Uncut’s Worst Gigs!

Today: Dexy's Kevin Rowland haunts the Jazz Cafe in a white dress

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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!

Jazz Café, London, October 1999


Hot and humid outside, inside the Jazz Café it was all a sticky embarrassment when Rowland appeared on stage before the sparsest of crowds to unveil his My Beauty album, the dying swansong of Alan McGee’s Creation Records.

Given a sartorial past that encompassed Mean Streets docker chic and a garish preppy look, it was an unpleasant shock to see Rowland come on stage wearing a white dress, stockings and suspender belt, all teamed with several days’ stubble. Having been bottled off at Reading a few weeks previously, he was among friends here, but his decision to show his “soft and sexy” side was patently misguided. I felt like a bystander at a medieval crucifixion. Even his most ardent fans were tittering in dismay.
The songs were OK, covers of “Concrete And Clay”, “This Guy’s In Love With You” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, but he looked unhappy in his own skin.

There was an element of black humour about the night – Rowland was accompanied by a blowsy pair of burlesque dancers who looked like they’d been plucked from Benny Hill’s Angels – but it was uncomfortable comedy. Here was a man living through his demons rather than exorcising them, though one admired his nerve. What a drag.


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

Email Allan_Jones@ipcmedia.com 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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Bob Dylan, Paul Weller, Marianne Faithfull, Stephen Stills, Spiritualized, Can, The Strokes, Matt Sweeney & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, James, UB40, My Bloody Valentine, the Plastic Ono Band and Sun Ra