Def Leppard Newcastle City Hall 1980

Def Leppard Newcastle City Hall 1980
I first saw Def Leppard at Middlesbrough Rock Garden, in their very early days. They were a new, young New Wave Of British Heavy Metal band from Sheffield, who I’d read about in Sounds. On the strength of a good write-up in Sounds, probably by Geof Barton, I decided to go along and see them, dragging along a reluctant Marie. The gig was not that full, but there was a sprinkling of bikers in there, who gave the band a good reception. The gig was in July 1979, and at that time Def Leppard were playing a mixture of covers and some of their own material. I remember them playing the single (Getcha) Rocks Off, and several Thin Lizzy covers including Jailbreak and The Boys Are Back In Town. I think they also played Bowie’s Suffragette City and UFO’s Doctor, Doctor. Good choices. I was quite impressed, particularly by the enthusiasm of singer Joe Elliot. One year on, and Def Leppard were headlining at Newcastle City Hall. I can’t be certain who the two supports were, but I think they may have been Magnum and Colossus. I had it in my mind that the support was Iron Maiden, but I think that may be my memory playing tricks with me. This was the start of a meteoric rise to mega success for Def Leppard. I can’t pretend to be a massive fan but did enjoy seeing those early gigs. This was at the time of their first album, On Trough the Night, and the set was drawn largely from that lp. Setlist from 1980: When the Walls Came Tumbling Down; It Could Be You; Rock Brigade; Satellite; Medicine Man; Let It Go; Answer to the Master; Sorrow Is a Woman; Good Morning Freedom; It Don’t Matter; Lady Strange; Overture; Rocks Off. Encore: Hello America; Wasted

6 responses to this post.

  1. I read your posts everyday and every so often I’m jealous of the gigs you went to (I’m guessing that you’re a bit older than me as I didn’t start going to gigs till 1976 when I was almost 15). However this one has made me even more jealous than some of the other stuff you’ve posted about. I don’t know what it is about that early Doctor Hook stuff but I would have loved to have seen them back then!


  2. Oh dear posted that on the wrong entry!!


  3. Posted by vintagerock on October 4, 2012 at 9:40 am

    No worries. Thanks for the comments. Best wishes Peter


  4. Posted by dvcarrick on March 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    My first gig !! Tygers of Pan Tang, Magnum and Def Leppard.
    Hung around after the show and met the band who were only a few years older than I was then (14).


  5. Posted by Ian on October 11, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Great Blog, thanks for all of the hard work and memories. I’ve been living in the States for the past 25 years but I was at many of the same shows- I started going to shows in the North East about ’78.. I’ve still got a lot of the old City Hall stubs
    The Def Leppard/Iron Maiden show did take place – at the Mayfair; it was a regular Friday night show. Paul Di’anno was the singer with Maiden and it was just after Leppard had signed with Phonogram to licence their own label EP. I remember the night (fairly) well as Chris Cowie of Tyne Tees gave away tickets for a taping of Alright Now a couple of weeks later. I got to see Rory and Dr Feelgood as well as get John Bonham’s autograph at TTTV.


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