Uncut’s Worst Gigs!

Uncut Editor Allan Jones comes up against Pink Floyd's The Wall, 1980

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In last month’s UNCUT, our writers, friends and favourite musicians reminisced about their favourite gigs.

Well, in this month’s issue we’re looking back on the worst gigs we’ve ever seen – including The Stone Roses, Bob Dylan, Kevin Rowland and David Bowie – with rare photos from the shows too.

We’re also going to publish one of the worst gigs every day, with online exclusives, so feast your eyes on this, and be glad you weren’t there!




Earls Court, London, August 1980



When Pink Floyd bring the live version of their spectacularly grim double album The Wall to London, they announce a complete press ban. I wouldn’t otherwise have even thought about going – but as soon as I discover they’re trying to keep people out, I am determined to get in, beating their heavy-handed embargo.

I’d seen the Floyd a lot and loved them until about Atom Heart Mother, which was bollocks on toast. Neither Dark Side Of The Moon or Wish You Were Here meant much to me, while The Wall on record seemed an impossibly miserable psychodrama, four apparently endless sides of groaning self-pity, morbid pessimism and musical hogwash.

Live, amazingly, it turns out to be even worse – more self-indulgent, pompous, bloated and up its own arse that anyone could possibly have imagined, the much-vaunted special effects a tawdry spectacle, the whole thing about as much fun as ritual disembowelment. I confess to sitting in distraught horror as the show proceeds, funereal and glum, a turgid opera, as I have written before, of woe and witless posturing.

As the band trudge mournfully through the musical bilge, a huge wall is being built in front of them. As far as I’m concerned the fucking thing can’t go up fast enough, and I am more than slightly relieved when by the interval it’s almost complete, except for one final space, through which Roger Waters now warbles the cheerless lyric of “Goodbye Cruel World”. The music starts to fade, his voice drifts into nothingness and he places the final brick in the wall. This final entombment comes not a moment too soon – if it had gone on any longer, I would have been down front myself with a trowel and a bucket of cement, helping the bugger brick himself up for all eternity or slightly longer.

I am amused, as a footnote, when I learn that the next night, appalled by my review in that morning’s Melody Maker, they dedicate a song to me.

“This is for Allan Jones of Melody Maker,” either Waters or Gilmour announces. “It’s called ‘Run To Hell’, and we suggest he does!”

I mean, fuck off.



Not even UNCUTs war-weary gig-hounds have been to every show in history – but you lot probably have.

Email to share your memories, of the ones we’ve published or any which we have missed, and we’ll publish the best in a future issue!


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