A happy Raven birthday to this one. 41 years ago tonight, touched up and speed corrected by Dom P.
I have also unearthed some contemporary reviews and comments on the gig, both from Jet's press collection and my own. In the main, the reviews appear to be very positive, with both the 'Record Mirror' and 'Superpop' reviews acknowledging the band's courageousness in terms of relying on the strength of the new (and therefore relatively unfamiliar) material rather than the safe, guaranteed crowd pleasers of the previous two years. Particular attention was paid to JJs emerging vocal style 'the husky, breathless vocals which sound more like a dewy-eyed early Sixties teen idol, than a big, bad stud-in-town' contrasting strikingly to the guttural roar on tracks such as 'Curfew'.
Think about it, 12 months prior to 'The Raven' the band had reached their rawest punk pinnacle with the material on 'Black & White'. But by 1979 the band were far more introspective.... might have been something to do with the heavy duty pharmaceutical intake perhaps.... The themes were still dark, but almost seductive and alluring. They ranged from lost Samurai warrior codes, exotic continental knocking shops, revolution in the Middle East and some ne'er-do-well geezer by the name of Harry.
Whilst 'Black & White' took the band away from their basic rock 'n' roll roots, 'The Raven' took the band into uncharted waters that left fans bemused and enthralled in equal measure. This is the reason that for many 'The Raven' and the tour that accompanied it are the definitive highs of the band's long career.
Listen out for the berating of the Apollo security that causes 'Sewer' to be cut in mid flow. Bouncers doncha' just love 'em.