AC/DC: Early UK concerts at the Reading Festival and Newcastle University 1976

I’m going to start my 2012 concert blogs with some memories of AC/DC in concert. I’ve seen this band around 15 times over the years, and have never ceased to enjoy them. I’ve chosen AC/DC to start my 2012 blogging for no other reason than alphabetical, as they were the first band I came to in my book of tickets. It’ll take me the rest of the week to cover the AC/DC concerts I’ve attended, starting today with a couple of early UK gigs in 1976. I saw AC/DC for the first time at the Reading Rock Festival that year. I’d read good reports of the band in Sounds magazine, who were promoting their first UK tour, The ‘Lock up your Daughters Summer Tour’, and I was eagerly looking forward to seeing how they shaped up live. So my mates and I all made a point of being in the field when they took the stage late on the Sunday afternoon (August 29th 1976) sandwiched between Brand X and Sutherland Brothers and Quiver. I remember we all thought they were pretty good and, along with Rory Gallagher and The Enid, they were the highlight of the weekend. I remember being both amazed and amused by Angus who, dressed in his trademark school uniform ran about the stage like a madman, while playing some pretty mean guitar.

Having enjoyed the set at Reading I was definitely interested in seeing AC/DC again. So when they came to North East to play at Newcastle University students union, I bought tickets and Marie and I went to the gig which was on November 13th 1976. I’d bought their lp High Voltage by this time, and was heavily into some of the tracks, particularly Live Wire and Its a long way to the top. High Voltage is a classic rock album and features many of the bands best songs, some of which remain in their set to this day. Newcastle University dances were held at that time in a ballroom at the top of a flight of stairs above the refectory in the students union, and Marie and I often went along there to the gigs, which were usually held on a Saturday.

My memories of the gig are few, although I do remember that they were really great. Bon would take Angus on his shoulders in those days and run around the crowd. When he did so that night, some idiot threw a full pint of beer over Angus. Angus was absolutely soaked, but kept on playing. Happy days. Pretty sure that they started with Live Wire. As always I bought a programme (see left).
A typical AC/DC setlist from 1976 drew heavily from the High Voltage lp, included a few covers, and was something like: Live wire; Rock and roll singer; Jailbreak: She’s got balls; The Jack; School days; Rocker; TNT; Its a Long Way to the Top (if you want to rock and roll); High voltage; Baby Please don’t go.

Tomorrow I’ll continue my AC/DC memories by posting something about the great nights I spent with them at the sadly missed Newcastle Mayfair ballroom.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by chris meehan on October 18, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Seen em on this tour 29th october 76 birmingham town hall for 75pence,still got the program an ticket…..seen em go for nearly 200 quid on ebay(just the program) brilliant gig with bon scott…prefered him………also first of a few times i strummed angus’ guitar


  2. Posted by Paul Lawson on September 24, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    See the band that night at the Uni for the 1st time, they were supposed to play the City Hall in the previous June which I was going to but the gig was cancelled to long ago to remenber why, wasn’t a big crowd if I remember and the stage wasn’t very high or that big, remember Bon going past me with Angus riding high in his shoulders playing away on his Gibson SG, and I still follow the band now some 42 years later.


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