Croydon, Fairfield Halls
7 November, 1971
by Dick Meadows
(SOUNDS, Nov. 13, 1971)
Family were bedeviled by amplification problems at Fairfield Hall on Sunday. ‘Is this P.A. ever going to work tonight then,’ singer Roger Chapman asked in despair midway through their set. The pity of it all was that the interferences undermined the bands ability to play rock which was full of funk. Fortunately things improved towards the end and as the equipment began to function better so too did Family.
Until then Chapman had grown increasingly, and understandably, more angry with the whole affair. Not only were mikes proving unreliable but the monitoring system kept packing up as well, so that the singer did not know what was going on. Twice he hurled the mike off the stage in anguish before eventually beating a tambourine to death against same.
Another repercussion was that added vocal support from new bassman John Welton was affected, and if that wasn’t enough, the PA started to crackle during the sensitive acoustic flavoured ‘Children’. That was one of several tracks they played from the new album and the most effective together with ‘Between Blue and Me’ and ‘Spanish Tide’ and ‘Take Your Partners’. The versatility and importance of Poli Palmer shone through it all particularly brightly as he bopped about happily between keyboards, vibes, flute and hand drums.