Substitute for another gig – Who live at Hull out at last

No one listening to the album would be in any doubt as to who the band was – it was just a question of where.

One of the greatest albums ever recorded by The Who is indelibly associated with Leeds.

Some fans say "Live at Leeds" is one of the greatest live rock albums ever made, capturing The Who at the peak of their powers.

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But at long last a rival recording of a gig in Hull – said by band member Roger Daltrey to be even better – has been released. Some would say it is 40 years too late.

The Who's performance at Hull City Hall on February 15 1970 – the night after the band appeared at Leeds – was originally intended to go out as a live album.

Leeds was meant to be a back up in case there were any problems with the Hull recording.

And there was one snag –

when they listened to the Hull recording it was thought John Entwistle's bass was missing – and as there wasn't much they could do to repair the tapes they decided to stick with the Leeds recording instead.

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However many fans – and Mr Daltrey himself – say Hull was the better gig.

"I remember it like it was yesterday, although in retrospect 'Live At Hull' doesn't really trip off the tongue," he said.

Years later the recording was re-examined and it emerged that in fact the bass is only missing from the first four tracks.

With the help of modern technology, Entwistle's bass tracks from the Leeds recording have been fed in – and the recording of the Hull gig is now available for the first time.

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Who fan Russell Litten, who lives in Hull, said: "I suppose 'Live at Hull' doesn't have the same alliterative qualities as 'Live at Leeds'.

"It will be of massive interest to Who fans.

"I think I read somewhere that there was a guy at the Hull gig, who when he got the album, recognised bits and bobs, little details, but it could just be local pride."

He added: "'Live at Leeds' has become a legendary album, one of the most famous live albums ever. It would have been better if it had been 'Live at Hull' – it might have attracted other bands to come to Hull.

"The problem in Hull is that there hasn't been a decent venue to put a band on – Hull City Hall was built for organ recitals and the Ice Arena acoustics are even worse."

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The surviving members of The Who are still going and will be amongst a line up of rock legends who will be performing at the first Killing Cancer concert – part of a campaign to change the way cancer can be treated.

They will be on the same bill as guitar icon Jeff Beck, The Verve's Richard Ashcroft, and Blondie legend Debbie Harry at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo on Thursday January 13, raising money for the charity that funds research into a little-known "photodynamic" therapy that uses light combined with a drug to destroy cancer cells.

The idea for the concert came from legendary promoter Harvey Goldsmith and Bill Curbishley, manager of The Who and Robert Plant.

Four years ago Daltrey, now 66, and Townshend, 65, were back in Leeds at the student's union refectory where the gig took place to unveil a blue plaque.

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The refectory might be an improbable rock music setting – in the early days bands had to clamber on tables to play – but it has attracted some of the biggest names in the business, including Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones.

The 1970 gig came after The Who's triumphant appearance at Woodstock. So many people wanted to experience the show that hundreds of locked out fans clambered onto the refectory roof.

Just hours before the gig at Leeds University, organisers realised that the recording would need double the electricity available.

Bright spark Peter Hart – then one of the university's entertainments committee members – resolved the problem and the rest is history.

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Pop writer Nik Cohn described 'Live At Leeds' as "the best live rock album ever made." Four years ago it topped a poll in Q magazine of the greatest live rock albums ever made.

Live At Hull comes in two CDs as part of a box set along with the original Live At Leeds album, a vinyl reproduction of the original six-track album, book and poster.


THE Who remain one of the most influential British bands of all time, anticipating the fury and aggression of punk and influencing generations of groups with their mixture of music and art.

Pete Townshend's Tommy was the first work billed as a rock opera and a landmark in modern music. Their spontaneous performances were based on the Theatre of the Absurd and Townshend's accidental breaking of the neck of his guitar in one of their first performances at the Marquee triggered what was to become ritual instrument smashing.

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The relationship between Townshend, the writer who went to art school, and Roger Daltrey, the son of a sheet metal worker, the only two surviving members of the band, endures to this day. They continue to perform, and in 2006 released the album Endless Wire.

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