This was Edwin Starr’s third tour of the year, such was the demand for his music in Britain in the late 1960s.
Little is known about who provided support for the soul legend but it appears that The State Express, who’d backed him on his previous tour, did play some dates on this one (notably the Retford gig at the Broken Wheel Scene on 29 September).
Quite a few of the bookings also list a group called The National Hot House as the singer’s backing band. I’ve not been able to find anything on this group and we’d welcome any information from readers in the comments below.
Interestingly, an advert in the North Wales Weekly News from 3 October lists a band called The Pure Medicine which it says is playing at the Ritz Ballroom, Rhyl direct from their recent tours with Edwin Starr and Ben E King. It’s not clear if this means The Pure Medicine were the backing band or just happened to be on the same tours.
Melody Maker lists the group quite a bit in the latter half of 1968 and its 7 September 1968 issue has an advert which notes that they are France’s Number One group.
I have found the following gigs and would welcome any further information in the comments below:
10 September 1968 – Marquee, Wardour Street, Soho, central London with Terry Reid (Tony Bacon’s book: London Live)
21 September 1968 – Twisted Wheel, Manchester (website: http://www.45worlds.com/live/artist/edwin-starr/uk/3)
21 September 1968 – Clockwork Orange, Chester, Cheshire with The National Hot House and Beryl Marsden and Sinbad (Cheshire Observer) Backed by The National Hot House
21 September 1968 – Civic Hall, Nantwich, Cheshire with The National Hot House and Benedict Arnold (Crew Chronicle) Backed by The National Hot House
23 September 1968 – Orchid Ballroom, Purley, Surrey (Chris Broom book: Rockin’ and Around Croydon)
24 September 1968 – Hatchetts, Piccadilly, central London (Poster at Jonathan Marks’ website: https://imgur.com/a/sWtBd#0)
29 September 1968 – Broken Wheel Scene, Retford, Nottinghamshire (Melody Maker) Backed by The State Express
5 October 1968 – Royal Links Pavilion, Cromer, Norfolk with Music Hath Charms and Django’s Castle with The National Hot House (Julie Fielder book: What Flo Said Next) Backed by The National Hot House
5 October 1968 – Gaiety Ballroom, Ramsey, Cambridgeshire with Eyes of Blond (Cambridgeshire Times) Most likely backed by The National Hot House
7 October 1968 – Pavilion, Bath (website: http://www.45worlds.com/live/artist/edwin-starr/uk/3)
10 October 1968 – Assembly Hall, Worthing, West Sussex (website: http://www.45worlds.com/live/artist/edwin-starr/uk/3)
10 October 1968 – Hatchetts, Piccadilly, central London (Melody Maker/Mick Capewell’s Marmalade Skies)
12 October 1968 – Imperial Ballroom, Nelson, Lancashire (Steve Chapples research: www.lankybeat.com)
If you can add anything, please leave a comment below.