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In recent years the Villa Marina stage has seen shows from huge names such as Robert Plant, Alice Cooper, Robin Gibb and Brian Wilson, and next month the first family of pop, The Jacksons, will take their rightful place on the list. But top musicians entertaining Manx audiences is not a new phenomenon and, with that in mind, we've scanned the last few decades to put together our list of (in no particular order) the top 10 biggest names to have played the Isle of Man.


Maradon

1) The Kinks (The Lido, 11 August, 1966)/Ray Davies (Villa Marina, 7 June, 2005) Featuring the talents of brothers Ray and Dave Davies, The Kinks are for many the quintessential British band and their influence has spanned several decades. Known for such classics as All Day and All of the Night, Sunny Afternoon, Waterloo Sunset and Lola, it was a reflection of their enduring popularity that Ray Davies packed out the Villa Marina some 40 years after he had first performed in the Island.


Hurst

2) Queen (The Lido, 26 March, 1974) Led by flamboyant frontman Freddie Mercury, Queen's music has also stood the test of time. Sadly, Freddie is no longer with us but there will be many Manx residents who will recall a vibrant and energetic show by one of the world's best-selling bands performing before they really hit the big time.



3) The Rolling Stones (The Lido, 13 August, 1964) A youthful Mick and Co played The Lido in 1964 and opened with Not Fade Away. No-one there that night could possibly have guessed the band would still be going strong 50 years later. While there's always much debate among music fans about who was the best between The Beatles and The Stones, as The Beatles never performed in the Isle of Man it could be 1-0 to the group known as 'The Greatest Rock 'n Roll Band in the World'.


4) Elton John (Noble's Park, 16 June, 2011) Known these days for his superb shows in Las Vegas, Elton does continue to tour worldwide and Manx fans had a very special solo performance from the legendary singer songwriter. Noble's Park area may be associated with the TT and many other sporting events, but for one night in June Elton-mania took over.



5) AC/DC (The Lido, 20 June, 1976) The powerhouse rock band loved by fans of all ages performed in the Isle of Man back in 1976. It was yet more proof that The Lido was an important venue for touring bands. Like The Stones, AC/DC are still a force to be reckoned with.




6)The Who (The Lido, 10 June, 1967 and Peel Bay Festival, 30 May, 2007) Pete Townshend was a regular visitor to the Island as a boy and even wrote about it in the song Happy Jack. In 2007 The Who headlined the very first Peel Bay Festival with a hugely successful show, nearly 40 years to the day since they made their Manx debut at The Lido.



7) Pink Floyd (The Lido, 18 July, 1967) The psychedelic rockers Pink Floyd were yet another top British band to make the journey across the Irish Sea. The group's second single See Emily Play had been released just a month before their performance on 16 June 1967 and their breakthrough album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn was released in August 1967.



8) Van Morrison (Villa Gardens, 2001 and Villa Marina, 20 December, 2005) Supremely talented vocalist Van Morrison performed two gigs in Douglas within half a decade of one another. His performance at the Villa Gardens in 2001 saw him arrive on the stage early to enable him to leave the Island at the end of the concert. The better of the two shows was the December 2005 concert where he mixed classic material with some of his then latest songs.


9) T Rex (The Lido, 12 July, 1975) The 60s/70s glam rock giants formed by singer/songwriter and guitarist Marc Bolan kicked off their latest tour at The Lido in 1975. Sadly Bolan was killed in a car accident just two years later but he left a legacy of great tunes, including Children of the Revolution, Get It On and 20th Century Boy.



10) Meatloaf (The Bowl, 1990) The larger-than-life singer performed at The Bowl prior to beginning work on the sequel to Bat Out of Hell. Meat's fortunes have soared and occasionally dipped over the years but the Isle of Man gig was a chance to see a true multi-million selling rock titan up close.