In June Friars Aylesbury celebrates an astonishing 50 years of presenting contemporary gigs in Aylesbury.
And this weekend there will be a punk rock celebration at the Waterside Theatre with the return of Stiff Little Finger and Eddie and the Hot Rods.
With over 90,000 members Friars Aylesbury is the largest music club in Europe and in 2019 it celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The celebrations started in January with The Vaccines and continued on 30 April with Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets, which was Nick Mason (from Pink Floyd)’s first Friars gig since that legendary Floyd gig in November 1969. A ‘short’ gap of 49.5 years between gigs.
Organisers Sue and David Stopps have been hard at work putting together the latest birthday show, and say that the punk rock double bill is ‘expected to be one of the most exciting and high energy Friars gigs ever. Not to be missed.’
In 1975 the 700 capacity Borough Assembly Hall which had been used for other phases of Friars was closed and was demolished soon after.
The club then moved into Aylesbury’s new Civic Centre, which had a larger capacity of 1,250.
From 1975 to 1976 Friars presented pretty much all the great touring bands including, Tangerine Dream, Captain Beefheart, Procol Harum, Commander Cody, Manfred Mann’s Earthband, The Flamin Groovies and Eddie and The Hot Rods. Then in December 1976 Friars presented The Stranglers, which kicked off the whole punk phase of the club.
Barry Masters of Eddie and the Hot Rods told this newspaper recently that Aylesbury’s Friars club is one of his favourite places to play.
After that came Iggy Pop (with David Bowie on keyboards), The Ramones, The Clash, The Jam, Motorhead, Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, Blondie, Talking Heads, Buzzcocks, The Slits, XTC, Siouxsie & The Banshees and Stiff Little Fingers amongst many others.
Interspersed with the punk bands were bands such as Dire Straits, Human League, Squeeze, Slade, The Police, The Kinks, Eurythmics, local superstars John Otway, Howard Jones and Marillion, as well as reggae bands including Jamaica’s Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown and Toots and The Maytals.
To book tickets for Saturday’s show go to: www.atgtickets.com/shows/stiff-little-fingers/aylesbury-waterside-theatre/