Booze, bust-ups and Chris De Burgh in a car park - Doncaster's weirdest gigs remembered

It has certainly been a massive few weeks musically in Doncaster.

The Killers brought the biggest concert Doncaster has ever seen, with 25,000 rocking out to hits such as Human and Mr Brightside at the Eco Power Stadium, before the Kaiser Chiefs served up a hit-filled night at Doncaster Racecourse.

Former Smiths frontman Morrissey has announced he’s bringing his 2022 UK tour to Doncaster, while there’s upcoming concerts from Nile Rodgers and Chic, Paloma Faith and Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott to look forward to.

We’ve delved back into the archives for a look back at some of Doncaster’s more unusual concerts down the years. How many of these can you remember?

Puddle of Mudd's Wes Scantlin swings from a bottle during a chaotic Doncaster gig in 2016. (Photo: Robin Burns).

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    BLACK GRAPE

    Black Grape, the band Shaun Ryder formed after the Happy Mondays, infamously split up in Doncaster - after a bitter backstage bust-up at The Dome in 1997.

    The show was pulled at the eleventh hour and led to the demise of the group, whose hits included Reverend Black Grape and Kelly’s Heroes.

    Fans turned up to be met with notices saying the concert had been shelved.

    CHUCK BERRY

    The rock icon was due to play at The Dome in 2008 – but a campaign was set up to ban him from Doncaster over his past criminal convictions.

    Community campaigner Ray Nortrop launched a protest against the American guitar star, who died at the age of 90 in 2017, likening the Johnny B Goode singer to child sex pervert singer Gary Glitter.

    Mr Nortrop, who killed himself in 2012 after child sex revelations about his friend Jimmy Savile were made public, had launched a petition to ban Berry from playing Doncaster over the singer's 1961 conviction for transporting a 14-year-old girl over the border for "immoral purposes."

    Mr Nortrop, a former nightclub DJ, raised the matter before a Doncaster Council meeting and questioned then mayor Martin Winter on why the Dome was promoting the concert, which was due to be held on November 23, 2008.

    In an interview at the time he said Berry's colourful past also included a prison sentence for armed robbery and he added: "How many people in Doncaster would attend The Dome if Gary Glitter was advertised to appear here?

    In December 1959, Berry was arrested after allegations that he had sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old waitress, Janice Escalante, whom he had transported across state lines to work as a hatcheck girl at his club.

    After a two-week trial in March 1960, he was convicted, fined $5,000, and sentenced to five years in prison.

    He appealed the decision, arguing that the judge's comments and attitude were racist and prejudiced the jury against him.

    The appeal was upheld and a second trial was heard in May and June 1961, resulting in another conviction and a three-year prison sentence.

    Meanwhile, Mr Nortrop, 68, was found dead at his flat before Christmas 2012 after taking an overdose following the slew of child sex revelations about his friend, Jimmy Savile.

    In the end, it was Berry himself who pulled the plug on The Dome date, cancelling due to "unforeseen circumstances."

    DAVID BOWIE

    He was and still is one of the world's great musical icons - and in 1972, David Bowie mesmerised Doncaster for the very first time.

    It was on September 1, 1972 that Bowie presented his other-worldly ego Ziggy Stardust, playing at the Top Rank in Silver Street.

    Tickets were 95p in advance and £1.10 on the night - a far cry from the cost of his concerts in later years.

    He also had local blood running through his veins - for his dad was Doncaster born and bred.

    Haywood Stenton Jones, more commonly known as John, was born at 41 St Sepulchre Gate in the town centre in 1912. His birthplace is where the Caffe Nero coffee shop is now situated.

    The singer himself was born David Jones in London in 1947 by which time his father was a promotions officer for Barnardo’s.

    Music lover Guy Forshaw said: “I was there at the 1972 concert in The Top Rank.

    “Didn’t actually like his style of music then but my best friend bought me a ticket, couldn’t refuse, but I’m glad I went, it was like theatre meets rock meets Sci-Fi!

    “One thing most people won’t remember about this concert is half way through it - David threw about 100 playing cards (all Queen of Hearts) into the audience with an invite to an autograph session upstairs after the concert if you showed up with the card. Didn’t know what that meant then but I do now!

    PUDDLE OF MUDD

    The American rockers had a chaotic show in Doncaster in 2016 at the now defunct Diamond Live Lounge.

    The band walked off mid-set, leaving lead singer Wes Scantlin staggering around the stage swigging from a spirits bottle, being heckled by an angry audience and being accused of being high on drink and drugs.

    Scantlin, who has a string of arrests and cancelled concerts to his name, came under fire after video later emerged of him being booed, jeered and sworn at by outraged fans during the show. Photos of the star drinking in nearby Cask Corner pub and posing for pictures in a coffin were shared on social media.

    CHRIS DE BURGH

    It was in 1999 that the Irish superstar chose the bizarre setting of Asda’s Bawtry Road store for the show, seen by more than 8,600 fans.

    The star played a 40-minute set to help launch the supermarket chain’s millennium festivities in and the show also featured warm-up act The Buskateers, fairground rides and a firework finale.

    All the fun was free with fund-raising on the night in aid of children’s charity the NSPCC.

    Among the trolleys, music lovers of all ages scrambled for a glimpse of the singer who warmed the cockles with hits such as The Lady In Red, Missing You plus covers of The Eagles’ classic Hotel California and a rousing finale of The Beatles’ Hey Jude.

    He said: “I’ve played in a car park before but that was in South Africa and the temperature was 30 degrees.

    “It’s my first time in Doncaster and it is a great opportunity because I’m an ordinary guy and I love to meet people.