The Best Support Band...

The Best Support Band...
Authored By John Nicholson

Which is the best support band you’ve ever seen? I started going to gigs in the mid 70s when the headline band rarely put on anyone too good or at least no one too famous. I presume that was because gigs were cheap and usually sold out, so they didn’t have to, not in the UK anyway.

I think the best was Pat Travers supporting SAHB. I bought his debut album right away and I wouldn’t have done that if I hadn’t been seriously impressed. One support band I loved but who few have heard of is Arbre, which is French for tree.They were the support for Ace at Middlesbrough Town Hall. It was, as far as I recall, my first ever gig but I don’t recall anything about the headliners. Arbre though were a soft rock band which I loved. I remember they finished the set with an extended guitar solo, which was guaranteed to make me warm to them.

I saw Widowmaker who were something of a supergroup. They were supporting Uriah Heep on the High and Mighty tour. Again, I remember nothing of them, so they can’t have made an impression. Similarly, I saw the Climax Blues Band supporting Jeff Beck but don’t remember it at all.

I don’t think I’ve seen anyone just starting out who later became famous, except perhaps bass player for Widowmaker, Bob Daisley an Aussie who was in loads of successful bands in the 80s, like Ozzy Osbourne.

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