Belle Vue basked in a golden age of popular music in the 1970s as almost every major band and artist made a beeline to play there.

The Kings Hall was, quite simply, one of the biggest dates on the tour circuit.

With more than 100,000 square feet of space and the capacity to hold up to 7,000 people, it was one of the largest venues outside London.

Rod Stewart on stage at the Kings Hall, December 1976

Rod Stewart on stage at the Kings Hall, December 1976

Little wonder that the Who, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple all queued up to come to Belle Vue.

Acts as diverse as David Cassidy and the Clash – as well as Slade and Siouxie and the Banshees – were all part of a mesmerising musical cocktail in the 1970s.

One of the first international bands to play Belle Vue in the busy decade were the Jackson Five.

The Clash before appearing at Belle Vue’s Elizabethan Ballroom, November 1977

The Clash before appearing at Belle Vue’s Elizabethan Ballroom, November 1977

Except there were six of them when they rolled up at the Kings Hall in November 1972!

Youngest brother Randy joined his brothers Jackie, Tito, Marlon, Michael and Jermaine to the delight of Manchester fans – and the M.E.N. photographer who was there to record it.

So-called Jacksonmania was in full swing in 1972. The group were riding high after a string of UK and American Number One singles including I Want You Back, ABC and I’ll Be There.

Teen idols the Bay City Rollers made their own TV show at Granada studios, January 1976

Teen idols the Bay City Rollers made their own TV show at Granada studios, January 1976

On top of that, Michael Jackson was just starting to carve out a solo career with his early hit singles Ben and Got to Be There.

In complete contrast, glam-rockers Marc Bolan and T Rex were on stage at the Kings Hall this very week in June 1972.

The band played one night on June 16th, although Bolan himself spent some time in Manchester recording TV shows for Granada.

David Cassidy in concert at Belle Vue, March 1973

David Cassidy in concert at Belle Vue, March 1973

He appeared in the music programme Rock On With 45 in 1975 and hosted a six-part live series entitled Marc in 1977.

Teen idol David Cassidy was at the peak of his stardom when he brought his army of fans to Belle Vue in March 1973. The previous year had seen his UK hits Could It Be Forever, How Can I Be Sure and Rock Me Baby.

Running Cassidy a close second as the most screamed-at and most screamed-about act of the decade were the Bay City Rollers, who appeared at Belle Vue in September 1976.

Rolling Stones’ lead singer Mick Jagger at the Kings Hall, September 1973

Rolling Stones’ lead singer Mick Jagger at the Kings Hall, September 1973

The Rollers knocked out nine Top Ten hits from February 1974 to September 1976 including the Number One singles Bye Bye Baby and Give a Little Love.

The group got to know Manchester well as they hosted their own children’s TV series Shang-a-Lang at Granada studios.

Singer-songwriter Elton John performed at the Kings Hall in November 1973 and again in May 1976.

Elton John played two gigs at Belle Vue in November 1973 and May 1976

Elton John played two gigs at Belle Vue in November 1973 and May 1976

He was already a huge star in 1973 after releasing the Number One album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player which included the hits Crocodile Rock and Daniel.

His repertoire was even wider three years later with songs like Candle in the Wind, Bennie and the Jets and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road on the playlist.

The Rolling Stones were frequent visitors to Manchester in the 1970s. They played two nights at Belle Vue in September 1973 as part of their European Tour.

Siouxsie and the Banshees played Belle Vue in November 1977

Siouxsie and the Banshees played Belle Vue in November 1977

The band were just six days into their hectic schedule when they came to Manchester after performing at Vienna, Mannheim, Cologne and London.

On the night, the Stones mixed classics like Brown Sugar, Tumbling Dice and Gimme Shelter with new tracks from their Goats Head Soup album.

Rod Stewart was at Belle Vue with the Faces in November 1974 and as a solo artist for two nights in November 1976 and again in December 1978.

Stewart, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, had already enjoyed a major success with the 1971 album Every Picture Tells a Story. It included the smash-hit Maggie May.

In December 1973, the Scottish rocker was delighted to receive a gold disc for his LP Sing It Again Rod from his football hero – Manchester City’s Denis Law.

Marc Bolan rehearsing for the Granada TV show Rock On With 45, July 1975

Marc Bolan rehearsing for the Granada TV show Rock On With 45, July 1975

Punk rock came to the Elizabethan Ballroom at Belle Vue in November 1977 in the form of the Clash supported by Siouxie and the Banshees.

The Clash played Manchester as part of their 32-date Get Out of Control tour of the UK, Sweden, Germany and Ireland.

Numbers belted out at Belle Vue on November 15th included Capital Radio, Janie Jones, What’s My Name and Garageland.

It was a night – and a decade – to remember.

Many more unmissable pictures and memories of the past can be found in Clive Hardy’s brilliant book Around Manchester in the 1970s – now on sale at a reduced price for M.E.N. readers.

Clive’s two companion books, Around Manchester in the 1950s and 1960s, are on offer at a reduced price too!

Just visit our online shop or ring 01928 503777 to place your order.