On this day in KISSTORY - May 13th, 1976 - KISS played their first ever UK show at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England. The show before a sellout crowd of over 2500 was the beginning of KISS' first European tour. In addition to shows in England, KISS performed in France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Germany where the Scorpions were the opening act. KISS wrapped up the tour with a final show on June 6th at Ontmoetingscentrum in Harelbeke, Belgium.

Gene recalls KISS' first visit to England:

"On the way over to our first English tour, I was struck by the notion that this was the Land Of The Beatles. To me, the English Kings and Queens never meant anything. I have always looked at it as an archaic and rather silly posturing about past glories. But as cultural oddities, I suppose it had its own innocence.

Still, I was nervous to set foot on Holy Ground. We got off the jet in full makeup and the fotogs were waiting for us. We came through customs and jumped on street cars at the airport for foto ops.

I was aware it was drizzly and grey. I was hoping that would change in the next few days to sunshine. It didn't.

We had a female chaperone/record company person with us. And, she showed us the sites. I thought the least I could do was return the favor. I did.

We visited the Palace and posed with street Bobbies (the English police) and were soon to hit the stage in front of an English audience. Would they like us? Truth was, we never thought much about it. We had a job to do and that was to punish the audience. They had, for too long, stood still for sub par live bands.

It was our job to show them that there was at least one band who had the balls to introduce themselves with: YOU WANTED THE BEST, YOU GOT THE BEST...THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE LAND, KISS."

Set List for the Manchester show:

Deuce / Strutter / Flaming Youth / Hotter Than Hell / Firehouse / She / Nothin' To Lose / Shout It Out Loud / 100,000 Years / Black Diamond / Detroit Rock City / Rock And Roll All Nite / Let Me Go, Rock And Roll

The great footage above is from the British TV show "So It Goes" covering KISS while they were touring Europe for the first time in 1976!


Shop Official KISS Merchandise