Ever since I moved to Peterborough in the mid 1970s, I’ve been repeatedly told that no “big” artists ever play Peterborough so when I set out to compile a list of the bands who had played Peterborough over the last fifty years or so, I wasn’t expecting it to take too long or prove much of an eye-opener….. but how wrong could I have been !

There have definitely been some bands who HAVE played Peterborough while at their peak ranging from sixties giants The Who, The Kinks, The Hollies through the likes of The Sweet, Bay City Rollers, Genesis, Roxy Music in the early seventies, punk giants The Clash, Buzzcocks, Damned in the late seventies and the odd arena show at the old Mallard Park Hotel in the eighties featuring the likes of Status Quo.

Not a huge CV of “big” artists but where Peterborough does more than hold its own against any UK city is in showcasing up and coming bands that went on to be “big”. The Beatles played Peterborough before they played any other major venue outside of Merseyside, the Rolling Stones turned up tired and hungry for an early gig at the Corn Exchange and the city also hosted very early shows from relatively unknown bands at the time such as Queen, Mott The Hoople, Thin Lizzy, Status Quo, Black Sabbath, Genesis, Radiohead, Keane, Kasabian and very many more. Even the more obscure bands to play local pubs and clubs gave early debuts to “legends to be” like Jon Lord (Deep Purple), Rick Wakeman (Yes), Richie Blackmore (Deep Purple/Rainbow). Christine McVie (Fleetwood Mac) and many more !

Within days of starting this now mammoth task it became clear that the question was less of who HAS played Peterborough and more who has NOT played in the city !

I hope that over the years to come, this site will succeed in providing a definitive list of all artists of significance to play Peterborough, with details of the venues they played, the dates, any surviving photos and/or memorabilia and, while they are just about surviving, the fading personal memories of some great shows !

To achieve all that will require input from you all so if you are aware of shows not include then please get in touch and let us know as much as you can and please feel free to throw in photographs and personal recollections too.

Enjoy the Site !

Paul Young

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