BRONCO, headed out on their latest nationwide tour of mainly student centres, when they topped a bill at Leeds Polytechnic1 which proved a big artistic, if not quite a financial bonanza.
The group and the package overcame obvious stage limitations -the smaller of two halls was being used- to hold an attentive 350 people from start to finish.
Though Jeff Roden and company of Bronco were the ones the students, and some blues fans, had come to see, the audience still gave a massive reception to guitarist extra-ordinary John Martyn.
Though she made a hesitant start, singer Claire Hamill, too, went down well with this most discerning of audiences. Island Records put out this bill and Claire was one who thought it an appropriate starting point. She comes from North Yorkshire and has an LP due out next month2 which has been heavily influenced by Teesside.
Bronco, who write 80 per cent of their own material, show a zest and urgency about their pounding style on-stage, which belies their easy-going character off it.
There's little doubt that they will be as big a hit elsewhere on this tour as they were at the outset.
Just one small thought that would have improved all three spots tremendously. A little more time spent beforehand, checking where everything was on stage, would surely have made it unnecessary to spend quite so much time adjusting everything into its rightful place during the show.
Still, that's a minor criticism of an otherwise swinging bill which can be seen tonight (Thursday) at Warwick University, on Saturday at Bradford University and next Friday (February 4) at Guildford University - STANLEY PEARSON.
A tiny reference still proving a good reception of JM.
1 This was the show of Friday 14th January 1972, so the first concert of the tour.
2 The album referred to is One House Left Standing, ILPS 9182, to which John made a small contribution. The label says it was released 1971 but it might have been easily been delayed a couple of weeks.
Photo provided by John Neil Munro.