This Day in 1967: Joni Mitchell’s First UK Show

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
This Day in 1967: Joni Mitchell’s First UK Show

49 years ago today, Joni Mitchell performed her first show in the UK.

Having performed in a variety of cities throughout the US and Canada, Mitchell made her way across the pond in August 1967 to make her London live debut at the famed Marquee Club, but it’s a testimony to how early in her career she still was at the time that she wasn’t even headlining. Instead, she opened for a band with the none-more-British name of The Picadilly Line…and, no, that’s not a typo: there’s only one “c.” (We checked.)

If you’re not familiar with The Picadilly Line, that’s none too surprising, as the band released precisely one album during the course of their brief existence: 1967’s The Huge World of Emily Small, which – as it happens – is actually a very fun slice of psychedelic pop, one which is probably best summed up by its single, “Emily Small.”

As you can hear, The Picadilly Line’s sound isn’t exactly what Joni Mitchell was playing at the time, so one has to wonder how well the pairing played with the crowd, but just getting to the UK and playing a show was a major battle won. Plus, Mitchell stuck around for a few weeks and played a few other gigs while she was there, including a far more sonically appropriate performance as the opener for The Incredible String Band.

In closing, we had long since planned to write about this momentous occasion as one of today’s posts, but the timing couldn’t have proven more fortuitous to mention Ms. Mitchell, as many fans woke this morning to see a delightful photograph of her with Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea and his wife, Gayle Moran Corea.

It’s been awhile since Joni has been spotted out and about, and we’re sure we’re not alone in saying that seeing her looking so good is truly a sight for sore eyes.