By DICK RICHMOND
Of the Post-Dispatch Staff
Traffic, a British rock group, played to a packed house at Kiel Auditorium Saturday night. Since the band was last here about two years ago, it has been reduced from six to four members, the size it was when it formed in 1967. The reduction hasn't hurt.
Traffic played some of its vintage material Saturday as well as songs from its latest album, When The Eagle Flies. The material ranged from good to better. The best was the title number from an early 1973 album called Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory.
British singer-guitarist John Martyn opened the show. Martyn mumbled his way through most of his songs, which is typical of him and which made absolutely no difference in his performance. It's his guitar, which he has connected to a couple of pieces of electronic gadgetry, that makes what he does enjoyable.
There's a mystical quality in what he plays. If a person watches his hands carefully, it seems at times that his fingers are not on the strings coaxing the notes from the instrument. Yet the notes are there.
In retrospect, however, I recall that the concert folk around me were creating strange-smelling smoke from their cigarettes. I may have missed something trying to see out from the cloud in which I was almost constantly enveloped.
This review was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Monday 28 October 1974.