Christmas on Earth Continued, London 1967

Christmas on Earth Continued, London 1967
Authored By John Nicholson

A truly spectacular event in London in 1967. “Christmas on Earth Continued” was advertised to be one long party, featuring a lot of great bands. It gets sadly remembered as the last major show Syd Barrett played with Pink Floyd. Apparently, he ended the set dazed and motionless onstage, his arms hanging limp at his sides. Hey, I feel like that most days, man!

The full line-up was;

Eric Burdon & The Animals, Jeffrey Shaw and The Plastic Circus, John Peel, Paper Blitz Tissue, Pink Floyd, Sam Gopal Dream, Soft Machine, The Graham Bond Organisation, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Move, Tomorrow, Traffic.

Paper Blitz Tissue were an interesting short-lived band who had released one psychedelic single on RCA Boy Meets Girl, in December 1967. Drummer Dave DuFort was later in East of Eden and also played with Kevin Ayers.

This was considered to be the last gasp of the British underground scene before all the band’s record began to tell and the whole scene became more commercial.

Trouble was it was held at Olympia which is a huge, cold exhibition hall. Not conducive to good vibes at all. And if you’ve never heard of this gig before, even though the cream of British rock was in attendance, then that’s because it was badly publicised, which, combined with the freezing cold weather meant few turned up. 

The organisers really took a bath having shelled out for all the bands. It was even filmed but the quality of thep pictures were so poor they couldn’t be used commercially. Some has surfaced on YouTube if you look for it. 

Despite all this, it seems, you really had to have been there. The lineup alone will make lovers of 60s psych-rock salivate: Jimi Hendrix Experience, Eric Burdon, Pink Floyd, The Move, Soft Machine, Tomorrow… The Who didn’t turn up, but Traffic, who hadn’t been scheduled to play, did. 

Soft Machine played and Robert Wyatt leapt into a full bath of water on stage. Why a bath of water was on stage, who knows? Groovy. 

Tomorrow, featuring Steve Howe later of Yes, performed with an epilepsy-inducing strobe.

Hendrix played a Flying V - I think that’s the one that was in the Hyde Park Hard Rock for years. Pink Floyd had what was called a 3D light show, whatever that might mean. Can light be 3D?

If this had happened in the summer or had been properly advertised it would have gone down in legend, but as it is, it’s a psychedelic footnote in rock n roll history.

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