Uber Rock's Gigs of the year 2016 Print E-mail
Written by Mark Ashby   
Sunday, 01 January 2017 04:00

Live gigs are the lifeblood of rock ‘n’ roll, and over the past 12 months Uber Rock’s dedicated writers have been to literally hundreds of them and seen possibly thousands of bands.  Unlike many other websites, who won’t darken the door of a venue unless they have been given a freebie, more often than not, they have paid into the shows (although offers of guest tickets are more than gratefully received), and their attendance is purely voluntary and because they love the music…


So, as 2017 dawns, our team looks back at the year now fading into the rearview mirror and gives you their pick of the crop of the massive amount of shows they have attended in that period.


At the end of each list, they also present their thoughts on their personal surprises and disappointments of 2016, and their predictions for the coming year…



Ben Hughes


  1. The Ginger Wildheart Band/Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors/The Main Grains - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds.GWBen550
  2. Ming City Rockers - Fibbers, York.
  3. Hands Off Gretel - The Fulford Arms, York.
  4. The Posies - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds.
  5. The Urban Voodoo Machine - Fibbers, York.
  6. Tyla J Pallas/Boss Caine/Matty James - The Fulford Arms, York.
  7. Killing Joke - Fibbers, York.
  8. Giuda - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds.
  9. James Leg - The Fulford Arms, York.
  10. The Bellrays - Fibbers, York.


Surprise of 2016: The Uber Rock founders announcing their retirement.


Biggest Disappointment of 2016: The Uber Rock founders actually retiring.


Top Tip for 2017: Hands Off Gretel 


Dave Prince


  1. Bowling For Soup - Cardiff Universitylevellers 2
  2. Snake Oil & Harmony (Dan Reed and Danny Vaughn) - Fuel, Cardiff
  3. Mitch Malloy - The Globe, Cardiff
  4. The Wonder Stuff - Tramshed, Cardiff
  5. Steel Panther/Bowling For Soup/Buckcherry - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
  6. The Levellers - Tramshed, Cardiff
  7. Busted - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
  8. Bad Company/Richie Sambora & Orianthi - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
  9. Toseland/Colour of Noise - The Globe, Cardiff
  10. Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbot - St David's Hall, Cardiff


Surprise of 2016: Teenage Casket Company calling it quits! 


Disappointment of 2016: Teenage Casket Company calling it quits! 


Top Tip for 2017: A toss between Theme for Alex and The Boom Sons! 


Dom Daley


  1. Rebellion - Winter Gardens, BlackpoolOFC
  2. The Damned - Royal Albert Hall, London
  3. The Mission - O2, Bristol 
  4. Deathtime Assembly – Pipeline, London
  5. Role Models/Brandy Row/The Empty Page/Brijit West & The Desperate Hopefuls - Black Heart, Camden
  6. Slugfest 9 - The Dolls House, Abertillery Rock City
  7. The Black Halos/The Hip Priests/Role Models - Black Heart, Camden
  8. The Cult - Colston Hall, Bristol
  9. The Icicle works - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
  10. The Gathering - North Wales Conference Centre, Llandudno


Surprise of 2016: People still listen to Iron Maiden

Disappointment of 2016: People still listen to Iron Maiden


Top Tip for 2017: Role Models and Hip Priests to get the recognition they deserve would be a nice start.


Jim Rowland


  1. Giuda – The Underworld, CamdenGiuda Underworld
  2. AC/DC – Olympic Stadium, London
  3. Twisted Sister – Bloodstock Open Air
  4. Alice Cooper – Stone Free Festival, London O2
  5. Ghost – The Palladium, London
  6. Adam Ant – O2 Academy, Brixton
  7. Blue Oyster Cult – The Forum, Kentish Town
  8. King Crimson – Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury
  9. Killing Joke – O2 Academy, Brixton
  10. Sharks – The Borderline, London


Surprise of 2016: Metallica actually release a new album


Disappointment of 2016: Metallica’s new album


Top Tip for 2017: The triumphant return of Sharks…


Marc Leach


  1. Tremonti - The Limelight 1, Belfast - 14th June 201630060567930 bdb3c751ec o
  2. The Siege Of Limerick - Dolans Bar, Limerick - 27th March 2016
  3. Nickelback - The SSE Arena, Belfast - 10th October 2016
  4. Uriah Heep - The SSE Arena, Belfast - 28th October 216
  5. Sumo Cyco - The Empire Hall, Belfast - 21st October 2016
  6. Magnum - The Limelight 1, Belfast - 27th May 2016
  7. Avatar - The Oh Yeah Centre, Belfast - 21st November 2016
  8. The Dead Daisies - The Limelight 1, Belfast - 21st July 2016
  9. Ensiferum - The Limelight 2, Belfast - 21st February 2016
  10. Status Quo - The SSE Arena, Belfast - 28th October 2016


Surprise of 2016: Witnessing Uriah Heep support Status Quo in Belfast’s SSE Arena. It was the first time I had listened to Uriah Heep, and I was just blown away.


Disappointment of 2016: The new Narnia album: I had waited so long to hear it, especially since it was Christian Liljegren’s big return to the band.


Top Tip for 2017: If you’re a legend and have survived 2016, good! Continue to stay alive. 2016 was too painful of a year in regards to deaths of legends, from David Bowie to The United States Of America…


Mark Ashby


  1. Tyketto – HRH AORPhoto 8
  2. Gojira – Bloodstock Open Air
  3. Twisted Sister – Bloodstock Open Air
  4. Raging Speedhorn – Voodoo, Belfast
  5. Sabaton/Alestorm/Bloodbound – Limelight, Belfast
  6. Rabid Bitch Of The North - Bloodstock Open Air
  7. Diamond Head – Voodoo, Belfast
  8. Corrosion Of Conformity – Limelight, Belfast
  9. Rabid Bitch Of The North – Siege Of Limerick
  10. Overkill/Vader – Limelight, Belfast


Surprise of 2016: Well, if you’d told me at the beginning of the year that I would be the co-owner of the mighty Uber Rock, then I would have told you to go jump off a bridge in a pair of concrete boots! That, and possibly the fact that I got dragged along to see Nickelback and actually enjoyed the show! Oh, and discovering The Radio Sun at HRH AOR… fantastic AOR band with all the right ingredients.


Disappointment of 2016: Gaz and Johnny actually deciding to knock it on the head – but they did so for the right reasons! That and actually enjoying that Nickelback gig…


Top Tip for 2017: Stick with Uber Rock children: it’s gonna be another great year for great music, and we’ll be continuing to fight the forces of musical mediocrity by bringing you the bands that the so-called mainstream media won’t touch just because they don’t have big name record companies behind them… long live the underground!


Matt Bunting


  1. John Coffey plays the Tony Hawks Skater 2 Soundtrack - Area 51 Skatepark, EindhovenJohn Coffey - Paradiso 1
  2. John Coffey, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht
  3. John Coffey - Paradiso, Amsterdam
  4. Trap Them, Okkultokrati – Corporation, Sheffield
  5. Sick Livers – Slugfest, The Doll's House, Abertillery
  6. Paranoid/Split Veins/Skitvarld/Beast as God - Stuck on a Name Studios, Nottingham
  7. Kvelertak/Skeletonwitch  - Corporation Sheffield
  8. Grey Hairs Casual Sect, Bloody Head - Piss Up in a Brewery, Black Iris Brewery, Nottingham
  9. Chuck Norris Experiment – Slugfest, The Doll's House Abertillery
  10. Bar Stool Preachers – Slugfest, The Doll's House Abertillery


Surprise of 2016: Stumbling across Pkew Pkew Pkew's album via a Spotify playlist. Definitely the best dumb but actually quite clever punk rock I've heard in years. Gonzo rock at its finest.


Disappointment of 2016: The split of John Coffey. Got three great shows in the Netherlands out of them this year, though, so have some good memories because of this band, so not all bad.


Top Tip for 2017: Haven't been to enough gigs this year to think of one band under the radar, so a couple of bands that I've heard online and sound pretty interesting are Idles and Cellar Door Moon Crow. Hope to catch them both live in the new year!


Nev Brooks


  1. Slugfest 9 – The Doll’s House, Abertilleryslugheaderfriday550
  2. Wonk Unit/Pizza-Tramp/Reggie Satanas – The Doll’s House, Abertillery
  3. The Levellers – Tramshed, Cardiff
  4. The Damned – Tramshed, Cardiff
  5. Jaya the Cat - The Exchange, Bristol
  6. The Heavy – O2, Bristol
  7. The Urban Voodoo Machine - The Fleece, Bristol
  8. Bob Mould/Estrons - The Globe, Cardiff
  9. Peter Hook and the Light – Tramshed, Cardiff
  10. John Monday/Dirty Deelux – The Dolls House, Abertillery


Surprise of 2016: John Monday.


Disappointment of 2016: The Sick Livers split.


Top Tip for 2017: Bar Stool Preachers and Wonk Unit to take it to the next level.


Nick Russell


  1. Deftones - SSE Arena, LondonPhoto 9
  2. Twisted Fuckin' Sister – Bloodstock Open Air
  3. Gojira – Bloodstock Open Air
  4. Soilwork - The Underworld, Camden
  5. Raging Speedhorn - The Prince Of Wales, Kettering
  6. Exodus - Hammerfest
  7. The King Is Blind - Bloodstock Open Air
  8. Mage - Bloodstock Open Air
  9. Behemoth – Bloodstock Open Air
  10. Slayer – Bloodstock Open Air


Surprise of 2016: The number of older thrash bands knocking out some top quality music!


Disappointment of 2016: Download


Top Tip for 2017: Hey!Hello! for world power pop rock domination!


Rich Hobson


  1. The Pixies/FEWS - O2 Academy, BirminghamDallas Frasca Belfast November 2016
  2. Skindred/The King Blues/Left For Red - Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
  3. Ministry/Devildriver - O2 Institute, Birmingham
  4. Tropical Contact - Eerie Ink Tattoo Studio, Walsall
  5. Clutch/Valient Thorr/Lionize - O2 Academy, Manchester
  6. Royal Republic/Dinosaur Pile-Up - The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton
  7. Ugly Kid Joe/Dallas Frasca - The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton
  8. Alien Ant Farm/InMe - O2 Institute, Birmingham
  9. Heck/Black Peaks/Bad Sign/Exiles of Elysium - The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton
  10. Jane's Addiction - Download


Surprise of 2016: Jane's Addiction at Download Festival; an immensely atmospheric and entertaining show that pipped "set of the weekend".

Disappointment of 2016: Brant Bjork’s ‘Tao Of The Devil’: after last year's release, ‘Tao…’ was utterly pedestrian, like a crappy B-side that slithered out after one too many tokes.


Top Tip for 2017: Chris Catalyst's solo debut album. 


The Dark Queen


  1. Steelheart – RockinghamSteelheart - Rockingham 2016
  2. Tremonti – Limelight, Belfast
  3. Thunder – Steelhouse Festival
  4. Dan Reed – Diamond Rock Club, Ahoghill
  5. Heart – Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
  6. Conjuring Fate – Limelight, Belfast
  7. Kaz Hawkins – Park Avenue Hotel, Belfast
  8. Slipknot – SSE Arena, Belfast
  9. From The Flames – Rockingham
  10. Angels Or Kings - Rockingham


Surprise of 2016: Bigfoot. They blew me away when they opened the Steelhouse festival in the summer.


Disappointment of 2016: Saxon. I was so looking forward to seeing them again, and to shooting them for the first time… but both the lighting and the sound were awful and the band looked they were going through the motions. What should have been one of my gigs of the year turned out to be the worst.


Top Tip for 2017: Stone Broken. I saw them for the first time at Rockingham and I reckon this is going to be a big year for them.


So, there you have it folks.  It certainly was a great year for live music, and 2017 is shaping up quite nicely so far.  Keep rockin'.