Uncut’s Worst Gigs – Ever!

Today: Stone Roses hang themselves at Reading, '96

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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!

For the full top 30 – see the November issue of Uncut – with Led Zep’s Robert Plant on the cover.


Reading Festival, August 25, 1996

MICHAEL BONNER: As someone for whom the Roses’ debut had been a pivotal record when growing up, I can’t quite remember why I’d never seen them live. I know I had a ticket for one of the Brixton shows, in December 1995, but the reasons why I never went are lost in the mists of time. And so, I spent most of this particular Reading weekend in a state of hyperactive excitement about finally seeing them live. John and Reni had left the band, and with new guitarist Aziz Ibrahim and drummer Robbie Maddix, the line-up was, admittedly, unrecognisable beyond the name. But still, I clung to the dream – I was finally going to see the Roses.

I went with a friend, and we spent the Sunday afternoon mounting what felt like a military expedition, working out complex equations involving wind speed and direction, relative humidity and visibility to establish exactly where the best place to watch the Roses would be. We found a spot and waited for the band to come on.

It started well enough, opening with “I Wanna Be Adored”, Ibrahim doing a fine impression of Squire’s swirling Celtic guitar motifs. Three minutes in, everyone’s smiling.

And then, Ian Brown began to sing.

His voice was flat, atonal, eye-poppingly dreadful. The crowd began to drift away, many shaking their heads in disbelief. People were actually crying at how bad it was. It felt like an entire generation had been let down.
And it doesn’t get much worse than that.


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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