Anarchy Tour supporting the Sex Pistols and in the home town the Buzzcocks.

updated 20 December 2014 - added graphics
updated 17 January 2017 - tidied up page

Audio from CD
Sound 3.5
Low gen
Tracks 10
This 2 cdr also includes The Buzzcocks and Sex Pistols sets

to follow

Not known other than Sounds gig review by Jon Ingham.


"Does anyone remember the Electric Circus? Yeah, a right shit hole" Joe Strummer at the Apollo (now Academy) February 1984.

Manchester Electric Circus - Google

Protex Blue is completely re-worked into a new song, seemingly called "Big Brother" or "Big Brother Is Watching You"

The music is the same, but the lyrics (sung mostly by Joe) are completely different. He even introduces the song with "and now we'd like to sing about... big brother arrived yesterday"

By the time of the next gig recording (Harlesden March 3 1977) it has reverted back to Protex Blue.

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Pistols, Clash etc.: What Did You Do On The Punk Tour, Daddy?
Peter Silverton, Sounds, 18 December 1976

The Sex Pistols/The Clash/The Heartbreakers /The Buzzcocks: Electric Circus, Manchester

TO TURN up to a Sex Pistols' show nowadays is to make a statement to the world that you care about rock 'n' roll and don't give a Bill Grundy what the yellow press thinks.

And enough kids in Manchester, God belss 'em, were prepared to do just that, almost filling the Electric Circus. However, once there, they weren't quite sure what to do.

When Johnny, Glen, Steve and Paul sliced through the crowd (no folding lotus stages for them...yet), bounded up the steps and roared straight into 'Anarchy In The U.K.', the kids knew just what to do because they knew the song. They sang along and jumped and bumped me back into the unreceptive arms of the national daily press photographers, one of whom was trying to take his pix with his hands over his ears (try it sometime).

However, with 'Anarchy' searched and destroyed, our heroes (the Pistols and the kids) were on unfamiliar ground. The kids didn't know the songs and weren't quite sure how to react. The band were visibly tired and disorientated by the happenings fo the past week. They'd come, they'd seen, but the conquering had had to be postponed.

Local band, the Buzzcocks, opened the bill in place of the now-off-the-tour Damned. I'd seen them once before (in London) and my second viewing only reinforced my belief that they're a second-rate, provincial Pistols copy. The lead singer was only honestly interested in performing his eyebrow massage tableau. They're the facade of the new wave with none of its substance. Their set was notable only for their mutilation of the Trogg's hoary chestnut, 'I Can't Control Myself', the evening's first outbreak of pogo dancing and the fact that a section of the audience disagreed with my sentiments – the Buzzcocks got an encore.

Then came what was probably the best received band of the evening, The Clash. I'm probably supernaturally thick-skinned but, although ex-public schoolboy turned guitarist and vocalist with the Clash, Joe Strummer, in a fit of childlike pique, had me thrown off the coach back to the hotel (I did get reinstated), I still reckon he's currently the quintessential English rhythm guitarist. As rough as a Surform. As energy-charged as a Ford Cosworth V8.

You remember that Sixties bedsit poster of Che Guevara with his eyes pointing upwards to that great Bolivia in the sky? That's how Joe looked once he'd ploughed into the set. Once, that is, he'd told them to shut down the crummy light show with the advice: "It's a bit psychedelic in here, innit? This ain't Amsterdam, y'know."

Mick Jones bust strings on his guitar, Paul Simenon flashed off his bass with the notes painted on the frets so he knows where to put his fingers and Rob Harper, drummer for the tour, beat hell out of his kit and had lots of fun. The Clash did the greatest hits of their, so far, short career: 'White Riot' (an anti-racist anthem), 'I'm So Bored (With USA)', 'Janie Jones' and the sparkling new 'Hate And War'. Their weakest, most strained song 'Crush On You' coming as an encore to a splendid set.

Next up, the Heartbreakers, are like the Ramones with songs that have beginnings, middles and that order. More straight-forward rock 'n' roll than the other bands on the bill, they had the best drummer in former New York Doll, Jerry Nolan, and the craziest looking bassist in Billy Wrath – he could've stepped out of West Side Story.

Walter Lure's on second guitar and the front man (guitar and vocals) is the other ex-Doll, Johnny Thunders. They'll be very good in the future but this night they were still in need of match practice and only cut loose three quarters of the way through their set. They also had a great song about a telephone conversation which ends with one of the parties hanging themselves on the phone flex.

Me, I clapped hard but the Heartbreakers went off to polite applause which is when I noticed...the stony-faced security goon standing in front of the stage. He answered to the name of John "You can write what you like about me 'cos I'm getting paid a tenner" Robinson and offered the opinion on the evening's entertainment: "It's pure noise, and bad noise at that."

Which ain't what the kids thought at all. Nick Lomas and Billy Massacre from Clayton Bridge? "It's great. We've never seen them before. We're forming our own band as soon as our mums give us the money for the amps." The sentiments were echoed by most every kid I spoke to – they were certainly all in the process of forming bands, Stiff Kittens (Hooky, Terry, Wroey and Bernard, who has the final word) being the most grotesque offering.

I BROKE off my enquiries at that point, seeing the Pistols make their move towards the stage, and dived forward to soak up the aforementioned 'Anarchy'.

Now, as Pistols fans go, I'm very much a Johnny come lately – for a long time I thought they were very average. But I'd grown to like them and this night in the beautifully apt locale of a converted flea-pit bounded on one side by wasteland and on the other by one-third bricked off council tenaments, I was finally convinced.

I could see that they were well below maximum power – getting thrown out of two hotels before lunchtime does sap your energy somewhat. But anyone who can, as Johnny Rotten did, rejuvenate the tired lines of 'Substitute' when he's evidently exhausted, has got to be one hell of a rock 'n' roller.

If Johnny was uncharacteristacally quiescent, the others almost made up for it. Glen Matlock seemed to be playing his bass in a blur of knee jumps. Steve Jones practised calisthenics between savaging his guitar – he's beginning to justify the legend 'Guitar Hero' sprayed on his amp. And Paul Cook kept right in there with his solid drumming and torn porno t-shirt.

It wasn't really their night though. The kids were all gobbing at the stage, devoid of menace, obviously believing that was the correct behaviour at a Grundy rock-gig. Mr. Rotten's elegant (honest) belted red jerkin and soft mulberry shirt were covered with saliva by the end. "It's up to you. If you wanna keep gobbin', we won't play".

They stopped and it was into the 'God Save The Queen' intro to the newie, 'No Future'. Difficult to make a judgement on it but it seemed a good set closer: iconaclastic, demonic and rocking.

The lights went down, came back up and 'Problems' blitzed us all one more time. It was apparently the encore but I didn't know until I was told later.

It was the end of a great gig but it was also the mark of the unease in the Pistol's set. They lacked a degree of certainty and concentration just as the crowd were unsure how to pogo.

But, no matter, it's shaping up to be an all-time classic rock 'n' roll tour. The sort that'll have your grandchildren asking you: "Where were you when the Pistols, the Heartbreakers and the Clash doing the rounds?"

© Peter Silverton, 1976


White Riot
I'm So Bored with the USA
Londons Burning
Hate & War
Protex Blue
Career Opportunities
48 Hours
Janie Jones

Pistols, Clash etc.:
What Did You Do On The Punk Tour, Daddy?
(Manchester gig review)
Peter Silverton, Sounds,
18 December 1976

Any further info / reviews appreciated

It would be utterly predictable for me to say I was prompted to write a book about Joe Strummer and The Clash after the unbelievably sad event of December 2002. Also totally true. But I'd been working on this for years - since October 1976, to be precise, when I wrote my first article on The Clash for America's now long-gone New York Rocker magazine - after witnessing them live for the first time.

BBC: Sex Pistols: Anarchy in the UK and the tour they tried to ban
By Jon Welch
Exactly 40 years ago the Sex Pistols were due to begin a 19-date UK tour to promote their new single Anarchy in the UK. Today the tour is remembered as a key moment in music history - as much for what didn't happen as for what did. In the furore that followed the band's appearance on TV show Today with Bill Grundy, all but a few of the gigs were cancelled.

God Save the Sex Pistols run by Phil!
What was recorded and what wasn't. DAY BY DAY - The God Save The Sex Pistols' exclusive guide to Anarchy Tour (and more)

God Save the Sex Pistols run by Phil!
Anarchy in the UK press cuttings following Bill Grundy episode

Rockscene Anarchy
Photo review 1 2 3

Bombed Out by Peter Alan Lloyd
The Sex Pistols Anarchy Tour in 1976.
The boredom. We didnít know what the fuck was going on.
The Punk scene may never have ignited up and down Britain had the Sex Pistols not done three things in quick succession.

Supporting the The Sex Pistols...

Terry Chimes quits prior, Rob Harper rejoins the band for the Tour... Some Clash photos circulate from this Tour but the venue is unknown, possibly the Winter Gardens at Cleethorpes?

Dec 1 Dundee Caird Hall - cancelled/moved
This gig never actually took place at Dundee's Caird Hall, although local record shop, Groucho's, still sells replica posters of the gig. The actual gig was played at the Dundee College of Technology Student's Union, known to one and all of a certain age, as the Bowling Alley. I was too young to get into these premises at the time, although a couple of years later spoke to different punters who described the same incident. One, Gary, winessed Johnny Rotten spending most of their set as far back from the audience as he could get before the speaker stack collapsed on someone. The other person was the girl the speakers fell on - she got a broken arm.
Dec 3 Norwich Poly - cancelled
Newspaper clipping
local advert in The Eastern Evening News Sat 27th Nov
Dec 4 Derby Kings Hall - cancelled
No Show press article
nice blog from Marko
Dec 5 Newcastle City Hall - cancelled
Dec 6 Polytechnic, Leeds
a Pistols recording exists from this gig but the taper only recorded the Pistols and the support slot, Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers.
Dec 7 Bournemouth Village Bowl - cancelled
poster - ticket
Dec 9 Electric Circus, Manchester
Dec 10 Charlton Theatre Preston - cancelled
Dec 10 Lancaster Uni - re-arranged - also cancelled
Dec 11 Liverpool Stadium - cancelled
newspaper clipping
Dec 13 Bristol Colston Hall - cancelled
Dec 14 Cardiff Top Rank - cancelled/switched
Dec 14 Cinema, Caerphilly, Wales
Welsh TV fimed outside and inside this venue. Recent unseen Pistols archive footage was screened on Welsh TV in 2002
Dec 15 Glasgow Apollo - cancelled
Dec 16 Dundee Caird Hall - cancelled
Dec 17 Sheffield City Hall - cancelled
Dec 17 Carlisle Market Hall - cancelled
This (page 1 & page 2) is an authentic Promoter's Copy of the Variety and Allied Artistes Performance contract between Malcolm McLaren and Bino Entertainments for the Sex Pistols/Heartbreakers/Clash to appear at Carlisle Market hall on December 17, 1976. I was the promoter and this is my retention copy.The Pistols / The Heartbreakers and The Clash were due to perform for the outrageously cheap price of only £500 against 65% of the gross takings. The interesting part of this contract is the fact the concert never took place. The concert was set up at very late 7-day notice to promote the Sex Pistols around the time of their emerging notoriety. The concert was booked, tickets sold out, and everyone waited with baited breath BUT.......the Pistols appeared on Bill Grundy's infamous tv programme and the "proverbial" hit the fan.Carlisle Council called emergency meetings and after considerable toing and froing the gig was pulled at the last minute. Local and National Press and TV were hot on the story but the Council held their stance and the concert did not take place.The Clash and the Heartbreakers were in fact in Carlisle waiting to get into the venue when the concert was finally pulled. The Sex Pistols were on the M6 on their way. The document is a full four pages with the contract " rider" (conditions) pages all intact.
Dec 18 Southend Kuursal - cancelled
Dec 19 Guildford Civic Hall - cancelled/switced
Dec 19 Electric Circus, Manchester
Dec 20 Birmingham Town Hall - cancelled
Dec 20 Winter Gardens, Cleethorpes
Dec 21 Woods Centre, Plymouth
Dec 22 Torquay 400 Ballroom- cancelled/switched
Dec 22 Woods Centre, Plymouth
Dec 26 London Roxy Theatre Harlesdon- cancelled
NME: Pistols to open new Roxy venue
with 3 night stand, supported by The Clash and The Damned. Ramones pull out
Dec 27 London Roxy Theatre Harlesdon- cancelled
Dec 28 London Roxy Theatre Harlesdon- cancelled