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15 Bands You (Probably) Didn’t Know Played At The O2 Academy Islington

The O2 Academy Islington (located here in Angel Central) has seen it’s fair share of fantastic live acts over the years. From new and upcoming artists to secret shows from huge bands, you’d probably be surprised by the amount of people that have actually played the venue.

We decided to take a look back through history and recall some of those classic shows. You might have heard of one or two of them…

Franz Ferdinand

When: 3rd December 2003

Just before the release of their huge debut album, Franz Ferdinand, the Scottish indie rockers were one of the first notable groups to play the O2 Academy Islington.

After just releasing their first single “Darts of Pleasure”, the band ripped through a set of songs that would go on to become fan favourites such as “Michael” and of course, “Take Me Out”. It was shortly after that the band hit the big time and moved onto much larger venues.

Jamie T

When: 17th January 2007

Next up we have a singer-songwriter who goes by the name of Jamie T. Have you heard of him?

Blending his own unique style of hip-hop and indie rock, Jamie T played in the O2 only days before the release of his well received debut album, Panic Prevention. This is another example of an artist who would go onto achieve huge success shortly after playing our home venue.

Jonas Brothers

When: 10th April 2008

Before the days of One Direction, the Jonas Brothers were in the hearts of every teenage girl and actually played their first ever UK gig in the Academy.

Touring their hugely successful second album, Jonas Brothers, the band played through hits such as “Hold On” and “SOS”, even covering A-ha’s classic “Take On Me”. I wonder what the boys are up to these days…


When: 1st February 2005

If you hear Buck Rogers and don’t automatically start singing along, then you’re lying. Welsh rockers Feeder played a ripping gig in February of 2005 off the back of fifth album, Pushing the Senses.

The band played through an 11 song set filled with huge tracks like “Just the Way I’m Feeling”, “Come Back Around” and of course, “Buck Rogers”. Come back and play again, please?


When: 2nd March 2010

KISS are not usually a band who play venues the size of the O2 Academy Islington, but in 2010 they blessed fans with a very rare club date and they certainly delivered.

The lucky fans in attendance got to hear the glam rock icons blast through songs like “Rock and Roll All Nite”, “Love Gun” and “Detroit Rock City”. Considering the band usually performs in arenas and stadiums all over the world, this was a very special performance.


When: 31st March & 17th April 2015

Stormzy is one of the hottest artists currently, and it was easy to see there were big things planned for him when he sold out 2 shows at the O2 on his debut UK tour back in 2015.

The London based grime artist gave 2 energetic performances and played songs from his first EP, Dreamers Disease as well as recent single “Know Me From”.

Fall Out Boy

When: 5th November 2013

Not long after returning from a 3 years hiatus, American rock band Fall Out Boy played a packed show at the O2 while they were in town for Radio 1’s Teen Awards.

Hot off the back of comeback album, Save Rock and Roll, the band played a blistering 21 song set including hits such as “Thnks fr th Mmrs”, “Sugar We’re Goin Down”, “Dance, Dance” and “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)”. It’s hard to imagine them in a venue of this size in 2018.


When: 10th September 2015

2015 saw US pop star Halsey hit the stage of the Academy in support of her recent debut album, Badlands.

Her fantastic set showcased the majority of the Badlands track listing, as well as a few favourites from Room 93. Since then, Halsey has gone on to achieve a lot of mainstream success and played the O2 Academy Brixton the following year.

Good Charlotte

When: 24th September 2004

Back in 2004, punk rockers Good Charlotte made an appearance shortly before the release of their highly anticipated third studio effort, The Chronicles of Life and Death.

At the time, the band was enjoying success off the back of singles such as “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous”, “Girls & Boys” and “The Anthem” and fans in attendance sang along to every word.

Kings of Leon

When: 1st November 2004

There was a point in time when you couldn’t escape hearing Kings of Leon songs, but why would you want to? Back in the early days, the band played a rocking show on the release day of their second record, Aha Shake Heartbreak.

You can imagine the band ripped through songs such as “The Bucket”, “Red Morning Light” and “Four Kicks”. Since then, we think it’s fair to say they’ve seen a fair amount of success, but we’d love to see them back at the O2 again.


When: 7th September 2009

A few weeks before the release of their third album, Brand New Eyes, American rockers Paramore played an intimate show for some lucky fans back in 2009.

Opening with huge single “Misery Business”, fans knew they were in for a wild night. The band didn’t stop there, with new songs like “Ignorance” and “Brick By Boring Brick” being played, as well as lead song from the Twilight soundtrack, “Decode”.

Paramore then played at Wembley Arena in December of that year and have since maintained their huge popularity, so we doubt we’ll see them in a venue this size again.

The Script

When: 17th November 2010 & 14th September 2012

We’ve seen Irish pop rockers The Script pass through Islington on 2 separate occasions and we still can’t believe it.

Their first performance was back in 2010 and came off the release of their third record, Science & Faith, and the second was in 2012 very shortly after the release of #3. Fans were treated to intimate performances from the band, and songs like “For the First Time” and “Hall of Fame” were played.

My Chemical Romance

When: 4th February 2005 & 24th February 2011

US based alternative rock band My Chemical Romance performed at the O2 on 2 separate occasions, with only 6 years in between.

The band was still an up and coming act when they first passed through, but it’s the second performance that is the most interesting. Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys had been released the previous year and the band were in town to film a performance music video for their next single, “Planetary (Go!)”.

Other songs in the set included fan favourites like “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”, “Teenagers” and “Helena”.

Charli XCX

When: 19th June & 30th November 2013

British pop sensation Charli XCX gave 2 fantastic performances at the O2 Academy Islington is 2013, fresh off the success of hit duet with Icona Pop, “I Love It”.

“Nuclear Seasons”, “You’re The One” and “You (Ha Ha Ha)” were just a few of the popular tracks performed on those dates. Charli XCX would soon after reach new heights when she featured on the song “Fancy” with Iggy Azalea.

Rick Astley

When: 8th July 2016

Does this man really need an introduction?

We can almost guarantee that at some point, you’ve been a victim of “Rickrolling”. The English singer-songwriter’s most well known song “Never Gonna Give You Up” is simply iconic and somehow you just know every word.

Rick Astley released his 8th studio album, 50, back in the summer of 2016 and followed that up with a performance at the O2 Academy Islington. We wonder what song he saved for last…


Well, we did say that you’ve probably heard of one or two of these fantastic artists. It’s crazy to look back at how many huge artists have played the O2 Academy Islington, and how many great acts we still see to this day.

We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to see what future stars pass through our well-loved venue.

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