Once upon a time, in a city not too far away, live music was virtually non-existent around the time of punk, despite the odd rare visit from a certain Johnny Rotten and co. Since the 60s, nothing doing - until 1980 when The Undertones helped launch the freshly constructed venue that opted to host shows outside of any strict genre, be it rock, new romantic, synth-pop, metal, post-punk - Nottingham's Rock City was definitely here to stay.
And 'stay' is exactly what it has done, despite the toughest recession since Adam wore a fig-leaf. Naturally, those good folk in Nottingham want to celebrate the thirty years in business and what better way to do it, than with a stream of top-notch gigs during December 2010?
The Bard of Barking kicks off the celebrations in inimitable style and although not a local lad, Bragg is always great entertainment, spoken by a person who saw him delight the audience at the Ben and Jerry's Summer Sundae this year. Tickets are £16 plus fees, plus two supporting acts (so best get there early).
You can't get much bigger than these Nutty Boys and Rock City have really come up trumps with this already sold-out billing - one step beyond the call of duty, you could say. Suggs and his heavy-heavy henchmen are currently finishing off the follow-up album to "Norton Folgate", but have found time to squeeze Rock City into their winter UK tour at least - and you may get to hear some new tunes. Talking of which, support is provided by ex-Housemartin Paul Heaton, canvassing the vote for his new album "Acid Country" (out 13th Sep - review due soon, folks).
The Wedding Present
Very much the epitome of hard-working and gutsy live performance, The Wedding Present continue with the recreation of one of their classic albums on an extensive UK tour. "Bizarro" will be performed in its entirety on 8th December, along with a few other chestnuts from their sack of aural goodies. Tickets are £14.50 plus fees (and support).
The Saw Doctors
Friends of The Waterboys and purveyors of rebel-rousing Irish rock 'n' roll, Saw Doctors have been an engaging live proposition for some years themselves. "I Useta Love Her" and "N17" propelled them on the road to notoriety and these and many other classics appeared on their compilation last year, entitled "To Win Just Once". They'll be raising the roof on 14th December for £21.50.
The popular UK metal outfit from the 90s are saying farewell during the winter and are stopping off in Nottingham on the 18th Dec. Tickets for the emotional evening (that also includes other rock luminaries from Jagged Edge and Little Angels in acoustic support) cost £15 plus fees.
This is a bit of a 'stop press' announcement, but the ex-frontman of Stone Roses is joining in the celebrations as well. He will play Rock City on 16th December for £25 and will cover his entire catalogue, as well as excerpts from last year's excellent "My Way" album. This is a hot one.
For other Rock City birthday gigs, check the full December line-up below - there are even more gems to come.