Fans' Concert Reviews

"When We Were Young"

If you would like to add your reminiscences of any of Ralph's performances over the years, Email them to me and I will add them to the relevant Reviews page.

c. 1970, Andy Johnson

November 1971, David Burton

November 1998, David Tomlinson

Andy Johnson remembers:

I first saw Ralph, backed by COB, in a small Cardiff theatre sometime between 1969 and 1972. I can’t find any mention of this gig. I would love to know what date it was and where. The one thing I do remember about this gig was that, for some reason, Ralph who was top of the bill, wanted to go on before COB. This he did. COB, who Ralph told me a year or two ago, had the same management company as him. Most people had come just to see Ralph and started to leave when COB played. I stayed until the end but there were only about 13 people left by the end which was a shame for the band.

Another of Ralph’s gigs that I went to also does not make your Tour Dates lists. Sometime between 1989 and the early 2000s but most likely to be in the 90s, Ralph played at Crowther’s Barn in Greenfield, Saddleworth, Lancashire – a place very near to where I live. The gig was unusual in that the promoter was Crowther’s the local butchers and the audience sat on straw bales in the barn.

18 May 2020


David Burton remembers:

I went to see Ralph in November 1971 when he played The Town Hall in Birmingham. I was in my first year at Aston University and I remember that concert because it made an enormous impression on me. There was this chap, all on his own, sitting on a stool in a pool of light on the stage. That was it. Oh, and he had good old fashioned plimsolls on, which he clearly couldn't control because I remember them bouncing up and down as he played. No electrics to speak of ...but electrifying! It was a fabulous evening which I've never forgotten. Now I'm 62 and I'm very excited because I'm going to see Ralph again after 44 years in Bury St Edmunds this October. Can't wait!

I've been to lots of concerts, big and small over the years. There are three that stand out above all others....The Wall live in Dublin, Queen live at Wembley in 1986... which I think was also Freddie's last concert....and Ralph McTell in 1971. Eclectic I know but in his own way Ralph's performance 44 years ago was mesmerising because there were no gimmicks ...he just played and sang and completely entranced that audience.

There you are. I realise that Ralph has had to deal with his own demons from time to time...it would be nice if I could tell him what an impact he had on a young 18 or 19 year old all those years ago!

4 September 2015


David Tomlinson remembers:

A date to add to the gig lists: 28th November 1998, College Theatre, Peterlee.

I still have the ticket for Saturday 28th November, which was a Saturday in 1992, 1998 and 2009. The gig lists rule out 1992 and 2009. I seem to recall it was an attempt to promote the area but I don't think there were too many people at the concert. I was there, I'm sure it was part of an attempt at an arts/music festival to promote the area, it seemed to be a basic theatre set up, more industrial than the places Ralph normally plays.

The Sunderland Echo for 23 September 1998 announced that year’s Festival of Music: “Organisers of the popular two-month event are promising a line-up of regional, national and international talent. Forty seven star-studded concerts have been lined up at a string of traditional and more unusual venues. Highlights include a celebrity concert with Ralph McTell, of Streets of London fame, a new attraction at the music festival.”

The ticket shows the venue as the East Durham Community College. This is now the Peterlee campus of East Durham College, which was formed by “the merger in June 1999 of Durham College of Agriculture and Horticulture (also known as Houghall College) and East Durham Community College in Peterlee (formerly known as Peterlee Tertiary College in the 1980s and Peterlee College since 1989” (Wikipedia). The current East Durham College theatre, the Lubetkin, was opened in October 2009.

October 2016

[Date added to
Tour Dates 1990s page]