Green Day get back to their punk rock roots

Punk rock emerged from small venues, pubs and bars. Green Day have been reliving those days again.
2023 When We Were Young Festival
2023 When We Were Young Festival / Bryan Steffy/GettyImages

Green Day took a step back in time last week with a return to typical punk rock band roots. Playing in a small bar in front of a very modest-sized crowd. In fact, it was probably the smallest venue the huge US band have played at. This was a surprise gig by the band late last week in London. They played at the Marquis Pub near Covent Garden in London last Thursday. 

The band's record label had made some enquiries to the pub a day or two earlier as a possible venue for an intimate show on a specific date. The manager of the bar, Tommy McGuinness, wasn't told who was coming just that a big US band wanted to play there. You might think he’d snap their hands off, but as the BBC reports, McGuinness turned them down initially - the pub was already booked for another show. Fortunately, they were able to agree on a date and the show went ahead. 

The Marquis bar had been selected by Billie Joe Armstrong from the band. He’d been following the venue on Instagram and apparently was a regular visitor when in London. Armstrong is also an avid viewer when the bar had been streaming its live music events. 

Green Day get back to basics

Although it was a secret gig some word got out in advance. Perhaps helped by drummer Tré Coolusing his Instagram to let fans know the band were in town and to keep an eye on their phones. In the end, around 80 fans managed to get into the pub to watch Green Day perform a 13 song acoustic set. The band were able to livestream the show on their Instagram for everyone else.

That’s not the first London bar to get a surprise show from singer and guitarist Armstrong. Earlier this year he turned up at Slim Jim’s liquor store in Islington and was watching a live band Borderline Toxic. perform "Basket Case" from Green Day’s Dookie album. Armstrong joined the band on stage to complete the song. So if you are ever in town at the same time as Green Day, keep your eyes and ears open seems to be the message!

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