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Created December 2007. Updated Sept 2023

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The 23rd

Reading Rock Festival.

Richfield Avenue. 

August 26-28th 1983.

Setlists and recordings

The BBC recorded a LOT of sets from 1983. Audience recordings seem rare for this year ,almost all the sets out here seem to be sourced from fm. If you know of any sets that exist we have missed please send us details.


Pendragon 8-26-83

  • Pleasure Of Hope
  • Leviathan
  • Contact
  • The Black Knight
  • Alaska
  • Armageddon


    audience tape

Solstice 8-26-83

  • Morning Light
  • Sunrise
  • The Sea
  • Time For A Toke (a.k.a. Cannibalise Legalis)
  • Don't Bogart That Joint My Friend
  • Guardian Of My Soul
  • Peace For A New Age
  • Pathways

    audience tape


Pallas 8-26-83

    • Cut And Run
    • Ark Of Infinity
    • Arrive Alive
    • Atlantis



    artwork ©

Alexander Crum Ewing



Man 8-26-83

    • Spunk Rock
    • C'Mon
    • Talk About A Morning
    • The Ride And The View
    • Asylum
    • Remain
    • Bananas



Big Country 8-26-83

    • Harvest Home
    • 1000 Stars
    • Close Action
    • Balcony
    • Porrohman
    • The Storm
    • In A Big Country
    • Chance
    • Angle Park
    • Fields Of Fire
    • Tracks Of My Tears
From a live tape I have of the show, Stuart Adamson stops 'Close Action' half way through and says to some bottle throwers " ah ya tubes, listen if you want to indulge in that sort of thing, go away to football grounds and do it there, you goats! Stupid! Why don't you shove some down you and get half stuffed, man. Instrumental" and they continue the song again. A Class act, Big Country.
Hope you find this information helpful.
Andrew Inkster

The Stranglers 8-26-83

Nuclear Device
Toiler On The Sea
Ships That Pass In The Night
No More Heroes
Golden Brown
Midnight summer dream
European female
Thrown Away
The Raven
London Lady
Down In The Sewer



Heavy Pettin' 8-27-83

Love Times Love
In And Out Of Love
Rock Me
Shout It Out
Love On The Run
Ain't Got No Money
Hell Is Beautiful


Lee Aaron 8-27-83


Lady of the darkest night
Metal Queen
Under your spell
I like my Rock hard
Deciever (Different Lyrics)
Shake it up
Hold out
Head above water
We will be Rockin´

Looking for confirmation of whether this is an audience or FM source.

Photo © Don Murphy


Anvil 8-27-83

March Of The Crabs
Free As The Wind
Butter-Bust Jerky
Future Wars
Metal On Metal





Photo: Anvil being bottled .....© Don Murphy

Suzi Quatro 8-27-83

Intro (Suzi Q)
Never Been in Love
I Know What I Want
She's In Love
Good Girl
Strange Encounter (inc Bass Solo/Jam)
Can the Can
Devil Gate Drive
Tear Me Apart
Keep On Knocking
Bye, Bye Johnny


Stevie Ray Vaughan 8-27-83

Scuttle Buttin'
Voodoo Chile
Pride and Joy
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Love Struck Baby
Texas Flood

Marillion 8-27-83

Garden Party
Script For A Jester's Tear
Charting The Single
Forgotten Sons Intro
Forgotten Sons
Market Square Heros *
Margaret (incl. Jean Genie & The Web) *
He Knows You Know

FM 60 mins

Aud source * 10 mins

Black Sabbath 8-27-83


Children Of The Grave

Hot Line

War Pigs

Born Again


Bev Bevan Solo/

Rock'n'Roll Doctor

Disturbing The Priest

Keep It Warm

Black Sabbath

Zero The Hero

Tony Iommi Solo

Digital Bitch

Iron Man

Smoke On The Water


100 Min Aud

A portion of this set was also broadcast on the BBC Friday Night Rock show


Twelfth Night 8-28-83

The Ceiling Speaks
The Creep Show
The Poet Sniffs A Flower

FM - The Friday Rock Show


we are looking for cover art for this set , can you help?

Ten Years After 8-28-83

Love Like A Man
Good Morning Little School Girl
Suzie Q
Slow Blues In C
I May Be Wrong But I Won't Be Wrong Always
Help Me
Scat Thing
I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes >
Extension On One Chord
I'm Going Home
Choo Choo Mama.

Sweet Little Sixteen ( aud only )

FM released on CD and audience tape

Alvin Lee - guitar
Chuck Churchill - keyboards
Leo Lyons - bass
Ric Lee - drums

The Friday Rock Show Sessions: Live At Reading '83" (Raw Fruit FRSLP003) 1990

Thin Lizzy 8-28-83


Thunder & Lightning
Waitin' For an Alibi
Are You Ready
Baby Please Don't Go
A Night in the Life of a Blues Singer
The Holy War
The Sun Goes Down
Cold Sweat
The Cowboy Song
The Boys are Back in Town
Sha La La *
Black Rose*
Baby Drives Me Crazy*
Rosalie/Dancing in the Moonlight/The Cowgirl Song
Sill in Love With You

80 Min FM

* Not broadcast

John Sykes :guitar

Scott Gorham :guitar

Darren Wharton: keys.

Brian Downey :Drums

Phil Lynott :vocals/bass

Just an addendum to Reading '83. I wasn't there but two months later I ran into Phil Lynott on London's King's Road. He was out for the day with his daughter.

I asked him how Reading had gone and he said the saddest thing I've ever heard "Ahh y'know - we got through it."

He should have been on top of the world and instead the will to live was draining from him, one day at a time.

We had a quick drink in the nearest pub (Cadogan Arms, I think) and he gave me directions to a shop I was looking for and that was the last time I saw him.

Paul Flynn

Recordings also exist of the Mamas Boys at Reading 1983, we are looking for setlists and cover art , can you help?

1983 festival

Photogallery 6

Can we get a witness ?

We need more info on this and the other Reading festivals, we are now in the curious situation of having better documentation on some of the earlier festivals, so c'mon headbangers, get yer photos out and fire up whats left of the aging braincells .Send your recollections and scans to us NOW ! !! Contact us

Reading in the 80s to date- Fat Regs excellent site covers Reading from 1982 onwards

The early festivals.

You can find out the complete line ups of the first festivals if you follow the links below .

Festivals 1965-1990

Most of these have fairly complete documentation .But new contributions of any sort are always welcome regarding any of the festivals.
Richmond 1965
Windsor 1966
 Windsor 1967
Sunbury 1968
Plumpton 1969
Plumpton 1970
Reading 1971
Reading 1972
Reading 1973
Reading 1974


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