South Shields fans recall David Bowie’s gig at Roker Park

David Bowie performs at the old Roker Park home of Sunderland AFC on 23 June 1987.
David Bowie performs at the old Roker Park home of Sunderland AFC on 23 June 1987.
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There were no shortage of South Tynesiders at Sunderland’s Roker Park, when David Bowie performed there in 1987, judging by the deluge of Facebook comments following our photo posting of the gig.

And although many of you enjoyed the event, which took place on June 23, it wasn’t Bowie, for some, who stole the show, but Big Country.

Even so, the concert certainly made a lasting impression on so many of you as your comments on social media testify.

Mark Magrs posted: “I skived off school to go to this concert with my older brother. It was the day after my 14th birthday and £15 for a concert ticket seemed like an absolute fortune.

“Bowie’s Glass Spider tour usually gets slagged off as being one of the low points of his career but I loved every minute of it.

“It was just amazing to see a legend like Bowie in Sunderland – even if he did say ‘good evening Newcastle’.”

Elsa Ritzema Horton was also there, saying: “My 16th birthday pressie, and the most memorable. Loved it even though we all got soaked.

“Nearly got trampled in the moshpit during Screaming Blue Messiahs, wearing 1980 teenage pastel fashion and white sandals. Great times.”

Barbara Farnan said: “Can’t believe it has been 30 years! “I was there but sound quality wasn’t that great! I am sure Peter Frampton was playing guitar.”

Sharon Ord told us: “I was there with my husband, I had bought the tickets for his birthday in June, seems like yesterday!”

Colin Reay commented: “Yep a good gig by Bowie, but as others have said Big Country topped him – and he did come on stage and say ‘hello Newcastle’.”

Andrew Swithenbank: “ Yes ‘good evening Newcastle’ before getting pelted with bottles.”

There was another birthday treat for Paula McPheators who emailed: “I was there too, an amazing concert, ticket was 18th birthday present for me.”

Peter Vink revealed how: “I was there with a girl called Calla Gallagar” while Graham Jordan saide: “Am a fan of David, but Big Country stole the show. Not one of David’s best gigs, as he was in his ‘I’m not doing many classics’ stage – I’d been to the same show at Edinburgh, and The Thompson Twins were the highlight there.”

Dave Rose recalled: “Worst gig ever, Big Country blew Bowie away” but Linda Connolly had fonder memories, saying: “Yeah, I was there with Phill Connolly. Fantastic show.”

Linda Sandell said: “I was there!” as was Carol Blood and Julie Burn Major.

Jeanette Peel Christine Marnock took to social media to say: “Can you believe this! 30 years x” while David Hall asked Nicki Wynne “is this the one you were at?”

Karen Coverdale also had a question for Elaine Campbell. “Can you remember this?” while Kathleen Mckeown reminded Peter McKeown “we were there”.

From a rock concert to days out, here’s some more of your postings prompted by a picture of the seaside on South Tyneside.

Susan Sinclair said: “Marsden beach was the place to be, fab for hide and seek, the grotto, and to spend the whole day there was just bliss.”

Ann Southern told of “Fond memories when my mam, took all six of us to Marsden beach and with our friends for the full summer hols xxx”, while John Cooper commented: “When you talk about bait, most people would think you were fishing. Great picture bringing great memories. Happy Days!”

Cheryle McDonald recalled going to Marsden beach “with egg and butter sandwiches”.

Linda Steinle recalled spending time on the beach “every day of the six-week hols” while Pat Wilson remembers: “Egg and tomato sarnies, with a sprinkle of sand yuk” as does Linda Connolly.