2016 is almost over and what a year it has been for gigs and festivals. It’s left us broke, hungover, exhausted but definitely wanting more. There has been a flurry of announcements in the past few months making our hearts beat faster in anticipation. Here’s a little round up of the shows that cannot be missed!
21st January- Islington Assembly, London
Fans were left disappointed when the Glenn Hughes dates for UK and Europe were cancelled this November, due to co-headliners Living Colour becoming unavailable. However, ‘The Voice Of Rock’ returns. Ready to belt out tunes from his new album ‘Resonate’. These will be played alongside the classic Deep Purple, Trapeze and Hughes/Thrall tracks we all know and love.
Black Sabbath- The End Tour
29th & 31st January- O2 Arena, London
The pioneers of Heavy Metal and Doom draw their long goodbye world tour to a close. There’s nowhere better to do it than the UK with their very last gig being in Birmingham. It’s been a good long ride, with fans hitching along since the late 60s. It’s going to be a sore loss to the live music world, but we’re going to make sure that they go out with a bang.
24th – 25th February- Newcastle Student Union, Newcastle Upon Tyne
One of our favourite small classic rock and metal festival is back for the fifth year running, claiming its usual annual spot in February. A brilliant NWOBHM, two day festival in the ‘Toon’. This year Tokyo Blade are headlining and other class acts such as Oliver Dawson’s Saxon, Demon and Traitor’s Gate. All bringing that old school heavy metal edge. Be sure to check out the younger crop of bands too!
Iron Maiden- Book of Souls UK Tour
27th & 28th May- O2 Arena, London
Everyone’s favourite British heavy metal band give us fans a long deserved UK/Ireland tour. With only one UK date at Download in 2016, we can gladly relish the fact that there is going to be an arena tour. Londoners are spoilt with the usual two day weekend at the O2. However, if you really want to make a go if it, pop along to ‘Burrfest’ in Archway, London. This event will take place on Friday 26th May in honour of the late Iron Maiden drummer, Clive Burr.
31st May- O2 Arena, London
Grab your best platforms and glamtastic gear. KISS are back in town with dates across Europe and the UK. You got nothin’ to lose!
Guns ‘n’ Roses- Not In This Lifetime Tour
16th June: The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Park, London
The Guns ‘n’ Roses train is one that has been a bit fractured over the years. Nevertheless 80s rockers rejoiced in the news thats Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan have reunited for a world tour. With an ironic tour title ‘Not in This Lifetime’, we’ll be treated to a date in the former London 2012 Olympic stadium. This is one ‘Nightrain’ we don’t mind jumping on.
Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow- Stone Free Festival
17th June: O2 Arena, London
2016 was the year of the Monster of Rock- Ritchie Blackmore. Back doing what he does best- playing heavy rock and roll. After three hugely successful dates in Germany and England, this incarnation of Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow is headlining at the 2017 Stone Free festival.
Ramblin’ Man Fair
29th – 30th July: Mote Park, Kent
The fields of Mote Park will rumble with the sound of classic tunes from Texan beer drinkers/hell raisers ZZ Top. Third year running, the classic rock, prog, blues and country festival delivers the goods. They will be joined by rockers Magnum, Kansas and many other acts including British blues artist Joanne Shaw Taylor. Check for more announcements over the next few months. Don’t forget to grab your cheap sunglasses, if this year’s weather was anything to go by.
Deep Purple- The Long Goodbye Tour
23rd November: O2 Arena, London
Come November, we’ve been treated pretty well, but with a tour name like ‘The Long Goodbye’, these shows are going to be bitter-sweet. Legendary rockers Deep Purple announced a handful of UK dates in November 2017 following the release of the band’s new album ‘Infinite’. The Speed Kings will be supported by Europe.
Hard Rock Hell- NWOBHM #2
2nd – 3rd December: O2 academy, Sheffield
After a triumphant first year, Hard Rock Hell NWOBHM returns for another weekend and we have no doubt that it will once again be packed full of heavy metal delights. Newcastle bangers Raven will be joined by old school peers Diamond Head and Holocaust. There is a dose of AOR in 2017’s line up with Lionheart, Airrace and Praying Mantis being added to the bill. Be sure to check the full line up and get your denim and leather ready!