Toby Jug, Tolworth

The Toby Jug in Tolworth, Surrey, not far from Kingston Upon Thames in southwest London, was a really important rock music venue in the late 1960s and played host to pretty much all of the top draws of the day, including Fleetwood Mac, Jethro Tull, Ten Years After, Joe Cocker & The Grease Band, Traffic and Led Zeppelin.

The venue opened in early March 1968. However, music researcher Alan Clayson’s book on The Yardbirds (a group from the local area), lists two gigs from 1964:

20 January 1964 – The Yardbirds
27 January 1964 – The Yardbirds

It looks like from the advert below that the venue was changed due to popular demand.

The following gigs are sourced from listings in the Kingston & Malden Borough News.  Mick Capewell’s Marmalade Skies was also a great resource.

I would welcome any additions in the comments below and also any memories of artists that played there.

13 March 1968 – Fleetwood Mac
20 March 1968 – Aynsley Dunbar’s Retaliation
27 March 1968 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
10 April 1968 – Champion Jack Dupree and Black Cat Bones
17 April 1968 – Fleetwood Mac and Chicken Shack
8 May 1968 – Aynsley Dunbar’s Retaliation
15 May 1968 – Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band
22 May 1968 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
5 June 1968 – Savoy Brown
12 June 1968 – Jethro Tull
19 June 1968 – Chicken Shack
26 June 1968 – Keef Hartley (or was this 24 June?)
3 July 1968 – Taste
10 July 1968 – Family
17 July 1968 – Jethro Tull
24 July 1968 – Chicken Shack
31 July 1968 – John Dummer Blues Band
7 August 1968 – Ten Years After
14 August 1968 – Taste
21 August 1968 – Jethro Tull
28 August 1968 – Savoy Brown
4 September 1968 – Traffic
11 September 1968 – Fleetwood Mac
18 September 1968 – Ten Years After (or was this Taste?)
3 October 1968 – The Nice
9 October 1968 – Jethro Tull
16 October 1968 – Jethro Tull
23 October 1968 – Colosseum
10 November 1968 – Timebox
13 November 1968 – Fleetwood Mac
17 November 1968 – Joe Cocker & The Grease Band
20 November 1968 – Blossom Toes
4 December 1968 – Taste
11 December 1968 – Bobby Parker and Chicken Shack
15 December 1968 – Bandwagon
18 December 1968 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
22 December 1968 – The Drifters

37 thoughts on “Toby Jug, Tolworth”

  1. A few more gigs that I have found:

    8 January 1969 – Jethro Tull
    9 January 1969 – Gun
    2 February 1969 – New York Public Library
    5 February 1969 – Jeff Beck Group
    14 February 1969 – Van Der Graaf Generator
    19 February 1969 – Ten Years After
    9 March 1969 – The End
    12 March 1969 – Steamhammer
    5 April 1969 – Killing Floor
    12 April 1969 – Led Zeppelin
    7 May 1969 – Fleetwood Mac
    8 May 1969 – Pete Brown’s Battered Ornaments

    1. Not that I can remember. There were three south London pubs that were on the circuit, The Fox, The Toby Jug Tolworth and the Castle Tooting. Saw the tree kings at the Toby Jug BB Albert and Freddie plus other great bands including Free, Black Sabbath.

    2. There were three pubs in the area which the bands used to gig at the Fox the Castle at Tooting and the Toby Jug Tolworth. You could go and see bands such as Free, Taste, Black Sabbath a couple of nights in a row. Another major venue was the Greyhound at Croyden which was on the tour rota.

  2. remember Fleetwood mac, chicken shack, bluesbreakers, ch jack Dupree with black cat bones- early paul kossoff, and later, status quo. left the gig quite deaf! paid 6 shillings to see quo! had a sit up and beg Ford Anglia back in 68. Good memories ! Now retired but still love the blues

  3. I remember seeing the Edgar Broughton Band, knocking over there loudspeakers, with their parents stopping them being damaged. Thats true rock and roll.

  4. It’s good to see the list of gigs here as I was there probably every Wednesday night in 1968 & ’69 and paid between 2/6d and 5 bob (Led Zeppelin) happy days! A tiny venue really but as a result I’ve never liked the big concerts.

    1. Caroline,
      I used to go the Toby Jug later – in the 70s. I’m currently researching it, and would be fascinated to hear your memories. timharrison 444 at

        1. Hi Nick,
          Yes, I’m currently putting together a history of the pub.
          I’m piecing together recollections and memories (partly of the famous Bowie gig, but also of other gigs, events, general drinking etc), and I’m researching the building’s history too.
          All the best
          Tim (timharrison444 at

          1. That’s great news. Was it a music venue between 64-67? Can’t find any gigs but suspect it might have been

          2. Hi Nick, yes it was a music venue… but very, very briefly! in January 1964 the Yardbirds were hired by the landlord to play. The first gig attracted a big crowd, and he was delighted. The gig a week later attracted so many people that the pub simply couldn’t cope – so he cancelled everything. For four long years, bugger all happened on the music front. Then Chicken Shack bowled up, the blues club was born and (on and off for four years) it became one of London’s finest music venues. Tim

          3. Hey Tim & my band at the time “English Rogues” played at The Toby Jug in 1974 although I don’t remember the date but still remember the venue very well!

          4. I went to several gigs at the Toby Jug but three stand out. BB King was brilliant; Chicken Shack with Christine Perfect, which found me standing at the bar with most of Fleetwood Mac (I guess John McVie was the link), and incredibly, Led Zep. I was right up by the stage, no more than a few feet from Jimmy Page. Sadly I missed Bowie. What a venue!

  5. Nobody has yet mentioned an appearance by BB King, which I attended. Trouble is, I can’t remember the date. I think it would be in 69, as I went to several at around that time. I was at the Led Zep gig, a Chicken Shack gig (Fleetwood Mac were all at the bar), and Blodwyn Pig – that’s not mentioned either. Great days.

  6. Saw Muddy Waters at the Toby Jug. Also the usual Taste, Ten Years After, Jethro Tull, various incarnations of JM’s Bluesbreakers (Peter Green & Mick Taylor), Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack, Aynsley Dunbar, Jon Hiseman , Keef Hartley. Great place & great memories.

  7. Saw Muddy Waters at the Toby Jug. Also the usual Taste, Ten Years After, Jethro Tull, various incarnations of JM’s Bluesbreakers (Peter Green & Mick Taylor), Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack, Aynsley Dunbar, Jon Hiseman , Keef Hartley. Great place & great memories.

  8. A regular during this time even though I was underage and a pupil at Tiffins at the time. Remember most of the gigs listed above but want to add: King Crimson ( the week before they supported the Stones in Hyde Park. Spirit of John Morgan, the amazing Blodwyn Pig, Bakerloo (Blues Band) with Clem Clemson on Guitar and Dave Edmunds ( could have been Rockpile?) about the time of Sabre Dance. Email me on if you want anymore comments about the amazing Wednesday nights!

    1. Ron Fryatt – greetings from another Old Tiffinian (although I got expelled in ’66 🙁

      I think you may be confused about King Crimson playing the Toby Jug. They actually played Ewell Tech the weekend before the Stones concert in Hyde Park. I remember it well because Greg Lake ‘nicked’ my mate’s girlfriend after meeting her at the Ewell Tech gig and she accompanied him to the Hyde Park concert.

      I have never heard anymore about her since that day!

  9. I went to most of them one you have missed Love Sculpture with Dave Edmonds and although I didn’t go to this one Quintessence

  10. I remember seeing a band called Lucas and the mike cotton sound. I met my husband here on November 3rd 1968. Can’t remember the bands name but they sang a song called the Weight. Which was written by bob Dylan I think

  11. Nice to read all your memories
    I am an Italian fan of FREE and I know FREE played in Tolworth – Toby Jug
    no less than 3 times in 1969, as follows:
    2 April 1969, 24 September 1969 and 19 november 1969. Anyone of you did you of more FREE gigs played there and anywhere else in England between 1968 and 1972 ? Thanks in advance to anybody !

    1. Yes .. Saw Free there at Toby Jug. Can’t remember the exact dates but know it was 1969 !! Saw them at at Fairfield Halls venue in Croyden also. Fantastic …

  12. This may be my memory playing tricks after 47-48 years or so but I seem to remember seeing both Freddie King and Albert King there in either ’69 or the very early 70s. I also remember seeing Howling Wolf and John Lee Hooker about this time but unsure whether it was at the Toby Jug. Can anyone confirm they played there?

    1. I’m almost certain that John Lee Hooker, Howlin Wolf and Freddie King played the Toby in the summer of 69 – I’m currently trying to research more. I don’t have any record of Albert King playing at Tolworth. What do you remember of the venue, Charles?

      1. Hi Tim,
        Thanks for your ‘semi’ confirmation – I look forward to seeing the results of your research. I just remember the Toby as being a great venue for live acts. It’s wasn’t particularly big which made for an intimate atmosphere and enabled you to get up really close to the bands. Looking at all the great names who regularly played there makes me realise just how lucky we all were compared with today’s teenagers and 20 somethings. Although there is live music most nights at one of my local pubs in St Albans, they all appear to be tribute bands. I will stop here as I’ve just realised that I am starting to sound rather like a grumpy old man! PS Just noticed that John Mayall is due to play at St Albans Arena in November so will definitely be going for old times sake. Saw him there a few years ago and he was still pretty damn good. Got him to autograph my precious Bluesbreakers LP too!

  13. I went several times to the Toby Jug
    I lived in Chessington, so it was one stop on the train.
    Fleetwood Mac, featuring Jeremy Spencer, if my memory serves.
    Chicken Shack, with Stan Webb and with Christine Perfect on piano.
    Mild and bitter 1 shilling and thrupence.
    Ainsley Dunbar Retaliation?
    Also remember going to see the Small Faces play at the Cellar Club by the river in Kingston…about a month before their first single was released (wotcha gonna do about it?).
    Between sets they played records…I remember hearing Like A Rolling Stone for the first time that day…

  14. If only we had kept the flyers!!! Your comments bring back great memories. The music room was demolished years ago but is still just an empty site. Currently some good gigs at Half Moon Putney and Cabbage Patch at Twickenham. Highly recommend Sari Schoor and The Engine Room who are touring.

  15. I remember seeing Champion Jack Dupree, and then Black Cat Bones (forgot they were on the same bill.) Dupree was excellent, but Bones – wow, could they play. Never realised till many years later that that was Paul Kossoff fronting them. Electric. Other memories: rocking up to see some outfit called Jethro Tull. Who? Oh well, three bob, give it a whirl. I don’t think there above fifty people there, but be blew us away. Quote, as he delved into a plastic carrier bag to pull out another instrument: ‘I think I’m breaking new ground here with the flute.’ Sure was. And the boiler suit. When he came back a few weeks later, the place was ram-jammed. You couldn’t move, let alone get a beer. I also remember standing at the bar with Mick Taylor and asking him if he would play ‘Snowy Wood’ in the second set. He said he might, but didn’t. Happy days, and only a short walk from my gaff in Surbiton.

  16. No one seems to remember the 70’ & 80s? I moved to Tolworth in1973 and knowing the history of the Toby jug soon investigated the venue. I remember seeing the following. Motörhead, The Stranglers, Squeeze, The Fabulous Poodles, The Damned, The Vibrators, Jackson Heights, Ultravox & Bernie Torme, amongst a few others I have probably forgotten. A different era but still some of the best bands around at the time.
    It was a great venue and, like everyone else, I was gutted to see it demolished

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