Music legends we can’t believe never toured the UK

Previously on BBC Music, we brought you 8 bands you probably didn’t know are still touring. Now it’s time to turn the spotlight on those you might have assumed had toured the UK at some point in their illustrious careers. A few have made appearances here in some capacity – a one-off gig or TV performance, or in a different guise – but they’ve never played their music out across the nation. And with regards to the top two on our list, great news – they’ll be here soon.

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince will be in the UK in August, playing what Newsbeat called a rare UK date in Blackpool as headliners of this August’s Livewire. Ah, Summertime. And although the news seems to have come out of the blue, Will Smith has actually been talking about getting his old hip hop duo back on the road for some time. In October 2015, he was interviewed by Zane Lowe for Beats 1 and said: “Jeff and I actually have never done a full tour… This summer [2016] will be the first time we go out on a full world tour.”

That didn’t happen, but the ambition he showed back then might well translate into more than just one UK show. Keep your eyes peeled on listings.


TLC dominated 90s RnB with hits like Creep, Waterfalls and No Scrubs, resulting in the trio becoming the most successful American girl group of all time (second only to the Spice Girls globally). Then, tragedy: Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes was killed in a car crash in 2002. Tionne ‘T-Boz’ Watkins and Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas continued as a duo.

TLC occasionally visit Britain – they were here for the 2012 MOBO Awards – but they’ve never played a UK gig. Until now. On 9 May, they’re making their debut at Koko in London and this year will also see the release of their their first album since 2002’s 3D. If you couldn’t get a ticket for Koko, fear not – the group have hinted that this might be their last album, but they intend to keep TLC on the road.

Elvis Presley

Elvis only played three gigs outside of the US, all of them in Canada. It’s thought that the illegal alien status of his Dutch-born manager, Colonel Parker, was the primary reason he never performed outside North America, although documents that came to light in 2015, as reported by the Mirror, suggest plans were being made for The King to visit, and possibly play gigs in, Britain and Japan not long before his death in 1977.

Elvis did set foot in the UK at least once – at Prestwick airport, South Ayrshire in 1960 on his way home from military service in Germany. In 2008, however, a strange story came to light that perhaps he’d spent the day driving around London observing landmarks with English singer Tommy Steele in 1958. Theatre producer Bill Kenwright revealed Steele’s secret on Ken Bruce’s Radio 2 show. At the time, Steele was appearing in a production of Dr Dolittle in Woking, Surrey.