The Nice, Traffic, Pretty Things, the Action, Eyes: Hyde Park, London

“ALL THIS needs is for John Peel to appear with three loaves and five fishes and he could feed the ten thousand,” said an observer at the highly successful free concert in Hyde Park, London on Saturday.

A slightly cynical view, but there was an atmosphere of the miraculous when the Nice, Traffic, Pretty Things, Action and Eyes played without charging a penny or gaining any fee for themselves for a vast crowd of well-behaved hippies.

As John would say, the groups played like gods. The Nice were a trifle rough, I felt. From my position on top of a hill round the playing zone, Keith Emerson’s organ got a bit lost, but ‘Rondo’, ‘America’ and ‘Little Arabella’ were still exciting and earned a mighty cheer.

Traffic were on fantastic form and played really well, while the Eyes, Action and Pretties all took the occasion seriously and blew nice sounds. Congratulations, audience, for keeping cool and thanks to the Ministry of Works for granting permission.

© Chris WelchMelody Maker, 3 August 1968

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