Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Issue 8. April 1976]
Being the first of a series of rock and roll Salient Notes.
The lights dimmed. Or blew, as the case may be. Six thousand eager students quietly expectant, whispering as the first traces of that characteristic red glow appear around the fringes of the stage, the glow that has become the hallmark of the rejuvenated Salient rock and roll band ever since they exploded into the music scene at the start of the year of the Dragon (1976 for the uninitiated).
A muted roar rose among the fringe of the crowd as the band trucked down onto the stage, led by lead vocalist John Ryall in his distinguished Mao cap and trendy Mao jacket. Following closely were lead guitarist John 'Hendrix' Henderson, resplendant in a red jacket and tool operators headphones, Hammond organ maestro Tony Ward, twin lead guitarist David Murray, and bassist and nominal leader of the band Gyles Beckford, the oldest and most experienced of the University musicians. Then proceeded pedal steel guitarist Rachel Scott, famous for her hart and leather, Lynn Peck a big name on the acoustic guitar and back-up vocals. Lionel Klee, drummer of the band, a great dummer but subject to the occasional technical fuckup, Lindy Cassidy (synthesister), Leonie Morris (percussion), pianist Pat Bartle and Richard Mays on alto tennis racquets, Pat O'Dea, castanets in hand, followed on, as did rhythm guitarists Mike Stephens and Robert Lithgow.
Chief songwriters Ben Smith, Mark Sainsbury, Gerard Couper, Martin Doyle and new recruit Guru all featured on backup vocals, and business manager Warwyck Dewe played a mightly cowbell. Lead violin (Rose Desmond) starred first on the bands opening song (the classic Dialectical Materialism Blues) with her blend of traditional and contemporary strings, as did Gerard Van Bohemn on lead triangle. Second song 'Pitchforks and Haymaking' (a Henderson/Ryall/Stephens/ Smith composition) featured Leigh Thomson's piercing vocal style, reminiscent of recent Christian Union material, the band he left to join Salient.
Cleese/Idle composition 'How Sweet to be an Idiot' was presented next, with Comrade Mac leading in a way that only the truly initiated find possible.
Salient finished with their famous Tangerine Lighttable', with Big Lenny, Chris Wilson, Terry Auld, Alison Bartlett and Kevin Swann each being given a change to prove their brilliance on the bugle.
While I was writing this review the concert finished and everybody went home, but I am assured by independant sources that a good time was had by all.
Salient is edited by John Ryall, published by the Victoria University Students' Association and printed by Wanganui Newspapers Ltd. Drews Avenue, Wanganui.