The Dixieland Showbar on Colwyn Bay Pier was a regular venue for ‘medium’ sized touring bands in the 70 and 80s.
I’m trying to compile a gig list and where possible, links to reviews and.or pics; but your help is needed.
Many thanks to Craig Davies for his help with this…
And also to Martin Peel for the listings up to 1965, he says, ‘At this point my research ended. The majority of these gigs were promoted by Dennis Johnson from Rhyl: he also promoted shows at the Washington, Llandudno, Denbigh Town Hall and Ruthin Town Hall. Support acts were, in the main, local groups.’

25.11.60 – Johnny Dankworth

19.8.62 –  Clinton Ford with Merseysippin Jazz Band

15.2.63 – Jay Beats

13.4.63 –  Jay Beats plus The Venoms

17.1.64 – Group One

24.1.64 – Rory Storm & The Hurricanes supp by Aristocrats
Aristocrats were a Llandudno based rock’n’roll band of 1962-65, feat; Ray Gardner (who runs Tiffanys Restaurant in the town). Played residency spot at Llandudno’s Washington pub.

31.1.64 – Escorts supp by Anglesey Strangers
Anglesey Strangers were a rock’n’roll band from early tipped for bigger things but nothing ever came of it. Feat; Bryn Chamberlin, Gordon Humphreys. S4C aired a documentary c1997 on the band. Lemmy also hung out at a few rehearsals. Band were heading for stardom until their manager, Joe Meek committed suicide by shooting himself in the head in Bangor (03.02.67)

14.2.64 – London Beats supp by Aristocrats

15.2.64 – Cossacks supp by Aristocrats

13.3.64 – Jess Conrad

26.3.64 – Jeannie And The Big Guys supp by Anglesey Strangers

3.4.64 – Escorts supp by Aristocrats

11.4.64 – Gene Vincent & The Shouts supp by Anglesey Strangers

24.4.64 – Outlaws supp by Anglesey Strangers

15.5.64 – Escorts supp by Cossacks

22.5.64 – Screaming Lord Sutch supp by Aristocrats

23.5.64 – Wailing Art Woods

29.5.64 – Licorice Locking’s All Sorts

5.6.64 – Paladins

26.6.64 – Swinging Blue Jeans

3.7.64 – Silverstones supp by Aristocrats

10.7.64 – Informers supp by Aristocrats

17.7.64 – Merseybeats

31.7.64 – Dec Dooley’s Dominators

4.9.64 – Rory Storm & Hurricanes

5.9.64 – Road-Runners

11.9.64 – Cy Tucker’s Friars

18.9.64 – Chick Graham & The Coasters

10.10.64 – Wayne Fontana & Mindbenders

28.10.64 – Herman’s Hermits

7.11.64 – Four Just Men supp by Toggery Five

5.12.64 – Kinsley’s

13.02.65 – Escorts

01.05.65 – Undertakers

26.6.65 – Escorts supp by Betrayers

Jul/Aug 1965 – Nashville Teens
Jean Cox says, ‘I was only allowed to go because it was the Pier!’

04.12.65 – Swinging Blue Jeans supp by Escorts

20.04.66 – Sounds Incorporated supp by Escorts

14.01.67 – The Questions (pic above)
Mike Hall says; ‘As I recall, we were the only band on stage that night, so it must have been a regular Saturday night dance. The band worked under the name of The Questions at that time, tho’ according to my diary, we changed our name to Uncle Herbert (short for Uncle Herbert’s Big Soul Band) on January 21st, one week later. The personnel was Haydn Bannister (voc), Pete Flaherty (drms), Steve Griffiths (bass), Martin Peel (gtr) and myself, Mike Hall (keys). Sadly, Haydn & Pete are no longer with us.
We were not averse to letting the odd ‘guest musician’ sit in with us at gigs from time to time, and Lemmy was a frequent visitor on stage, as he was living in the area at that time, before his trip to London & fame & fortune. I recall he played guitar, rather than bass, in those days, and sometimes came along to roadie for us for a couple of quid when he was short of cash – quite a frequent occurrence.’

15.04.67 – The Jaybirds (Mike Hall remembers)

17.06.67 – The Move

01.07.67 – Jeff Beck Group
Mike Hall says, ‘This listing is highly questionable. Beck was one of my favourites then so I would have seen him thru’ hell or high water had he appeared at the Pier! Who gave you this info?’

13.11.71 – Lyle Marshall Band

31.12.71 – Lyle Marshall Band (new year’s eve pics above courtesy of Roger Tinsley)

22.03.73 – Sutherland Brothers & Quiver

25.03.73 – Brinsley Schwarz (Ian Gomm talks)

06.06.73 – Blackfoot Sue

1973 – Thin Lizzy
Steve Morris says, ‘I remember in my college days going to see Thin Lizzy it was the ‘Whisky in The Jar’ year. They were actually a substitute because I think it was The Equals could not be there.’

25.01.74 – Budgie

10.10.74 – McGuinness Flint

22.10.74 – KC & The Sunshine Band

03.02.75 – Stackridge

23.10.75 – Showaddywaddy / The Arrows

13.05.76 – JR Walker & The All Stars / James Alexander Barr (poster above courtesy of Mike Hall)

17.01.77 – Motorhead (ticket)

02.10.77 – The Enid (info)

16.12.77 – The Radio Stars

17.12.77 – Siouxsie & The Banshees / Amsterdam (poster & info)

22.12.77 – Bert & The Eggos

05.02.78 – Motorhead (this may not have happened)

17.02.78 – Prefects / TV Eye (Paul the drummer’s last gig with the Prefects)

27.03.78 – Whitesnake (Gig cancelled, David Coverdale said they were too big to play)
Kev Hughes of Stone Cold says, ‘We were booked to support Whitesnake we worked so hard on our set then they pulled the gig and we ended up supporting Hugo Dines. We also supported Steel Pulse and the Pirates. Sad Café played the Pier, Elvis Costello, Strife, Ginger Baker Band, 29th And Dearborn. The pier was a great place for local bands and I for one will never forget it.’

Summer 1978 – Les Enfants played twice during the summer, once with Amsterdam (‘they were tossers and wouldn’t let us use their PA’) and once at a Tech Dance (for Llandrillo College)

14.08.78 – The Jam / The Jolt (Craig Davies says, ‘I had the poster, had the ticket, but they never turned up. NME said they had to go on BBC’s Top Of The Pops show for David Watts single. Emyr ac Elwyns [record shop] said they only sold 16 tickets.’) (David Alexander adds, ‘The Jam didn’t play because they didn’t sell enough tickets, the promoter said publicly that The Jam (being very popular right then) were the most expensive band he’d booked for years so the public would have to basically show support by selling the gig out months before.  Craig is right 16 tickets…clearly they didn’t support it, wonder why?)

08.03.79 – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas / Honky
(poster pic by Terry Lamb)

19.12.79 – Hot Water

10.01.80 – Ginger Baker’s Energy / Last Rytes

14.01.80 – Witchfynde

20.02.80 – Harvest Moon / Quad

17.03.80 – Elvis Costello / Clive Langer & The Boxes (bootleg album)

26.03.80 – Money

08.05.80 – Saxon / Lutreck

15.05.80 – Run 229

11.06.80 – The Specials / Bodysnatchers / Reluctant Stereotypes
Alan Littlehales says, ‘Reluctant Stereotypes supported Specials and the Bodysnatchers the guy from King sang for them before he formed King.’
Harold Bennett says ‘I was first in the queue to see The Specials I also was in the Malibu World Disco Championships in 1985 … I painted the palm trees on the fire curtain and also painted the sign Colwyn Bay Pier Fun Club Disco on the side that got told had to be removed asap.’
Steve Rastin; ‘
There were obviously tensions within the band that night – Roddy Radiation trashed his guitar towards the end in a manner that suggested genuine unhappiness rather than mere theatrics – but the performance absolutely fizzed. The layout of the venue meant that there was no barrier between band and audience and with several hundred rude boys n girls, punks and skins bouncing around in unison you felt that The Pier was in imminent danger of collapsing into the sea, but my god we’d have all drowned happy!’

24.06.80 – Cockney Rejects / The Grids

06.08.80 – Girlschool / Harvest Moon

14.08.80 – Angelwitch / Harvest Moon

24.09.80 – Tygers of Pan Tang / Taurus (Graham Pritchard says, ‘I was at this gig, I was 15 and got hammered. My mate tried to get on stage and knocked the speaker over.)

Oct 1980 – ‘Son of Stiff  Tour’ – Ten Pole Tudor / Equators / Any Trouble / Dirty Looks / The Crowns 

15.10.80 – Diamond Head

18.10.80 – Bad Manners (Ste says, ‘Remember Peter Powell [Radio 1 DJ] getting  a slap because he was shite  and Buster Bloodvessel running off stage when fighting started in the crowd. I think Colwyn Bay was a bit to scary for some people in them days)

28.11.80 – Stray Cats / Seventeen – this gig was cancelled due to Top Of the Pops appearance

03.12.80 – Revillos

16.12.80 – Slade / Taurus

Jan.Feb 81 – Deadringer / Mask – Mask pulled out and Colwyn Bay band Zenith played last minute.

30.04.81 – Tygers of Pan Tang / Magnum / Alcatrass

05.05.81 – The Bureau / The Modettes

08.06.81 – Iron Maiden / Aragorn (this may not have happened)

18.06.81 – Samson

22.06.81 – More

29.06.81 – Praying Mantis

02.07.81 – Revillos (download this gig!)

07.07.81 – Steve Gibbons Band

28.07.81 – Limelight / Chevy

18.08.81 – Spider

26.08.81 – The Beat / Mood Elevators – Pirahna Boy says, ‘900 people jumping up & down to Stand Down Margaret in a small room at the end of the pier! Looking back I’m surprised we didn’t all end up in the sea’
Alan Holmes however said, ‘They were so shit that I sold all their records the next day and have been unable to listen to them ever since! (the same happened with Rush in Liverpool a couple of years previously).’

30.08.81 – Harvest Moon / Zenith (date may not be correct, but in Aug)

01.09.81 – 7-20 / Streetfighter

08.09.81 – Lionheart / Saxon / Aragorn (please verify)

24.09.81 – Budgie

01.10.81 – Stray / Liason

15.10.81 – Steve Gibbons Band / The AK Band

26.10.81 – Theatre Of Hate / Southern Death Cult

Steve Rastin says, ‘The Theatre Of Hate gig was a particularly nasty one. A bunch of Southern Death Cult fans, off their heads on lighter fluid, were beating the crap out of anyone who tried to dance to ToH.’

20.11.81 – The Damned / Anti-Nowhere League (review)

30.11.81 – The Bureau / Tearjerkers / Modettes

16.01.82 – Black Flag / Vicious Circle (review)
bf7 Henry 001

23.02.82 – Magnum

19.03.82 – Budgie (a bootleg of the gig has done the rounds)

31.03.82 – Diamond Head (a bootleg of the gig has done the rounds)

11.05.82 – Fish

20.05.82 – Wishbone Ash

13.07.82 – Magnum

01.12.82 – Meteors / Mercenary Skank (memories)
Paul Duffield went to this gig, ‘because my Dad ran antique fairs from there I used to go back stage. One of the bands had grafittied their name on one of the purple velour chairs!’

29.12.82 – Dagaband

14.04.83 – The Enid

12.05.83 – Hanoi Rocks

14.03.86 – ‘Northern Soul All Nighter’ (pic)

11.06.06 – ‘All Day Festival’ – Skunkfish played, Rob Loughlin of the band says, ‘I definitely played there twice although I can’t remember if one of the times was with the Deadlight Spiral or whether it was with Skunkfish twice.  I was drunk one of the times hence having a hazy memory but we got called off the stage halfway through our set the first time we were there as there were complaints from local residents about the noise.’

23.05.08 – Global Parasite / Anti Virus

11.07.08 – Global Parasite / Portrait of A Lifetime / Leucine

Aug 2008 – Inferno / Tramp With A Plan – the final live performance at this venue

Other bands that played but we’re unsure of the dates (your help is needed) –
Thin Lizzy
 (c1973), Desmond Dekker (1985), The Drones (1977.78), Nine Below Zero, Sad Cafe, Trust, One Foot In The Grave, The Blue Cats (Jul81), Body Snatchers (1982), Trident, Black Roots, Swan, Groundhogs, Boney M (!), Rainbow Cottage, Blodwyn Pig, Strife, Cilla Black, Bill The Murderer, Les Enfants,  Twisted SisterSplodgenessabounds . The Grids, Jimmy Clarke & His Band, Steel Pulse, O Jays, The Real Thing (1978), Limmie and The Family Cookin’, Four Tops, Andrea True Connection, Lords of The New Church, Glitter Band, Trapeze, Nutz, Herman’s Hermits, The Escorts, Roy Wood & His Helicopters (1983?), TNT, Sgt Furry, Blue Cats, The Jets, Dr Feelgood, Vardis, Swinging Blue Jeans, Black Slate, Jackie Wilson, Jr Walker and Major Lance. Dexys Midnight Runners were due to play until Kevin Rowland sacked the band. They subsequently formed The Bureau and played The Pier twice.

David Alexander who used to play for Trident says, ‘I used to work a bit in the Dixieland so got in free to a lot of the gigs, plus went as a punter early on, remember the Hugo Dines Band ‘riot’ also similar fights being common for The Enid!’
‘Hugo Dines Band got bottled off by about three old Teds who had been looking for trouble all night.  I met them after, they were scousers I think (punks) they were very chuffed with the riot and asked me to send them any newspaper clippings.’
He continues, ‘I don’t reckon Iron Maiden played though, Samson did (so yes to Bruce Dickenson) but I have seen an official list of Maiden’s Welsh gigs, there was a few in South Wales, but their only recorded date in North Wales was supporting Judas Priest at Deeside Leisure Centre on the  British Steel Tour.’

The entire pier was been earmarked to be demolished, having fallen into disrepair. Being deemed unsafe and too expensive to renovate, the final part was removed in May 2018.
This is what the venue looked like in January 2014.
Inside Pier