Robert Jarman remembers when Rock legends played to a select audience
In September 1993 an extraordinary concert took place in the grounds of Cowdray Castle, by kind permission of Lord Cowdray, and for this unique event, the astonishing line-up of Rock Aristocracy took the name of ‘The Ruins Band’ for one night only, and what a night it was!
It was certainly one of the best concerts which I have ever attended, and the line-up included the three remaining members of Queen (Freddie Mercury having recently departed this world); Genesis, with Phil Collins, and Paul Young of Mike & the Mechanics, performing some of the vocals, Pink Floyd, minus Roger Waters, and the great Eric Clapton.
The show took place in the ruins of Cowdray Castle, at Midhurst, West Sussex, on 18th September, 1993, and it was a charity concert in aid of King Edward VII Hospital in Midhurst, sponsored by Richard Branson’s Virgin Music, and the audience of around 1,000 were there by invitation only.
Tickets started at a mere £45 for those who brought their own picnics, and went up to £160 for the main dining area, where guests dined in luxury inside marquees, and where evening dress was mandatory.
The show began at a quarter past nine with Queen (line-up: Roger Taylor – Drums/vocals, John Deacon, and Brian May) who placed six songs, with the vocals on Another One Bites The Dust sung by Paul Young.
Next on were Genesis, with Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins, supported by Tim Renwick (known from Mike and the Mechanics and Pink Floyd shows) on bass, and Roger Taylor and Gary Wallis on drums.
They played I Can’t Dance, That’s Just the Way It Is, Turn It on Again, Hold on My Heart and Invisible Touch.
Mike Rutherford switched to the bass guitar for Pink Floyd’s performance (David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Rick Wright); while Tim Renwick played rhythm guitar and Gary Wallis remained at the drums.
This line-up played three classic Floyd pieces, Run Like Hell, Wish You Were Here, and Comfortably Numb, with Paul Young singing the backing vocals or dueting with David Gilmour.
Then Eric Clapton came on and played Stone Free, and Old Love, with Mike Rutherford and Roger Taylor.
After that all the musicians assembled on stage to play the encores of Ain’t That Peculiar, Gimme Some Lovin’ and Witness together.
At 11pm the event ended with a spectacular firework display staged inside the castle ruins, illuminating the remaining castle walls and the smoke filled the summer night. Those of us lucky enough to be there will never forget such a wonderful experience
The line-up of the Ruins band (according to the programme)
TONY BANKS Genesis Keyboards
ERIC CLAPTON Guitar
PHIL COLLINS Genesis Vocals
JOHN DEACON Queen Bass
DAVID GILMOUR Pink Floyd Guitar
ADRIAN LEE Mike &. Mech Keyboards
NICK MASON Pink Floyd Drums
TIM RENWICK Mech./Floyd Bass/Guitar
MIKE RUTHERFORD Genesis Guitar/Bass
ROGER TAYLOR Queen Vocals/Drums
GARRY WALLIS Drums
RICHARD WRIGHT Pink Floyd Keyboards
PAUL YOUNG Mike & the Mechanics Vocals
The Cowdray Ruins Band:
Gimme Some Loving [5:36]
If anyone reading this article, would like to see the concert, there is an amateur Video (you have to remember this was the days before smartphones!) available on You Tube; just click here
By Robert Jarman, The Vintage Magazine’s Editor and Founder