search the friars website

Welcome to Friars Aylesbury!

LATEST NEWS......last updated on 2nd September 2021

"Memories are everything apparently, and I have only great ones of the fabulous Friars."   David Bowie


ATG who manage the Waterside Theatre are anxious to make the Waterside as safe as possible for you. It will therefore be a requirement that all ticketholders will need to show proof that they are fully vaccinated on arrival or that they have had a negative lateral flow test within 48 hours of arrival. Lateral flow tests will also be available at the door on the night.

You can see the exact arangements HERE.

BIG BIG TRAIN rescheduled to Friday 2 September 2022

 Modern prog heroes Big Big Train were originally scheduled to play Friars Aylesbury on 16 July 2020 which, due to lockdown, was postponed until 18 July 2021. This second date was also not possible due to government regulations on live events. 

Today we are announcing that this long-awaited date will now take place on Friday 2 September 2022.

 Tickets for the new date are on sale now from ATGTickets/Aylesbury, Ticketmaster and See Tickets. If you have tickets for the original date or the first postponed date, please hang on to your tickets….. they will be 100% valid for this new rescheduled date. 

Local prog legends LIFESIGNS will also be appearing with Big Big Train on 2 September 2022 although that is still to be confirmed.

 Big Big Train dropped their stunning new album ‘Common Ground’ on 30 July 2021 which is now available on streaming services, CD & Vinyl. Tracks “The Strangest Times’, ‘All the Love We can Give’, ‘Apollo’ and ‘Common Ground’ just have to be heard. The band released a further new song ‘The Connection Plan’ via streaming services on 24 August 2021 as part of their 'Stay Tuned' series." 

Lifesigns released their excellent third album ‘Altitude’ in March 2021




Tickets will go on general sale on Wednesday 9th June 10.00am from ATG Tickets, MusicGlue, Ticketmaster and See Tickets. (Online and by phone only 03330 096 690 – Waterside Box Office remains closed) 

There will be a Special Presale this Friday 4th June at 10.00am for Friars Aylesbury newsletter subscribers via ATG only.   ( or

03330 096 690)  A code will be sent out to FA newsletter subscribers on Thursday evening 3rd June. To become a Friars Aylesbury newsletter subscriber go to or follow this link:

PSB have been “teaching the lessons of the past through the music of the future” for more than a decade. 2013’s debut album Inform-Educate-Entertain used archival samples from the British Film Institute as audio-portals to the Battle Of Britain, the summit of Everest and beyond. Two years later, The Race For Space used similar methods to laud the superpowers’ rivalry and heroism in orbit and on the Moon. In 2017, joined by voices including Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield, Every Valley was a moving exploration of community and memory via the rise and fall of the British coal industry. Pointedly topical in its analyses, it reached number four on the UK charts.

 PSB are London based and consist of J Willgoose Esq on guitar, banjo, other stringed instruments, samplings and electronic musical instruments, Wrigglesworth on drums, piano and electronic instruments and J F Abraham on flugelhorn, bass guitar, drums and assorted other instruments including a vibraslap. The band have toured internationally and in 2015 were announced as nominee in the Vanguard Breakthrough category of the Progressive Music Awards which they won.

The new album Bright Magic is their most ambitious undertaking yet. Prepare to be transported to the political metropolis that is Berlin. Willgoose moved there from April 2019 to January 2020 and immersed himself in Berlin influences including Depeche Mode’s classic eighties triumvirate, U2’s ‘Achtung baby’ and particularly Bowie’s ‘Low’ and ‘Heroes’ albums……and there’s the Aylesbury connection.Public Service Broadcasting have returned. Expect a new ‘abstract expressionist’ inspired stage presentation, with their corduroy suits re-rendered in brilliant white (“It’s a nod to the Thin White Duke,” says Willgoose). They’ll play it live in Berlin, of course, and the other cities of the world including Aylesbury where progress, unity and possibility are embraced.


OMD and special guests ALTERED IMAGES RESCHEDULED FROM 9 JULY 2021 to 17 SEPTEMBER 2021.


We were all hoping that Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) would be able to play Friars Aylesbury at the Waterside Theatre on 9 July but due to Covid uncertainty and the fact that no band or live event in the UK is able to insure against Covid19, this date has  been moved to Friday 17 September 2021.. 

If you’ve already bought tickets it would help Friars Aylesbury enormously if you would hang on to them. They will be 100% valid for the 17 September 2021 date.

If you cannot attend on 17 September please contact the ticket agency where you purchased the tickets. (ATG Tickets, Ticketmaster or See Tickets)

 Tickets for the rescheduled date are available now to those who haven’t yet bought tickets.

 As you know the live music industry has been decimated since March 2020 with 99% of all live events being made impossible due to Covid restrictions. Friars Aylesbury is hoping to survive this but we can only do it with your help. This amazing OMD show will happen, but we’ll all have to wait two months longer. 

OMD are one of the true Friars Aylesbury legends. Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys first played Friars as a duo with a tape recorder, supporting Gary Newman, on 6 October 1979. They went down a storm. A year later they came back with the full band as triumphant headliners. The gig on 1 November 1980 was a complete sell-out. Years later Andy McCluskey was talking to George Michael who said that he and Andrew Ridgeley had driven over from Watford that night and were in the audience. This was when George and Andrew were a couple of unknown music fans. It would be two years later that they had their first hit with Wham ‘Young Guns (Go For It)’.  OMD had released their second album ‘Organisation’ in October 1980, just before the Friars gig and the only single from that album ‘Enola Gay’ was high in the UK singles chart.

 OMD have sold over 25 million singles and over 15 million albums. They appeared on Top of The Pops 29 times. They had a string of hits that were the soundtrack to our lives including ‘Electricity’, ‘Messages’, ‘Enola Gay’, ’Souvenir’, ‘Joan of Arc’, ‘Maid of Orleans’, ‘Locomotion’, ‘Genetic Engineering’, ‘(Forever) Live and Die’, ‘Sailing on the Seven Seas’ and ‘Pandora’s Box’. Their albums still have pride of place in so many record collections from the first 1980 album ‘Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’ with its dayglow sleeve and later that same year ‘Organisation’, followed by their 1981 classic ‘Architecture and Morality’ and 1983’s ‘Dazzle Ships’. In 2017 they released ‘The Punishment of Luxury’ which was hailed by fans and critics alike as a return to the shimmering brilliance of their classic early singles.

 “Electronic music is our language” says Andy. “It’s how we talk.”

“We’re at our best when we’re in a room together, working.” Paul adds.

“That’s when the sparks and ideas happen. It’s the same now as it ever was.”

 We can’t wait for OMD to return to Friars in September. It’s been far too long.


 We were all hoping that The Flaming Lips would be able to play Friars Aylesbury at the Waterside Theatre on 21 July but due to Covid uncertainty, travel and quarantine restrictions and the fact that no band or live event in the UK is able to insure against Covid19, all the Flaming Lips 2021 UK dates have been moved to 2022. 

If you’ve already bought tickets it would help Friars Aylesbury enormously if you would hang on to them. They will be 100% valid for the 30 May 2022 date.

If you cannot attend on 30 May 2022 please contact the ticket agency where you purchased the tickets. (ATG Tickets, Ticketmaster or See Tickets) 

Tickets for the rescheduled date are available now to those who haven’t yet bought tickets.

 As you know the live music industry has been decimated since March 2020 with 99% of all live events being made impossible due to Covid restrictions. Friars Aylesbury is hoping to survive this but we can only do it with your help. This amazing Flaming Lips show will happen, but we’ll all have to wait a while longer. 

The May 30 date will be an important date on the Flaming Lips American Head World tour which will now kick off in the USA this coming Autumn.

We can’t wait for live shows to start again. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.




 TICKETS on sale now from, and  

Tickets limited to a maximum of 4 per person. Please note the Waterside Box Office is not open due to CV19. 

Following his stunning sell-out Friars date in November 2019, Steve Hackett returns to Friars Aylesbury, the place where Genesis began, for a special one-off show featuring songs from the Genesis live album ‘Seconds Out’ plus other tracks from Steve’s solo albums. This will be the first new Friars date to be announced since the CV19 lockdown. 

Seconds Out was the hugely successful double album recorded on Genesis’s 1977 concert tour together with The Cinema Show, from their 1976 tour, and featured Steve Hackett on guitar alongside Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks and Phil Collins who had taken on the role of vocalist following the departure of Peter Gabriel. The tour included music from each of the six studio albums from Steve’s time in Genesis and marked his final recordings with the band as he left to pursue his solo career upon its completion.

 Says Steve: 

I hugely look forward to being back on the road in the UK, bringing the whole of Seconds Out back to life! The set features some of the most thrilling Genesis material, this time all numbers played in full, plus additional surprises...”  

Steve will be joined on the tour by regular musicians Roger King (keyboards), Jonas Reingold (bass), Rob Townsend (saxes/flutes) with Nad Sylvan on vocals.

Craig Blundell  (Steven Wilson, King Crimson, Iron Maiden) will be on drums & percussion. He was voted by Modern Drummer and Rhythm Magazine readers as one of the top progressive and forward thinking drummers in the world.

 Steve’s autobiography, A Genesis In My Bed is published on 24th July 2020.   Steve talks candidly about his early life, his time with Genesis, and in particular his personal relationships with the other four band members, with great insight into the daily goings on of this major rock band.

 About Steve Hackett

 Steve Hackett joined Genesis at the beginning of 1971 and first played Friars Aylesbury in June 1971. He quickly gained an international reputation as the guitarist in the band’s classic line-up alongside Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. Steve’s intricate guitar work was a key element of Genesis albums from Nursery Cryme (1971) to Wind And Wuthering (1977) including the classic Selling England By The Pound.

After leaving Genesis at the end of 1977, Steve’s solo career, which now spans more than 30 albums, has demonstrated his extraordinary versatility with both electric and acoustic guitar. Steve is renowned as both an immensely talented and innovative rock musician and a virtuoso classical guitarist and composer and this was recognised in 2010 when he was inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame. He has also worked alongside Steve Howe of YES in the supergroup GTR.

Steve’s compositions take influences from many genres, including jazz, classical and blues. For his later studio works The Night Siren (2017) and At The Edge Of Light (2019) Steve has explored the influences of world music.

 Reviews from Steve Hackett’s most recent Genesis Revisited Tour

 the night’s prog feast.. was Selling England’ ‘ which allowed the guitarist’s band to fully showcase their talents…’   ‘for one evening at least it was fantastic to dance with the Moonlit Knight once more.’  Simon Carter - The News Portsmouth 

Hackett's guitar effortlessly carves a path through the songs mixing melodic lines with experimentation and flat out rock...’  ‘The individual personalities of the band also shine throughout…’    Stuart Avis -The Brighton Magazine

 ‘a great riff, great lyrics and another guitar solo to die for...’ ‘the magic seems never-ending...Alan Jones – Getreadytorock

 ‘complex time changes and elaborate melodies were recreated by Hackett’s superb band with verve and skill.’  ‘Hackett may well be the best guitarist around. Oh, and a great light show too. Obviously.’  S Copeland - Brighton Argus

 “This is a consummately highly talented group of musicians, possibly the best working band currently playing anywhere in the world. Seriously.”  Paul H Birch – Ramzine

Steve Hackett backstage at Friars Aylesbury at the Waterside 2 Nov 2019


 The Friars Aylesbury Archive is a not-for-profit project wherein we are trying to create a complete archive of all Friars related memorabilia including Friars news sheets, posters, tickets, video, recordings, press cuttings etc. We are then intending to completely digitise everything so that there is a permanent record of everything that has happened since Friars first started in June 1969. 

In order to finance the project we will be offering for sale items where we have excess copies. Any funds created will be used to add additional security to the archive, digitise the archive and to create a fund to buy any missing items of which there are quite a few, as you will see below. We were recently thrilled to be able to purchase a Friars U2 poster from June 1981 which we’ve been after for many years.

As explained we are very keen to acquire the items we are missing, for the archive. Some people have already kindly donated items to the archive for which we are very grateful, but we are quite prepared to pay for them if necessary.  

These are the missing handouts and posters as of May 2021: 





Mott The Hoople + Paul Brett's Sage






Mott The Hoople + Darien Spirit






Cockney Rebel + BeBop Deluxe


Cockney Rebel + AJ Webber






Simple Minds + Hey! Elastica






Solstice + Pendragon


Public Image Limited


Marillion + Nigel Planer as Neil






Thomas Dolby + Dekka Danse


Ian Dury & The Music Students + MG Giant + Adrenalin


Fiction Factory + House Of Hearts


POSTERS   (20” X 30”) 






Quintessence + John Peel


 Principal Edwards Magic Theatre


Skin Alley




Graham Bond Intiation

5-Jan East of Eden
12-Jan Writing OnThe Wall

Mott The Hoople




Hawkwind + Mick Softley


Writing On The Wall + Black Apple


The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown + SME


Edgar Broughton Band


Matthews Southern Comfort


Skin Alley


Genesis + Nick Drake


Roy Harper + Mick Softley


Van Der Graaf Generator


Mott The Hoople + Mick Softley

11-May Bronco
18-May Gypsy + Amber
1-Jun Mick Softley + Roger Ruskin Spear + Wishbone Ash + Les Payne
8-Jun Groundhogs + Chameleon
29_jun Stray
6-Jul Argent
5-Jun Southern Comfort + Help Yourself + Ade Roach
26_un Al Kooper + Hookfoot
2-Jul Lindisfarne + Gilbert Hampshire's Armpit Review
10-Jul Van Der Graaf Generator
31-Jul East Of Eden + Home
21-Aug Hookfoot + Quiver
9-Oct Quintessence
8-Apr Edgar Broughton Band + Mr Moses School Band
22-Apr Hawkwind + Magic Muscle
8-Jul Caravan + Gnidrolog
12-Aug Stray + Snakeye
9-Sep Wizzard + Glencoe
21-Oct Jonathan Kelly + Capability Brown
6-Jan Brinsley Schwarz + Kala
10-Feb Mott The Hoople + Darien Spirit
3-Mar Mott The Hoople + Darien Spirit
26-May Roy Buchanan + Solution
17_jun o'Burg Hawk + Magus + Otway & Barrett (Raban's Rock '73
23-Jun Backdoor + Budgie
7-Jul Jack The Lad + Peter Hammill + Zox & The Radar Boys
18-Aug Jo'Burg Hawk + Glencoe
1-Sep String Driven Thing + Ducks Deluxe
15-Sep Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen + Kilburn and The High Roads
29-Sep Jonathan Kelly + Gryphon
3-Nov Darryl Way's Wolf + Le Orme
17-Nov Stackridge + Aj Webber + Warrior
1-Dec Gong
7-Dec Carmen + Rotgut
22-Dec Ducks Deluxe + Starry Eyed And Laughing
29-Dec String Driven Thing + Kilburn and The High Roads
2-Feb Greenslade + Chilli Willi & The Red Hot Peppers
16-Feb Can
2-Mar Queen + Fruupp
9-Mar Manfred Mann's Earth Band + Wally
13-Apr Refugee + Aj Webber
20-Apr Blodwyn Pig + Narnia
8-Jun Silverhead + Blue
21-Jul Capability Brown + Aj Webber + Druid + Palace + Avalon (Raban's Rock '74)
17-Aug Blodwyn Pig + Nutz
21-Dec Jess Roden Band + String Driven Thing
19-Mar Hunter Ronson Band + Warren Harry and The Yum Yum Band
17-May Dr Feelgood + Warren Harry
8-Nov Camel + Asylum
20-Nov The Flamin Groovies + The Vibrators
18-Jun Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers + The Boomtown Rats
7-Jan Osibisa + Spartacus
11-Mar Motorhead + The Radiators From Space
22-Apr The Modern Lovers
28_Jun The Clash + The Coventry Automatics
25-Jun Big Country + The Lotus Eaters + Red Beat
29-Oct The Truth + Screen 3 + Doris and The Dots
5-Nov The Alarm + Basta Roc + Perfect Crime + The Climb
19-Jun Public Image Limited + First Priority
3-Dec Gary Glitter + Gothique
23-Dec The Farmers Boys and The Higsons + Popular Voice
17-Feb Thomas Dolby + Dekka Danse
14-Apr Grandmaster Flash + Mike Bruce + Seelabeelia
23-Jun X-Mal Deutschland + The March Violets + Red Lorry Yellow Lorry
2-Nov Sisters Of Mercy + The Skeletal Family
10-Nov The Alarm + Blue In Heaven
24-Nov The Cult + Balaam and the Angel + Play Dead



If you have any of the above items and would like to donate them or allow us to purchase them from you we would be enormously grateful. Please contact 

Many thanks


Friars Aylesbury first opened its doors on Monday 2 June 1969. Exactly 50 years later on 2 June 2019, the 6 Friars Founding Fathers reunited in Aylesbury’s Kings Head to talk about the early days of Friars and the first magical years of Friars Aylesbury. 

Those participating are legendary rock journalists Pete Frame and Kris Needs as well as the Friars Founding Fathers Robin Pike, Adrian Roach, Jerry Slater, Terry Harms, John Fowler and David Stopps. Also participating are John Braley who managed the Borough Assembly Hall and the Civic Centre for many years, Stephen Daglish who managed Earth Records and created the Aylesbury Music Town website and Keith Martin who was Friars member No 1.

 The photograph below shows those participating in the podcast: 

Left to right: 

Kris Needs, Adrian Roach, Robin Pike, David Stopps, Terry Harms, Jerry Slater and Pete Frame.


Wow, that Steve Hillage and Gong gig was amazing - galleries from that gig and the other Friars gigs this year by clicking the relevant poster.

Sign up to the newsletter (link above) for all the latest gig news etc


The statue was unveiled on Sunday March 25th to a large crowd, a large audience watching live online and covered by local and national media. This was followed by an amazing gig featuring local heroes Marillion, Howard Jones, John Otway and the Dung Beatles.

To see the statue live, there is a dedicated webfeed here


Full gallery here

Neale Wareham's gallery here



Full gallery from Erasure gig here


The Thin White Book now available to purchase

At last it's here!

The Thin White Book - A History of David Bowie and Friars Aylesbury is now available here from the Friars Aylesbury online shop - link above in menu or click this link.

If you are in the Aylesbury area you can also purchase the book from Rocky & Kook or Aylesbury Music, both in Temple Street, Aylesbury or Deco Audio/Vicious Squirrel in Kempson Close, Aylesbury (Avoids P&P charges).



privacy policy  legal and t&c  contact 

© copyright 2007-2021 david stopps/friars aylesbury ltd

All rights reserved and no part of this website may be reproduced without written permission - please see terms and conditions for details. All photos copyright mike o'connor except where specifically stated and used with permission.