Folklore Bands That Have Played Campus

This information was donated by the readers of the local Usenet group york talk, as well as a number of interested readers. Some entries are expanded on separate pages. There must be more bands that played University Ents though and it'd be nice to know more about those bands on the list. So please let us know if there are any missing from this list.

Bands That Were Here

Bands which have played campus, or University events (such as the Derwent barbecue etc.,)

Jimi Hendrix *
Langwith, 1967.
Sisters of Mercy
Played their first gig in Alcuin: a charity benefit and they were supporting the Thompson Twins. Guitarist Gary Marx had plugged his guitar into a record player pre-amp which fed back uncontrollably throughout the gig. Von Eldritch turned the delay echo up to max. The set ended with a juggernaut howl which might have been ``Silver Machine'' but was in fact ``Sister Ray''. The audience got the point. The Sisters also played Vanby twice in 1982 and 83, and Derwent on 7 Oct 1982.
See also ``Almost Were''.
Marianne Faithful *
June Ball, 1965.
The Family Cat
Played Langwith, but none of the lighting crew turned up since no-one had told them about it.
Played Goodricke, and so few people turned up that Tony Palmer ended up giving tickets away for free.
Manic Street Preachers
Played Alcuin JCR just before they had a front cover on NME.
Carter USM
Played Vanburgh Splash (or maybe just Vanburgh) when they were only little.
The Primitives
Was a bit of a classic gig; they played here in late '86 or early '87 (Chris will remember), before they'd quite made it big. They ended up accumulating a fairly good York following -- Blonde was quite the thing then -- we were lucky enough to have caught them early enough.
The Woodentops
This was mostly notable for two things -- the amount of booze consumed, and Jon Banks getting totally off his face and being abandoned by a mutual acquaintance in Heworth, a couple of miles from his campus room. He locked himself in the toilet for at least an hour and then lay on the floor refusing to move. In the end it took two people to carry him back along Melrosegate.
The Men They Couldn't Hang
Pete Fenelon reports that ``Kingmaker I remember nothing of, beyond knowing that I was there. They were described as the hardest working band in Britain at the time and left absolutely no impression on my mind''.
Played Goodricke in about 92.
James Taylor Quartet
JTQ were pretty good when they played Goodricke in about 96, but they were more into smoother funk than insane Hammond-organ TV themes by that time...
Dr Phibes and the house of wax equations
Played Vanburgh
Pink Floyd
Played Derwent Dining Room, supported by Love Sculpture (Rob Fletcher was there!).
Muddy Waters
In 1968.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer
``including knives in the Hammond stuff''
1973 (maybe 72) in Central Hall. Same tour as the Genesis Live album recording. This was the tour with the white sheets and the black light. P. Gabriel would appear in various fluorescent outfits with fluorescent makeup, the house lights would go down and the black lights would come on, so all you could see were the sheets and the fluorescence. Great stuff.
Roxy Music
Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats.
Central Hall in Feb 1985, but that's a long story *.
Martin Stephenson
Played in Alcuin (when he was popular), possibly as part of The Daintees.
Desmond Dekker
Played the Derwent BBQ, and Alcuin Freshers Bash 94/95
Dire Straits
Played Alcuin in 1978
Kitchens of Distinction
In Vanburgh, about 1991
Bucks Fizz
Missing one member played Goodricke Summer Ball 1992. Their roadie-cum- backing-tape-play-button-presser reckoned ``They're a complete bag of shite, total waste of time, I can't believe people pay good money to see 'em.''
Bad Manners
Played Goodricke Summer Ball, 1991
Dr and the Medics
Played in York a few times, including Derwent BBQ, 1994.
Paradise Steel Band
Thin Lizzy
Played on campus in the 70's
Katrina and the Waves
Played Derwent BBQ, 1993.
Big J and the ``We're gonna play one more song, then you can walk on as much fuckin sunshine as you want'' Piccolo Chickens
Derwent BBQ, 1993
Did short set in Wentworth and graffitied the dressing room.
The Who
Played Langwith at "Magic Bus" time and Central Hall at"Tommy" time
Curved Air
With Brian Eno - in central hall sometime between 1969-72. Using the VCS3 and a STEREO PA! Distraction provided by Sonia Kristina! (Stewart Copeland's son was here as a student for a while)
The Strawbs
Played at least three times:
*  (from Dick Greener, maintainer of the Strawbs Official Website)
Hatfield and the North
Fairport Convention
In 1970
Elton John
Played Kings Manor in 1970.
Ronnie "plonk" Laine (ex Small Faces bassist)
Moody Blues
Played Central Hall in 1967
Played Central Hall
That band with the keyboard guy with the Hitler moustache
Kilburn and the High Roads
Al Stewart
Soft Machine
Did a Workshop in the Music Department One weekend for local bands under the York Musicians COOP banner.
The Abba cover band played Goodricke dining hall in December 1993.
Mike Fab-Gere
Played Vanbrugh `No food or drink' Dining Room, during the autumn term 1993. ``I remember the gig well'' says Mike!
*  Check out Mike's web pages
John Martyn
Played Central Hall (several times) and Vanbrugh in the 70's. His rig varied from the ``built on stage while you watch'' stuff he started with to a full PA with 6-foot cubes housing speakers, horns etc. in 1978 or so.
Reg Presley
The Troggs fellow played Vanbrugh.
Eire Apparent
Played Alcuin
John Mayell and his Blues Band
New Fast Automatic Daffodils
Played Alcuin in 1992.
Were ``supposed to play'' in April or May 1966 - not sure if they ever did or not.
King Crimson
Sometime in 1969-72, and/or 74-ish. Central Hall, on the ``Larks Tongues in Aspic'' tour with John Wetton, Darryl Way, Bill Bruford, and some wierd Scot who bashed odd bits of metal on a rack and spat blood. 1974, I think. Crowd mostly quiet until they did ``Schizoid Man'' for their encore.
Cockney Rebel
Heads, Hands and Feet
Included Chas and Dave in pre-lovable cockney mode. Played Vanbrugh on the same night as The Troggs
Played a ``secret gig'' under the name ``Swift'', in Goodricke Dining room.
Jethro Tull
Played Central Hall (8th March 1972) during the Thick As A Brick Tour. Apparently during an intense instrumental bit a phone rang on stage, the band stopped to let Ian Anderson answer it, and he asked the owner of the horse parked in the foyer to move it, as it was causing an obstruction. A `stooge' dressed in jockey gear planted in the audience leapt up and ran to the back of the hall, followed by spotlight!
One of the most well-remembered of the student bands, their play list included such songs as `I want to be a ducky'. (I seem to recall the SU shop stocked an album of theirs.)
The Incoherents
Probably the other well-remembered student bands, were one of the best things at the Woodstock concert in 1994. Only did covers, no original songs, but could play a bit and sing too.
Del Amitri
Played Derwent Dining Hall in '92 (probably). Approximately five people bought tickets, so SU Ents opened the doors to anyone -- about 30 people watched in the end. Between songs, Justin Currie (lead singer) said ``This is the first time we've played a dining room.'' A few weeks later they made it into the top 10 and appeared on Wogan - I'll bet it was the last time they played a dining room.
The House of Love
Played Alcuin (also reported as Goodricke) in 1990. The timing was excellent, for once: after the posters went up, ``Shine On'' made its way into the charts and the tickets sold out. A bloody good gig that featured the petes rowing over some `totty'.
Chris Sampson added that

HOL were pretty much state of the art indie at the time and as it was the first time a decent band had played York in years, there was a full turn out from the wrecking crew and a healthy smattering of non-students in the crowd, including the totty in question - part-Gothette, part pre-Raphaelite goddess. As was de-rigueur behaviour for the time, Fenelon was content to stare furtively over the top of his glasses at her from a safe distance of twenty paces, and was - rightly, I might add - furious when French had the temerity to walk up to her and start a conversation. Fenelon went into a monster strop and walked out, missing the entire gig, and leaving about a third of a pint of Sam Smith's OBB undrunk.

The Shamen
Played Derwent BBQ and/or Langwith with Psycho Surgeons on support.
Played Goodricke in 89 or 90. So good that Pete Fenelon fell asleep.
The Icicle Works
Played Fresher's Ball in 86.
Played Alcuin in the early 70's.
Cloud Machine
Rolf Harris
Played the Barbican, but it was organised by the SU. (3 June 1994) This was part of the Rock 'n' Rolf 94 tour, following his appearance at Glastonbury (I think in '93).
First (and best) support for Rolf.
Second support for Rolf, my main memory of them is that they were too loud, too crap and went on too long. Many people headed for the bar; Rolf subsequently had to cut some stuff (it seemed) from his act to finish on time.
Paul McCartney
Turned up one day (1969-72 period) and said (you'll have to imagine the accent):
``Can I play tonight - Linda's not been on stage before and I want to give her a few concerts before going on tour.''
SU bod:
``Yes Mr. McCartney of course you can.''
Joburg Hawk
An early racially mixed South African Band - played Alcuin and were stunning (1969-72 ish).
Fleetwood Mac
Also played Central Hall about 1970ish, many walked out, those who could - a real case of a band too stoned to play and an audience too stoned to notice.
The Bogus Brothers
(Blues Brothers copyists) played Central Hall in Feb 1988. Also headlined at Derwent BBQ the following year.
The Flatmates
Mention must also be made of proto-Blonde contenders The Flatmates who played York about 5 times in between 87 and 89, in the process becoming firm favourites on the Alcuin juke-box. Their '88 gig at King's Manor went down in history when every red-blooded male in Alcuin attempted unsuccessfully to cop off with the then bass-player Sarah Fletcher.
Thomas Lang
Played in about '88-'89, was described by those who went as one of the most boring gigs ever.
The Parachute Men
Alcuin, '89. Pete Fenelon only noticed them playing a Tom Waits song as he walked back along University Road eating a Chinese Takeaway. One of those three-bands-and-a-promo nights in Alcuin.
U Slosh
Played several times.
The Slits
All-girl punk band, played Central Hall in the late 1970's. They reputedly had the plug pulled by the hall manager when they suggested trashing the place.
Chris Rea
Played sometime about 1978, turnout so bad tickets were given away! Early on the playlist was `Whatever happened to Benny Santini'.
Stefan Grossman
American folk guitarist, appeared in Central Hall in around 1991. He announced to the crowd that York should consider itself lucky for having whom he considered to be the best acoustic guitar builder in the world living within it's walls.
Jools Holland (Jools Holland's Big Band)
Played Derwent BBQ in 1989.
The Blue Aeroplanes
Played the Fresher's Ball in 1988 (Alcuin, Merrydown Promo)
Diesel Park West
Love and Money
The Domino Principle
Derwent BBQ, Summer 1989
Electric Canned Fruit
Played a lot during 1984-86, including the Alcuin thing and Derwent BBQ. Who could forget those psychedelic dayglo posters that were nicked within minutes of being put up.
Psychedelic Furs
Played Derwent, 7 Oct 1982 (supported by Sisters of Mercy).
The March Violets
A goth band who did the excellent ``Snake Dance'', Vanbrugh Alternative Freshers Ball 15 Oct 1982.
The Pink Leg Slax
Another support at the Vanbrugh Alt. Ball.
The Teardrop Explodes
Played Central Hall on 12 October 1982 - this was one of their last ever dates. Stephen Clarke tells us ``Julian Cope's book gives a wonderful description of just how awful they were on this tour, and from my recollections of the Central Hall gig, it is pretty accurate.''
Prefab Sprout
Played Alcuin on 28 January 1984, well before they were famous. Possibly Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones) was on drums as their regular drummer was ill. Support was The Daintees
The Explorers
Seen at Alcuin on 21 May 1985. This band contained two members of Roxy Music (Andy McKay and Phil Manzanera).
Steeleye Span
Played Central Hall, Summer 1975 - including a performance of All Around my Hat- then the title track of their latest LP!
The Incredible String Band
Central Hall again, probably 1974.
Brian Eno
As well as various appearances with groups (mentioned above), played RAG week in Nov 1975.
Captain Beefheart
The Kinks
Did Central Hall in 1974, with an audience of 2,000. (Those were the days...) Lead singer Ray Davies got completely trashed on Newcastle Brown during the gig. They came and played again once or twice, but weren't as good.
Appeared in Central Hall 75 or 76. They were supported by a strange band called Trax, consisting of 5 or 6 black guys in glitter and platforms. All had bleached blonde hair, except for the keyboard guy who was totally bald. And they were LOUD! We all had to retreat downstairs.
Philip Goodhand-Tait
What can you say about him? Total mediocrity, kept showing up to support one band or another. When he got sick of boring us with the piano, he pulled out his - harmonium!
Stefan Grossman
1972 or 73 in Derwent with a guy called Dave Evans in support. Dave gave a beautiful performance and endeared himself to all. Stefan was slick and professional.
Manfred Mann's Earth Band
Played Goodricke DR on the ``Blinded by the Light'' Tour. The support act was a local put-together band called ``Great Free Teddy Bear Offer'' - which looked good on the posters(!). They were actually pretty good and got an encore.
Wishbone Ash
Central Hall circa 1972. Notable for (besides the excellent music) two huge PA horns at the ends of the stage. During the support act (name lost to history) they were upended like two great flowers 8 feet high, 5 feet wide. For the Ash set they were pointed forward. This was also one of the first CH concerts where some of the local kids showed up drinking from ink bottles. Dunno what the attraction was. The porters had fits, of course, but then they always had fits at concerts.
Pete Atkin [Pete who?" Ed.]
Performances in various DR's around the campus in the 70s (notably Langwith and Wentworth) and appearing in CH with songwriting partner Clive James (yes, that one) doing "Live Libel", their set of musical tributes to "insufficiently neglected modern artists" (e.g. Robert Zimmerman, T-Rex etc.)
*  Pete Atkin has a web page.

Bands That Were Almost Were

The bands that we nearly had here, and didn't come for some reason.

Pink Floyd
(Or at least two of them) offered to play Derwent barbie for free.
Were turned down for Derwent barbecue, possibly by the SU.
Utah Saints
Were also turned down for DB (1993), but used to play Silks in town.
Sisters of Mercy
The Sisters wanted to play their 10th anniversary gig here but were told to get lost by the SU in a stunning piece of shortsightedness.
Inspiral Carpets
Were advertised for the Alcuin Freshers' Gig, 1989.
Julia Fordham
Was booked to play Central Hall during her Autumn tour in 1989. The gig was cancelled, according to the woman herself (during a later concert at the Barbican), because she was going to the toilet on the touoru coach when the ironing board fell down and knocked her out. She wasn't really up to doing the concert after that.
Advertised to appear at 1981 Vanbrugh freshers ball, as far as we know they didn't.
Public Enemy
American Rap band - wanted to come during 1990, but were turned down by the S.U. due to lack of a venue.
Were supposed to be booked for Freshers Week in '71 but they bailed out and we got Coliseum instead.

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