The oldest bands still touring today

14 May 2024, 12:39 | Updated: 15 July 2024, 12:51

Still in business in 2024: Blondie, The Rolling Stones and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Still in business in 2024: Blondie, The Rolling Stones and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Picture: See Li/Picture Capital / dpa picture alliance / ariano Garcia / Alamy Stock Photo

Which of the longest-serving rock 'n' roll acts have dates on the calendar for this year? Radio X takes a look at the itinerary...

Radio X

By Radio X

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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...

  1. Pixies: established 1986

    20 years after they reformed for Coachella 2004, the Boston alternative rock legends are now a touring force to be reckoned with. After shows in which they played their classic albums Bossanova and Trompe Le Monde in full, the band will play across the US this summer with Modest Mouse and Cat Power, before returning to the UK in August and winding up in Australia in November 2024.

  2. 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. heading to Japan in May, then back to the US across June and July.

  3. 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 (including the very heavy Tons Of Rock festival in Oslo), 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 among others on the 2024 calendar.

  6. 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, playing festival dates in the UK, Switzerland, France and Spain in the summer.

  7. Def Leppard - established 1977

    The British metal legends will mark four decades since the release of their landmark album Pyromania by continuing to tour across the US in 2024, including a shows with fellow rock heroes Journey, The Steve Miller Band, Heart and Cheap Trick.

  8. The Human League: established 1977

    The pioneering electronic futurists from Sheffield will be making appearances at festivals across the summer, before 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.

  9. The B52s: established 1976

    Original members Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider, Cindy Wilson and Keith Strickland have a Las Vegas residency set to run until 16th November 2024. They're saying this is their farewell tour!

  10. 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.

  11. 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 a number of outdoor shows in the UK and Ireland with Sting in June!

  12. 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 Steely Dan wind up with five nights at Manchester's Co-Op Live and two final shows in the Netherlands.

  13. 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 a show in Birmingham and Liverpool set for July and dates in Las Vegas planned for October 2024.

  14. 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...?

  15. 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.

    Mike Love, original member of the Beach Boys performs, in concert in the Etess Arena at Hard Rock Atlantic City on  December 3, 2022
    Mike Love, original member of the Beach Boys performs, in concert in the Etess Arena at Hard Rock Atlantic City on December 3, 2022. Picture: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images