The Den in Wigan, England
December 21, 1991
Other Acts:
Jailcell Recipes, Cowboy Killers, Disaster, Raging Kipper
  • Recordings from the show can be found here
  • Right before the first song, I Was There, the band did the Nativity Play, starring Billie Joe as 'three schizophrenic wise men', Mike as a narrator and Santa Claus, Tre Cool as Virgin Mary, Sean Hughes as baby Jesus, and Sean Forbes of Wat Tyler as the Easter Bunny.
  • sojealous2: "...They stayed at my uncle's house as they had nowhere to stay..."
  • Chris W.: "Dave Arnold gave Green Day their first ever UK gigs at the Den and put them up at his house! They put on a 'punk nativity play' following their gig."
  • margin_walker: "I once sang on stage with Green Day. This was, oh, 14 years ago when I was still in school! My friends and I were all into skateboarding and were mad about Green Day, they were relatively unknown in the UK back then and had just released their Kerplunk! album. We got into them through a friend of mine who was the singer in an amazing hardcore band called Jailcell Recipes. Anyway, Green Day did a small tour over here and played a venue in Wigan. We all went along after school to see them."
  • Dean Beddis: "I was in the Cowboy Killers, with the boys in Newport, and Green Day were just kids coming over to the UK. We were friends with the people who did Lookout! Records, Mary Jane and Christy. I can't remember their names exactly - two girls and a guy and they used to stay at our house in Brynglas, Newport and they used to bring all the Lookout! bands over. We played up in Wigan, up in the Den - I can't remember what album we had out - and it was us, Wat Tyler and Green Day. And Wat Tyler and Green Day did the nativity play, dressed up as Jesus and all that. So, we played and watched it and it was as mad as fuck. Two nights later Green Day were gonna be playing TJ's in Newport. So, they played and they did the nativity play again. This was their first time over here and they were just young kids. There had been about 200 people in Wigan and, in Newport (it was one of Simon's Cheap Sweaty Fun gigs) they were right down the bill again. We didn't play that night. At the end of the night Simon asked if they could stay at my house because we used to let bands stay. I said they could but, seeing as they were these young kids, only if they didn't fuck about and didn't make any noise. We went back to my house and we had all the Xmas decorations up and all that and we got the Megadrive out and, as Green Day didn't have any gigs lined up for a while, they asked if they could stay there over Christmas. I told them no, they could fuck right off. I told them that I had work the next morning (at Rockaway Records in Newport Market), my daughter was in bed and they had to go to sleep - it was about two in the morning. So I went to bed leaving them down there, in their sleeping bags right up against the Christmas tree. I'm in bed with the missus and I hear all this noise from downstairs, and I'd fucking told them to be quiet, so I went downstairs. I had this big fucking samurai sword on the wall, so I pulled it down and said, 'I told you to be fucking quiet,' and started swinging it about and these kids from Green Day were jumping up and down with their sleeping bags done right up to their necks looking like caterpillars, jumping up and down and fucking about and pogoing. So I started swinging it around their heads, threatening to kill them, y'know, 'I'm gonna chop you up, ya cunts. I warned you once, you American bastards.' And they were laughing but it turned out they were absolutely shitting themselves. I was just having a laugh, wasn't I?! Mind you, I was stood there in just my underpants swinging a sword at them threatening to kill them. In the morning they asked me again if they could stay and I told them to fuck off, it was Christmas. I didn't see them again for a while then we played in London several years later with The Offspring and NOFX and this guy comes up to me and it was Tre Cool, the drummer from Green Day. Of course, they'd gone massive by now and I'm like, 'You're a millionaire now, ya cunt.' He's like, 'Yeah, man, remember when we stayed at your house?!' And I've met quite a few people who tell me that Green Day still tell the story of me and my house. About two years ago a mate told me that I got mentioned in Kerrang in a Green Day interview. I got a copy and there it was, Green Day talking about their first time in the UK and how they had stayed in a house in Wales and this guy had tried to kill them with a sword. It even made the band autobiography. So, they still talk about it to this day. John from The Abs told me that when they toured in Germany and played with Green Day and they found out he was Welsh they told him about this mad cunt called Beddis who tried to kill them with a sword. We were into Bad Religion and NOFX and bands who did the more melodic stuff but it was underground then, it hadn't become mainstream. Everywhere was all Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror but I was always into Dead Kennedys and Minor Threat, the more tuneful hardcore. So when Green Day came along, although I didn't think they were the greatest band, I liked them coz they were nice guys. They were ordinary kids going around in a Transit van, sleeping on people's floors, way before people started licking their arses and asking for their autographs and playing Wembley Stadium. 'Get to sleep or I'm gonna kill you, ya cunts' - I think it's stuck with them because, before all the tongues up arses, they got a dose of Welsh reality, but it is nice to be remembered. About four years ago I got a two-year prison sentence for doing something really stupid with a Roman sword and a flick-knife in somebody's house and I was quite tempted to send the clipping from the newspaper to the guys in Green Day - 'Remember when you stayed in my house?' One last thing: There was another guy who stayed at my house on that night and, next morning, he didn't get in the van with the band. I asked him why he wasn't going with the band and he said that he wasn't with them, he was from Cardiff. I asked him what the fuck he was doing in my house and he said, 'Last night you told me to get in the van... So I did!' So this guy slept on the floor of my house with Green Day and I've never seen him since."
  • "The particular show in question went down in Wigan, a town in Lancashire, England. It was a cold winter night just a few days before Christmas, but the rotten weather didn't keep people from filling up the tiny venue. No one can remember exactly what the club was called. It might have been the Rainbow; it might have been the Den. The only sure thing is that it was your classic dark, greasy little club for catching all the coolest bands before they become too famous for you. The stage was little more than a platform that barely came off the ground, the sound quality was terrible - if Billie Joe was three inches away from the mic you couldn't hear him - and the overall production values basically sucked ass, but it was still one of the best, and most legendary Green Day shows ever. Even in those blurry, early days, with no big budgets or elite road crew, Green Day knew how to put on a show. In honor of the holiday season, they started things off by staging their own little Christmas play. Mike was the Charlie Brown-style narrator and Santa Claus, Billie Joe was the one wise punk, standing in for the three wise men because 'one wise punk is as smart as three wise men,' and Tre was the lovely virgin, Mary. To begin, Green Day made the whole crowd sit down quietly on the floor like good little boys and girls. Wearing a dress that looked surprisingly like the dress he wore in the Holiday video, Tre was laid out on a dais in front of the crowd, skirt hitched up, doing his best job of imitating a woman in labor. Eventually, an enormous, hairy baby Jesus - played by the band's buddy, Sean - popped out from between Tre's legs, wearing nothing but a big white diaper, I mean, swaddling clothes, and gave the whole crowd a lecture about this being his birthday, not Santa Claus'. Unfortunately for Jesus, while he was lecturing, his dear mummy Mary was still in the process of producing the afterbirth. The band filled a bag with rice pudding and tomato sauce and called it the Holy Placenta, which was hurled unceremoniously out into the crowd along with a ridiculously long umbilical cord. Then, just when Jesus was getting the crowd's attention again, Santa Claus came in with a bag of presents and stole the show. Or he would have, if a giant Easter bunny chugging a beer hadn't followed him in. Ring any bells? Halfway through the show, Tre got up to the mic and asked the crowd who should win, Jesus or Santa Claus? The man in the red suit got the majority of the cheers, but then Billie Joe asked who thought the Easter bunny should win, and everybody went nuts. 'Okay,' Billie Joe said. 'The Easter bunny wins. 'Perhaps it's thanks to that historic evening that a huge, beer-swilling bunny still makes an appearance onstage for most Green Day shows. It was that night that they guys really started to show the first signs of the crazy stage performances they were going to give in the years to come. After the touching nativity scene, they played a super-long set including Going To Pasalacqua (arguably their first totally fucking awesome song), and Welcome to Paradise, which they introduce as one of their newest songs. The crowd had clearly never heard it before, but when those crunchy opening chords sounded, everybody fucking rocked it anyway. Even though they were on a tiny stage, the super enthusiastic crowd was stage-diving like crazy. The mosh pit was intense, and the disgusting remnants of the Holy Placenta were getting thrown around throughout the entire show. By the end of the night, there were so many people running around on stage, moshing and crowd-surfing and singing along, that there was hardly any room for the band, but they didn't seem to mind. Green Day was at their relaxed and innovative best. They talked and interacted with their fans a ton, and they didn't mind going off-road and doing some freestyle jamming every once and a while. It was an amazingly professional performance for the relative newcomers, and their killer stage presence totally shone through all the technical difficulties and crazy crowd antics. Of course, part of what made the show great was the wild crowd. There were tons of punks, but remember, this was the early '90s, a bit before everyone was being fit into their own little niches from which they would never return, so there were also lots of hippies, doing their spaced-out groove thing. And there were some ravers, too. This was also just the very early beginning of the rave scene in the UK, and so all these crazy dancing, dressed up ravers were there moding to Going to Pasalacqua like it was some sick DJ shit. It was an incredibly diverse, weird, excited crowd, and everybody was just so happy to be there, a few days before Christmas, listening to wicked music and partying their asses off. Green Day couldn't have picked a more receptive audience for their nativity scene, or a more appreciative crowd to play their hearts out for."
Photos from Wigan, England
Send your own photos for this show to
1. I Was There
2. Don't Leave Me
3. Only Of You
4. 409 In Your Coffeemaker
5. At The Library
6. Welcome To Paradise
7. Christie Road
8. Disappearing Boy / I Don't Know (Ozzy Osbourne cover) / Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)
9. Going To Pasalacqua
10. 80
11. 16
12. Paper Lanterns
13. One For The Razorbacks
14. Dominated Love Slave
15. 2,000 Light Years Away
16. 1,000 Hours
17. The Judge's Daughter
18. Road To Acceptance
19. Dry Ice
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