(No mention of venue)
By Charles Shaar Murray
© New Musical Express
7 Oct 1972
It was really Steeleye's night and they couldn't very well go wrong. It should be superfluous to point out at this stage in the game that they didn't. The golden combo of Tim Hart, Maddy Prior, Peter Knight and bob Johnson ran through their exquisite new album "Below The Salt" (which you really ought to own) and a few other oddments with massive aplomb and great good humbour.
Opening with the riotous "Ups And Downs", they got the capacity audience off superbly. One of the unexpected highlights was an uncharacteristic country song, "Cup Of Coffee", featuring Tim on Mandolin, and giving Peter a chance to blow some fine bluegrass fiddle.
The most droll Mr. Knight also shone on the jig "Bank Of Ireland", accompanied only by Rick Kemp, Resplendent in a white suit specially purchased for the occasion from well known boutique.
Rick, it should be noted, spends most of the set pacing the stage with the intense concentration of somebody trying, in the most unobtrusive manner possible, to wipe something sticky and unpleasant off the sole of his boots, but since he also whips out some of the finest bass playing ever to reach these somewhat squalid ears, I dare say he can be forgiven.
All the usual occurrence's that mark a Steeleye set took place. Maddy fluffed her introductions with the skill of a total professional, and for the final number a selection of dancers took the stage to jig right along. The final encore provided a killer version of the old Four Seasons hit "Rag Doll", which showed what a fine punk teen harmony band was lost to the world when Steeleye refused to abandon folk.
Plug: If you haven't already, you really oughta go to see Steeleye Span. They emerge from a musical area you may not have taken seriously before, and come straight at you with some of the loveliest music you ever will here.