The Beatles made their debut at the Colston Hall on 15th March 1963 as part of the Tommy Roe/Chris Montez tour. One of the most notorious events to take place at the Colston Hall (and to the Beatles!) was the incident that happened during the last gig of the Beatles UK tour on 10th November 1964
The Manager of the Hall Ken Cowley was furious when an incident occurred as the band finished ‘If I Fell’ and were about to begin their finale. Four local students had managed to gain access to the stage lighting gantries and they tipped bags of flour onto the Beatles’ heads!
Pat Giles remembers the event as one of the most exciting experiences she’s ever had. “Of all the times I’ve been to the Colston Hall that had to be the most exciting and I’ll remember it forever. The crowd was screaming so loud you couldn’t hear a word they were singing… all of a sudden a large amount of flour descended on the band from above…Ringo was covered the most and just stood there…. John looked at Paul and then they all started laughing. They couldn’t contain themselves and we didn’t know whether they were going to go off stage but they stayed and carried on regardless”
Between 1966 and 1967 the hall was graced with a number of outstanding Jazz performers. The Dave Brubeck Quartet played on October 25th 1966. A reporter from the Evening Post commented on the performance saying, "The four suddenly sparked into life leaving the near-capacity house shouting for more after two encores”
Lighting up the stage in 1967 a string of Jazz stars performed such as the Stan Getz Quartet, Count Bassie & Duke Ellington. A review of the Count Bassie performance from reporter David Harrison finished by saying
‘I know I echo the sentiments of everyone in the packed to capacity hall when I say the next time won’t be soon enough.’
Many people today wish they had seen Jimi Hendrix in concert. Malcolm Coates was lucky enough to witness one of the 2 shows that he played at the Colson Hall on November 3rd 1967. Malcolm, who was 14 years old when he saw Hendrix perform, recalls, ‘the performance made so much of an impression on me that I wrote a review a few months later for my English class’.
Taken from Malcolm’s review:
‘And then the lights went out and the Jimi Hendrix Experience were introduced. In many places he has been banned; in many places, his act has been accused of being obscene and sexy; but nowhere has he been accused of anything but being spectacular and that night was no exception.'
‘He played each one of his three guitars in every possible way, but with his hands, or so it seemed, he played them with his teeth, the stage, his body guards head, a microphone stand and the drum kit’
‘When the last number, Purple Haze, was announced I thought the end of the world was upon us’