Rock of Ages

This year we asked you to share your formative gig-going experiences, both on and off campus – here’s a selection of the best!

University will for many of us be the first time we get to experience live music in all its visceral glory, whether at Rock City, the arena or even in one of our halls! We received a whole host of illuminating anecdotes from alumni which we've shared below – you can almost feel the sticky floors...

Rock of Ages - James Ray. Rock City night out

In Sherwood Hall in 1992, we had The Pogues play our summer party. There were about 15 of us who set up the stage and acted as crew for the day.

Several students vacated their rooms for use as dressing rooms but The Pogues’ manager took one look and demanded somewhere bigger, so they commandeered the JCR.

The problem was it contained the TV, on which we’d been hoping to watch the Euro ’92 match, so Joe Strummer let us in to watch it with them!

Lee Hill (Physics & Philosophy, 1994)

We saw Teardrop Explodes in the early 1980s. The lead singer shouted at us all as we were singing so loud, he lost his way and had to start the song again! Any music by Human League takes me right back to my university days: hall discos, house parties and happy memories.

Deb Amos (Zoology, 1984)

The hall party season was always a great time for live bands, and the challenge among social secretaries was to book a band that later hit the big time. The night of our hall party came and the band I booked went down well.

I was abroad for the summer and didn’t follow the charts but back in September I was greeted in the bar with the comment, “Well done, that band from the hall party is in the top 10!” The band was Culture Club and a few weeks later they were at number one with Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? I don’t have any photos but still have the contract, never managed to get it signed. Bet that you can’t get Boy George for £750 now!

Chris Lakin (Chemical Engineering, 1985)

I have fond memories of a Sunday performance at the old Nottingham Playhouse at which a very young Judi Dench read poetry to the sound of live jazz. There were so many of us that some students had to sit on the stage!

Judith Padden (Physics, 1962)

Between performing with my band, Pantheon, seeing some amazing talent through the Rock Society (RockSoc), catching as much live music as possible and spending many nights at Rock City, I have so many fond memories of a fantastic, musically-charged time in Nottingham.

James Ray (Electrical Engineering, 2010)

Press rewind: what was your soundtrack to university life?

Hong Kong Garden – Siouxsie & The Banshees
Jenny Hands (Mathematics, 1982)

Back in Black – AC/DC
Paul Weary (Zoology, 1983)

Don't You Want Me – Human League
Louise King (History, 1984)

Two Princes – Spin Doctors
Bradley Miller (Viking Studies, 1994)

The Bad Touch – Bloodhound Gang
Rashidah Rahim (Pharmacy, 2001)

Just Dance – Lady Gaga
Marisa Leridou (Psychology, 2011)

Throwback Spotify playlist

We love your musical memories so much we've created a special Spotify playlist for you to enjoy.

Find out more >