32 – Brunel Rocks

Discovery Trail 32 (Hamilton Centre Ground floor, video)

A photographic treasure trove of musical icons who performed at Brunel’s Student Union in the Seventies.

32 Hawkwind 5A


The Seventies was an exciting time at Brunel if you were into music. Having just left school and starting his first job, a long-standing member of staff John Bates couldn’t have found himself in a better location.

Student Union Entertainment Secretaries Paul King, and his successor Jon Vidler were responsible for booking bands to perform on campus in the Kingdom Room. Under their guidance and direction, the university fast became a major venue for bands on the touring circuit – such was their success during those early years.

During the Seventies, many up and coming new names were booked. Some were to have chart success soon after, for others, this came later in the Eighties. Genesis Bass guitarist Mike Rutherford is quoted as saying “Brunel was their first professional gig.” Amongst the long list of concerts on campus, Suzi Quatro, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, ELO, The Kinks, Thin Lizzy, The Stranglers, Sex Pistols, The Pretenders, Joy Division, Tears for Fears, Erasure and The Stone Roses are a few stand out performances.

32 Suzi Quatro 2[3]

Suzi Quatro

During his first 10 years at Brunel John attended more gigs than he can remember, many of which he photographed. This slide show is a peek into John’s amazing archive of extraordinary musical experiences at Brunel… “Did I enjoy the Brunel band scene – I had the time of my life!”







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