Queen,Status Quo, Big Country, Belouis Some @ Knebworth House, Stevenage 9-8-86

00108 Queen

Last ever show with Freddie Mercury. It was a great day. Myself & Michelle stayed near the back, very close to one of the PAs. My other friends went down the front (or as near as they could get).  Big Country were great! (I’d seen them do a warm up gig at Rock City, Nottingham, a couple of days earlier). Status Quo just seemed to be going through the motions. (I think they had to leave the festival early as they were playing another gig on the same day). This was the one & only time i ever saw Queen & i’m so glad i did. This would end up being the last gig they played in the UK with Freddie. It was one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen. But whats really surprising is that even though it was a massive place & we were far back, Freddie made the place seem small. Everyone was singing along etc. The only real problem with this gig was afterwards. Trying to find your respective cars with no lighting was nigh on impossible! Could we hell find the car we came down in ! So, like many others in the same predicament, myself & Michelle, like MANY others, walked a few miles into Stevenage, to the police station & phoned home. There were loads of people in there. You’ve got to remember, this is before mobile phones were around ! So i phoned home to try get my dad to come pick us up. Keep it quiet, but, he had actually been drinking so they went round to Macs place (Michelles BF) to see if he could go. But Mac was hammered! ( Seeing  “huge Rabbits!”). So my parents came down. The funniest thing was that getting back into Boston, my dad had to stop for a pee at London road public toilets. As we were parked there, who should drive up, but the other car load! Yup, certainly one i wont forget :-). Over the years, I’ve managed to find 3 different boot CDs of the show. I always try to find recordings of gigs that I’ve attended. Also found a camcorder shot film of the video screen at a a record fair. But the quality is rubbish 🙁 (It’s easy to find on Youtube nowadays) I think the boot CDs were released in the order that I’ve scanned them..  They all sound pretty damn good (especially as it was recorded in such a big place). Also found recordings of Big Country & Status Quo .

EDIT : Many years later, i was watching a gig by “Guano Apes” in Germany & afterwards their sound engineer, “Ingo” was chatting with someone who was speaking English. When Ingo wander off, i had a chat with the guy. By strange coincidence, he worked for Queen ! But it gets better than that… When i told him that i saw Queen at Knebworth he asked me if i’d seen any footage of the gig. I told him i had got a rubbish quality video that was filmed off the screens which i’d bought at a record fair. Believe it or not, he said they DIDN’T record the full show (video wise). Apparently, the only professional film shot on the day was by some German film crew. He was trying to find any decent footage he could. (They had the full show on AUDIO, but that’s all). I told him how i would have liked to go to the Queen+Paul Rogers tour, but it had sold out. He then ,totally unexpectedly, said “Where would you like to see them?” I was gobsmacked ! He put me on the guest list for the show at Sheffield arena ! (It was Brian Mays list!) He was meant to be going to the gig also, but something stopped him. I remember talking to him before the gig (had mobile phone then as it was 2005) . I wasn’t aware, but they were also filming the Sheffield gig. Guess who was sat a couple of rows behind me ? Freddies mum ! When the show was released on DVD i had to buy it 🙂 To think that my love of seeing Guano Apes led to this, is just amazing. Unfortunately about a year later i lost my phone & hadn’t wrote down his number (Yeah, lesson learnt!) Hell, i can’t even remember his name 🙁

If it was you who helped me with the guest list spot, please get in touch 🙂

5 thoughts on “Queen,Status Quo, Big Country, Belouis Some @ Knebworth House, Stevenage 9-8-86”

  1. Fascinating story, pretty close to our own. I went to the same concert with my two brothers but our coach left without us.
    We walked to Stevenage (although I could have very easily just slept at the side of the road as I was sooo exhausted. We phoned our Dad from a call box (like you said, well before we had mobiles) and he drove up from Southampton to pick us up. In the meantime, we had to huddle up as it got VERY cold. It was a long day but a very memorable concern!!

    1. I think there were a lot of us in the same boat ! They really should have proper lighting for where cars were parked. (I guess nowadays they’ve learnt the lesson. Same goes for the barriers at the front. A lot of them weren’t very safe back then. It took an awful accident at Castle Donington to get them made safer.
      Could you not find your bus, or did they just leave earlier than expected? At least we could rely on our parents…even if it was a long journey for them to pick us up 😉

  2. Memorable for a number of reasons…
    I blagged two tickets from Harvey Goldsmith himself (it’s a long story)
    Belois Some being bottled off the stage under a barrage of plastic bottles of dubious coloured liquid
    Walking miles back to Stevenage, missing all connecting trains, sleeping on the station platform and finally getting back home at 8am the next morning

    memories for life right there

    1. I had a similar thing : Couldn’t find the car, then walked to Stevenage police station ! Loads of people were in there. Phoned home & my dad came to pick us up ! When we got back to Boston, dad needed a pee. Few seconds later, the car we went in pulled up behind us !

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