ABC Ardwick (Apollo)

These two photos were taken at the ABC Ardwick in 1965/66.

My interest is in the guitar which is a Grimshaw SS deluxe which Pete told me was the guitar he used with the Marshall 100 stacks when they first got them.  Pete is certain that these photos were taken in Manchester. 

Eric Sandiford


I saw The Beatles in Manchester at the Apollo, Ardwick on December 7th 1965, what a night, the fog was a pea souper as they say really bad night, Id ordered the tickets by postal order for me and my mate Pete,no cheque book or Visa card for me then, I think the tickets were about 2/6p each.I had the programme up until a few years ago when I sold it for £50 arghh.... shouldnt have its worth more I believe, the programme cover had the Beatles as cartoon figures from that American series. I had the songs listed  inside of what they performed that night, I did make a photo copy of the programme which I have somewhere, also I sold the ticket stubs with this programme, bad move again.

As I said it was a really bad foggy night and there were quite a few empty seats at the front, I think my mate said ''Phil why dont we go down to the front ?'' I said ''Nah we might get thrown out '',so we stayed where we were, we had a good view anyway as we were only a few rows from the front.

The Moody Blues were one of the support acts plus the Koobas.

It was a memorable night I can still see John Lennon running his elbow up and down on the electric piano during the song IM DOWN and I still remember George Harrison doing a perfect note for note guitar solo on NOWHERE MAN from their then recently released album RUBBER SOUL magic ! One thing, I have never seen any photographs from this concert I certainly didnt have a camera, but someone must have took some photos surely ? 

I cannot remember how we got home that night it was certainly not by taxi, I think we probably walked to Piccadilly and got a bus from there.On the 12th Dec 1965 The Beatles had given there last ever UK stage  concert at the Capitol Cinema in Cardiff Who'd thought though that 15 years later almost to that very same date of the concert I saw on Dec 7th , John Lennon would be dead by Dec 8th 1980 ? 

Phil Hindley

After The Rolling Stones concert at the ABC Ardwick in 1966, there does not appear to be any gigs there until the mid-1970's. This was BEFORE the venue was rebranded as The Apollo. There a few gigs there in 1975 and 1976 including Marvin Gaye, Fatback Band and The Blue Jays.

Can anyone remember attending gigs there in the intervening years (1967 - 1976) or was it used exclusively as a cinema?

Richard Heaven

Cast Party. Really good gig on stage after the last night of the 1979 panto with Little and Large. Fond memories of much drinking and even more laughing. I was the luckiest mobile DJ in Manchester that night.

Graham Green

I attended Nichols School in 1958 and remember on a Thursday lunch time the group or artist appearing at the Ardwick Apollo that weekend would be practice and you could get in free to watch them, I remember seeing quite a few pop stars on there.

Len Harte

The photo of B. B. King is from the Manchester Apollo, 1978. Photograph by Manchester lensman Brian Smith which graced the cover of Blues & Rhythm 301 which features six tribute articles to B.B. King.

Tony Burke



Richard Lysons have very kindly allowed us access to his research on acts appearing at the ABC Ardwick 1960 - 1977


Cliff Richard And The Shadows

The Brook Brothers; Patti Brooks; The Sonnets


Billy Fury

Karl Denver; The Allisons; Chas McDevitt and Nancy Whiskey; Eden Kane; Peter Jay And The Jaywalkers


Cliff Richard And The Shadows

The Dallas Boys; Patti Brooks; The Trebletones; The Two Tones


Helen Shapiro

The Brook Brothers; The Dale Sisters; The Four Jays; The Red Price Band


Chubby Checker



Freddy Cannon



The Everly Brothers



Cliff Richard and the Shadows

Patsy Ann Noble; The Vernons Girls; Alan Randall; The Trebletones; Frank Berry (compere)


Gerry And The Pacemakers

Del Shannon; Jet Harris & Tony Meehan; The Bachelors; Duffy Power; Cilla Black; Bryan Burdon; The Blue Diamonds


Billy Fury

Joe Brown; Karl Denver; The Tornados; Marty Wilde; Dickie Pride


The Beatles

The Brook Brothers
The Kestrels
Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers
The Vernons Girls
Rhythm & Blues Quartet
Frank Berry (compere)


Helen Shapiro; Bobby Rydell

The Spotnicks; The Chants; The Harlems; The Trebletones


Dave Clark Five; the Hollies

Mark Wynter (special guest star); The Kinks; The Mojos; The Treble-Tones


The Beatles

Mary Wells; Tommy Quickly; Sounds Incorporated; Michael Haslam; The Remo Four; The Rustiks; Bob Bain


The Animals

Carl Perkins; Tommy Tucker; Elkie Brooks; The Plebs; The Nashville Teens; Quotations; Ray Cameron (compere


Cliff Richard and the Shadows

Faye Fisher; Johnny Hawkins & His Orchestra; Frank Berry (compere)


Cilla Black

The Fourmost; Sounds Incorporated; Tom Jones & The Squires; Tommy Roe;
Mike Cotton Sound; Tommy Quickly; The Remo Four; Bob Bain (compere)


Roy Orbison

The Rockin’ Berries; Marianne Faithfull; Cliff Bennett and The Rebel Rousers; Three Quarters; The Untamed; Frank Berry (compere)


Billy Fury

John Barry Seven


Nancy Wilson

The Morgan James Trio; Ted Heath and his Orchestra


Gene Pitney

Peter and Gordon; The Rockin’ Berries; Lulu and the Luvvers; Mike Cotton Sound; The Quiet Five; Syd and Eddie ( comperes)


The Beatles

The Moody Blues; The Paramounts; The Koobas; Beryl Marsden; Steve Aldo


The Rolling Stones

Ike & Tina Turner; The Yardbirds; Peter Jay & The New Jaywalkers; Kings Of Rhythm Orchestra; Jimmy Thomas; Bobby John; Long John Baldry; Ray Cameron (compere)

(postponed from 19/11/1975?)

The Blue Jays ( Justin Hayward and John Lodge of The Moody Blues)



The Fatback Band



Johnny Mathis (2 shows)

Jerry Stevens


Marvin Gaye (2 shows)

Rose Banks


Our Kid



First concert of renamed Apollo – “The North’s Major Live Show Venue” with Daryl Hall And John Oates


Copyright – Richard Lysons 2013; acknowledgements to Bradford Timeline website

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Comments (14)

Topic: ABC Apollo Ardwick
Terry Charnock says...
The ABC Ardwick did present at least one more stage show, the Ice Spectacular, 'Humpty Dumpty On Ice' for the 1970/71 Pantomime Season. The Associated British Cinema Company, who also owned Associated British Picture Corporation, Elstree ... Read More
17th August 2014 9:18pm
John H. Warburg says...
Saturday, April 18, 1964: The Hollies
24th March 2015 9:49pm
James Tucker says...
Was the Marvin Gaye concert at the Apollo video recorded?
14th October 2015 6:30am
Kevin barnard says...
I worked at ABC Apollo from 1962/1967it was a wonderful place to work.Films plus fabulous stage shows.Roy Firn was the chief protectionist he was quite strict but fun to work with.I loved working there.It's such a shame to see it now it looks so ... Read More
5th December 2015 6:24am
Sara Stringer says...
This is a long shot ... My dad worked at the Appllo ....Robert Woods I wonder if you knew him ?
10th November 2016 6:02pm
Graham Rand says...
Grinwent to the stoneds concert 1966
great night.
5th April 2016 3:36am
Ange says...
Would anyone be able to tell me if its possible to get hold of a listing of gigs from the start of the 1980s to 2000??????I went to a lot of gigs here. Good times all a blur memory fading.thank youScared
5th August 2016 5:45am
Denise says...
I thought I saw Marvin Gaye at the Oxford Road Theatre in Manchester. Am I imaging it?
Please help
23rd August 2016 6:35am
Sybil says...
I sawthe Beatles at the Odeon, Oxford Road in the 60's with Roy Orbison.
I thought I saw Otis Redding later at the Apollo-does anyone know -1966 I think?
1st November 2016 8:48am
RAY POOLE says...
16th January 2017 9:40pm
Walter Tryhuba says...
i loved the apollo really bad decor but some great concerts. 10cc live album from 77, 'live n let live'. im on that singing out of tune! saw the first farewell tour of quo in 84. lost my voice for three days. saw barry white there 6 times(5 ... Read More
13th March 2017 8:54am
LYNDSAY (swansea) says...
I saw the Beatles at this venue in October 1964- I was only 10 and was accompanied by my mother and my dear Aunty Bet, who sat throughout the whole performance with balls of cotton wool in her ears. We managed to get tickets,three rows from the ... Read More
8th January 2018 7:51am
Viven Bohling (Oakham) says...
When did Joan Baez appear at the Apollo in the 1970s?
5th February 2018 5:21am
Vivien (Bury) says...
I also remember seeing the Beatles at the Apollo on 7th Dec 1965. My dad was taking me & my friend but the fog was so bad we got stuck at Strangeways so my friend and I got out of his car and walked the rest of the way. We arrived Just at the ... Read More
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