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More than 100 major rock acts, including Queen, Led Zeppelin
and the Rolling Stones, have played at Knebworth Park since
it became a music venue in 1974.
The first concert that took place in the grounds of stately
home Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, featured The Allman Brothers,
Van Morrison and The Doobie Brothers.
Knebworth House is home to Lord and Lady Cobbold, who were
first persuaded to lease the park after being approached by
festival promoter Freddy Bannister in 1974.
Pink Floyd performed for 100,000 fans at the outdoor venue
the following year, supported by The Steve Miller Band, Captain
Beefheart, Roy Harper and Linda Lewis.
The Rolling Stones attracted huge crowds at Knebworth in 1976,
while Led Zeppelin played their last ever two concerts there
In 1986 Queen performed their last gig at Knebworth in front
of a 120,000-strong crowd, supported by Status Quo and Big
A four-year gap followed until 1990 when Knebworth returned
with a star-studded charity event with acts including Paul
McCartney, Eric Clapton, Status Quo and Elton John.
In 1996 Oasis sold out their two shows at Knebworth in just
...But Robbie Williams beat Oasis' record this year, selling
all tickets for his initial two dates at Knebworth in seven
hours, and added a third date due to the overwhelming demand.
In August 2001 the traditional rock venue become a Mecca for
dance music fans for one night when super club Ministry Of
Sound launched a major event headlined by funk act Jamiroquai.
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As Robbie Williams descended the stage hanging by a wire (like
the cover of Escapology) dressed in a black shirt and white tie,
the hundreds and thousands of fans went wild on the first night
of the three nights of concerts and he opened with ‘Let Me Entertain
evening. My name is Robbie Williams. This is my band and for the
next two hours your ass is mine," he informed the fans.
The performance started at 3 but the gates opened at 12 because
of the rush of fans. Amongst the supporting acts were Kelly Osbourne,
Ash, The Darkness and Moby.
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And not one fan was disappointed by the day-long performances.
The line-up of songs included ‘She's The One’, ‘Rock DJ’ and ‘Feel’,
plus tracks from his latest album Escapology, and a great finale
with the Angels.
Robbie stripped of his shirt (phwar!) and sang the song ‘We Will
Rock You’ by Queen (who also performed at Knebworth in 1986).
Though he's already halfway through a 15-date European tour, The
Robster looked relaxed from the outset, relishing the opportunity
to play up to a home crowd. Sometimes he looked a bit tired to me,
but, well, he's allowed on such a huge occasion.
What i thought was really great was that the excitment never dropped
right through the whole two hours. I dunno, but he doesn't really
seem to have to try - everything just works for him, doesn't it,
and the audience can just go with it!
Er, what was that about the drugs?
The Channel Four broadcast showed him acting up with a pretty wierd
audience participation thing about drugs and alcohol (did you understand
that?), but also being really soft-hearted with a young couple standing
just outside the barrier.
The new material stood up well alongside more established tracks.
Me and My Monkey was the real show-stopper, while on the first night
Jan, robbie's mum, turned up.
Mr Bojangles worked a lot better than I thought it would too.
The dancers were however totally abysmal - making that part of the
show seem like some dodgy musical. Robbie, you don't need them!
Take that, Take That
He dedicated the song No Regrets to the guys of Take That and ended
the gig with a medley of Take That songs ending with the classic
‘Back For Good’.
was an absolutely brilliant performance; those who bought the tickets
(and made it to the concert) got their money's worth and those who
saw it on Channel 4 will be green or dead with envy...
and those who were stuck in the traffic jam and heard about the
concert from their mates will have lost all faith in God and will
also be wanted for murder!
photos from Knebworth
and pictures from BBC Three Counties.
The traffic chaos stories are also important see Friday