The Magic Highway


The ups and downs of touring, as outlined in the British papers.

Before the tours: New Musical Express, September 12, 1970

A SERIES of overseas visits has been lined up for Christie, including a tour of the Middle East and South America. Release of the follow-up to Yellow River has been postponed, as has the group's first album.
   Christie flies to Milan on September 21 for two days of TV, then appears in Norway's Bergen festival (23) before returning to Italy for TV in Rome (28-29).
   The group then travels direct to Israel for a five-day tour of that country, then on to Prague for a concert which is being filmed by local TV.
   This is followed by a six-day concert tour of Sweden, after which the outfit moves to Belgium for five days.
   Christie returns to Italy for the third time on October 23, when it commences a tour lasting until November 11. After that, it's on to South America.
   The release of the San Bernadino single, originally planned for today, has been put back until next week.
   The album, simply titled Christie, is now expected to be out on September 25, three weeks later than planned.
 Jeff  Latest British dates for the group include Scarborough Scene Two (Sep 13), Cumnock Town Hall (18), Hawick Town Hall (19), Barry Red Dragon Club (24) and Cheshire Kursaal Rugby Club (26).

>> Not long after this appeared, Christie were booked for the historic Sopot festival. <<

After the tours: Melody Maker, November 21, 1970

CHRISTIE have just returned from a hectic South American tour to find their latest single, San Bernadino, climbing up the charts, and their album beginning to pick up sales.
   Jeff Christie agreed that the album could have been better. "To an extent I was disappointed with it," he said. "But that's easy to say when you have finished something.
   "We should have had a lot more to do with it, but we did not have the time.
   "We had to leave the mix to our producer, and he had his ideas, like we had ours."
   South America, they said, is a great big untapped well waiting for groups who are willing to go through all the hassles involved.
   "We expected to find the same sort of organisation and continuity you find in Europe," said drummer Paul Fenton.
   "But it is completely different. Once you were on stage it was great, but the waiting around and the language barriers were terrible.
   "Our PA was completely wrecked in South America. People unloading planes didn't realise what it was, they must have thought they were just bales of cloth. You could see them literally chucking amplifers onto the conveyor belt," said Jeff.
   "After most performances there were press conferences, and people just coming in to look at us.
   "The reporters would ask us where the hidden meanings were in Yellow River, and whether I was stoned when I wrote it!"
   The last time I saw Jeff, he was talking of playing country pop and lighter sounds on stage.
   Now he sees the group in a different light, and says what they are playing is a lot harder and aggressive, probably from the hassles and hang-ups they get on the road.
   "You can't stay still and not progress if you are going to get respect as a musician," Jeff said.
   "We started off as a country rock band — some of our act is still country — but now we have a different approach with far more attack and aggression. You could say it is more positive now.
   "I don't see us turning into a King Crimson-type underground band. We just want to move forward and not stand still in one type of music."