SB&Q: On the Radio & On TV

Sutherland Brothers & Quiver from the Beat of the Street album cover



Back in the seventies, radio stations in the UK had an obligation to limit the number of records played in any one hour. This was known as "needle time", after the old-fashioned term for a record player stylus, or needle. It was imposed by the Musicians' Union as a way of ensuring income for their members. Initially, this was not meant to line the pockets of rock musicians, but to guarantee funding for the various orchestras that had traditionally provided music for radio & TV in the forties and fifties.

While some radio stations handled this by having a certain proportion of talk-only programmes, BBC Radio 1 needed to create an image of being a 24-hour pop music station. Their solution was to bring singers and bands into their studios to record tracks - usually exactly like the versions on their records - and then play them as "live sessions", thus managing to comply with needle time. Usually, these sessions were specific to one particular DJ's show and would be repeated once after original transmission.

The BBC does still have many of these recordings. There have been many other artists who have had CDs released that contain material recorded in this manner.  6 Music, the BBC's digital station, played a session version of Dream Kid twice in its first couple of months of broadcasting. Perhaps there is a possibility that if enough people write to the BBC, they may decide to release a CD of "SB&Q at the Beeb". One thing they certainly have is a recording of one of the live concerts, because it was transmitted on Radio 2 a few of years ago. Now that really would make a great CD! Many of the following details have been provided by Tim Joseph, who has proved an absolute mine of information about the band.

At The Beeb:


Recording date First broadcast Programme/DJ Tracks (those never recorded or released on LP are in italics)
6/10/71 14/10/71 PETE DRUMMOND Sleeping Dog, War Of The Roses, The Pie, I Was In Chains
1/3/72 13/3/72 BOB HARRIS The Pie, Skid Row, I Was In Chains, Change The Wind
Unknown 6/5/72 IN CONCERT Supporting HEADS, HANDS & FEET - tracks unknown
7/8/72 5/9/72 JOHN PEEL Sailing, Space Hymn, Sleeping Dog, Who's Crying Now. (Also, Change The Wind - not broadcast). Gavin, Iain & Neil Hopwood made the recording.
27/9/72 30/10/72 BOB HARRIS Flying Down To Rio, Who's Crying Now, Sorrow, Space Hymn
7/11/72 8/12/72 THE SEQUENCE Space Hymn, Flying Down To Rio, All I Got Is You, Change The Wind, Don't Forget
19/2/73 6/3/73 JOHN PEEL Real Love, You Got Me Anyway, Rock 'N' Roll Show, Love Is My Religion
3/4/73 28/4/73 IN CONCERT Supported by SHARKS - Have You Had A Vision, The Pie, You Got Me Anyway, Not Fade Away, Rock 'N' Roll Show/Love Is My Religion
3/7/73 17/8/73 THE SEQUENCE Bad Loser Don't Mess Up You And Me Champion The Underdog
3/1/74 5/1/74 ROCK ON Dream Kid*, I Hear Thunder, You And Me, It's A Bluesy World *This could be the version that appears on the Budget Bin Brothers CD, introduced by Brian Matthew.
8/1/74 22/1/74 JOHN PEEL Real Love, Dream Kid, It's A Bluesy World, I Hear Thunder. Full band present: Gavin, Iain, Tim, Peter, Willie & Bruce.
23/1/74 18/2/74 BOB HARRIS I Hear Thunder, Champion The Underdog, Dream Kid
23/1/74 3/6/74 BOB HARRIS Rolling Away/Rocky Road/Saved By The Angel, It's A Bluesy World, Seagull/Lonely Love
30/7/74 13/8/74 JOHN PEEL World In Action, Beat Of The Street, Saviour In The Rain, Annie. Band members: Gavin, Iain, Tim, Peter & Willie.
16/1/75 23/1/75 JOHN PEEL Devil Are You Satisfied, Silver Sister, Something Special, Last Boy Over The Moon. Band members: Gavin, Iain, Tim, Peter & Willie.
7/3/75 5/4/75 IN CONCERT Supported by SHANGHAI - tracks introduced by Pete Drummond: Laid Back in Anger, Something Special, Real Love, World in Action, You Got Me Anyway, Dream Kid
17/6/75 30/6/75 JOHN PEEL Dirty City, Little Bit Something Else, Somebody Buy the Band a Drink, Laid Back In Anger
18/11/75 4/12/75 JOHN PEEL Mad Trail, When The Train Comes, Love On The Moon, Ain't Too Proud
19/11/75 25,26 & 27/11/75 DAVE LEE TRAVIS Ain't Too Proud, Doctor Dancer, Arms Of Mary, Dirty City
26/10/76 11/76 (Recorded at Hammersmith Odeon, re-broadcast on Radio 2, 26 April, 1997) IN CONCERT Slipstream, Wild Love, Love On The Side, Arms Of Mary, Secrets, Real Love, Sailing, Dark Powers, Doctor Dancer, When The Train Comes, I Was In Chains

Items in red are believed to be still held by the BBC archive.

Television Appearances:


The Sutherland Brothers & Quiver appeared on The Basil Brush Show on 13 November, 1976, where they performed Secrets

In the Spring of  1977, they appeared on Jim'll Fix It, performing If I Could Have Your Loving.  They handed over signed copies of their albums & songbook to the fan who had requested that Jim should "fix it" for her to meet the band and got a bottle of whisky in return!

The band appeared on The Old Grey Whistle Test on 4 October, 1977, presented by Bob Harris, where they performed Ice in the Fire and Every Tear I Cry. Also appearing were Joan Armatrading and Harry Chapin.

They also appeared on Top of the Pops on 7 June, 1979, presented by Jimmy Saville, where they performed Easy Come, Easy Go.  Others appearing that night were The Tourists (prior to their evolution into the Eurythmics), The Skids, E.L.O., Elvis Costello, Linda Lewis, Roxy Music, Sister Sledge, Blondie, Nick Lowe & Eddie Grant.

 YouTube links:   If a screen appears black or blank, it may be that the video has been taken down for copyright or other reasons.


First, There was a brilliant 25 minute Scottish Television recording of the Sutherland Brothers & Quiver on YouTube, recorded in their Edinburgh Gateway studios during the Slipstream tour of 1976. However, it's now been listed as "private", so it can't be seen. If it reappears, you will be able to see it on the link opposite. Perhaps we collectively need to write to Scottish Television to have it reinstated.

 The songs featured were:

Wild Love
If I Could Have Your Loving
Dr Dancer
When the Train Comes.

Arms of Mary, version 1

Arms of Mary, version 2


Arms of Mary, version 3


Arms of Mary, version 4


Easy Come, Easy Go on Top of the Pops, 1979

Secrets, on German TV


Every Tear I Cry on OGWT

Ice in the Fire on OGWT

Al Stewart's Year of the Cat, with Tim Renwick on lead guitar

And here's an absolute treat: a video made by Steve Smith of Down to the River,
one of the songs featured on Gavin's 2013 CD Tango at the Lost Cafe.

Another of Steve Smith's interpretations of a Gavin Sutherland song, this time So Strange, from The Deal. which was released  in 2008.
Finally, here's a list of Sutherland Brothers (and Quiver) tunes that have been uploaded to YouTube, but not as live performance videos. These may have "interpretations" of the songs, with photos accompanying the music or, less interesting, they may just have a picture of the album cover or single throughout the entire song. I haven't embedded these, but just listed them with a link to YouTube.

SailingYou Got Me AnywayThe PieArms of Mary
SailingYou Got Me AnywayThe PieArms of Mary
SailingYou Got Me AnywayThe PieArms of Mary
I Was in ChainsMidnight AvenueEasy Come, Easy GoReal Love
HallelujahLong Long DayDream KidSomebody's Fool
When I Say I Love YouHarbour LightDark PowersSeagull/Lonely love
Midnight RendezvousMedium WaveLove on the MoonBeat of the Street
Sweet CousinDirty CitySorrowIreland
AnnieAin't Too ProudDr DancerIf I Could Have Your Lovin'
Dark ShipOn the RocksSaviour in the RainI'm Going Home
Moonlight LadyLove on the SideWhere Lies Your SoulLady Like You
SlipstreamReach for the SkyRock and Roll ShowWhen the Night Comes Down

Biography Record Listings Lyrics Interviews
Photographs Record Buying TV & Radio Publicity Material
Website Links My Top Tens Tour History News Clippings
 This Site Top Page Main Site Top Page SB&Q Chat Music Downloads
Contact Webmaster