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Your inspiring memories of Colston Hall

As the date of our 150th anniversary draws closer we’ve been delving through the archive to discover some of the fascinating facts from our rich history and asking you for your inspiring memories of Colston Hall.

From meeting the man Mötorhead were named after, to being dazzled by Icelandic post-rock to finding life-long love – your stories have brought a smile to our faces and got us eager to hear more. Here are a few of our favourites so far!

Email your memories to hallofmemories@marketing.colstonhall.org or share them on our social media channels with the hashtag #hallofmemories and #colstonhall150

‘Crowd surfing’ at The Beatles concert 1963

“It’s hard to believe but I was only 4, and my brother was 8, when our mum asked who we would like to see performing live. We thought she would offer us The Bachelors or Morecambe and Wise… “The Beatles?” she asked!

“We couldn’t believe it. I can still remember being carried over the crowd as we entered Colston Hall, where we sat, and most memorable: looking around before they came on and sensing the atmosphere. I wonder how many people present at the gig recall carrying the little boy over their heads.”

– Nick Wills

The Beatles

Roxy Music with Brian Eno, 1973

“I went to my first concert in 1973 to watch Roxy Music, they were brilliant and started with “Do The Strand” with Bryan Ferry in a white suit. Brian Eno was in the band then.”

– Martyn Lovell

Frank Zappa, the Mothers of Invention and the roadie who gave Motörhead their name

“After their performance at the Colston Hall on Tue 3 June, 1969, during which a stink bomb was thrown on stage, the Mothers (minus Zappa who had returned to London) and their roadies joined some of us for drinks at The Granary Club, where we stayed until the 1am closing time. Jimmy Carl Black, the drummer, asked where the late night action was after that and I offered the use of my flat in Royal York Crescent.

“Memories of what happened thereafter are somewhat blurred; but I do remember that one of the roadies was called Motorhead (yes, the one the British heavy rock trio are named after). I also remember learning that Jimmy Carl Black was a Mixed Native American and used to come on stage and announce himself as ‘the Indian in the group’. My autographed copy of their double album ‘Uncle Meat’ is a treasured possession.”

– Ed Newsom

Cliff overshadows the Kalin Twins, 1958

“I went to Colston Hall to see the Kalin Twins because their hit ‘When’ was high in the charts at that time.  We watched the support acts and suddenly a young boy/man exploded onto the stage in a bright pink suit and an Elvis-style haircut and sang, among other things, his hit ‘Move It’.  It was of course the young and barely known Cliff Richard.  He was an instant hit with the audience with everyone screaming and clapping and the Kalin Twins were a bit of an anticlimax after him.”

– Theresa Stewart

Sigur Ros, 2014

“Sigur Ros in 2014 was the most emotional I have ever been at a live gig. It was like a religious experience, people all around me were crying, there was so much love in the room that night. Thanks for that memory.”

– Jim Ling

From first dates to life-long love

“Mine and my husband’s first date was at the Sunday pop concert held at the Colston hall in October 1953. We married four years later, aged 21 and 23. Lovely memories 60 years of marriage this September.”

– Pam and Jack Ford

Waiting for Canned Heat, 1968

“A concert that stands out in memory was The Small Faces and the American blues band Canned Heat in September 1968. The Small Faces played well over their time slot and were met with a lot of jeering from Canned Heat blues fans eager to hear the band.

“Steve Marriot of The Small Faces took a bit of offence to the jeering and causally walked over to the microphone and announced to the rowdy lot “If you greasers up the back there don’t shut up I will come up there and stick a cabbage up your ass.” That had us all clapping and falling about.

“When Canned Heat finally made it to the stage the power to the stage was cut after 15 minutes. We all started a slow hand clap, someone found a switch to the main PA and the next thing we knew all the artists from the night joined together to create a great big noise with everyone strumming guitars, banging drums and hitting every key on the piano.”

– Chris Kay

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