Chelmsford Folk Festival 1972

The Strawbs Chelmsford 1972, photo c/o Steve Schechter

Just came across your site while trying to find a list of who played at the Chelmsford Folk Festival in 1972. I was there.

I was 18, first trip to UK from NYC, stayed for 3 weeks, saw as many bands as possible in those 3 weeks.

We took the train up to Chelmsford on a Friday. That night all of the artists who had arrived early jammed all night in the tent, playing mostly 50s rock and roll songs. Everyone sang along.

Mostly I remember Sandy Denny, Steeleye Span, Al Stewart, the Strawbs, Stefan Grossman, cannot recall who else was there - I do not recall Roy Harper being there? Sandy Denny offered to give me and my friend a lift back to London. But it didn't happen because she had 2 large Great Danes and my friend was scared of her dogs - I wanted to kill him.

We hitchhiked back to London. We stood on the side of the road with a cardboard sign that said "London" and no one stopped for us. I changed the sign to read "New York City (or London)" and we got a ride right away. I've still got some photos of the Strawbs, maybe Sandy Denny ... it was a great weekend!

Steve Schechter

The Strawbs Chelmsford 1972, photo c/o Steve Schechter

A few more names for the 1972 Chelmsford Folk Festival at the Chelmsford showground. I was 15 at the time but still remember it well because it had a great line-up of performers as well as a great mix of jug bands and lesser known bands on the smaller stage in the marquee. On the main stage I remember dancing the evening away to great sets by Steeleye Span and the Strawbs but more laid back folk was supplied by Sandy Denny, Al Steward playing his amazing Nostradamus and Roy Harper sang I Hate The White Man. Topping the bill was going to be Joni Mitchell but she never appeared. word around the field was that she refused to play because too few people attended the festival. It was poorly attended but that gave it a particularly friendly and intimate atmosphere. Great memories.

Mark Johnson.

The Strawbs Chelmsford 1972, photo c/o Steve Schechter

late Summer 1972 - Strawbs - Chelmsford Folk Festival (copyright )

Personnel were:

Dave Cousins (gtrs, vcls), Tony Hooper (gtrs, vcls), Richard Hudson (dms, vcls), John Ford (bs, vcls), Blue Weaver (kybds, accordian), Guest: Dave Lambert (gtrs, vcls), Encores:

Going Home, Sheep

Dave Lambert jammed with the band on a few UK gigs after they returned from their first U.S. tour in 1972. Dave Lambert was a long-time friend of Cousins, having persuaded Dave to buy his first electric guitar. Cousins and Lambert had taken to the folk clubs as a duo in the course of Summer 1971. Cousins had been engaged as producer for the King-Earl Boogie Band (of which Lambert had joined after a period in the clubs) to make their album "Trouble At T'Mill" - he also played banjo on a traditional track, "Goin' To German". In return, Lambert had helped out on Cousins' solo album "Two Weeks Last Summer" Cousins recalled:

"I said 'Do you want to come on and play the encore - we'll do "Going Home" .... on he came like the Wild Man, hair down to his knees and pranced around like a lunatic and the crowd went bananas. We thought right: we've now got to have a rock guitarist. And it came to the last show that we did [with Tony Hooper], which was at Chelmsford Folk Festival .... he came on stage and did the same thing again, the crowd went bananas again and we thought well that really definitely is it - we really do need an electric guitar in the group. That really was the end of our folk days. We then became an electric group."

At that momentous gig too, Tony Hooper realised that he no longer wanted to stay with the band he had helped to form. A few days later, the announcement came that Lambert had left King-Earl and had joined the Strawbs permanently; the Watford gig followed a couple of weeks later.



This review c/o

Sandy Denny 1970s, photo c/o Steve Schechter

travelled from Middlesbro to the Chelmsford Folk Fest way back in 1972. I remember the Strawbs 'cos they were the main reason we went..but there was also a guy called Harvey Andrews (he's still doing the rounds) who was obviouly memorable! <p>Nice site! Keep up the good (hard) work! David

Sandy Denny 1970s, photo c/o Steve Schechter