The oldest bands still touring today
5 January 2024, 11:43
Which of the longest-serving rock 'n' roll acts have dates on the calendar for this year? And who can we reasonably expect to see in 2024?
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In rock 'n' roll there's no retirement age... in fact there are a great many bands that are continuing to play some 40 or 50 years after their first hit.
But who is the oldest? In reverse order, then. here are some of the most experienced bands you'll be able to see performing soon...
Pixies: established 1986
After a hiatus between 1991 and 2004, the Boston alternative rock legends are now a touring force to be reckoned with and will be touring their third and fourth albums (Bossanova and Trompe Le Monde) in the UK and Europe in March 2024.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - established 1983
The LA rockers began their career as Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters Of Mayhem almost forty years ago, which is incredible considering the ups and downs they've had over the years. The Chilis continue their tour dates in support of their Return Of The Dream Canteen album into 2024. with North American shows right up to the end of July.
Metallica - established 1981
The hardcore metal pioneers were back in 2023 with a new album 72 Seasons, and an itinerary that sees them back in Europe in June 2024, ending up in Mexico in September.
Plus there's all that nice publicity from their track Master Of Puppets being used in the last series of Stranger Things.
New Order: established 1980
The Mancunian masters of electronica date back, of course, to their time as Joy Division and before that, as the short-lived punk act Warsaw, who formed in 1976 after seeing the Sex Pistols play live. In their post-Ian Curtis incarnation, they first performed as New Order in July 1980. The band will play Cardiff and Manchester in August 2024.
Depeche Mode: established 1980
Now down to founder members Dave Gahan and Martin Gore after the death of Andrew Fletcher in 2022, the Mode released their fifteenth album, Memento Mori, in March 2023. Their world tour starts its fourth leg on 22nd January 2024 at The O2 in London and winds up in Germany in April.
Madness: established 1979
The veteran British ska band have had the occasional hiatus over the past 40 years, but they began officially trading under the Madness name back in August 1979 with the single The Prince. They have a busy summer ahead with shows at Lytham Festival and Margate Summer Series on the 2024 calendar.
U2 - established 1978
Before they were U2 they were Feeback and The Hype, but for four decades Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Junior have been playing together. The band - minus Mullen, who is recovering from surgery - have been enjoying a residency in Las Vegas, where you can hear their album Achtung Baby in full. The dates run until the beginning of March 2024.
Soft Cell - established 1978
Marc Almond and Dave Ball said they were playing their last show together in 2018, but the synthpop legends are still at it, heading off on The 80s Cruise in February 2024 and playing festival dates in America, Brazil and Spain in the summer.
Def Leppard - established 1977
The British metal legends have 2023 all mapped out - an enormous stadium tour of Europe and South America with Motley Crue, over 40 years since they began their life in downtown Sheffield. Their "Summer Stadium" Tour kicks off in St Louis on 6th July and ends in Denver on 8th September.
The Human League: established 1977
The pioneering electronic futurists from Sheffield will be taking their Generations Tour on the road in Europe in November 2024, ending with a show at London's Wembley OVO Arena on 14th December.
Buzzcocks: established 1976
Steve Diggle is the sole original member of the Manchester punks, but they'll be heading out on tour in the UK in March and April 2024.
The B52s: established 1976
Original members Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider, Cindy Wilson and Keith Strickland have a Las Vegas residency set to run until 20th April 2024. They're saying this is their farewell tour!
Iron Maiden - established 1975
The metal legends have been doing their unique thing since the mid-70s and we can't ever believe they'll call it a day - their Future Past tour heads to Australia in September 2024, then moves on to North America and finally South America, ending at the start of December.
Blondie: established 1974
Guitarist Chris Stein met singer Deborah Harry in a band called The Stilettos in 1973, but formed their own band, called Blondie, in October 1974. 2023 has seen the band play London's Crystal Palace Bowl with fellow traveller Iggy Pop and a well-received set at Glastonbury. 2024 sees the band play Cruel World festival in California in May, followed by some outdoor shows in the UK and Ireland with Sting in June!
Devo: established 1973
Despite the ongoing threat of "devolution", Akron, Ohio's quirkiest proponents of art rock have claimed they're on their farewell tour - they will appear at the Punk Rock Bowling Festival in Las Vegas with Madness and the Descendents in May 2024.
Eagles: established 1971
There have been numerous line-up changes and the loss of founding member Glenn Frey in 2016, but The Eagles headlined British Summer Time in Hyde Park in June 2022, with Don Henley and Joe Walsh still present and correct. Their Long Goodbye Tour, with guests Steely Dan, winds up Charlotte North Carolina on 16th March 2024.
Kool And The Gang: established 1964
The Gang may have changed a bit over the years, but Robert "Kool" Bell continues to take the band's huge funk and R&B tunes around the world, with shows in Las Vegas planned for October 2024.
The Rolling Stones: established 1962
Having picked themselves up after the death of the great Charlie Watts, AND celebrated the release of a Number 1 album in 2023's Hackney Diamonds, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood have lined up dates in North America and Canada, starting at Houston, Texas on 28th April and ending at Santa Clara, California on 17th July 2024. After that, who knows...?
The Beach Boys - established 1961
Death, illness and mental health issues haven’t soured the American Dream and surf seems to be continually up for this legendary act. Veteran member Mike Love is working his way around the world with his own line-up, taking them on tour until "The Malt Shop Memories Cruise" in Florida in October 2024.
The Zombies: established 1961
Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone first met at school in 1961 and were best known for their hits She's Not There and Time Of The Season in the 60s. Despite "fake Zombies" acts touring in the 70s and 80s, the duo reunited at the turn of the Century and they'll be attending the On The Blue Cruise in March 2024 - 63 years down the line! That's followed by a full UK tour in May and June. Impressive.