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The biggest artists and bands to have been in concert in Kent

We seem awash with announcements of big acts set to play the county this summer.

The London music scene has often created a shadow in which Kent has reluctantly stood in - but that hasn't stopped a fair few famous faces dropping in to the county.

With big names including Olly Murs, Tom Jones and Feeder having already announced Kent concerts this year, we've taken a look back at when some of the biggest names played here.

The Beatles in West Malling in 1967
The Beatles in West Malling in 1967

The Beatles, Margate Winter Gardens, July 1963

On the brink of world-wide success, the fab four played a six-day stint at the Margate Winter Gardens, playing a repertoire of nine songs.

Having released their debut studio album, Please Please Me, just a few months prior they played songs including Twist and Shout, A Taste of Honey and I Saw Her Standing There.

This wasn't their first performance in Kent, however. Back In January 1963, they travelled 170 miles to perform at the Invicta Ballroom in Chatham.

At the forefront of their success, they also used Kent as a back drop to a couple of their music videos.

In 1967, the Beatles headed to Knole Park to shoot Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane for their double-a-side single.

West Malling Airfield (now Kings Hill) was also used for the entire filming of I Am The Walrus.

The Rolling Stones, (left to right) Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts
The Rolling Stones, (left to right) Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts

The Rolling Stones, Odeon Theatre, Rochester, 1964

Before they hit the heights of fame in around 1965, The Rolling Stones stopped off in Kent for a few concerts in 1963 and 1964.

In February 1964 the band played two shows at Rochester's Odeon Theatre. This was just before they released their debut album - The Rolling Stones - on April, 16 1964 - which reached number 1 in the UK.

Kent born Mick Jagger and Keith Richards met in 1961 at Dartford train station as teenagers, with a blue plaque put up in 2015 marking the spot.

Led Zeppelin, University of Kent, Rutherford College, March 10 1971

Despite being world famous, the band decided to play a string of gigs at small clubs and universities- including our very own University of Kent.

For them, it was a return to the type of venues they would have played at earlier in their career.

Their set list included Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog and Stairway to Heaven, which later that year went on to be one of their defining hits.

A ticket was a mere 60p - the idea was to just cover the expenses of the tour to keep ticket prices low for loyal fans.

The legendary David Bowie
The legendary David Bowie

David Bowie, Chatham Central Hall, June 12, 1973

As part of the Ziggy Stardust tour, Bowie called into Kent for two shows at Chatham Central Hall, playing hits such as Oh! You Pretty Things, Changes and Starman.

It was this tour that really saw Bowie take off into stardom in the UK, following his success in 1969 with Space Oddity.

Bowie played not one, but two shows in Chatham and took the tour all over the UK, Japan and North America.

Pink Floyd, Technical College, Canterbury, November 19, 1966

Months before signing with music label EMI, Pink Floyd had worked hard to become a key player in London's underground music scene, playing in clubs such as UFO. In late 1966, they decided to try Kent, playing in Canterbury.

They returned to Kent the following summer, in June 1967. They played as part of the pop musicians parade at Brands Hatch race track alongside others including The Moody Blues and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.

Noel Redding and Jimi Hendrix in their heyday
Noel Redding and Jimi Hendrix in their heyday

Jimi Hendrix, Hillside Social Club, Folkestone, New Years Eve 1966

With his first single out, Hey Joe, this gig was just before Jimi Hendrix became a sensation.

Alongside his band - The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Hendrix played an impromptu gig in Folkestone, the home town of his band mate, bassist Noel Redding.

A few short years later in 1970, Hendrix died of a drug overdose aged just 27 but undeniably made his mark in rock history.

U2, University of Kent November 11, 1980

Playing what is to date the band's only Kent concert, U2 played to a sell out crowd at the University of Kent.

Having just released their debut studio album, Boy, in October the tour was to promote it. Lasting from September 1980 to the beginning of February 1981, they played all over Europe and North America.

Priced at just 50p a ticket, it's no wonder the 150 tickets sold out before the show.

The set list was comprised of songs including 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, Stories for Boys and I Will Follow played in the Junior Common Room of the university's Rutherford College.

Elton John
Elton John

Elton John, Leeds Castle, 1999

Having focused on playing with his band and Billy Joel since returning to touring in 1997, this was Elton John's return to solo touring.

The five leg tour stopped in Kent for three days at Leeds Castle, having been rescheduled from July to September after the legend was rushed to hospital to have emergency surgery to fit a heart pacemaker.

The concerts were staged in a specially constructed arena by the castle's lake and each night was a sell out.

In 2006, he returned to Kent, playing at the St Lawrence cricket ground in Canterbury. It would then be another nine years before he came to Kent, playing to thousands at the Kent Showground in May 2015.

Were you or anyone you know at any of these concerts? If so, let us know in the comments and share your memories.

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