Music-lovers remember 1974 Queen gig in Cromer

Freddie Mercury performs at Live Aid in 1985. Freddie Mercury performs at Live Aid in 1985.

Saturday, March 22, 2014
9:00 AM

It is coming up to the 40th anniversary of a legendary Queen gig in north Norfolk.

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And memories have been pouring in to the EDP and its sister paper, the North Norfolk News, about the rock concert at the Royal Links Pavilion, Cromer, on March 23, 1974.

The venue, off Overstrand Road, burnt down on April 5, 1978, but from 1964 it was the main nightspot for young people at weekends and hosted dozens of bands including The Who, Status Quo and even Ozzy Osbourne.

Graham Scott, 56, from Newton Flotman, saw the Queen gig with friends when he was 17 years old.

Mr Scott, who lived at Tuckswood in Norwich at the time, said: “We used to go there regularly at the weekends. We heard Queen’s early stuff on the radio and when we saw they were playing at Cromer we popped along. We didn’t realise how big they would become. We were really impressed with how good they were live.”

He said the venue, which used to be the ballroom for the former Royal Links Hotel and could hold 500 people, was packed out.

Carpenter Malcolm Hastings, who helped build a stage extension for the gig, said: “We were all amazed at the magic they created, not realising that what we had seen was a supergroup in the making.” He described it as a highlight of his life.

A music-goer from Drayton said: “I remember thinking they were just one-hit wonders as they had just released Seven Seas of Rhye. The gig was fantastic, I was next to stage and Freddie had an amazing aura.”

Andy Taylor, from Cley, said: “I was stood right at front of the stage. I remember them playing so loud it took a day for the ringing in my ears to stop.”

Colin Wright, who smuggled in his youngest sister to the gig, said: “They were brilliant. I seem to remember they handed out autographed album sleeves to the first few people through the door and my sister was one of them.

“Little did we know at the time how privileged we were to be there and how big they would become.”

Do you have any interesting music stories? Email sophie.wyllie@archant.co.uk

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