RoD header


BJH3AMO Kulturhaus, Magdeburg, Germany
15th March 2023
Barclay James Harvest feat. Les Holroyd - “A Small Concert For The People”

The band BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST was founded 1967 in Oldham, England and became an important member of the 1970s and 1980s Progressive Rock and Art Rock scene. In 1982 they topped the charts with their live album ‘Berlin - A Concert for the People’ receiving a golden award and remaining in the top 100 for 35 weeks. Due to reduced success during the 1990s the band broke up since 1998 in 2 parts: JOHN LEE’S BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST = JLBJH and BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST FEAT. LES HOLROYD = BJHFLH. With his band, Les Holroyd, very differently from his old band mate John Lee, also plays hits which were originally written by John Lee himself - which makes a BJHFLH show the complete Original BJH set!

Les Holroyd (founding member) – lead vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo
Mike Byron Hehir – lead guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Steve Butler – acoustic guitar, bass guitar, electric guitar, backing vocals, percussion, keyboards
Ralf Gustke – drums, percussion, cajon
Jens Skwirblies – keyboards, acoustic guitar, backing vocals

Music & Performance
After being postponed several times due to the pandemic, this concert, originally planned for April 25, 2021 in the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, then cancelled there and now actually taking place here due to a new one planned for April 22, 2022 in the AMO Kulturhaus in Magdeburg. The show thus took place just three days after Les Holroyd’s (born March 12th in 1948) 75th birthday. At 8:00 p.m. sharp, after a short intro, Les Holroyd entered the stage with his four musicians and began a wonderful concert evening with all the hits of the 70s and 80s by this great band. After opener ‘Time Of Our Lives’, Les Holroyd greeted the audience in his always calm manner - apologizing that it took so long for the performance to come about due to “the pandemic, Brexit and Boris Johnson” - and had the laughs on his side. “In any case, it wasn’t the band’s fault” that they hadn’t been to “Magdeböörg” for so long...


With ’Mocking Bird’ one of the classics followed immediately, with grateful applause in the intermission part. Hit after hit continued, ’Sip of Wine’ and ’Child Of The Universe’ were particularly applauded, ’Victim Of Circumstances’ and ‘Poor Man's Moody Blues’ followed until the break. It should be emphasized how harmonious and virtuosic the perfectly coordinated band acted, although the German keyboardist Jens Skwirblies (from Eckernförde in Northern Germany) has only been on board since 2022. Guitar, drums and keyboard were given space to unfold, and light set vocals and a background choir of up to three voices underlined the vocals and bass runs of Les Holroyd.


After a 20-minute break, the second part of the evening began, where some not-so-big hits were played at the beginning, rounded off by the song ‘Fly Away’, which was never recorded or released on a studio album, but exclusively only included in the 2014 double CD ‘Retrospective’ - recorded live at a concert in Germany - while also this only really new song fitted perfectly into the set. The end of the regular part introduced ‘Love On The Line’, after which Les Holroyd introduced the band (and Steve Butler in turn praised Mr. Les Holroyd as “the inspiration” of the musicians) and finally, also on behalf of his comrades-in-arms, he thanked for “a great audience and great honour”. The second part of the show ended with ‘Hymn’, now the whole hall was standing and the audience insisted on striving all the way to the front of the stage for the end of the show.


Encores were ‘Tonight’s The Night’ and ‘Live Is For Living‘, another sing-along song. The concert ended with prolonged applause from the around close to 1,000 spectators. A very successful evening with an enthusiastic band and a very appreciative audience.

01. Intro
02. The Time of Our Lives
03. Mocking Bird
04. Rock’n’Roll Lady
05. Sip of Wine
06. Child of the Universe
07. Play to the World
08. Victims of Circumstance
09. Poor Man’s Moody Blues
10. Who Do We Think We Are?
11. Ring of Changes
12. African Nights
13. Friend of Mine
14. Fly Away
15. Love on the Line
16. Hymn
17. Tonight’s Gonna Be the Night
18. Life Is for Living

Music: 8
Performance: 7
Light: 8
Sound: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10

BJH setlist1BJH setlist2

All Pictures by Oliver Besser

Comments powered by CComment