Ray's Gigs

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Best Gigs of 2019

I went to an incredible 172 live music events & gigs in 2019.

This makes the grand total of 7054 gigs seen by me since 1973.

Loads of great gigs not on this list but here are my stand out Top 20 gigs of 2019...

There are are various reasons why a show can be great , it's just my personal choice.

Gun Control - The Rocket Pub, Acton - Gun Control with me on drums played two great gigs in 2019. People dancing and enjoying our original songs is always pretty special.

Gold Medal

Best live band of the year - KISS - Birmingham Arena 09 July and 02 Arena 11 July.

Silver Medal runners-up were

  • Stranglers + Rich Kids + Suzi Quatro + Barrie Masters + Glen Matlock --- Islington Academy, 27 March.
  • Sting with Shaggy --- Roundhouse, 19 May.
  • Lenny Kravitz --- Wembley Arena , 10 June.
  • Metallica + Ghost --- Twickenham Stadium , 20 June.
  • The Who + Eddie Vedder + Kaiser Chiefs --- Wembley Stadium, 06 July.
  • Alice Cooper + Stranglers --- 02 Arena , 10 October.

Bronze Medal

  • Tina Turner - The Musical --- Aldwych Theatre, 04 Feb.
  • Mott The Hoople --- Shepherds Bush Empire, 26/27 April.
  • Liam Gallagher --- Round Chapel, Hackney, 05 June.
  • Fleetwood Mac + Pretenders --- Wembley Stadium, 16 June.
  • Bon Jovi + Manic Street Preachers --- Wembley Stadium , 21 June.
  • Eagles + Sheryl Crow --- Wembley Stadium , 23 June.
  • Pink --- Wembley Stadium ,29/30 June. (Pink flying around Wembley Stadium on a zip-wire was the best visual of the year)
  • Nile Rodgers & Chic --- Royal Festival Hall, 04 August.
  • Prophets Of Rage --- Shepherds Bush Empire , 11 August.
  • Psychedelic Furs --- Roundhouse, 12 October.
  • The Damned --- Palladium , 28 October.
  • Suede + Pretenders --- Shepherds Bush Empire, 20 Nov.
  • Ronnie Wood Band --- Shepherds Bush Empire , 21 Nov.
  • Madness --- Roundhouse, 15 Dec/17 Dec.

My Best Gigs of 2018

I went to an incredible 148 live music events & gigs in 2018.

This makes the grand total of 6880 gigs seen by me since 1973.

Here are the stand out Top dozen gigs of 2018 for me...

  • Gun Control - The Rocket Pub, Acton - 10 Nov 2018.
  • Gun Control with me on drums played our first gig in 36 years.
  • Rolling Stones - London Stadium - 22/25 May 2018. The four main members have a combined age of nearly 300 years but are still fantastic live.
  • U2 - 02 Arena - 23 Oct 2018...a totally mega stage production from these Irish legends.
  • Paul McCartney - 02 Arena - 16 Dec 2018...a stunning three hour show from this Beatles legend...
  • Foo Fighters - London Stadium - 22 June 2018...The Foo's played a perfect stadium show.
  • Def Leppard + Cheap Trick - 02 Arena 06 Dec 2018 and Wembley Arena 18 Dec 2018. This pairing of classic rock bands was the best double bill of the year.
  • Steven Tyler - Forum - 07 Aug 2018...debut UK solo show that was a short but very sweet 80 mins.
  • Queen with Adam Lambert - 02 Arena - 02 July 2018...Queen are still amazing even without Freddie.
  • Iron Maiden - 02 Arena - 10 Aug 2018...British Rock Legends still on top form.
  • Kylie Minogue -02 Arena - 27 Sept 2018 - a dazzling show by this Aussie pop Princess.
  • Nile Rodgers & Chic - Serpentine Gallery Summer Party - 19 June 2019 - front row dance party.
  • Roger Waters - Hyde Park - 06 July 2018 - Pink Floyd legend with a visual treat.

My Best Gigs of 2017 List

I went to an incredible 178 live music events & gigs in 2017.

This makes the grand total of 6731 gigs seen by me since 1973.

Best gig of 2017 for me was...

I am a bit biased but KISS at The 02 Arena on 31 May 2017 was the perfect live music day.

First i was one of just 100 guests at 5pm to see the band play a 30 mins semi-acoustic set without make-up in the backstage area of The 02 Arena and later on it was the full bells & whistles of their superb stage show. Loads of other great bands and gigs seen but these were the other mega stand out gigs of 2017 for me...

Black Sabbath - 02 Arena - 29 Jan 2017.

The Who - Royal Albert Hall - 30 March and 01 April 2017.

Sting - Hammersmith Apollo - 09 April 2017.

Guns N Roses - London Stadium - 16 June 2017.

U2 - Twickenham Stadium - 08 July 2017.

Metallica - 02 Arena - 22 Oct and 24 Oct 2017.

U2 - Trafalgar Square - 11 November 2017.

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And following close behind , these great shows made up my Top 20 gigs of 2017.

Stiff Little Fingers - The Forum - 10 March 2017.

The Alarm - Electric Ballroom - 20 May 2017.

Phil Collins - Royal Albert Hall - 04/05 June and 26/27 November 2017.

Green Day - Hyde Park - 01 July 2017.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Hyde Park - 09 July (Tom's last ever show in Europe)

Robert Plant & The Sensational Shape Shifters - BBC Maida Vale Studios - 06 October 2017.

Prophets of Rage - The Forum - 13 November 2017.

Alice Cooper / The Tubes - Wembley Arena - 16 Nov 2017.(Alice band members from 70s joined him)

Deep Purple / Europe - 02 Arena - 23 November 2017.

Kasabian - 02 Arena - 02 December 2017.

Queen + Adam Lambert - 02 Arena - 12 December 2017.

Prodigy - Brixton Academy - 21 December 2017.

My fave Gigs & Events summary of 2016.

I went to 149 gigs in 2016 which brings the grand total to 6552 gigs seen by me since 1973.

Too many great gigs seen by me this year but I will mention 21 that stood out.

1.The best gig of 2016 was Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band live at Wembley Stadium on June 04. A stunning 3 hours 30 mins on stage with a great view in the gold circle front of stage area.

2.David Gilmour live at The Royal Albert Hall. I went to three of his shows with the one on 24 April an incredible front row centre seat.

3.AC/DC with Axl Rose live at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on June 05. AC/DC have had a turbulent year but Axl Rose did a brilliant job on those classic songs.

4.Iggy Pop live at The Royal Albert Hall on 13 May.

4.The Who live at Wembley Arena on 13 Feb.

4.Muse live at The 02 Arena on 12 April.

4.Brian Wilson live at The Palladium on 22 May.

4.Alice Cooper live at The 02 Arena on 18 June.

4.Rich Kids + The Professionals live at The Islington Academy on 23 June.

4.Whitesnake + Thin Lizzy + Europe live at The Ramblin' Man Festival,Maidstone on 23 July.

4.Elton John + Madness + Status Quo live at Hyde Park on 02 Sept.

4.Paul Simon live at The Royal Albert Hall. Both shows seen on 07 and 08 Nov.

4.Kylie Minogue live at The Royal Albert Hall. Both shows seen on 09 Dec and 10 Dec.

14.Bill Wyman 80th Birthday Gala Concert live at Indigo. Loads of guest singers including three songs by Robert Plant,three by Van Morrison,three by Mark Knopfler.

14.Chic feat Nile Rogers live at Hammersmith Apollo on 23 Dec.

14.Cure live at Wembley Arena 02 Dec.

14.Rod Stewart live at The 02 Arena on 12 Dec.

14.Placebo live at Wembley Arena on 15 Dec.

14.Lionel Richie live at The 02 Arena on 02 July.

14.Bryan Adams live at The 02 Arena on 07 May.

14.The Damned live at The Royal Albert Hall on 20 May.

The Damned played their longest ever show to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

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Also over 100 non live music events attended by me in 2016 including product launches,restaurant launches,bar launches,store launches, summer parties, gallery private views,fashion shows,theatre first nights,awards shows etc.

My best gigs and events in 2015...

Another great year as London was totally buzzing.

I went to 146 gigs in 2015 bringing my total to 6403 gigs seen by me since 1973.

On top of the gigs there was even more product launches,restaurant launches,bar launches,store launches, gallery private views,fashion shows,theatre first nights,awards shows etc.

I will highlight a few of my faves here which could be for a variety of reasons...

1.Paul McCartney live at The 02 Arena on May 23 and 24. Macca was my gig of the year with a lengthy setlist played each night with loads of Beatles classics played.

2.Prince live at Koko on 02 Feb. A Prince secret gig.I was in balcony box vip area with freebie champers all night.

3.U2 live at The 02 Arena on Oct 29,Oct 30 and Nov 03. Three mega shows with a stunning stage production and loads of great tunes.

4.KISS + Motley Crue + Slash + Billy Idol live at Download Festival on June 04. The best bill of the year even though the big outdoor venue was not to my liking.

5.AC/DC live at Wembley Stadium on July 04. A mega show by AC/DC even though the big outdoor venue not to my liking.

6.The Who live at the 02 Arena March 22 and The Royal Albert Hall on March 26. Two brilliant shows but the Hyde Park show on June 26 not as good as outdoors.

7.David Gilmour live at The Royal Albert Hall on Sept 23 and 25 and Oct 03. Three superb shows by DG with half the setlist Pink Floyd classics.

8.Rod Stewart & The Faces live in Surrey Sept 05 and Rod Stewart live at Hyde Park Sept 13. Rod plays his first proper show with The Faces for over 30 years.

9.Motley Crue + Alice Cooper live at Wembley Arena on Nov 06. Motley Crue play their last ever UK show with a stunning stage show and great support act.

10.Def Leppard + Whitesnake + Black Star Riders live at Wembley Arena on Dec18. A fantastic three band classic rock package.

11.Queen with Adam Lambert live at Wembley Arena on Feb 24.

11.Sham 69 live at The 100 Club on Feb 27.

11.Fleetwood Mac live at The 02 Arena on June 27.

11.Lionel Richie live at The Henley Festival on July 09.

11.Scorpions + Saxon + Blue Oyster Cult live at Mote Park,Maidstone on July 25.

11.Jeff Lynne's ELO live at Porchester Hall on June 09.

11.Simple Minds + Stranglers live at The 02 Arena on Nov 26.

11.Judas Priest + Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock live at Brixton Academy on Dec 01.

11.Prodigy + Public Enemy live at Wembley Arena on Dec 05.

11.Kylie Minogue live at The Royal Albert Hall on Dec 11.

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Special mention to all these bands i saw who played their first shows in London for over 30 years. Rod Stewart & The Faces live at Hurtwood Park Polo Club,Surrey on Sept 05. The Professionals live at The 100 Club on Oct 19. Cherie Currie live at The Underworld,Camden on Nov 18. Bay City Rollers live at Hammersmith Apollo on Dec 30.

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Other great live bands just outside the Top 20 included 999,Slipknot,Jefferson Starship,Elbow ,Kaiser Chiefs, Spandau Ballet,Stereophonics,Placebo,Korn,Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds,Saxon,UDO,Michael Monroe, System Of A Down,Lynyrd Skynyrd,Status Quo - Aquostic,Nick Cave,Mike + The Mechanics,Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler,Toto,Glen Matlock,Beach Boys,The Professionals,Cherie Currie,Tony Bennett with Lady Gaga, FFS,Richie Ramone,Morrissey,Public Image Limited,Leo Sayer,Mercury Rev,Tom Jones,Squeeze, Bob Dylan and his band - 2 shows,Sunshine Of Your Love- Jack Bruce tribute evening,Godfathers, ZZ Top,Thunder,Pet Shop Boys,Chaka Khan,Pete Townshend Quadrophenia Live,Nazareth,Monkees, New Order,Bryan Ferry,Ronnie Spector,Waterboys,Duran Duran,Bay City Rollers, Bryan Adams, Bernard Fowlers Allstars feat Glen Matlock,Ronnie Wood and Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood book launch and QnA,an evening with Al Pacino,Joe Strummer Foundation event with Jools Holland,Glen Matlock,Mick Jones,Chrissie Hynde,Suggs and others. Also NME Awards,Warner Music Brit Awards afterparty,Q Awards,BMI Awards.

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Top 6 other events that were not gigs...

1.Tom Ford 'Noir' fragrance launch party at The Chiltern Firehouse,Marylebone on 12 Jan...10.30pm to 2.30am.. A mega party at this celebrity haunt with a full open bar and great food and lots of celebs and nice goodie bag. Celebs included Graham Norton,Paloma Faith,Lily Allen,Dermot O'Leary and Alexa Chung.

2.Harvey Weinstein BAFTA afterparty at Rosewood Hotel,Holborn on Feb 08...11.45pm to 4.30am... A-list film producer hosts a massive party for 500 guests with a full open bar including champers and lots of great food. Celebs included many actors plus Noel Gallagher,Kasabian,Nick Cave and others.

3.Mademoiselle Prive x Chanel exhibition preview at Saatchi Gallery,Chelsea on Oct 12...7.45pm to 12.30 pm... A much bigger event than expected with 500 guests with a full open bar including champers and nice food. The djs were Lily Allen and Jarvis Cocker. Guests included Karl Lagerfeld,Rita Ora,Vanessa Paradis and Lily Rose Depp. Cara Delevingne and St Vincent sung a few songs.

4.Sushisamba 3rd birthday at Sushisamba,Bishopsgate,London EC2 on Nov 10...9pm to 12.30pm... A massive party for over 700 folks over floors 38,39 and 40 of this skyscraper by Liverpool Street station. A full open bar including champers and lots of nice food and Grace Jones sung four songs.

5.Sunday Times Style Magazine Party at Tramp,Jermyn Street,London W1 on Dec 09...9pm to 2am... Like last year this was a very lively party for over 300 folks at this famous club. A full open bar including champers and lots of nice food. Lots of dancing and a few celebs here including Graham Norton and Erin O'Connor.

6.Lanesborough Hotel re-launch party,Knightsbridge,London SW1 on Nov 25...6.15pm to 10.30pm... Which is London's poshest hotel? The Ritz,The Dorchester,Claridge's...or maybe it's The Lanesborough. Where as the other hotels hold events The Lanesborough rarely gets involved. It it is super posh in here with an army of staff fussing over the 300 folks here. A full open bar including champers and lots of lovely food in this amazing hotel.

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Best new bar opening of 2015

Drake & Morgan , 6 Pancras Square,London N1. Location is by St Pancras/Kings Cross. A huge bar with a great vibe, great drinks ,great food,great staff,a dance floor and alfresco area.

Best Gigs of 2014

Another great year for live music as I went to 153 gigs as well as loads of other good events.

My gig total is now 6256 since 1973.

Remember it is just my personal view of the gig which could be for many reasons including mega stage production, I was near the front, one of my fave artists etc.

1.Prince live at The Roundhouse on 04 June. Two shows of two hours each with slightly different setlists by Prince on the same night has to be the gig of the year plus his shows I saw at Shepherds Bush Empire and Birmingham Arena were also mega.

2.Kylie Minogue live at The 02 Arena 29 Sept. A mega production and party atmosphere for this stunning show.Also the up close gig at The Grosvenor House Hotel on 15 May was also top notch. Lots of costume changes and a totally visually mega show.

3.Lady Gaga live at The 02 Arena on 25 Oct. A massive stage production with walkways over the floor standing areas that were used throughout the show. Like Kylie a full on party atmosphere with loads of costume changes and the wow factor.

4.Black Sabbath + Soundgarden live at Hyde Park 04 July. Mega anthems from the rock legends.

5.Aerosmith + Joe Bonamassa + Richie Sambora + Thunder live at Clapham Common 28 June. Steven Tyler and co played the perfect show.

6.Peter Gabriel live at Wembley Arena on 03 Dec. An incredible show of top quality.

7.Foo Fighters + Kaiser Chiefs live at Invictus Games Closing Ceremony at The Queen Elizabeth Park on 14 Sept.Foo Fighters are always mega live plus support from Kaiser Chiefs was a great double bill. Amazing atmosphere here with disabled athletes everywhere who had competed in the games itself.

8.Kate Bush live at Hammersmith Apollo on 20 Sept. Without doubt it was the hottest gig ticket of the year. It was incredible to see her play live again as I saw here at the same venue in 1979 on her last tour. It was a quality show but she left out a few of her main songs that I would have preferred her to play.

9.Rod Stewart live at The Hilton Hotel,Park Lane,London on 09 July.One of those shows were I got very close to the stage ending up just a few feet from Rod playing a great hour of classic hits.

10.Kaiser Chiefs live at The Hard Rock Cafe,London on 14 May.Another in yer face gig as just 150 folks here with a very lively set by the band and free booze and food all night for this invite only gig for a radio station.

11.Those just outside the Top 10 included Depeche Mode, Wilko Johnson with Roger Daltrey,Blondie,Sex Pistols Experience,Steel Panther,Suede,Status Quo(Frantic Four original line up),Deep Purple,Manic Street Preachers, Foreigner,Europe,Elbow,Chas and Dave,Courtney Love, Arcade Fire,The Eagles,Stevie Wonder,Coldplay, Libertines,Neil Young And Crazy Horse,Franz Ferdinand, Blink 182,Matlock-Phantom-Slick,Janes Addiction, Ray Davies,Placebo,Lenny Kravitz,Buzzcocks, Yusuf-Cat Stevens,Boomtown Rats,Damned,Billy Idol, Damon Albarn & The Heavy Seas,Jack White,Bryan Adams,Slash,Public Image Limited,The Cure.

Special mention to The Cure for playing the longest shows of the year.Their Royal Albert Hall Show was a mental 3 hour 33 mins and the two shows at Hammersmith Apollo were both over three hours. Also AC/DC video shoot on 04 Oct was a good one. It was for the track 'Rock or Bust' at Black Island Studios in West London.

Loads of other great shows were not in my main list.

Top Gigs of 2013

Another really great year for live music as i attended 181 live music events.

My gig total now reads 6102 since 1973.

1.Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band,Millenium Stadium, Cardiff and their amazing 3 hours 30 mins show on 23 July with the roof closed and the stage moved forward for a more intimate setting was the best gig of the year for me.Even better than the London show i went to.

2.Rolling Stones live at Hyde Park. I went to both shows on 06 July and 13 July.Both were just fantastic. The Stones really lived up to the hype. The dvd of the shows is a must buy.

3.Black Sabbath live at The 02 Arena 10 Dec.The metal legends on top form.

4.Bon Jovi live at Hyde Park 05 July. So many great catchy singalong gems in their mammoth 2 hours 55 mins on stage. I also saw their Isle Of Wight Fest gig.

5.The Killers live at Hammersmith Apollo 06 Nov.A lethal greatest hits set from The Killers in this small for them gig. I also saw them headline Wembley Stadium and Isle Of Wight Festival.

6.Status Quo live at Hammersmith Apollo 15 and 16 March.Quo back with the original Frantic Four members were just mega. The Wembley Arena show 17 March was good but The Hammersmith shows were the best.

7.The Who live at Wembley Arena 08 July. A superb show from these rock legends.

8.Roger Waters live at Wembley Stadium 14 Sept.A totally mega production.

9.Stone Roses + Public Image Limited + Johnny Marr live at Finsbury Park 08 June. A mega trio of bands. I also saw Stone Roses at The Isle Of Wight Fest.

10.Muse live at Emirates Stadium 26 May.

Best Gigs of 2002

This summer I decided to take redundancy at my job and to set up this website and spend even more time related to live music. The first trip abroad was to see The Sex Pistols and The Who in California in Sept. Sex Pistols played their first shows since 1996 Both were huge events with them playing to over 20,000 in London and 50,000 in California. Punk rock music and clothing is huge in America right now (better late than never!). Only 2 in London and California but there were the highlights of the year for me. As it was 25th anniversary of punk there were loads of punk and Sex Pistols goings on. NFT had a season of punk films and the Sussex Pistols (Sex Pistols tribute band ) hired out the same boat as the Sex Pistols did 25 years earlier. We had a fantastic afternoon on The Thames going past the Houses Of Parliament etc. and the band played a storming set too. I went on tour with Sex Pistol Glen Matlockand his great band The Philistines in May. Eight shows in 2 weeks acoss the country helping with equipment and selling stuff. A great bunch of blokes playing great music. It was a fantastic experience for me. As a thank you for my help with the main Sex Pistols website I was invited to the rehearsals for their Cyrstal Palace show and that was a really special afternoon for me. It was a good year if you were a David Bowie fan in London. I saw both his great shows at Royal Festival Hall and Hammersmith Apollo and met him at his HMV "Heathen" signing. Bruce Springsteen did a fantastic one-off show at Wembley Arena made even better by the fact we got into the main pit area in front of the stage only yards from the front. Two of the best gigs of the year would also relate to probably the 2 saddest events of the year. The Who played 2 fantastic shows at The Royal Albert Hall which turned out to be John Entwisles last UK shows before his death Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros played a low-key show for striking firemen to 500 people at Acton Town Hall. This was a great night that had Clash guitarist Mick Jones came on stage to play 3 Clash anthems with Joe for the first time in years. Six weeks later Joe Strummer was dead. I was totally gutted. I did not go to the funeral but was at the wake later that day in Ladbroke Grove. Thinking about all the great memories I have of The Clash as a teenager really did upset me but as they say "The music still lives on". This website is starting to get known by the people that run the big events so this year I was at The BRITS, Q Awards and MOJO Awards shows.Q Awards stood out as we were on a table with a couple of well-known radio DJs and Casey Spooner (Fisherspooner) and his management/PR team. This was a mega day that finished 12 hours later at the aftershow party in Shepherds Bush. Other highlights for 2002 that I went to were Brian Wilson, Prince, Dave Gilmore Band, Alanis Morissette, Oasis, Dream Theatre, Robert Plant Band, Andrew WK, Slipknot, Cyclefly, Jamiroquai, Bryan Adams, Iron Maiden, Dead Men Walking, Liza Minnelli, Alarm, ABC, Joe Cocker, Ted Nugent, Lenny Kravitz, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Suede, Roger Waters, Rod Stewart, Damned, Iggy Pop, Mark Knopfler, Meat Loaf, Pretenders, Strokes, White Stripes, Roy Wood Army, Foo Fighters, Prodigy, Guns And Roses, Deep Purple, Moby, Madness, Bryan Ferry, Sparks, Coldplay, ZZ Top, Vines, Morrissey, Manic Street Preachers, Elton John, Status Quo, Blondie and INXS.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1= 3808 Sex Pistols + Rapture Crystal Palace Arena, London 27.07.2002 10
1= 3823 Sex Pistols + Buzzcocks + Damned Devore, California, USA 14.09.2002 10
1= 3797 Sex Pistols Rehearsals North London 12.07.2002 10
2= 3830 David Bowie Hammersmith Apollo, London 02.10.2002 10
2= 3787 David Bowie + Dandy Warhols Royal Festival Hall, London 29.06.2002 9,75
3 3843 Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band Wembley Arena, London 27.10.2002 10
4 3824 Who Royal Albert Hall, London 08.02.2002 9,75
5 3855 Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros Acton Town Hall, London 15.11.2002 9,75

Best Gigs of 2001

Yet another fantastic year for live music. I was at the first of U2s four night run at Earls Court. Sadly I did not get into the front pit heart area but still an amazing show. AC/DC outdoors was superb as usual. A full 2-hour set of classic rock anthems. Radiohead at the BBC was incredible. Invite only audience of only 500 people. They played for 1 hour 40 mins and to my surprise treated it like a real gig. Iron Maiden played 2 small shows at the Shepherds Bush Empire as a warm to a South American tour that included a Rock In Rio headline slot. Brilliant atmosphere just like the old Hammersmith Odeon shows. I honestly think that these shows kickstarted the classic rock revival that would occur over the next couple of years in the UK. Roxy Music played their first shows together for over 15 years as part of a world tour. I saw 2 shows at Wembley Arena and 2 later on at Hammersmith Apollo. This one stood out as we went to the aftershow party, chatted with all the band, chatted with Chris Thomas (Roxy Music and Sex Pistols ) producer and even had one of Bryan Ferry's children pouring me champagne. Other highlights this year: I went to were Marilyn Manson, Eric Clapton, PJ Harvey, David Johansen And The Harry Smiths, Joe Jackson, Soft Cell, Dee Dee Ramone, Badly Drawn Boy, Black Crowes, Television, Ash, Tom Tom Club, Alice Cooper, Dio, Steve Harley, Motorhead, Mark Knopfler, Eagles, Rocket From The Crypt, Judas Priest, Neil Young And Crazy Horse, Waterboys, Starsailor, Dead Men Walking, Madonna, Tubes, Hives, Black Sabbath, Lionel Richie, Rammstein, Sussex Pistols (Sex Pistols Tribute), Kylie Minogue, Status Quo, Ronnie Wood Band, Paul Weller, James, Glen Matlock And The Philistines, Pulp, Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros, White Stripes, Slaughter And The Dogs, UB40, Stereophonics, Paul Young, Pretenders, Sting, Errol Brown, Patti Smith Band, Dressed To Kiss (KISS Tribute), Feeder, Brian Setzer 68 Special, Saxon, New Order, Oasis, Gary Numan, Bangles, Cult, 3 day punk rock festival at The 100 Club to celebrate 25 years since original festival, Eminem, Manic Street Preachers, Travis, Alabama 3, Tom Jones and Stereo MCs.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 3628 U2 Earls Court Arena, London 18.08.2001 10
2 3595 AC/DC + Offspring + Queens Of Stone Age The Bowl, Milton Keynes 08.06.2001 10
3 3596 Radiohead - BBC2 TV Special Jools Holland BBC Studios, London W12 09.06.2001 9,75
4 3545 + 3546 Iron Maiden + Dirty Deeds Shepherds Bush Empire, London 06+ 07. 01.2001 9,75
5 3604 Roxy Music Wembley Arena, London 23.06.2001 9,75

Best Gigs of 2000

AC/DC at Wembley Arena were fantastic. Loud and distorted classic rock heaven. The Who did a full UK tour with Joe Strummer as a great support and they finished off with a special show at RAH with guests Eddie Vedder Noel from Oasis etc. Foo Fighters did a superb small gig for XFM radio. David Bowie was my highlight at Glastonbury as he did a brilliant greatest hits set. Oasis at Wembley Stadium had a mental atmosphere. On the first night Noel and Liam were not on the best of terms but it made the show even better Other highlights I saw this year included Bon Jovi at the last ever show at Wembley Stadium before it got bulldozed. In Nov I saw Bon Jovi do a show in New Jersey, USA. Tina Turner, Lionel Richie, Robbie Williams, Dressed To Kill (KISS tribute band), Sting, Dee Dee Ramone, Lou Reed, Pearl Jam, Shirley Bassey, Iron Maiden, Santana, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nine Inch Nails, Travis, Alarm, Halford and Rage Against The Machine.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 3537 + 3538 AC/DC Wembley Arena, London 04+05.12.2000 10
2= 3534 Who with various special guests Royal Albert Hall, London 27.11.2000 9,75
2= 3528 Who + Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros Docklands Arena, London 13.11.2000 9,75
2= 3530 Who + Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros Wembley Arena, London 15.11.2000 9,75
3 3436 Foo Fighters Scala, Kings Cross, London 04.03.2000 9,75
4 3483 David Bowie + Muse + Dandy Warhols Glastonbury Festival, Somerset 25.06.2000 9,75
5 3494 + 3495 Oasis + Happy Mondays Wembley Stadium, London 21+22.07.2000 9,75

Best Gigs of 1999

Well for me the KISS shows were amazing. On this tour for Pyscho Circus they had 3D glasses to be put on for parts of the show and it somehow worked great. Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band had now reformed after a 10 year break and were superb. It was a great year for big bands playing small venues as I saw Bowie at The Astoria, Who at the Shepherds Bush Empire, Iggy Pop at the Mean Fiddler/Astoria 2 and The Rolling Stones at Shepherds Bush Empire (I had a ticket for this show but was made an offer I could not refuse so I missed the show). I saw the Stones a few days later and for one of the shows got into the front pit wristband only area for a fantastic close up view. Other highlights that I saw this year were Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, Scorpions, Patti Smith, Black Sabbath, Godfathers, Alanis Morissette, Meat Loaf, Blondie, Glen Matlock Band, Roger Daltrey Band with British Rock Symphony Orchestra, Iggy Pop, Pork Dukes, Blur, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Offspring, Cyclefly, Deep Purple, Buzzcocks, Bryan Adams, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Flaming Lips, Morrissey, Aerosmith, Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros, Robbie Williams, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, James, Maze, Suede, Damned and Sparks.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1= 3329 KISS + Buck Cherry Bercy, Paris, France 22.03.1999 10
1= 3330 KISS + Buck Cherry Wembley Arena, London 25.03.1999 10
2 3351+3352 Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band Earls Court Arena, London 18+21.05.1999 9,75
3 3418 David Bowie Shepherds Bush Empire, London 02.12.1999 9,75
4 3428 Who Shepherds Bush Empire, London 23.12.1999 9,75
5 3358 Rolling Stones Wembley Stadium, London 12.06.1999 9,75

Best Gigs of 1998

The highlight of the year for me was the Black Sabbath reunion tour. Ozzy played with his own band then did a fantastic set with Sabbath. My second best gig of the year was a case of two support bands Prodigy and Foo Fighters who kicked headliners Beastie Boys off the park with great live sets.Janet Jackson as always did a fantastic show full of colour and energy. Kylie Minogue played 3 rare London shows and she was superb. Richie Sambora is guitarist with Bon Jovi and his one off show was excellent and the place went bonkers when Jon Bon Jovi turned up to sing a couple of songs for the encore. Other great shows this year included James, Spice Girls, Cramps, Insane Clown Posse, Placebo, Dio, Godfathers, Rockbitch, Jimmy Page And Robert Plant, Damned, Rod Stewart, Culture Club, Human League, ABC, Tom Robinson Band, Thin Lizzy, Prince, Alice Cooper, Marc Almond, Roy Ayers, Thunder, Snopp Dogg, and Glen Matlock Band.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 3239 Black Sabbath + Ozzy Osbourne Band + Foo Fighters + Therapy The Bowl, Milton Keynes 20.06.1998 9,75
2 3256 Beastie Boys + Prodigy + Foo Fighters + Echo And The Bunnymen Reading Festival, Berks 29.08.1998 9,75
3 3237 Janet Jackson Wembley Arena, London 17.06.1998 9,75
4 3248 Kylie Minogue Shepherds Bush Empire, London 30.07.1998 9,75
5 3245 Richie Sambora Shepherds Bush Empire, London 22.07.1998 9,75

Best Gigs of 1997

At the start of the year I won a contest in Q Music Mag about who had been to the most concerts. They did a 2 page article on my love of live music which led to me getting a part time job reviewing concerts in the London area for my local paper. Mainly it was shows at Shepherds Bush Empire, Hammersmith Apollo, Earls Court Arena etc. I did a couple of reviews a month on shows I was going to go to anyway and it was handy to be on the guest list as some shows were well sold out like David Bowie, Paul Weller, U2, Oasis etc. This lasted for about 4 years altogether. Highlights of the shows I saw this year were the return of KISS and Aerosmith which also included a few days in Europe to see KISS in Belgium then driving down to Paris to see Aerosmith. To see your fave bands outside of the UK is something I'd really love to do more. David Bowie was superb at a small venue like The Shepherds Bush Empire. U2 brought their huge tv screen and lemon spectacle to stadiums all over the world. Oasis had been savaged by critics the past few months but their show at Wembley Arena was just a brilliant rock n roll celebration. Glastonbury Festival was a nightmare as it became a total mud bath after all the rain. Other highlights of this year included Eels, Trextasy With Mickey Finn, Whitesnake, Stiff Little Fingers, Insane Clown Posse, Denim, Jamiroquai, Spice Girls, Ocean Colour Scene, Steve Earle, Black Crowes, Sham 69, Ray Davies, Paul Young, Gary Glitter, Buzzcocks, Prodigy, Placebo, James, Bryan Adams, Screaming Lord Sutch, Specials, Supertramp, Ian Hunter, The Plimsouls, Wasp, Average White Band, Dream Theatre, ABC, INXS, Diana Ross, Alice Cooper, Micheal Jackson, Roy Wood Big Band, David Byrne and Sinead O'Connor.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 3107 KISS + Rage Against The Machine Finsbury Park, London 05.07.1997 10
2= 3097 KISS Flanders Expo, Ghent, Belgium 10.06.1997 10
2= 3098 Aerosmith + 3 Colours Red Bercy, Paris, France 11.06.1997 10
2= 3093 + 3094 Aerosmith Wembley Arena, London 04/05.06.1997 9,75
3 3122 David Bowie Shepherds Bush Empire, London 11.08.1987 9,75
4 3128 U2 Wembley Stadium, London 23.08.1997 9,75
5 3173 Oasis + Supergrass Wembley Arena, London 17.12.1997 9,75

Best Gigs of 1996

For me this was a very special year indeed. The highlight was The Sex Pistols to reform with original members for the "Filthy Lucre" world tour. Alan McGee who was Creation Recordsand Oasis boss paid £5000 for a full page ad in NME to say that The Sex Pistols at Shepherds Bush was simply stunning. It was one of the greatest gigs of all time. KISS would also reform with all their original members and put the costumes and face paint on for their world tour which would be the No 1 grossing tour worldwide in 1996. These line ups were both from the classic late 1970s period when I was a teenager. Was a dream come true for me that's for sure. AC/DC at Wembley Arena was superb and I can remember they played a second date the day after but it was the same day as Sex Pistols at Finsbury Park. What a weekend. Neurotic Outsiders were the supergroup made up of Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), John Taylor (Duran Duran) and Duff and Matt (Guns And Roses). They were brilliant and apart from a short gig at The Borderline earlier this year this was their last UK performance as they sadly called it a day after one album. For the encore Simon Le Bon came on and sung punk gem "New Rose " by The Damned. Ice T at the small Subterania club in West London was a mega show by the OG. Fantastic lyrics, crazy atmosphere, boxer Lennox Lewis was here to watch as well. Other highlights I saw this year was Sting, Def Leppard, Pulp, Metallica, Rolf Harris, Social Distortion, Coolio, Henry Rollins, Jazz Passengers With Deborah Harry, Slade 2, Godfathers, Gwar, Damned, Stiff Little Fingers, Marianne Faithful, ZZ Top, Gary Numan, Bad Manners, Mike And The Mechanics, Trextasy, Tina Turner, Meat Loaf, Manic Street Preachers, Eric Clapton, The Who playing Quadrophenia, Neil Young, Alanis Morissette, Bjork, Massive Attack, Bryan Adams, Patti Smith Group, Steely Dan, Big Country, Powerstation, Peter Perrett.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1= 2979 Sex Pistols + A Shepherds Bush Empire, London 17.07.1996 10
1= 2977 Sex Pistols + Sultans Le Zenith, Paris, France 04.07.1996 10
1= 2971 Sex Pistols + Iggy Pop + Buzzcocks Finsbury Park, London 23.06.1996 10
1= 2982 Sex Pistols + Terrorvision + Echobelly Phoenix Festival, Stratford 21.07.1996 10
1= 2978 Sex Pistols + Slayer + Bad Religion Aquatica, Milan, Italy 11.07.1996 10
2= 2988 KISS + Ozzy Osbourne Donington Race Track, UK 17.08.1996 10
2= 3028 KISS Wembley Arena, London 25.11.1996 10
2= 3025 KISS NEC Arena, Birmingham 20.11.1996 10
2= 3026 KISS Nynex Arena, Manchester 21.11.1996 10
3 2970 AC/DC Wembley Arena, London 22.06.1996 10
4 3005 Neurotic Outsiders + Stimulater Astoria 2, London 26.09.1996 9,75
5 2953 Ice T Subterania, London 19.05.1996 9,75

Best Gigs of 1995

Since I have been going to concerts way back in 1973 there has always been one band that has always created a frenzy for tickets: The Rolling Stones. When they played Earls Court Arena in the 1970s the postal applications were very over-subscibed and each tour still sells out very quickly. Witness the 2003 tour which promises to be superb. The Stones at Brixton Academy were mega. Fantastic sound, classic songs and a long set. Another band who did some small shows that year were Blur and I got tickets for this amazing gig on Clacton Pier where it became so hot inside they had to open the doors behind the stage which meant you could see the sea while the band were on stage. This was the week when "Country House" was No1 and the Blur v Oasis debate was in full swing. Janet Jackson live in concert was just a total spectacle from start to finish. Loads of costume changes, colours, dancers and great songs and she put in 110% energy. Bon Jovi and Metallica both done great shows to confirm their status as stadium rock kings. Other great shows I went to this year included a trip to Los Angeles, USA where I caught some great acts in legendary venues, Slash's Snakepit at The Palace, Jimmy Page And Robert Plant at The Forum, James Cotton at House Of Blues, Black Crowes at the Pantages Theatre. In England I saw Adam Ants' first UK shows for 10 years since his LIVE AID gig. Other good gigs I saw were Stiff Little Fingers, Damned, Foreigner, Doobie Brothers, Stranglers, Sparks, Madness, Simple Minds, Tom Robinson Band, Bootsys Rubber Band, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Bryan Ferry, Godfathers, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Rod Stewart, Ramones, Bodycount feat Ice T, Jayne County, Counterfiet Stones, Alanis Morissette, Green Day, Christy Moore, Motorhead, Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Morrissey, Human League, Roxette, M People and Blue Oyster Cult.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1= 2840 Rolling Stones + Reef Brixton Academy, London 19.07.1995 10
1= 2834 Rolling Stones + Black Crowes Wembley Stadium, London 11.07.1995 9,75
2 2861 Blur Oscars, The Peir, Clacton 17.09.1995 9,75
3 2806 + 2807 Janet Jackson + MN8 Wembley Arena, London 19/20/.04.1995 9,75
4 2825 + 2826 Bon Jovi + Van Halen + Thunder + Ugly Kid Joe Wembley Stadium, London 23/25/.06.1995 9,75
5 2855 Metallica + Therapy + Skid Row + Slayer Wembley Stadium, London 26.08.1995 9,75

Best Gigs of 1994

On 12 March 1994 Soundgarden were the first band to play Shepherds Bush Empire which had been bought off the BBC and was now the hot new venue in town. The highlight for me this year was my first Glastonbury Festival. In previous years I avoided going because the idea of camping etc filled me with dread but we had a mega weekend. Everyone should go at least once as its unlike any other music festival. Pink Floyd returned to live action with a huge tour that included a staggering 14 nights at Earls Court Arena with a stage and light show that was different class. Sparks played their first show in the UK for 15 years which was just superb. Other highlights I saw this year included UB40, Duran Duran, Trextasy, Peter Perrett, Maze, Paul Young, Manowar, Godfathers, Black Sabbath, Pretenders, David Lee Roth, Big Country, Madness, Ian Dury, Ramones, INXS, Black Crowes, The Kinks, Joe Cocker, Elton John, Gary Glitter, Status Quo, ZZ Top, Fish, Bryan Adams, Whitesnake.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 2705 to 2707 Fri: Pretenders + Manic Street Preachers / Sat: Elvis Costello + Bjork / Sun: Peter Gabriel + James Glastonbury Festival, Somerset 24/25/26.06.1994 9,75
2 2741 Pink Floyd Earls Court Arena, London 20.10.1994 9,75
3 2688 Mick Ronson Tribute Show feat Ian Hunter, Steve Harley, Roger Daltry, Roger Taylor, Joe Elliot, Glen Matlock but why was David Bowie not here for his old mate tonight? Hammersmith Odeon, London 29.04.1994 9,75
4 2750 Sparks Shepherds Bush Empire, London 17.11.1994 9,75
5 2673 Meat Loaf Wembley Arena, London 23.03.1994 9,75

Best Gigs of 1993

Bon Jovi are a perfect stadium rock band. Interesting support bands on their bill above. U2 Zooropa tour lasted about 18 months. Great to see Billy Idol again and for this special show he reformed Generation X for a fantastic 30 mins trip down memory lane. Other great shows I went to this year included Quireboys, Bob Dylan, Godfathers, B52s, Van Morrison, The Kinks, Prince, Dio, Roy Wood Band, Sting, Poison, Van Halen, Scottish Sex Pistols, Elton John, Iron Maiden, Buzzcocks, Gary Glitter, Bruce Springsteen, Big Country, Brian May Band, Suede, Hole, INXS, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Paul McCartney, Glen Matlock and The Mavericks.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 2621 + 2622 Bon Jovi + Billy Idol + Little Angels + Manic Street Preachers. The Bowl, Milton Keynes 18/19.09.1993 10
2 2614 U2 + Big Audio Dynamite 2 Wembley Stadium, London 11.08.1993 9,75
3 2644 + 2645 Aerosmith + Mr Big Wembley Arena, London 07/08.12.1993 9,75
4 2594 Guns And Roses + The Cult The Bowl, Milton Keynes 30.05.1993 9,75
5 2623 Billy Idol + Generation X Astoria, London 20.09.1993 9,75

Best Gigs of 1992

Well I suppose it had to happen but at the end of this year Hammersmith Odeon was taken over by new owners and my front of stage security job would cease. In Jan 1993 it would be renamed The Apollo with new management who would get a different security company in. It was a fantastic 10 years of getting paid to watch (mostly) great bands. U2 show was the highlight of the year. It sold out in a couple of hours and was an early show in the huge Zooropa world tour with tv sets and trabant cars everywhere. Def Leppard did 2 stunning shows in the round with a superb light and laser show. Micheal Jackson always did a great live show. KISS were not wearing costumes or make up but they still had those great songs. Other highlights of this year included Rush, Simply Red, Buzzcocks, Barry White, Europe, Suzi Quatro, Lou Reed, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, The Jesus And Mary Chain, The Cult, Gary Moore, Prince, Santana, Mick Jagger Allstar Blues Band, Ringo Starr Allstars, Bruce Springsteen, Erasure played 15 shows at Hammersmith Odeon (I saw a few of them), Damned, Black Sabbath, Godfathers, Stray Cats and those rock gods Spinal Tap.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 2498 U2 + Fatima Mansions Earls Court Arena, London 31.05.1992 9,75
2 2509 + 2510 Def Leppard + Gun Earls Court Arena, London 26/27.06.1992 9,75
3 2520 Micheal Jackson Wembley Stadium, London 31.07.1992 9,75
4 2517 Bryan Adams + Extreme + Squeeze Wembley Stadium, London 18.07.1992 9,75
5 2496 KISS + Danger Danger Wembley Arena, London 21.05.1992 9,75

Best Gigs of 1991

AC/DC as usual were superb. Metallica had just brought out new "Black" album. Guns And Roses show was their first UK show for 3 years and a one-off in this country. I loved big rock shows during this period as they always put a great live show on with fireworks, explosions, loads of lights etc. You may wonder why Extreme are here but this year they were the hottest new rock band in the world and the buzz for these shows was fantastic. Other great shows I saw this year included the 5 nights I saw Sting at Hammersmith Odeon, Deborah Harry, Manic Street Preachers, Simple Minds, Sweet, Guy, Godfathers, Paul Young, Scorpions, Cinderella, Robert Cray Band, Whitney Houston, I watched all Bob Dylan's 8 shows at Hammersmith Odeon, Motorhead, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Black Crowes, Saxon, Gary Numan, Gary Glitter, Cramps, Alexander O'Neal, Maze, Joe Jackson, Pet Shop Boys, Rod Stewart, Status Quo, The Cult, Buzzcocks, Elvis Costello, ZZ Top, Bryan Adams, Thunder, Chuck Berry, Kid Creole And The Coconuts, INXS, Morrissey, David Bowie And Tin Machine.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 2399 AC/DC + Metallica + Motley Crue Monsters Of Rock Festival, Donington Race Track, UK 17.08.1991 9,75
2 2404 Guns And Roses + Skid Row Wembley Stadium, London 31.08.1991 9,75
3 2330 David Lee Roth + Warrant Wembley Arena, London 01.03.1991 9,75
4 2455 Ramones + Damned Brixton Academy, London 08.12.1991 9,75
5 2425 to 2427 Extreme + King Of The Hill Hammersmith Odeon, London 20/21/22.10.1991 9,75

Best Gigs of 1990

Gig of the year was easily Bon Jovis - small by their standards at the Hammersmith Odeon. This year's Donington was another cracker with Steve Vai playing with Whitesnake and Jimmy Page coming on with Aerosmith. Another big highlight for me was Billy Idol's first UK shows for 10 years. This year had a load of bands doing multi nights at the same venue. Prince played 16 shows at Wembley Arena this summer, Level 42 played 15 shows at Hammersmith Odeon, Paul McCartney played 11 shows at Wembly Arena and Bob Dylan played 6 nights at Hammersmith Odeon (I was at all 6 of them). Other great shows I went to this year included Johnny Thunders, Paul McCartney Band, George Clinton Allstars, Prince, Hunter Ronson Band, Stiff Little Fingers, Saxon, Sinead O'Connor, Big Country, Miles Davis, Jeff Beck, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Ratt, Queensryche, Thunder, Level 42 and Gary Glitter.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 2170 Bon Jovi Hammersmith Odeon, London 10.01.1990 10
2 2249 Whitesnake + Aerosmith + Poison Monsters Of Rock Festival, Donington Race Track, UK 18.08.1990 9,75
3 2252 Rolling Stones Wembley Stadium, London 25.08.1990 9,75
4 2203 David Bowie Docklands Arena, London 27.03.1990 9,75
5 2304 Billy Idol + Gene Loves Jezebel Wembley Arena, London 20.12.1990 9,75

Best Gigs of 1989

For me the main event was the return of the mighty Aerosmith for their first UK shows for 12 years and riding on the success of the "Pump" album. Fantastic shows. Earlier in the year they had also come on stage with Bon Jovi for encore of "Walk This Way" and "The Boys Are Back In Town" (see below) Returning to Hammersmith Odeon were my fave RnB band Maze. Featuring the great vocals of Frankie Beverley they really were the most compulsive to dance live act that no soul/RnB band I have seen can match. Other great shows I went to this year included Ramones, Joe Jackson, B52s, Public Image, Big Country, Johnny Thunders, Scorpions, Ian Hunter And Mick Ronson, Anthrax, Blue Oyster Cult, Europe, Godfathers, Kool And The Gang, Duran Duran, REM, Queensryche, Stray Cats, Tom Jones, Santana, Damned, Black Sabbath, The Cult, Psychedelic Furs, Deborah Harry, Motohead and Neil Young.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 2140 + 2141 Aerosmith + Quireboys Hammersmith Odeon, London 14/15.Nov 1989 10
2 2108 Bon Jovi + Europe + Skid Row The Bowl, Milton Keynes 19.08.1989 10
3 2136 to 2138 Maze + Mothers Finest Hammersmith Odeon, London 09-11 Nov 1989 9,75
4 2067 Ozzy Osbourne + Udo Hammersmith Odeon, London 05.05.1989 9,75
5 2029 Alarm + Escape Club Brixton Academy, London 04.01.1989 9,75

Best Gigs of 1988

This was a fantastic year for live music. Returning as the King Of Pop was Micheal Jackson who played a staggering 7 shows at Wembley Stadium this summer. I went to 2 of these great shows. This years Monsters Of Rock Festival was the biggest ever and some say the best. Sadly a man was crushed to death when everyone rushed down the front to see hot newcomers Guns And Roses. Prince did 7 shows at Wembley Arena, I went to 4 of them. Superb. David Lee Roth with Steve Vai on guitar was just the total rock n roll frontman. Indeed it was a great year for classic rock and glam metal as loads of UK and American bands played UK shows. Other highlights I saw were Bruce Springsteen, Marillion, Bon Jovi, John Cougar Mellencamp, Godfathers, Ace Frehleys Comet, Ted Nugent, Meat Loaf, Robert Plant, Van Morrison, Erasure, Alarm, Judas Priest, Cheap Trick, Metallica, Jimmy Page, Gary Glitter, Iggy Pop, Motorhead, Dire Straits and Def Leppard.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 1981 Iron Maiden + KISS + David Lee Roth + Megadeth + Guns And Roses Monsters Of Rock Festival, Donington Race Track UK 20.08.1988 10
2 1978 to 1980 Prince (Lovesexy Tour In The Round) Wembley Arena, London July/Aug 1988 10
3 1982 + 1983 David Lee Roth + Great White Hammersmith Odeon, London 30/31.08.1988 10
4 1907 + 1908 AC/DC + Dokken Wembley Arena, London 11/12.03.1988 9,75
5 2012,13,16 Iron Maiden + Killer Dwarfs Hammersmith Odeon, London 07/08/12Dec 1988 9,75

Best Gigs of 1987

There's no doubt this year belonged to U2. Their new album "The Joshua Tree" had taken off everywhere and now they were a proper stadium band. Whether in a theatre, arena or stadium U2 have always been great. I saw some great hip hop shows this year, Run DMC + Beastie Boys at Brixton, LL Cool J + Public Enemy at Ham Odeon, other highlights I saw this year were shows by The Cult, Iggy Pop, Psychedelic Furs, Def Leppard, Big Audio Dynamite, Whitesnake Alarm, Ramones, Little Steven, Alexander O'Neal, Style Council, Johnny Thunders, Dio, Human League, Luther Vandross, Europe, Anthrax, Meat Loaf, Maze, Simply Red, Stranglers, Gary Moore, Santana, Stryper, Suzanne Vega, David Bowie, Motorhead, Chuck Berry, Madonna, Alice Cooper, REM, Godfathers and Gary Numan.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 1794 U2 + Hurrah Wembley Arena, London 02.06.1987 10
2 1816 U2 + Pretenders + Alarm Cardiff Arms Park, Wales 25.07.1987 10
3 1798 U2 + Lou Reed + Pogues Wembley Stadium, London 13.06.1987 10
4 1846 + 1847 Bryan Adams + T'Pau Wembley Arena, London 19/23.06.1987 9,75
5 1840 Guns And Roses + Faster Pussycat Hammersmith Odeon, London 08.10.1987 9,5

Best Gigs of 1986

Highlight of this year for me was the return of Prince for his first shows since he was last here 5 years ago at The Lyceum, London. Bon Jovi were the hottest rock band of the moment as their "Slippery When Wet" album had taken off everywhere. After their success at last years LIVE AID Queen came back to headline their own huge show at Wembley Stadium. Some of the other good shows I went to this year were Status Quo, Ramones, Motley Crue, Cheap Trick, Rod Stewart, Marillion, Sting, INXS, Divine, OMD, Cramps, Pogues, Iron Maiden, Talk Talk, Public Image Ltd, Wham, Run DMC, Metallica and Anthrax.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 1643+1644 Prince Wembley Arena, London 12+14.08.1986 9,9
2 1707+1708 Bon Jovi + Queensryche Hammersmith Odeon, London 24+25.11.1986 9,75
3 1637 Queen + Status Quo + Alarm + INXS Wembley Stadium, London 11.07.1986 9,75
4 1567 AC/DC + Fastway Wembley Arena, London 16.01.1986 9,75
5 1579 to 1581 Ozzy Osbourne Band + Ratt Hammersmith Odeon, London 19,20,21.02.1986 9,75

Best Gigs of 1985

Well there is no doubt that the LIVE AID was the greatest live event I have seen. It started at noon with Status Quo and finished 11 hours later. The show was full ofthe biggest acts in the country and it was for charity as well. A few days before at the same venue Bruce Springsteen was massive at the time as his "Born In The USA" had gone mega and the show I went to was on July 4 as well. Other highlights I saw this year were Cult, Reo Speedwagon, Saxon, David Johansen, Paul Young, Blue Oyster Cult, James Brown, Motorhead, Kid Creole And The Coconuts, Bobby Womack, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Dire Straits and Madness.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 1481 Queen + U2 + David Bowie etc (Live Aid) Wembley Stadium, London 13.07.1985 10
2 1476 Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band Wembley Stadium, London 04.07.1985 9,75
3 1552+1553 The Alarm + Escape Club Hammersmith Odeon, London 15+16.12.1985 9,75
4 1442 to 1445 Frankie Goes To Hollywood + The Promise Hammersmith Odeon, London Mar+ Apr 1985 9,5
5 1453 to 1456 Maze + LW5 Hammersmith Odeon, London Apr + May 1985 9,5

Best Gigs of 1984

Status Quo might seem an odd choice to some but older Quo fans will know what a fantastic live band in the late 70s/early 80s. I watched all 7 Ham Odeon shows. Quo played 2 hours 30 mins each night and The Donington bill really was a Monsters Of Rock. AC/DC were superb as usual and I think this was David Lee Roth's last UK show with Van Halen who were mega after the success of their 1984 album and recent "Jump" anthem. They too were totally awesome live. Other live band highlights I saw this year included Simple Minds, Gary Glitter, Firm, Marillion, Depeche Mode, Kool And The Gang, Big Country, Echo And The Bunnymen, Blue Oyster Cult, Motley Crue, Dio, OMD, Dave Gilmour, Sade and Pretenders.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 1350 to 1356 Status Quo Hammersmith Odeon, London 22 to 26.06.1984 9,75
2 1360 AC/DC + Van Halen + Ozzy Osbourne Monsters Of Rock, Donington 17.08.1984 9,75
3 1390 U2 + Waterboys Brixton Academy, London 23.11.1984 9,75
4 1380+1381 KISS + Bon Jovi Wembley Arena, London 14+15.10.1984 9,75
5 1376 to 1379 Iron Maiden + Waysted Hammersmith Odeon, London 8-12.10.1984 9,5

Best Gigs of 1983

The David Bowie show at Hammersmith Odeon was very special as it was the first time he had played a show here since his famous 1973 Ziggy Stardust gig. He was a massive star at the time and after this show he played 3 outdoor shows at Milton Keynes Bowl. It was clear U2 would be mega. Indoor venues could barely contain their anthemic tunes. Other highlights I saw this year included Whitesnake, Stranglers, Def Leppard, UFO, Maze, OMD, Iron Maiden, Dire Straits, Big Country, Depeche Mode, UB40, Culture Club, Paul Young, Judas Priest, Public Image Ltd, New Order and Ozzy Osbourne.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 1212 David Bowie + Amazulu Hammersmith Odeon, London 30.06.1983 9,75
2 1169+1172 U2 + Nightcaps Hammersmith Odeon, London 14/03 + 21/03.1983 9,75
3 1262 to 1264 Kid Creole And The Coconuts Hammersmith Odeon, London 22/11 to 24/11.1983 9,75
4 1165to1168 Thin Lizzy + Mamas Boys Hammersmith Odeon, London 09/03 to 12/03.1983 9,5
5 1235 Johnny Thunders + Jayne County + Chelsea Lyceum Theatre, London 09.10.1983 9,5

Best Gigs of 1982

Because I was now working at Hammersmith Odeon when my fave bands played for 3 or 4 night stints I could see all of the shows. The shows above tell you how popular the Odeon was as a live venue. Also that year Status Quo played 7 nights there in May and Elton John played 14 nights there in Dec. It was THE venue to play in England and the probably the top live venue in Europe. Other highlights this year were Sammy Hagar, Kid Creole And The Coconuts, Motorhead, Maze, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Damned, Iggy Pop, Johnny Thunders, Scorpions, UB40, Slade, Frank Zappa, Saxon, Japan, ABC and Ultravox.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 1084 to 1087 AC/DC + Y n T Hammersmith Odeon, London 13 to 16.10.1982 9,75
2 996 to 997 Alice Cooper + Sapphire Hammersmith Odeon, London 14 to 16.02.1982 9,75
3 1049 Rolling Stones + J Geils Band Wembley Stadium, London 26.06.1982 9,75
4 1072 Billy Idol + Matt Fretton Heaven Nightclub, London 20.09.1982 9,75
5 1110 to 1113 Duran Duran Hammersmith Odeon, London 14 to 16.11.1982 9,75

Best Gigs of 1981

In May of this year I landed my dream job. I started work as front of stage security at Hammersmith Odeon so now I would get paid to watch my fave bands and not worry about having to get advance tickets for shows. I was there for the next 10 years until the venue was sold to the Apollo leisure group. Other live gig highlights that I went to for this year included Adam And The Ants, Cure, Status Quo, New Order, Foreigner, Tubes, Ultravox, Marvin Gaye, Whitesnake, Toyah, ZZ Top, Psychedelic Furs, Kraftwerk, Duran Duran, Pretenders, Joe Jackson, Clash, U2, Stray Cats, Squeeze, Slade, Cliff Richard, Japan, Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 889 Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band Wembley Arena, London 04.06.1981 9,75
2 946 Ramones Venue, Victoria, London 19.11.1981 9,75
3 877 Stiff Little Fingers Rainbow Theatre, London 10.05.1981 9,75
4 915+917 Siouxsie And The Banshees + J C Clarke Hammersmith Odeon, London 25/08 +03/09.1981 9,75
5 842 Gary Glitter + HeeBeeGeeBees Venue, Victoria, London 14.02.1981 9,75

Best Gigs of 1980

Well it had to happen. We formed our own band and started playing gigs. Playing your own material and having people dance and jump around to it was great fun. We lasted eighteen months and played about 30 gigs. We were called Gun Control (after a Sex Pistols bootleg). We should have made our own records but never got round to it. Some of the highlights I saw this year were Blondie, Madness, Joy Division, Ramones, Only Ones, Slade, Motorhead, Stiff Little Fingers, Siouxsie And The Banshees, ZZ Top, Members, Adam And The Ants, Stray Cats, Thin Lizzy, Elvis Costello, Scorpions, Specials and B52s.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 763-766 KISS + Girl All 4 dates on UK tour. 05-09.09.1980 10
2 682+683+684 Clash + Joe Ely 5 London shows - various venues Feb and June 1980 9,75
3 797+798+799 AC/DC + Starfighters Hammersmith Odeon, London 10+11+12.11.1980 9,75
4 729+730 Black Sabbath + Girlschool Hammersmith Odeon, London 07+08.05.1980 9,75
5 720+721 Sammy Hagar + Riot Hammersmith Odeon, London 19+20.04.1980 9,75