Nottingham Rock City
8 Talbot Street
Before Rock City, there was nothing. No Ice Arena. No Concert Hall. After bands stopped playing gigs in cinemas by the late 60s, Nottingham was a Rock Village, a barren place where the top bands if the day couldn’t be arsed to tread. Sure, the Boat Club would come up trumps with fledgling bands like Led Zeppelin and the Pistols, but those moments were few and far between. If you wanted to see the like of The Jam, The Specials or Dexy’s you had three choices; you either bunked the train to Leicester and kipped on a bench in the station because you missed the last one back to Notts, or gave a vast chunk of your hard-earned to Way Ahead for a mind-numbing coach trip to Birmingham or London, getting home at 4am. Or you stayed at home, listened to John Peel, and wished you lived somewhere else.
In 25 years, Nottingham has transformed itself into one of the country’s finest cities for live music, and it’s no exaggeration to say Rock City has been a main factor in that progression. Scores of venues have popped up in its wake, and they all have their own particular charm and offer to the city. ‘City’ did it first and did it best. Show us someone from Notts under the age of 60 who has never stepped through the doors of Rock City, and we’ll show you someone who’s had a wasted life.