guinness people were there - it wasn't pre-arranged or anything - and so as a result of the volume levels at that gig we became 'the loudest band in the world!'
To us it was a hoot, and we had a good laugh over it - I mean we only held the title for a year I think, before The Who took it over - but we seem to have become the band most associated with that. Now, though, we go out of our way not to be too loud!”

Deep Purple programme
18th February Can, Gunner Kade Can ticket 1973
  The concerts was filmed and released as "Can Live"
24th February The Soft Machine, Ivor Cutler, Roger Ruskin-Spear, Hatfield and The North Soft Machine ticket
    Assorted Rainbow concerts advertJames Brown ticket
1st &  
3rd March The James Brown Review
  James Brown Press Advert
4th March

Rory Gallagher, Greenslade

Graham Tidd recalls " I saw Rory Gallagher who had become a 4-piece after the 3 –piece Live In Europe line up, playing stuff from Blueprint, I was in the balcony and thought it would collapse with everyone rocking along. You always got value for money with him and he probably played for 2 hours."

Rory Gallagher Press Advert Rory Gallagher ticket
16th March Black Sabbath, Badger, Necromandus Black Sabbath Programme Black Sabbath ticket
Black Sabbath Press Advert
  Children of the grave, War Pigs, Wicked world & Paranoid all recorded and included in their “Past Lives” Live album  
18th March King Crimson, Claire Hamill King Crimson ticket
23rd March Electric Light Orchestra, Thin Lizzy ELO advert ELO stage pass
      Primarily to impress the music critics at their biggest headlining concert to date at the Rainbow Theatre - and to look good on film ELO commissioned stage scenery and back projections from the album cover artwork at a cost of £3,000. The investment proved worthwhile as reviews were both positive and favourable, while the concert itself was recorded for a proposed USA-only live album (later cancelled) and filmed by Martin Baker for UK TV and cinema broadcast. Interestingly, ELO's support band were Thin Lizzy, celebrating their new hit, "Whisky In A Jar"but, according to Disc, "were coldly received by the crowd."
ELO-Thin Lizzy Ticket
  24th March   Billy Preston Billy Preston Press Advert
  27th March   The Temptations, Junior Walker & The All Stars Flyer for Temptations concert Temptations programme Tempations ticket
  30th March   Sweet, Geordie Sweet press advert
        170Geordie press advert
        Theatre Flyer Roxy Music Ticket 1973 Roxy Music ticket
  31st March -    
  1st April   Roxy Music, The Sharks, Lloyd Watson
6th April Status Quo, Byzantium Status Quo programme Status Quo ticket 1973
  7th April   Steve Miller Band, Skin Alley   Steve Miller Band ticket
  8th April   Saturnalia, Skin Alley, Pasha Saturania poster
  12th April   Traffic, John Martyn Traffic Ticket
Traffic Programme
  13th April   The Strawbs, Gallagher & Lyle Strawbs Programme Press Ad
  14th April   Spirit, Glencoe Spirit ticket
  15th April  

The JSD Band, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Lucus & McCullock

(Cancelled owing to an outstanding TV commitment in Germany)

JSD Press Ad
  18th April   Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, Beckett  
      The line up was the same as the Brighton 1972 gig except for Alex St Claire instead of Winged Eel Fingerling. The concert started with Rockette Morton with an electric toaster strapped on his head. He said, "Good evening. My name is Rockette Morton. I've just come on to do a toast." Then he leapt into the air and played a short free form solo. He went into the riff from Mirror Man and the band joined in. Beefheart came on playing the harp and exhorting everyone to their feet. Hundreds of people left their seats and ran to the front of the stage. It was a brilliant gig. Other songs they played were Abba Zaba, Electricity, Peon, Steal Softly Thu Snow, Booglarise, King Bee, Alice In Blunderland, Nowadays A Womans, Circumstances, Crazy Little Thing, Big Eyed Beans and Golden Birdies The Captain on stage Capt. Beetheart ticket 1973
Capt Beefheart ticket
  20th/     WestBruce & Laing advert West, Bruce & Laing ticket
21st April West, Bruce & Laing, Jimmy Stevens, Gary Farr
  23rd April   Monty Python’s Flying Circus - Rehearsals  
      All the Python team plus Neil Innes, Carole Cleveland commence rehearsals for their first nationwide tour entitled “The First Farewell Tour”
Michael Palin describes the experience in his dairy “Rehearsals start at 9.30 at The Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park. It’s a mammoth 3,500 seater theatre, with twinkling stars and above the proscenium and along side walls are passageways, alcoves, balconies, in a Spanish-Oriental style, with lights in it for the start of a massive Shakespearian production. It’s a magnificent folly – and it seems an obvious target for redevelopers. However, it continues in being used as a rock theatre – probably helped by the decision of the Albert Hall not to stage any more rock concerts”

Press advert for Monty Python's 1st farewell tour
  26th April   Spirit  
  3rd May   John Mayall, Michael Chapman John Mayall advert
  4th/     Focus Programme Focus ticket
  5th May   Focus
Video link to Focus at The Rainbow Focus ticket
  12th May   Family, Fanny, “Legs” Larry Smith  
      "Tea goes pop & other recollections" by John Hodson Family Poster
      Over the next three years, right up to their premature split, I saw them on many occasions and, looking back, the most bizarre of these was at the Rainbow Theatre in London on 12th May 1973. While the drug culture was very much intertwined with the rock business at the time, it's hard to credit that this concert was sponsored on behalf of a legally grown substance - tea ! The following quote from the programme explains :
'John Smith Productions in association with the Tea Council present the first ever Tea Pop Concert starring Family, Fanny and 'Legs' Larry Smith. Refreshments during the interval are with the compliments of the Tea Council and we hope you will try the different teas being served here tonight. Then take the programme home and you have an instant guide to making tonight's tea recipes'
  13th May   Liza Minnelli Liza Minnelli ticket
  18th May   Al Green     Al BGreen advert
  19th May   Home, Steelers Wheel  
  20th May   Jaki Whitren Press Ad
21st May Atomic Rooster, Stray Atomic Rooster/Stray advert
25th/   Sha Na Na press advert
26th May Sha Na Na, Esperanto
1st June Amon Duul 11, Pink Faries Amon Duul & Pink Faries Advert
  Ian Runeckles who attended this concert recalls "I must have been to about 5 or 6 gigs at The Rainbow this year and this was possibly the loudest gig that I've ever been to"
2nd June John Sabastian, Mick Greenwood  
    Press Ad
9th June The Edgar Broughton Band, Mr Crisp
  Also on this day The Who do some filming for a backdrop to be used on future shows. However project is dropped due the size of projection screen that will need to be used.
10th June Faust Press Ad Faust Ticket

A Fan recalls : "This was a strange affair which involved all members of the band sitting in front of TV screens and improvising. As I remember they only played a really short set. Ther was no support act. Many there were not pleased, even at an entrance fee of £1.00, which was quite a sum back then. I was earning about £6.00 a week, those were the days."

15th June Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come, David Allen & Gong, Andy Roberts Kingdom Come Press Ad
19th June Chuck Berry  
21st June Terry Reid, Albert Lee, Vinegar Joe Press Ad Vinegar Joe ticket
  with Elkie Brooks & Robert Palmer
24th June Communist Pageant Communist Pagant Poster 1973
29th June Gary Glitter  
30th June The Manavishnu Orchestra, Jaki Whitren, Rod Crisp Jaki Whitren advert
? June The Kinks  
2nd July Dr.John, Allen Toussaint, The Meters Press Ad Dr John flyer
10th July Miles Davis & Back Door Miles Davis ticket
11th - Lonesome Stone – Jesus Rock Musical Lonesome Stone Advert
14th July  
Greenbelt's souvenir ten-year anniversary publication, Greenbelt: Since the Beginning written by Stewart Henderson, explains:
The London summer of 1973 was memorably muggy. Long clammy weeks punctuated by the occasional spectacular thunderstorm. It was the season theatre director, Jim Palosaari, brought his hippy troupe of actors, musicians and dancers from the United States to perform their 'Jesus Rock Musical, Lonesome Stone' at the capital's premier rock and roll venue, The Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park. Sponsored by Christian businessman Kenneth Frampton's Deo Gloria Trust, Palosaari's dramatic band of ex-drug addicts and flower children put across a spectacular message of personal salvation through the teachings of Christ using slide shows, wailing guitars, dance, thudding drums and lights that flashed till your eyes streamed. It was the culture of San Francisco's Haight Ashbury but doused in Holy Water . . . 'Lonesome Stone' rambled into the flat wilds of Suffolk where a young musician, James Holloway, studying at Essex University, caught up with it at Mildenhall Airbase. Holloway, a blues singer . . . had a dream. It was of an Arts Festival where Christians came to present their talents before a sympathetic audience and to give God the praise for inventing self-expression in the first place. He got talking to Jim Palosaari and shared his vision with the rugged, rotund Canadian. Palosaari suggested he find a field. A field was found. 'Then you've got yourself a festival', replied Big Jim

  Lonesome Stone Programme
Branded Bus for The Lonesome Stone Show Lonesome Stone poster
22nd July Carol King
24th July Van Morrison Press Cutting Van Morrison advert Van Morrisson ticket
These concerts featuring 'The Caledonia Soul Orchestra' were the first ever simultaneous broadcast on BBC 2 & BBC Radio 2. Also voted by Q magazine as one of the top live performances of all time
10th August Badfinger  
7th September Chuck Berry, Fumble Press Ad
8th September Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen, Albert Hammond, Quicksand  


Chicago ticket
September Their only British performance
  21st September   Argent, Glencoe     Argent Press Ad Argent ticket
        Family, Phillip Goodhand-Tait Ticket
22nd September Family, Duster Bennett, Phillip Goodhand-Tait, Linda Lewis Family, Linda Lewis Poster
  Press Ad
  26th –29th      
September The Grateful Dead  
  30th September   Vinegar Joe, East of Eden, Vanessa Redgrave  
      Postman’s Benefit concert  
  3rd/4th           Moody Blues Tour poster  
  October   The Moody Blues, The Nicky James Band Moody Blues ticket
      Lou Reed ticket
  October   Lou Reed, Golden Earring
  8th October   Miles Davis Bootleg CD
  10th October   Man, Deke Lennard’s Iceberg, Vyvyan Morris, John St.Field Man advert MAN ticket
  12th/13th October   Status Quo, Savoy Brown   Status Quo programme Status Quo ticket
  14th October  

Jo Jo Gunne, Leo Kottke,

Country Gazette Press Advert Jo Jo Gunn poster
Country Gazette
  19th October   Savoy Brown, Status Quo  
  20th October  

Genesis, Ron Geesin

enesis ticket
  21st October   Henry Cow, Faust Faust press ad Faust/Henry Cow ticket
  23rd October   Liza Minnelli, Charles Aznavour  
      Filming an ATV special  
  25th October   Billy Preston, with guest Mick Jagger, Mick Jagger on stage  
      Esperanto Press Ad Billy Preston ticket
  26th October   King Crimson, Claire Hamill, Colin Scott Press Ad King Crimson ticket
  27th October   The Osmonds  
  28th October   Bill Withers, Gallagher & Lyle, Kiki Dee Press Ad Bill Whithers ticket
  29th October   Roy Orbison Press Ad
  30th October   The Osmonds Osmonds   ticket
  31st October   B.B.King, Lou Reed, Golden Earring, The Persuasions B.B King ticket
  1st November   Al Stewart  
  2nd November   Hemlock  
  3rd November   Lindisfarne, Capability Brown, Darren Press Advert Lindisfarne ticket
  4th November   Pink Floyd & Soft Machine, Kevin Ayres Pink Floyd/Soft Machine ticket
  “Robert Wyatt Benefit” compered by John Peel. The concerts raised a reported £10,000 for Wyatt.
  5th November   Neil Young, The Santa Monica Flyers, The Eagles Neil Young ticket
  9th November   Nazareth, Silverhead Nazareth programme Nazareth Ticket
  11th November   Roxy Music, The London Welsh Male Voice Choir, Leo Sayer Roxy Music Poster Roxy Music ticket
Press Advert Roxy Music ticket
  12th November   McGuinness Flint, McGuiness Flint Press Advert Press Advert
  The Incredible String Band
  14th/     Press Advert Santana ticket
  15th November   Santana, Leon Thomas santana ticket
  16th November   Richie Havens  
  17th November   Gary Glitter Gary Glitter Press Advert
  18th November   Tom Paxton
  19th November   Miles Davis Miles Davis ticket
  20th –      
  24th November  


Tales from Topographic Oceans Tour

Yes Programme Yes ticket
After an intro of Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, the band play Siberian Khatru, And you & I and Close to the edge. Followed by all of Topographic Oceans. The encore is Roundabout.
      Yes backstage pass
  26th November   Uriah Heep, The Heavy Metal Kids Uriah Heep Press Advert Uriah Heep ticket
Press Advert
  27th November   Fairport Convention  
  28th November   Dionne Warwick, The Peddlers Dionne Warwicke Programme Dionne Warwick ticket
  30th November   Fairport Convention, Gryphon (Cancelled) Press Advert Fairport Convention ticket
  1st December   Donovan Donovan ticket
  2nd December   Duke Ellington & His Orchestra Duke Ellington programme
      The Dukes last concert in London. The highlight was Paul Gonsalves playing “Happy Reunion” The Duke was pretty ill at this point and had to leave the stage for long periods, with Raymond Fol replacing him on piano. The Duke died the following May.  
  3rd December   The Fusion Orchestra  
  5th December   Argent, CAG Press Advert
  8th December   Rory Gallagher, Strider Press Advert Rory Gallagher ticket
      Jackie Finch wrote after the concert:
When the brilliant RORY GALLAGHER appeared in concert at the Rainbow recently, he gave one of the best performances I have ever seen. He hadn't appeared in town for nine months, and he was greeted with wild enthusiasm.Support act was STRIDER, a much under-rated band, who provided a very good hour's entertainment , with quite a mixed bag of songs, including their new single, Hester's Place.From the minute Rory stepped on stage, to the inevitable encores, he was superb. The opening number was the spectacular Messin' with the Kid, which went down really well, and he went rocking on with Cradle Rock and Tattood Lady, both from his new album Tattoo. Next was Walk on Hot Coals and A Million Miles Away, beginning with a fantastic guitar solo from Rory.He has an excellent back-up band, consisting of GERRY MCAVOY on bass, LOU MARTIN on keyboards, and ROD DE'ATH on drums. After a few more numbers on electric guitar, the band took a rest and Rory changed over to acoustic. He played many old favourites, amoung them a TONY JOE WHITE composition, As the Crow Flies.The band rejoined him for some more great numbers from his various albums, and sadly the concert drew a close with a couple of hellraising encores with everyone dancing in the aisles. I left the concert feeling absolutely stunned by the magnificent performance given by Rory Gallagher - rock musician extraordinaire.

  9th December   Tim Hardin, Lesley Duncan  
  10th December   Mungo Jerry, Skin Alley  
  14th December   “Tommy” live feat: David Essex, Marsha Hunt, Elkie Brooke, Roger Chapman, Graham Bell, Roger Daltrey, L'Anglo Mysterioso, Bill Oddie, Merry Clayton, Vivian Stanshall, Roy Wood, John Pertwee, .Rick Wakeman The London Symphony Orchestra and The English Chamber Choir  
  15th December   Fairport Convention, Gryphon Press Advert
  Re-scheduled from 30th November
  19th December   Stackridge, Climax Blues Band Stackridge ticket
  21st December   Sweet, Fumble Sweet ticket
      “Teenage Rampage” was the new single and Sweet were the hottest band of the moment – Ah! Glam Rock!!  
  22nd December   The Groundhogs, Stray, Jonesy Press Advert
  Also this year   Jethro Tull use the theatre to film parts of "The hare who lost his spectacles" this film was shown during their "Passion Play tour"  
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      Copyright © Rick Burton 2011