Boston’s Gliderdrome dates back to the 1930s when it was nothing more than a roofless roller skating rink. It then gained itself a roof in the early 1940s, at which point dances were introduced after skating sessions and often featuring top artists who were stationed in the area during WW2.

Dances became very popular post war as they were in most towns and cities (think Mansfield Palais in Peterborough) but all was brought to an abrupt end in May 1959 when the original building burnt down. Undeterred, the owners rapidly rebuilt the venue which re-opened just eight months after the fire, this time with a 100% focus on providing a dance venue and business as usual was quickly re-established.

The Gliderdrome saw a slow but steady migration from big band performers to the more in demand rock’n’rollers as was the case across most of the country with the likes of Britain’s Rory “Shakes” Blackwell providing a new form of entertainment by the early 1960s as he did in Peterborough.

The Revolving Stage

In late 1963 with live “beat” bands now being where it was at, the Gliderdrome built an extension known as The Starlight Room which opened in late 1964 and served up a stage, a huge dance floor and multi-level seating all round. In keeping with its name, the new room had a ceiling awash with “star lights” while the stage itself was a revolving stage with a divider that allowed one band to play stage front while another band set up round the back ready to be “rotated” into the show later !

With big crowds and big revenues, the venue became an instant “must visit” for top touring bands. As a result, typical Saturday afternoon’s would see the Market Place in Boston rammed full of coaches as music fans travelled in from all around, including Peterborough where neither the Corn Exchange nor Palais could match the size and pulling power of the Gliderdrome.

T Rex on stage in 1972

Unlike most other venues in the area, the Gliderdrome continued bringing in the top artists throughout the late 1960s and even into the 1970s, playing host to early Glam acts such as T Rex, Slade, Sweet before finally closing in 1973 after repeated issues with damage at and after shows.

The venue has tried many resurrections as a live venue without great success but it still stands today and is starting to pull in the crowds again for tribute bands, many replicating the very acts that starred at the venue in its heyday, and there seems to be a real appetite to relive days gone by !

Below is a reasonably comprehensive list of the A-List bands who played The Starlight Room in the 1960s/1970s and I offer huge thanks and respect to Dave Peatling for his help with this, without which it would have been impossible to include this information on the site. If you are lucky enough to find Dave’s long out of print 2003 book dedicated to the venue, “Goin’ To The Dance” then snap it up …… you may need £100 plus however !

Note: All of the dates below have now been added to our Artist A-Z pages where you can also find plenty of supporting images.





1960 …..

October 21 Craig Douglas

December 9 Terry Dene

 1961 …..

February 25 Dave Clark

March 25 Eden Kane

June 24 Mike Berry

July 1 Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers

July 22 Sounds Incorporated

September 28 Karl Denver Trio

October 28 Craig Douglas

November 18 Wee Willie Harris

 1962 …..

January 6 Mike Berry

January 13 Karl Denver Trio

January 20 Eden Kane

March 3 Johnny Kidd and the Pirates

March 10 Bert Weedon

April 7 John Barry Seven

July 21 Tommy Bruce and the Bruisers

September 15 Emile Ford and the Checkmates

September 29 Mike Sarne

October 13 Bert Weedon

October 20 John Barry Seven

October 27 The Tornados

November 3 Jet Harris (ex-Shadows)

November 17 Craig Harris

December 8 The Vernons Girls

December 15 Sounds Incorporated

Christmas Eve The Tornados

December 29 Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers

1963 …..

January 19 Duke D’mond and the Baron Knights

January 26 Jimmy Justice

February 16 Marty Wilde and the Wildcats

February 23 Tommy Bruce and the Bruisers

March 16 Craig Douglas

March 23 Karl Denver Trio

April 13 Joe Brown and the Bruvvers

May 18 Freddie and the Dreamers

July 5 Duke D’mond and the Baron Knights

August 23 The Baron Knights (featuring Duke D’mond)

October 26 The Caravelles

November 9 The Fortunes

November 16 Johnny Burnette

1964 …..

February 1 Marty Wilde and the Wildcats + The John Barry Seven

February 15 The Undertakers

March 21 John Leyton

March 28 The Liverbirds

April 11 The Undertakers

May 16 Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames

May 23 Tony Orlando

Note: the period between the end of May and November was filled by local groups

November 7 Mike Berry




November 19 Heinz and the Wildboys

November 21 The Animals

November 28 Brenda Lee

December 5 The Merseybeats

1965 …..

January 2 Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas

January 23 Janice Nicholls

February 6 The Zombies

February 13 The Searchers

February 27 Cathy McGowan

March 6 The Merseybeats

March 20 The Kinks

April 3 The Barron Knights

April 10 Zoot Money and his Big Roll Band

April 17 Tom Jones

April 24 Twinkle

May 1 P J Proby

May 22 The Fourmost

May 29 The Hollies

June 5 The Walker Brothers

June 19 The Yardbirds

June 26 Them

July 3 Dave Berry and the Cruisers

July 31 Sugar Pie Desanto and The Chevelles

August 14 Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band

August 21 The Walker Brothers

August 28 Lulu and the Luvvers

September 4 Donovan

September 11 The Alan Price Set

September 18 The Nashville Teens

September 25 Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders

October 2 Billy Fury

October 9 The Small Faces

October 16 Tom Jones and the Squires

Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers

October 22 Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers

October 30 The Kinks

November 6 The Walker Brothers

November 20 The Barron Knights

November 27 Sandie Shaw

December 4 Heinz and the Wild Boys

December 11 The Rockin’ Berries

December 18 Herman’s Hermits

1966 …..

January 1 The Nashville Teens

January 8 Chris Andrews

January 15 Dusty Springfield

February 5 Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich

February 19 The Fortunes

February 26 The Who

March 5 Dave Berry and the Cruisers

March 19 Freddie and the Dreamers

March 26 The Searchers

April 2 Gerry and the Pacemakers

April 9 Manfred Mann

April 23 Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

April 30 Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours

May 28 Tony Rivers and the Castaways

June 4 Keith Powell and Billie Davis

June 18 The Merseys

June 25 Crispian St Peters

July 2 Roy C + Jimmy James and the Vagabonds

July 9 The Fortunes + Clarence (Frogman) Henry

July 16 Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich

July 23 Paul and Barry Ryan

July 30 The Troggs

August 6 Joe Tex

August 13 David Bowie & The Buzz

August 27 Small Faces

September 3 The Move

September 10 Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band + The Vibrations (USA)

September 17 Otis Redding and his American Band + Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds

September 24 Jimmy James and the Vagabonds + Tony Rivers and the Castaways + Screamin’ Lord Sutch and the Savages

October 1 Freddie and the Dreamers

October 22 The Merseys + Lee Dorsey

October 29 Alvin Robinson (from America)

November 5 Billy Fury

November 12 The Rockin’ Berries

November 19 Lee Dorsey

November 26 The Original Coasters (from America)

December 3 Nepenthe and the Subterraneans (from America)

December 10 The Orlons (girls’ group from America) + Jimmy James and the Vagabonds

December 31 The Spellbinders (girls’ group from America)

1967 …..

January 7 Jimmy James and the Vagabonds + Soul Sisters (from America)

January 14 Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band

January 28 Small Faces + Edwin Starr

February 11 Spencer Davis Group

February 25 Jimmy James and the Vagabonds

March 4 Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds + Edwin Starr and band

March 11 Lee Dorsey

March 25 The Jimi Hendrix Experience

April 1 Ben E King

April 8 Mary Wells and band (from America)

April 15 Soul Sisters and band (from America)

April 22 P P Arnold and band

May 20 Denny Laine (ex-Moody Blues) and his String Band

May 27 Clyde McPhatter (from America)

June 10 Manfred Mann + Edwin Starr

June 17 John Walker (first British solo appearance)

June 24 Alan Price Set

July 1 Jimmy James and the Vagabonds

July 8 The Original Drifters (from America)

July 15 Sam and Bill (from America)

July 22 The Jeff Beck Group + The Equals

July 29 Garnett Mimms (from America) + The Clockwork Orange

September 2 The Temptations (from America)

September 9 James and Bobby Purify and band (from America)

September 16 Jimmy James and the Vagabonds

September 23 Garnett Mimms – The Marmalade

September 30 The Original Drifters

October 7 The Duane Eddy Show

October 14 The Tages (from Sweden)

October 21 Stevie Wonder

October 28 The Original Drifters + The Ferris Wheel with Diane Ferris

November 11 The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

November 25 Traffic + Diane Ferris

December 2 Joe Tex and his all-American band

December 9 Jimmy James and the Vagabonds

December 16 The Foundations

December 23 Diane Ferris

December 30 Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band

1968 …..

January 6 The Tremeloes

January 13 Bob Miller and his Millermen

January 27 Procol Harum

February 3 Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich

February 10 The Freddy Mack Show

February 17 Amen Corner

February 24 The Herd

March 2 The Fantastics (from America)

March 9 Tim Rose and the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation

March 16 The Original Drifters

March 23 Simon Dupree and the Big Sound

April 6 Tony Rivers and the Castaways

April 20 The Ike & Tina Turner Show (with 10-piece American band)

June 8 The Equals

June 15 Lee Hawkins Group

June 29 The Platters and band (from America)

August 3 Lee Hawkins Group

August 17 The Ronettes and band (from America)

August 31 Ben E King

September 7 The Nice

September 14 Amen Corner

September 21 The Move

October 5 The Original Drifters

October 12 The Equals

October 19 Jimmy James and the Vagabonds

October 26 The Felice Taylor Show

November 2 The Soul Brothers (from America)

November 9 John Lee Hooker and band (from America)

November 23 The Ferris Wheel

November 30 Love Affair

December 7 Amen Corner

December 21 Status Quo

December 28 The Nice

1969 …..

January 4 The Bandwagon

January 18 Billy (‘Fat Boy’) Stewart – from America

February 1 The Nice

February 15 The Smythe Brothers (from America)

April 5 Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band

April 12 Chicken Shack

May 10 The Original Drifters

May 17 Cupid’s Inspiration

July 5 The Platters (from America)

July 19 The Marmalade

August 9 The Equals

September 6 The Move

September 13 The Herd

September 20 Desmond Dekker and Band

September 27 The Nice

October 4 Amen Corner – final appearance

October 18 The Original Drifters

October 25 The Lovin’ Spoonful (from America)

November 8 Inez and Charlie Foxx and band (from America)

November 15 The Platters

 1970 …..

January 17 The Tremeloes

January 31 Badfinger

February 14 Marmalade

February 28 Carla Thomas (America’s Queen of Soul)

March 7 Edison Lighthouse

March 21 Jimmy James and the Vagabonds

March 28 Junior Walker and the All-stars

April 4 The Love Affair

April 11 The Equals

April 25 Bob and Marcia

May 23 Vanity Fair

May 30 Bob and Marcia

June 13 The Tremeloes

June 20 Jimmy Ruffin

June 27 Carla Thomas

July 18 Christie

July 25 Mungo Jerry

August 1 Nicky Thomas

August 15 The Free

August 22 The Equals

August 29 Status Quo + Love Affair

September 26 Emerson, Lake & Palmer

October 10 Ginger Baker’s Airforce

October 17 Family

October 24 Picketywitch

November 7 The Strawbs

November 28 Yes

December 5 Matthews Southern Comfort

1971 …..

January 2 East of Eden

January 9 Strawbs

March 20 Lindisfarne

April 10 Strawbs

April 17 Paper Lace

June 12 Lindisfarne

July 3 T Rex

July 10 Bob and Marcia

August 7 The Sweet

August 21 Supertramp

September 4 The Equals

September 18 Lindisfarne

September 25 Curved Air

October 2 The Elgins (from America)

October 9 Dawn, featuring Tony Orlando (from America)

October 23 Desmond Dekker and the Aces

November 6 Hot Chocolate

November 20 Slade

November 27 Jimmy James and the Vagabonds

December 4 Hawkwind

1972 …..

January 8 Quiver

January 15 T Rex

January 29 Yes

February 5 Curved Air

April 1 Steeleye Span

April 22 Mott The Hoople

June 2 Chicory Tip

June 24 Dave Lee Travis

July 1 Mac & Katie Kissoon (from America)

July 8 The Equals

July 15 Raving Rupert (Britain’s Elvis Presley)

July 29 Flamin’ Groovies (Rock and roll band from San Francisco)

August 12 Screamin’ Lord Sutch and the New Savages

August 19 U F O

August 26 Gary Glitter

September 16 Bruce Ruffin

September 30 Raving Rupert

October 7 The Strawbs

October 21 Blackfoot Sue

December 16 Gary Glitter

1973 …..

February 17 Thin Lizzy

February 24 Elton John

March 3 Wizzard

March 17 Stone The Crows featuring Maggie Bell

March 31 Electric Light Orchestra

April 7 Gary Glitter

April 21 Curved Air

April 28 Johnny Slade Show – last show before dances stopped