DATES   1981 - 1982  
Go to home pageGo to history PageGo to opening night pageDates 1930-1959Dates 1960-69Dates 1970-71Dates 1972Dates 1973Dates 1974Dates 1975Dates 1976Dates 1977Dates 1978Dates 1979Dates 1980Dates 1981-82Dates 1983-PresentVarious Photographs of the Theatrelive albums of concerts at the theatrefilms that have been shot at the theatreContact me & Info 1981      
7th -      
9th January   Billy Connolly - Rehearsals  
18th January   The Boomtown Rats, Atrix Boomtown Rats programme Boomtown Rats ticket
Boomtown Rats Poster
19th -      
22nd January   The Who - Rehearsals  
1st February   Hazel O’Connors Megahype, Hazel O'Connor programme Hazel O'Connor PassHazel O'Connor advert
  The Modettes, Prime Suspect, Tea Set
3rd/   The Who, The Q Tips Who programme Who ticket
4th February
Who ticket
5th February   Eric Clapton, Chas & Dave Eric Clapton Ticket
  Eric uses The Who's PA from the night before, by all accounts it was too loud! Chas & Dave come back on for the encores. This concert was a benefit for Eric's Shelter Charity.
8th February   Burning Spear, Far Image Burning Spear press advert Burning Spear ticket
11th February   Sheila Easton - Filming  
14th February   Ultravox, Shock, Depeche Mode, Wonder Stories, Barbie Wilde, Metro. Steve Strange and friends, sitting on the foyer fountain, 14th Feb 1981 Peoples Palace ticket
    Ex-Blitz kids Steve Strange and Rusty Egan celebrate St. Valentine's Day in true romantic fashion by holding the People's Palace St. Valentine's Ball with Also six fashion shows. This was the moment when the New Romantic scene exploded and went from being an obscure cult to a global trend. The “People of Romance”, as the tickets described them, paid £3.50 for a long evening starting at 5pm. They were expected to hold their own as stars alongside the cult’s budding bands at a venue renamed for a day The People’s Palace.

New Romantics at The People's Palace New Romantics at The People's Palace
20th February The Fleshtones, The Bush Tetras, The Raybeats, The Bongos, The dB’s, Polyrock, The dBs advert
    New York Band Celebration, Billed as The Taking Liberties Show, the whole show was recorded an issued as a compilation album “Start Swimming” on Stiff Records  
21st February  


Wasted Youth, Huang Chung

    Toyah stuff
    Video link to Toyah performing "It's a mystery"  at this concert
27th February   Get in for Bow Wow Wow  
28th February   Bow Wow Wow, South 17  

Brian Boniface recalls “I particularly remember this concert. The Rainbow had ripped out the entire seating from the theatre and replaced them with fairground attractions like "Coconut shy" etc. I vaguely remember "Football" style terracing barriers in place as well.
The support band was a 40-piece swing band, in the style of Glenn Miller. They went down very well to start with but unknown to the audience Annabella Lwin had gone “walkabout and was nowhere to be seen. Hence the swing band manfully carried on playing for ages before she turned up to perform her set. A very surreal concert indeed!!”

Also Lieutenant Lush arrived on the scene. A camp follower of the group. Lush began co-fronting the group with Lwin and was booed off the stage at this gig and was dropped from the line-up. Lieutenant Lush changed his name to Boy George, and created Culture Club.

29th February   Filming of the movie "Scandalous" with Bow Wow Wow and John Gielgud Bow Wow Wow show invite
        Gillan Ticket
5th March Gillan, Deadringer   Gillan Guest Pass Gillan programme
6th March   John Kay & Steppenwolf      
7th March   The Stranglers, Headline, The Tea Set, Modern Eon       Stranglers Ticket
9th March   Ian Anderson - Filming  
13th March   Graham Bonnet - Filming  
15th March   Prince Far-I, Arabs, The Congos, Renegrade Prince Far I poster
17th March   The 4 B 2s,The Bollock Brothers, Pope Paul & The Romans, Damage Material with Keith Levine
19th March   The Greatful Dead - Get in Grateful Dead Press Advert
20th-       Grateful Dead ticket Grateful Dead ticket
24th March The Grateful Dead Grateful Dead ticket Grateful Dead ticket
25th March   Whitesnake - Rehearsals  
1st April The Modettes, The Tea Set These four concerts were staged in the foyer of the theatre, Billed as Rainbow 2. Those who went descibed them as great little "intimate" concerts, especially the Ronnie Lane show which went on very late  
2nd April John Cooper Clarke John Cooper Clarke advert
3rd April Ronnie Laine  
5th April Black Slate  
9th April Culture, Far Image Culture press advert
10th April Osibisa, Weapons of Peace Osibisa poster Osibisa ticket
11th April Classix Nouveaux, Theatre of Hate, Biddie & Eve, Kan Kan, Naked Lunch Classix Nouveaux Poster Classix Nouveaux ticket
  Video link to Classix Nouveaux performing "623" at this concert
23rd April The Undertones - Rehearsals  
26th April Johnny Osbourne Johnny Osmond ticket
29th March George Thorogood and The Destroyers, Alexis Korner's Rocket 88 Georgar Thorogood advert George Thorogood ticket
1st May

The Specials, The People, Dambala, Pigbag

  The Specials poster The Specials ticket
  This is a benefit concert promoted by The Morning Star for the unemployment march. The People were ex members of The Selector.  
3rd May Roots Reggae Concert  
10th May Stiff Little Fingers, The Wall Stiff Little Fingers press advert   Stiff Little Fingers Pass Stiff Little Fingers ticket
16th May Jazz Funk Festival - Get in  
17th May Jazz Funk Festival with Level 42, Hi Tension  
21st May The Undertones, TV21, Arpeck, Positive Touch   Press Advert Undertones ticket
25th May 50's Rock 'n' Roll All dayer with Crazy Cavan & The Rythmn Rockers, Dynamite, Stargazers, Deltas, Blue Cats, Zip Gun feat, Dave Phillips, Riot Rockers, 50's Flash, Wild Cat Pete
29th May Squeeze, John Otway & "Wild" Willy Barrett Squeeze ticket
30th May The Stray Cats, Lightning Raiders The Stray Cats ticket
31st May The Beat, Belle Stars, The Mood Elevators, Linton Kwesi Johnson The Beat ticket
3rd June Wishbone Ash, Claire Hamill Wishbone Ash Programme
13th June The Wanderers, The Wall, The Creamies  
17th June The Jam, Apocalypse   The Jam Pass  
The Jam ticket
26th June The Kinks   The Kinks press advert The Kinks ticket
29th/ Peter Tosh Peter Tosh Guest pass Press Advert Peter Tosh on stage
30th June  
4th July Aswad, King Sounds & The Israelites, Junior Brown, Dave Rodigan
5th July Ras Michael & The Sons of Negus Ras Michael poster
8th /   Rainbow guest pass Rainbow programme Rainbow ticket
9th July Rainbow, Rose Tattoo Rainbow ticket
11th July Iggy Pop, Telephone Iggy Pop press advert Iggy Pop Front of house pass Iggy Pop Ticket
12th July Sounds Atomic Roadshow     Sounds Atlantic Rock Roadshow ticket


  Black Uhuru press advert Press Advert
14th July Black Uhuru, Sly & Robbie Video link to Black Uhuru performing "Shine EyE girl" at this concert
24th July Bad Manners Bad Manners Poster
29th July Hunble Pie, Hostage Humble Pie poster
30th July Mike Oldfield, The Battlefield Band Mike Oldfield press advert Mike Oldfield ticket
  A fan recalls: On Thursday 30th July 1981 I travelled to London where I saw Mike Oldfiels in Concert at The Rainbow Theatre. This concert was incredible for three main reasons, firstly the music, secondly the precision of his band, and thirdly the support band who were called The Battlefield Band. For this concert Mike Oldfield had five other musicians with him to perform parts of Tubeler Bells, Incantations, Platinum and other Oldfield classics. At the end of the show, for the encore, he brought the support band back on stage to perform The Sailor's Hornpipe together (this is the only time I have seen this done). Mike Oldfield programme
1st August 'Mods' All Dayer with Lambrettas, Hidden Charms, Question, Dolly Mixtures, Long Tall Shorty, Reaction, Poster for "Mods" All Dayer
  The Retreads, Mods
17th August Altered Images - Filming  
19th August Top Secret - Filming  
25th August Asia - Rehearsals  
8th September Hazel O'Connor  
11th September Hazel O'Connor  
13th -    
16th September Icehouse - Rehearsals  
17th September The Twinkle Brothers The Twinkle Brothers ticket
19th September Mr. Universe  
30th September Bow Wow Wow  
2nd /     Grateful Dead 1981 Tour Poster
4th October The Grateful Dead
      Greatful Dead poster Grateful Dead Press Advert
6th October The Grateful Dead
10th October After The Fire, Q Tips
    Gang of Four press Advert CND benefit press advert
23rd October The Gang of Four, Wasted Youth, The Lemon Kittens, The Jam
  This was a benefit concert for CND. The Jam appeared as a special guest and only announced on the night! Adam Broadway recalls "they played 4 or 6 tracks and the place went mental"  
25th October Gregory Isaac Press Advert
27th -    
29th October Barclay James Harvest - Rehearsals  
1st -    
5th November Judas Priest - Rehearsals  
14th November Woodstock Revisited with Antipasti, Vice Squad, Erazerhead,Case, Angelic Upstarts, Chron Gen, Chelsea, Woodstock Revisited ticket
  The Wall, Charge, The Fools, Splodgenessabounds, Honey Bane, Auntie Pus, The Insane, The Kids next Door Woodstock Revisited Poster
15th November Iron Maiden   Iron Maiden programme Iron Maiden ticket
23rd November The Pretenders  
25th November Animal Magnet  
  Rock For Jobs "Give us a Future" Concerts
27th November Madness, Clint Eastwood & General Saint, Chris Thompson & The Islands, Alexei Sayle
28th November The Beat, Joe Jackson, Tom Robinson, OK Jive, The Cosmetics
29th November Barry Forde, Black Slate, The Members, Alexei Sayle
  All three nights Sponsored by the GLC
      "Give us a Future" concert ticket
4th December The Stranglers, Taxi Girl, Mr Sprattt's 20th Century Popular Motels Taxi Girl/Stranglers advert Stranglers ticket
Stranglers AAA pass
5th/   Human League Poster Human League ticket
6th December Human League  
8th -    
11th December Dire Straits - Rehearsals  
12th December The Exploited, Black Flag, Honey Bane, The Insane The Exploited poster
15th December Iron Maiden   Iron Maiden after show party invite
16th December Saxon   Saxon guest pass Saxon programme Saxon ticket
17th December Squeeze, John Otway & 'Wild' Willy Barret Squeeze ticket
18th December Hawkwind, Miles Over Matter Hawkwind poster Hawkwind ticket
23rd /   Hawkwind press advert Elvis Costello ticket
24th December Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Jerry Slattery
This concert ended up being the last concert ever performed at the theatre!   Elvis Costello ticket
January UFO - Rehearsals UFO tour advert
  It was during these rehearsals that the theatre closed for the last time as a music venue
      The lease was put up for sale by Strutworth for £150,000, it was due to expire in October

The seven permanent staff were informed by a phone call and no redundancy money was offered! I stayed on so UFO could continue their rehearsals. (They kindly paid the rehearsal money in cash which I divided with the stage crew).

Strutworth blamed the G.L.C. for insisting on unreasonable works on the building and the increase in annual music licence from £500 to £6,000. The company claimed to have spent £100,000, with the help of Rank, in renovating the venue. The G.L.C. stated that they only ordered Strutworth to replace missing light bulbs, install self-closers on the fire doors, sucure loose seating and install extra handrails at a total cost of approximately £2,000.

I guess we will never know the real story!!


December Building squatted by the group “Crass” and a concert was planned for 18th December. But they were evicted the night before it could take place (They moved to the empty Zig Zag Club in Harrow Road, where they held the event!) Crass sqatting press clipping
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      Copyright © Rick Burton 2011