Legendary Gigs

From the Rolling Stones in 1964 to Skepta last year, Alexandra Palace has a legacy of iconic gigs.

Built as a pleasure palace for the Victorians it hosted orchestras, brass bands and opera, then jazz and with the opening of the BBC television studios the leading swing bands of the day were broadcast from Alexandra Palace across London.

When Pink Floyd played their sunrise set at the 14 Hour Technicolor Dream it launched the status of Alexandra Palace as one of the most important gig venues in the city. The 1970s saw legendary rock bands Led Zeppelin, The Who, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Grateful Dead, T. Rex and Queen. The 1980s brought in punk with Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Slits, The Jam and The Stranglers, hosting their last gig with Hugh Cornwell.

In 1989 The Stone Roses played their first major London gig at the height of the Madchester movement. In 1994 Blur launched Parklife from Alexandra Palace, creating the sound of Britpop.

The 1990s hosted the Brit Awards and MTV Europe Music Awards, bringing Madonna, Pet Shop Boys, The Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica and duet from Elton John and Ru Paul. The MOBOs brought the Fugees and Lisa ‘Left Eye Lopes’. The new millennium saw the arrival of indie rock with The Strokes, The White Stripes, Franz Ferdinand, Kasabian and The Arctic Monkeys.

Jay-Z ushered in the latest wave that has seen Bjork bring the finale of her Biophilia tour and Florence and the Machine play a five night residency. DJs and drum and bass arrived with David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Skrillex and Disclosure. In 2016 Alexandra Palace hosted the UK’s first Afropunk and brought recent Mercury prize winner Skepta to his North London home continuing the legacy of Ally Pally gigs.