When Was Your Very First Time?

So what, where and who did you see for the very first time playing live (of course)? Were you lucky enough to see the Beatles and did you actually get to hear them? What about Elvis or Billy Fury? 

The 1960s saw the average British teenager with money to enjoy for the first time since the war. For many, there was only one thing to spend the hard earned wages on and that was live music. 

Luckily they were in the middle of a British music explosion which was dominating the globe! The Mersey Sound, British Beat Bands and even crooners such as Matt Monro and Englebert Humperdink were ruling charts across the globe. 

Britain was also lucky to have some great venues and local bands would play and support bigger international artists. Joe Brown and The Bruvvers supporting Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent for example. From The Usher Halls the ABC or the Fairfield Halls there seemed to venues on pretty much every corner and no shortage of hugely talented groups and artists to fill them. 


Who did you first get to see play live and where? Is it still the best concert you have ever been to and did it give you a bug for life? Let us know in the comments section below.

One Spring Chicken recalls an early-mid '50s experience of raw Rock'n'Roll probably as the film Blackboard Jungle was sweeping the cinemas and getting banned from some.

 Bill Haley and the Comets and Matt Monroe was the other act! Couldn't hear either really with the screaming and shouting and ripping up cinema seats! Ha! Ha ! Must have been about 1956! Unbelievable! Crazy!

 For many others, it was the electric atmosphere that really excited and made them come back for more even when they couldn't even hear the artist!

The Beatles, ABC Huddersfield 1963 ( or 62). When my dad picked me up after the show he thought he'd gone deaf as I'd lost my voice through SCREAMING!

Back then artists were so much more accessible. In one documentary Joe Brown tells the story of his manager at the time Larry Parnes being very 'careful' with the pennies and insisting that Joe make his own way to the venue on public transport with his stage gear on a hanger off the back of his coat whilst he carried his guitar and amp! Not something you would see today!!

There was also the attraction of getting autographs at the stage door which

 Saw Cliff Richard at the State in Kilburn 1959 /1960 1 think the Dallas Boys were on the bill too. Went with my friend Sheila from school. Got into the back of the theatre and got his autograph. Thought I was cock of the North!!! 

It as also common to see 4, 5 or even 6 great artists and groups on the one bill, another Spring Chicken recounts;

 I was about 14/15 and saw Billy Fury, Marty Wilde, Cliff Richard, and loads of others, at Wembley I think. I screamed so loudly during Billy Fury's act I don't even remember what he sang, but do remember him almost laying on the floor which made me scream even more!

Let us know your top 5 live music events in the comments below, we'd love to hear from you! 

1960s1970sMemory laneNostalgia



my first live gig was at my secondary school in Essex around 1970. A folk rock type band called Madrigal, they were good as I remember. There were many gigs to follow after that. Culminating with being the front man of a blues band myself

Paul Young

I saw the Beatles in Scarborough in ‘65/‘66 can’t remember the exact date they starred the show with Billy J Kramer, The Applejacks, and I think Kathy Kirby. It was a great show but my friends and I who were sat in the fourth row from the stage could not hear a thing when The Beatles took the stage. The screaming from the girls in the audience was horrific they were passing out all over the theatre it was crazy but a good experience.

Pauline Derham

First pop star I saw was Cliff Richard in 1961 at Stockton Globe when I was 14. Saw the Beatles in June 1963 at the Astoria in Middlesbrough before they really hit the big time. Great memories!

Marilyn Green

Remember going to the hole in the wall in Belfast early sixties a group called Them came on the lead singer was Van Morrison 😍


Desmond deckker above burtons in uxbridge


I saw The Beatles live on stage at Leeds Odeon at around 1964 I think. I say ‘saw’ – the moment they came on stage everyone in the theatre stood up and started to scream. (It was 90% girls!) I was near the back and couldn’t see, or hear, a thing. After a few moments I just sat down again and sulked.

Liz Arndell

In the early 60’s I used to go to the Riki Tik club in Maidenhead where I saw The Yard birds, The Animals and The Pretty Things before they were well known also saw Billy J Kramer in Reading.

Nina Hamilton

My father drove me and a school friend to see Pat Boone at the theatre in the Elephant and Castle area of London in 1955 when I was 13.

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