We thought we’d look back at some of the amazing musical events that have taken place locally over the years. Looking back, which of these big names do you recognise…

 

Robert Smith The Cure

Carshalton Park Gig

Goth-rockers The Cure (Friday I’m In Love, Just Like Heaven etc.) played at a Carshalton Park Open Air Concert in 1979, soon after the release of their first album. The band met as school friends in Crawley. The event was organised in those days by the Carshalton Carnival Committee. Robert Smith said in 2006, “It’s so pitiful when ‘goth’ is still tagged onto the name the Cure”, and added, “We’re not categorisable.”

[Hear The Cure gig at Carshalton Park]

 

ELO Carshalton

Pictured above is Jeff Lynne from ELO (Mr Blue Sky, Livin’ Thing) who played their first live concert opposite West Croydon station at the Fox and Hounds pub on April 15 1972. The band holds the record for having the most Billboard Hot 100 top 40 hits without a number one single of any band in US chart history. I’ve heard that ELO played in Carshalton Park, but I can’t find specific reference to the event. Were you there? please enter in comments below.

 

Lord Sutch Carshalton
Screaming Lord Sutch
appeared a few times on stage at the Carshalton Park Rock ‘n’ Roll festival in 1971, rising from inside a Coffin. He even recorded a live album here. He was known as an english musician and famous for being a flamboyant serial parliamentary candidate.

 

Stones Flyer Sutton
In Sutton, the Rolling Stones (Paint it Black, Gimme Shelter) performed at The Winning Post pub in Sutton High street (formerly The Red Lion). They played several gigs here and on 23 January 1963, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman became permanent members of the band, at this venue. Later they were spotted by a noted Soviet-born music promoter, Giorgio Gomelsky, who was in the audience during an historic early gig in 1963. In 2011, Sutton Council added the Winning Post to a list of buildings and structures of local significance. Bill Wyman from the Stones did a programme for the BBC and filmed outside about 7 years ago

[Read more about the music promoter who discovered them in Sutton]

 

Just up the road from Carshalton Park, was where David Bowie (Under Pressure, Changes, Ashes to Ashes) played, at Wallington Public Hall. This was at the beginning of his Ziggy Stardust tour. The tour took place in the United Kingdom, North America, and Japan in 1972–73, to promote the studio albums The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and Aladdin Sane. The picture above is Bowie on stage at Wallington, wearing a similar outfit to that which appeared on the cover of the Starman single.

On 8 June 1965 The Who (Pinball Wizard, My Generation) played at Wallington Public Hall.

[More about Ziggy Stardust Tour]

 

Perhaps the most notorious musician to play at Wallington Public Halls was the American star Jerry Lee Lewis (Great Balls of Fire) on 28 May 1963. Music critic Robert Christgau has said of Lewis: “His drive, his timing, his offhand vocal power, his unmistakable boogie-plus piano, and his absolute confidence in the face of the void make Jerry Lee the quintessential rock and roller.”

 

Some other famous names to make it to Stafford Road included Johnny Kidd (Shakin’ All Over), Gene Vincent (Be-Bop-a-Lula), the Rolling Stones , Eric Clapton (Wonderful Tonight, Layla), Manfred Mann (Blinded by the light, Ha Ha Said the Clown), Billy Fury (Halfway to Paradise), Jimmy Page (Stairway to Heaven), The Kinks (Lola, Sunny Afternoon, Come Dancing), and local-lad-made-good, Jeff Beck (Hi Ho Silver Lining), who was born in Wallington, and Status Quo (whatever you want, rockin’ all over the world). Some members of Status Quo were once spotted drinking with Oliver Reed in The Greyhound in Carshalton.

 

Cliff and the shadows
And here’s another musical connection to the area – in around 1948, a young Cliff Richard (Summer Holiday, Bachelor Boy, Living Doll)  lived at Windborough Road, Carshalton-on-the-Hill and went to Stanley Park Juniors. Later on, he was a trustee of the Missionary Mart (now called Emmaus) in Stafford Road, Wallington. Pictured above with The Shadows in 1962.

 

Talking of Carshalton-on-the-Hill… in 1981 there was BBC Arena documentary focussing on the legendary BBC Radio presenter John Peel. Filmed here, following the exploits of new bands on Brambledown Road.

[See the documentary here]

 

More musical connections… Helen Shapiro appeared on stage at Carshalton Public Halls (the cryer). Noel coward played as a child on stage at a lost venue in Sutton.

 

That’s it! Who have we missed? Is there anything more current than this? Leave your comments below to keep a record (no pun intended) of events, or if you have pics or memories. The images in this blog post aren’t from the actual events, apart from David Bowie. Some images are from Getty. We’ve been unable to find where to attribute all images. Wallington Public Halls has been demolished.

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Linda Cranmer
Linda Cranmer
1 year ago

Although didn’t see any famous singers at Carshalton Park, but saw many at Wallington Public Hall in the sixties. Great times

TheAultones
1 year ago

Carshalton through and through…

67959152_2468660339858593_8225159381713420288_o.jpg
Steve
Steve
10 months ago

In 1976 Stray played the Carshalton Park Festival with their support band Evil Weasel, EW being all local musicians living in the Sutton area. The !977 festival was headlined by Fushion Orchestra with support by Evil Weasel.
What a wonderful time I had playing these gigs, especially 1976, what a year.

Colin Bartram
Colin Bartram
9 months ago

I’ve read in multiple sources and seen it confirmed by attendees that ELO’s first gig was at The Greyhound which was in Park Lane, Croydon. E.g. https://www.elobeatlesforever.com/2015/04/croydon-confusion-live-debut-of-elo.html
Some give extra detail that it was in the ballroom attached to the pub which was ‘The Fox at the Greyhound’ which possibly lead to the confusion.