Welcome to The Gig List
This is an attempt to list all the events that the Students' Union organised over the last 50-plus years.
I was inspired to research and compile the list following the sudden loss of Nick Rayns in April 2013 (pictured right). Nick was my friend and colleague for 34 years and, in my opinion, headed the finest gig programme of any Student Union in the country. I'm aware that the list below doesn't include the hundreds of charity events, Thursday LCRs, Club Retros, Tuesday fancy dress nights, Beat Pharmacy, Skool Daze, Brighton Rocks, Now 90s, the Other Ones, poetry readings, band competitions, dance Shows and plays. But hopefully some of your highlights and memories are here. To the best of my knowledge everything is correct, but I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has further information.
Gavin Hudson firstname.lastname@example.org, Union House, UEA
See the full list of gigs here
Listen to our playlists on Spotify
Notable moments from those early gigs
The Village Assembly Hall, The Barn and the Lower Common Room (LCR)
In October 1963 the University was established and opened to 150 students all based in the Village for study. Their social life was focused around a film on Sunday night and a dance on Saturdays, which many Norwich people attended, the events took place in the Assembly Hall in The Village with a late bar closing at 10.30pm on dance nights.
The Folk club was booming. With UEA talent from the Woodburners a Fifers Lane based folk group. Other performers booked that year: Ewan Maccoll & Peggy Seeger, The Yetties, The Spinners, Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbick, The Kree, Doctor West's Show & Jug Band.
During autumn 1968 the University refurbish a derelict Barn next to the Village for a common room social space.
27 October, 1970 - The Who played their one gig at UEA in Assembly Hall (rescheduled from 17th Oct)
Student press preview advised ‘it’s going to be busy so bring your own cushions.’
June 1970 Summer Ball featured John Cleese, Michael Palin and Terry Jones as Monty Python’s Flying Circus, plus Chris Barber Jazz Band, Saint Cecilia, the Lou Dave Set.
Events were held on the Village site in the Assembly Hall, the Lower Common Room or the Barn, some of the big events were held in City Centre venues, the Lads Club (King Street), the Melody Rooms (Oak Street), St Andrews Hall, the Jacquard Club (Magdalen St), G Block in the Student residences at Horsham (fifers lane) and various festivals were in Earlham Park.
The main Campus was being built, breezeblock by breezeblock, Ziggurat by Ziggurat.
In spring 1973, University House was completed and the Large Common Room (then called the Main Hall) came into use, 14th March. Due to no equipment being installed, the bar was only 3m long, there weren’t enough toilets, University staffing costs were huge and there were lots of restrictions on the licence, so events continued across other rooms and halls mostly in the village or Horsham where the refurbishment of K Block offered a new sport/function hall.
The LCR had a new system of moveable stage blocks and extra plug sockets installed as the latest acts were now bringing more coloured, flashing lights with them.
The bar was fitted for functions and student staff were paid 56p an hour.
A student got an annual grant of £605 to pay for term time living expenses, while a room in Norfolk Terrace cost about £4.14 a week to rent.
03 December 1976 - Sex Pistols + The Damned + The Heartbreakers + The Clash
CANCELLED by University following the Bill Grundy interview with the Sex Pistols swearing on national TV the day before, it hit the national press and the cancellation costs nearly bankrupted the Students Union.
Read the Guest blog by UEA's Prof John Street here
18 October 1977 - Live Stiff Tour: Elvis Costello & the Attractions, Ian Dury & the Blockheads, Wreckless Eric & the New Rockets, Nick Lowe’s Last Chicken in the Shop, Larry Wallis & Psychedelic Rowdies.
Read the Memory Box by UEA alumnus Lilie Ferrari here
Industrial disputes by University Porters who unlocked the building led to the cancellation of Magazine, XTC and Richard Thompson in January and February.
June 1979 Nick Rayns employed as a full time Entertainments Officer.
See the '60s and '70s list here
Notable moments from the 'eighties
LCR new and improved, discos, Duran Duran and lots of hair gel
Discos were organised by student societies for fund raising, either in the LCR, The Barn in UEA village or in K block Horsham, Fifers Lane. Usually 30-40p entry, 50 -300 people go and there would be 6 or 7 different ones a week to choose from. Always last tune at 12.30, buildings on full lock by 1am and of course it was illegal for any pub to serve after 11pm, and any night club after 1.30am.
24 June 1981 - Elvis Costello With: Revillos, Scars, Higsons*, Screen 3
*featuring alumnus, comedian and author Charlie Higson - visit the UEA Library archive
Spring 1984: The LCR was closed for a complete refurbishment, the stage was moved to its current position, the entrance foyer and backstage was built, the bar turned around & extra exits added. Capacity went from 920 to 1100.
Broadcast live on BBC TV - The Old Grey Whistle Test. As the programme was early evening before a normal gig time, we had to keep moving the sparse arriving audience around the LCR for the TV cameras to make it seem full.
07 February 1985 - Jesus and Mary Chain played with their backs to the audience for their full set - which lasted 18 minutes including the encore.
17 October 1987 - Bad News (heavy metal parody) featured Ade Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer, Peter Richardson famous as TVs ‘The Young Ones’
Notable moments from the 'nineties
Pulp, Blur, Robbie Williams and the golden age of clubs
03 March 1991 - Gary Clail ON-U Sound systems - the first time a solo DJ re-mixed tracks but using 8 separate cassette tape decks.
Following the sudden closure and bankruptcy of the Waterfront Venue in February 1993, The City Council asked the Union to take over its operation. Initially providing 2 live gigs and 2 clubs a week (we still run it to this day).
06 October 1995 - Pulp
The cutting edge weekly Saturday clubs from the autumn had had mixed success, Ents decided to mix the legendary UEA 60’s discos with the Waterfronts 80’s night hence the arrival of Club Retro.
01 October 1997 - Robbie Williams - Following the break-up of Take That, the “cheeky” one re-invented his career with his own band. This was the first date of his "Te Show must go on Tour” to promote his solo album Life thru a Lens.
Read the Memory Box by UEA's Prof John Street here
Notable moments from the 'noughties
Reappearances, only appearances and Bjorn Again
04 February 2000 - Ian Dury and the Blockheads - this was to be the last time Ian Dury performed at UEA before his death on 27 March.
Read the Memory Tent by author Richard Balls here
03 October 2000 - Bjorn Again - the Abba Tribute band make 16 appearances on UEA's gig list over the decades
02 and 03 November 2001 - Jools Holland double date due to popular demand. Jools has performed at UEA's LCR 25 times (so far) if you include appearances with Belinda Carlisle and in an earlier 'carnation playing keyboards in Squeeze until 1981.
June 2004 - Refurbishment of Union House - Hive glass roof, extension and extra exit doors lead to new capacity of 1550 for live music and 2000 for club nights. Closed to gigs all summer for the works but we ran small club nights.
10 November - 2004 - Amy Winehouse - a gig just before international fame
25 May 2005 - Elvis Costello delayed playing his set until he'd finished watching Liverpool play
4 February 2007 - Guillemots make one of only two appearances on the UEA gig list
Read the Memory Tent by keen cyclist Cally Callomon here
9 November 2008 - local paper, the Eastern Daily Press, held their Next Big Thing competition in UEA's LCR: Ed Sheeran won (Ed who?)
12 February 2009 - NME tour ft Glasvegas + Friendly Fires + White Lies + (pre-fame) Florence & the Machine
Notable moments from the 'tens (2010 - 2018)
Recent years have seen some of the most memorable performances by bands visiting UEA's iconic LCR venue as well as significant anniversaries
28 February 2011 - The Streets - the band featured UEA's Ziggurats on the cover of their album Computers and Blues, released that same month.
27 October 2011 - Coldplay - Live on Radio 1, with Zane Lowe, Greg James and Fern Cotton, the queue for tickets started 3 days before they went on sale. They played to 70,000 people in Madrid the night before Norwich. There was an acoustic lunchtime set in the Blue Bar to 100 winners.
16 December 2014 - Rival Sons - Just into the second song the lead singer walked off the stage and locked himself in his dressing room, the stress of a long tour finally taking its toll. 1500 fans went home early (they returned in the spring of 2015 and played an awesome set with extras).
23 and 24 May 2015 - Radio 1's Big Weekend Festival came to Earlham Park. Taylor Swift used a room in UEA's Earlham Hall as a green room.
3 December 2016 - 40th anniversary of the cancellation of the Sex Pistols. A date which launched UEA's Gig History project
08 October 2017 - Loyle Carner - Loyle stopped the show and asked for a customer to be removed from the venue, when he overheard him shout out sexual insults at support performer Elisa. His actions and speech to the crowd went viral. It’s never ok.
26 June 2017 - Flaming Lips - 15 kilos of confetti, 16 gas bottles of CO2, a full-size ride-on unicorn, a crowd surfing zorb ball, an LED projection curtain, screens, an elevating 4ft mirror ball, a 40ft inflatable rainbow add to one of the best shows ever in the LCR.
2018 marked 25 years of gigs at the Waterfront in King Street, Norwich
Waterfront gigs 1990-1993 (pre-Students' Union (Issuu)
Waterfront gigs 1993-1999 (Issuu)
Waterfront gigs 2000-2004 (Issuu)
Waterfront gig 2005-2009 (Issuu)
Waterfront gigs 2015 to today (Issuu)
Crowded House Surprise WF gig on the Woodface tour November the 8th 1991. I managed to get a couple of tickets, I drove into Norwich from my then home and got them when i heard about it. I think the gig was the same night. They were just hitting the big time, it was an amazing gig. Steve Plunkett
Dread Zeppelin at the UEA LCR. Full of memories. Nick Hobbs
The Hives at the LCR, Arthur Lee and Love at the Waterfront. Stuart Preston
Faithless at the LCR, Ride at the WF. Lizz Page
LCR fave gig would be Talk Talk in 1987, it was simply amazing a band at their peak. Extremely memorable like it was last night. Steve Plunkett
Royal Blood Their first major tour in 2015 at the LCR. I hadn't been to many gigs then and as a bassist I was super excited to go see a band that had a bassist at the front and centre. Had seen them on Jools Holland prior to this and I was hugely excited about the gig. Callum Gray
Black Emperor at the LCR. Absolutely incredible gig. Bill Vine
VNV Nation at the Waterfront.Lauren Lenore
Wolf Alice at the LCR 2016. Erin Bashford
Delgados Waterfront, 15 May 2003 (I think). Only time I got to see them and they were bloody amazing. Paul Jenkins
(Honourable mentions for The Faint absolutely destroying Placebo at the LCR, Soft Cell on the "Cruelty Without Beauty" tour at the LCR and Mogwai at the Waterfront.)
Jamie T LCR 2014. Maddie Russell
Golden Earring LCR, May 18th 1973. Radar Love was a huge hit after having been played on Radio North Sea International for months. The drummer had a habit of using the wrong end of his sticks, and would take huge chunks out of them before lobbing them into the audience. I still have one to this day. David Auckland
This is so hard. Neil Marsham
Deftones Supported by Coheed and Cambria in 2010. Jay Freeman
The Dillinger Escape Plan January 2017 @WF - broke every single rule in music and left me feeling lost and stunned. What is music? How does one write songs? What's the point in listening to conventional music ever again? Saw a band performing at the very top of their game and I'll probably never get to see them again. Christopher Hambling
Peace w/ Drenge at the Waterfront in 2013. The skinny-ness of Harrison's legs changed me. And they covered Wham. It was the best thing I'd ever seen. Alex Cabré
Halestorm, In This Moment and Sacred Mother Tongue at the Waterfront in 2013. My daughter got to meet Lizzy Hale and I got a chance to chat with Andy James. What an amazing gig too!!!! Jon Seymour
I'm going to go with Skrillex, 2012 at the LCR, Anon
Adam Ant The comeback tour, LCR 2012, even wore the white stripe. Jonathon Woods