Uncut’s Worst Gigs – Ever!

Today Sex Pistols incite violence at Finsbury Park comeback

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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!


Finsbury Park, London, June 23, 1996

JOHN LEWIS: A surreal, horrifying spectacle, dripping with cynicism, couched in inverted commas and lapped up by a largely loathsome 30,000-strong crowd of neo-Nazi Oi! scum. Expectations were, hilariously in retrospect, high: the sun shined, the mood was buoyant, and the support acts – including 3 Colours Red, Buzzcocks and Iggy Pop – none too shabby.

Sadly, the Pistols really were absolutely fucking awful. Shorn of context, youth and art-school posturing, they’d mutated into a comedy HM band. Witness Steve Jones, with his fat arse and beer belly crammed into a tight pair of tiger-skin strides. Glen Matlock looked like he’d just been beaten up by the rest of the band. And dear, dear Johnny, his thinning hair dyed green, his rotund frame crammed into a check suit as he harrumphed his way through the lyric sheet.

But it was those vast sections of the crowd – flinging pint after pint of beer at the stage, chanting homophobic remarks at Pete Shelley, shouting sexist abuse at Skin from Skunk Anansie – who reminded you just how horrible the ’80s fag ends of punk were. The Pistols were, believe it or not, introduced on stage by Stuart Pearce and Gareth Southgate, who had, 24 hours earlier, been part of an England side who’d beaten Spain in the Euro 96 quarter finals. Three days later, a still shell-shocked Southgate would miss a penalty in the semi-final against Germany. Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?


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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