Clash on Parole Tour
Supported by The Specials & Suicide

updated 24 June 2006
updated 1 Aug 2011 - added vers3 recording & vers 4
updated Dec 2014 - added review Staying Free

vers 1 - low gen - Sound 4 - 55min - low/m - 17 tracks
misses Safe European Home, Whats My Name

vers 2 - low gen - Sound 4 - 55min - low/m - 17 tracks
misses Safe European Home, Whats My Name

vers 3 - low gen - sound 4 - 59mins - tracks 14
includes Safe European Home, Whats My Name
but misses the first 4 tracks - better sound

vers 4 - low gen - Sound 4 - 67min - low/m - 19 tracks
includes fans at start - gaps between trks

Clash residency

Clash On Parole Tour climaxes with their first residency, four nights at The Music Machine. The Music Machine (now Camden Palace) is actually about 20 seconds walk over the road from Mornington Crescent tube, and roughly 5 minutes walk away from Camden Town tube.

The 4 nights recendency were rapturously received in the press and by those in attendance. Rude Boy captures the drama: is there a more exciting moment in rock’n’roll cinema than when the film cuts dramatically into Complete Control at the Music Machine?

The Music Machine

The Music Machine (later renamed the Camden Palace) began in the 60’s and became famous for punk gigs, still in use today as a dance nightclub, it has staged gigs in recent years by Blur and the Oasis.

The Music Machine was a perfect type of Clash venue; sweaty, intimate, seat less, restrained security and within the part of London they lived and loved best. Enjoying greater critical acclaim and increasing commercial success, few other bands (if any) either then or now, would have opted to play four nights here rather than they take the money and play one or two nights at the larger Hammersmith Odeon or similar.

New heights of popularity within the UK music press, the Music Machine residency resulted in some ecstatic reviews (see link).


“Scratchy” Barry Myers (later to be The Clash gig DJ and touring companion), went to all four nights and declared, “ it was a privilege to spend four nights with the greatest band …in the world”.

Sweetest praise though for the band was from Charles Shaar Murray in the NME, he who had damned them in 76, inspiring Joe to write the Garageland lyrics in countenence, stating that this is the heyday of The Clash, not the early Roxy days.

He aptly described how the band work through Strummer to get at the audience, his convulsive movements and barking vocals, like a man holding a live wire. He prophetically stated, “Britpunk may, therefore, slip into oblivion, but rock’n’roll is never going to forget The Clash”.

Hot summer nights led to an atmosphere inside that was stifling hot and sweaty, The Clash held entry until 12:15 by which time an exhausted audience had enjoyed The Specials, but been mystified by Suicide. CSM notes that at least the band (Suicide) didn't get bottled off on the last two nights.

This recording is from the Monday, the first night; one Barry Myers thought was not the best with Joe under the weather and Paul’s playing lacking fluidity. However muso Ian Birch who also saw this Monday night gig, stated the performance was superlative and the Record Mirror reviewer was in complete agreement.

The sound on this recording is very good one indeed, the best of the On Parole gigs (save the Rude Boy excerpts). There is a very good range and clarity of sound, it’s only faults are some bass over modulation, lead guitar a little low in the mix and vocals a touch distant.

Joe’s rhythm playing comes through very well as do the drums and there is little intrusive talking from the crowd. Of the circulating tapes and cdrs during this period, this one stands out alongside the Paris one later in the year.

The gig starts with the slow opening chords building, and building then exploding into a brilliant Complete Control (there is a 5 second tape bleed early on). The song ends with rapturous applause and a terrific Tommy Gun then follows with some different lyrics.

The rare Cheapskates is next with Joe shouting, “you tell me” after the “what are we supposed to do” lyrics.

The highlights of an excellent performance are 3 consecutive songs mid-set when they kick into an even higher gear with Clash City Rockers, White Man, and Capital Radio. White Man is introduced as "We'd like to play you number 98 in the charts!".

Joe whispers, “hardly a word they say” over the slow quiet intro to Capital Radio building the tension before the band explodes into the song. The song climaxes with manic ad-libs from Joe and terrific drum fills from Topper. Theres a slight edit following Capital Radio probably for a tape turnover?

Police & Thieves segues into Blitzkreig Bop after further lengthy ad-libs from Joe.

There is an edit after English Civil War which definitely loses Safe European Home (named in one review) and probably What’s My Name.

It’s then into the finale of the crowd pleasing released songs and the usual 3 song encore ended with a suitably climactic White Riot. A great recording of a great gig, capturing an important part of Clash history.

Steve Jones played the encores though he may have come on as early as Londons Burning which has extra umph with a heavier guitar sound similar to Jones's style. CSM comments for the gig of the 26th, that this was one of the tracks he played on. Janie Jones and White Riot also benefit from his guitar playing.

I saw all the clash gigs (4) there. Brilliant. I followed them a lot back then. We were punks from the neighbourhood and someone from the band..usually Joe or Baker or JG would let us in through the back door. Once we had to scale 30 feet up a drain pipe to the dressingroom window. The MM bouncers were animals and there were always a lot of fights in there.


Complete Control
Tommy Gun
Jail Guitar Doors
Drug Stabbing Time
Clash City Rockers
White Man in Ham Palais
Capital Radio
Stay Free
Police and Thieves
Blitzkrieg Bop
English Civil War
Safe European Home
Whats My Name
London's Burning
I'm So Bored with the USA
Janie Jones
White Riot

*see Barry Myers full gig review

The Clash - Music Machine 24th
'Staying Free'
Gig review

A Riot of Our Own pg83

Sounds 3 June
Clash on Parole - Tour Dates

Sounds 10th June
Clash Off - cancelled dates

Sounds - Early July
Clash to Be City Rockers after all
- finalised tour dates

A3 Tour Ad

NME On Parole Letters

On the Road with the Clash

‘The Myth Of The Clash’ (copyright Marcus Gray) was not the only thing I had to contend with whilst growing up with The Clash – there was also ‘The Myth Of How Many Times I Actually Saw The Clash (in reality)’ to deal with. The truth is...

Music Machine

MM Music Machine dates & prices

Ian Birch's MM gig review
from the 24th

Sounds Barry Myers gig review
of the 24th

Sheila Prophets gig review
of the 25th for Record Mirror

Charles Shaar Murrays NME
gig review of the 26th July

14 Excellent Photos
probably form the 27th?

NME Thrills Music Machine
27th July 1978
or here

Tommy Gun/Suicide T-Shirts
sold at gigs

Music Machine Advert

Any further info / reviews appreciated

Jun 22 Granada TV Whats On
Interview with Tony Wilson 1.51
Jun 27 The Manticore Theatre, Fulham [Secret Gig]

in an interview in the NME 15 July 78, two xtra late dates were played, Rafters in Manchester and Fulham.

"Looking through your site yesterday i noticed a mention of a 'secret' gig somewhere, but no mention of the show at (I think) The Manticore Theatre in Fulham sometime in late 1978. It was the same night as a 'secret' show by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers at the Marquee ( I went to The Clash, the girlfriend went to Tom Petty). This show was inevitably broken up by the police after 30/40 mins but no real problem"

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers at the Marquee played at the Marquee on the 27th June 1978

Jun 28

Friars, Aylesbury

Jun 29 Queens Hall, Leeds
Jun 30 Top Rank, Sheffield
Jul 1 Granby Hall, Leicester
Poster Ticket De Montfort Hall was one of the best venues in Britain with amazing acoustics, easy to enter or leave and had a decent bar the whole length of one side. Granby Halls was a temporary tin hut of a cattle shed, decades passed its sell by date and acoustically hell on earth (but held 4,500) - Bob Geldolf once spent a whole concert apologising for playing there and the Boomtown Rats did two nights at De Montfort the next tour "rather than ever play Granby Halls ever again".

Coventry Specials - did not spot them then as what became one of my favourite bands of the next decade.
Suicide - loved by the older, art school types at the back (I went out and bought the album) but hated by the skinheads and younger fans at the front. Half the front were lighting boxes of matches and throwing them onto the stage to set fire to the band, fortunately(?) the other half were pissing into the plastic glasses and throwing them at the band thereby putting out the fires. Joe Strummer had to come on to ask the crowd to let them play as he wanted to see them.
Clash - the improved PA was lost on the appalling sound quality of the hall, at the front it was all fuzz and at the back as tinny as hell. Nigel

Jul 2 Apollo, Manchester
Jul 3 Rafters Club, Manchester
A Riot of Our Own mentions a gig at the Apollo going down well and Joe asked for another Manchester date on their day off. Green found a small venue but had difficulty putting up Pauls bomber plane backdrop. A Riot of Our Own pg 61.
Jul 4 Apollo, Glasgow, Scotland
Another extensively chronicled night in Johnny Greens book. The bouncers beating up the fans was re-enacted for the film Rude Boy. See A Riot of Our Own pg89+
Jul 5 Music Hall, Aberdeen, Scotland
See A Riot of Our Own pg89
Jul 6 Dunfermline Kinema, Scotland
Correct info from a late tour poster. Johnney Green also refers to this as a venue on p89. End of White Riot appeared on Scottish TV the day after...
Jul 7 Deeside Leisure Centre, Queensferry, Nr Chester
Resheduled from the 6th? An audience recording was made.

1. Alternatively... Just looking at your Clash tourography, pretty sure they never played Deeside Leisure Centre in July ‘78, I can remember it being advertised but they never actually played.
2. Just looking at the listing of clash gigs. I confirm that the clash did not play at Deeside leisure centre as part of the on parole tour I saw them at erics Liverpool  on tat tour. They did play a year or two later with mikey dread (i think it was the 16 tons tour – but i can barely remember) - Tony - tony[a]

Jul 8 Sports Centre, Crawley
Johnny Green says he trapped Micks fingers here and that after a trip top the hospital they all headed for the next venue which was Southampton. A Riot of Our Own p96.

.. after the gig we started towards Three Bridges Rail station, we'd heard we could get a train back to London from there. After ten minutes walk we encountered a group of punks walking back towards Crawley; a large group of skinheads had collected at Three Bridges station waiting for *us*. We walked back with them and hung around near the gig - after awhile the sounds of trouble and sure enough the skins had gotten tired of waiting and were now back in Crawley causing problems. My mate and I managed to get to the venue where the crew were loading out. We expalined what was happening and asked them for a lift back to London [with Johnney Green & Co]; we were dropped off on Streatham High Rd and walked home to Balham." Steve

Confirm story re skinheads (from Croydon). Me and my friends ran across railway sidings at 3 Bridges to escape. Specilas were then known as the Coventry Specials. This is the gig where the skin jumped on stage and lamped Alan Vega from Suicide. Colin

Jul 9 Locarno, Bristol
another confirmed performance in A Riot of our Own and dated the 9th on tour posters and later prom adverts and dates given to music press. However Green states Southamton followed Crawley - he needs to check BMC a lot more often?!.

Bristol followed Crawley not Southampton. I have door stub.
Set list: Complete Control, T Gun, Cheapskates, Jail Guitar Doors, Drug Stabbing Times, Clash CR, Riot, Stay Free, Capital Radio, Police and Thieves segueing into Blitzkrieg Bop, English Civil War, Safe European, What's My Nmae, London Buring, Garageland encores Bored USA, Janine Jones, White Riot. Colin

check Swansea 16 May 1977 - punters comments

Jul 9 Southampton Cancelled?
Jul 10 Town Hall, Torquay
Jul 11 Top Rank, Cardiff, Wales
Jul 12 Top Rank, Birmingham
Suicide, Coventry Automatics (later Specials) and Spizz 77 were supporting.

Steve Jones came on for an encore of 'Pretty Vacant'

Jul 13 Liverpool Empire
Cancelled due to the venue getting cold feet. Reararranged from the Empite to Erics a week later. Also Bob Gruens book pg39
Jul 13 King Georges Hall, Blackburn
Blackburn was a late addition to the Tour. Liverpool was cancelled due to the venue getting cold feet. See below. Refered extensively (p84) to in A Riot of Our Own where Mick got busted by Blacburn CID for possession. The motel he refers to is the Moat House. This is the date bacause it gets a late mention in the NME of the previous week. Steve Jones came on for the encores though the noise and atmosphere was incredible. For the afternoon soundcheck the band performed Desmond Deckers 'The Israleites' (which was about 4.30 for statisticians).
Jul 14 Corn Exchange, Bury St Edmunds
a late addition to the tour and the last night according to johnny Greens A Riot of our Own pg99

I was just re-reading Johnny Green’s “Riot of our Own” and when I got to the bit about the Bury St Edmunds gig (July 14 1978) my mind wandered back almost 30 years, to when I was 16.

I had taken two extra things to Bury St Edmunds that day - a “White Man in Hammersmith Palais” single sleeve (to be autographed) and one of those piano-style tape recorders (for bootlegging purposes). Positioning myself at the front, right-hand side, I thought life would be easier if I just placed the tape recorder on the stage; that way I could forget about it and enjoy the band. Paul Simonon was over on that side & when he made his darting runs forward he kept kicking the tape-recorder. At first I thought it was accidental, but he kept on doing it. I could see he was getting annoyed, because he couldn’t manage to knock it off the stage. Whenever it went close to the edge I simply stopped bouncing around for a second and moved it back.

Half-way through the gig this typical Camden Town rockabilly type came over and grabbed the tape-recorder. I obviously looked crest-fallen.
“You can come and get it after the show,” he said, not at all unpleasantly. It was Johnny Green of course. But I was still a bit concerned that I would never see it again, and tape recorders (in those days) were expensive items.

After the encores I said to the people I had come with that I was going to try and get my belongings back. I think they wished me good luck. In those days I didn’t really drink, so my only courage was righteous indignation at the loss of my tape-recording equipment. I soon found the backstage area and also the Camden Town rockabilly. True to his word he gave me the tape recorder back, minus the tape. We chatted amiably about the possibility of recording the band live, the reprehensibility of amateur bootleggers and (his words, not mine) the fact that the Clash never really sounded as good as they should when these live recordings surfaced. And then he invited me in for a drink.

What a scene of utter debauchery ! Half pint cans of Heineken and bowls full of peanuts. Mick Jones sitting in a chair looking pleased with himself, Paul Simonon glowering away at nobody in particular (surely not me). I helped myself to a can of lager and some peanuts. Then Mr Rockabilly decided to introduce me to Mick Jones as the person who was trying to bootleg the show. Well, he couldn’t have been more good humoured about it.

“Who’s a naughty bootlegger then ?” he said. “Hold your hand out.”

I held my hand out. He tried to whack it, and I pulled it away just in time. Backstage with the Clash was just like being at school, but with free beer and peanuts. I was probably on my third can of Heineken, sitting on the floor, when somebody said,
“Hey, what are you doing here ?”

“Oh, it’s alright,” I said, “he said it was okay.”

By this time I considered the Camden Town rockabilly as my friend and passport to beer & nuts. He really was a good guy.
The Clash, now I know, had finished their tour. They were in no rush to do anything. They lingered around in the empty Corn Exchange chatting to the fans. They all signed the “White Man” sleeve, even Paul, bless him. And afterwards, if the Camden Town rockabilly’s account is true, the roadies got paid & had a whale of a time.

So, there does exist a tape of that Bury St Edmunds gig. It was confiscated by Johnny Green & was probably recorded over or thrown in a bin, or strewn around the streets of Bury St Edmunds by the road crew. Tim Joyce

The Clash in Suffolk
The Clash played Bury St Edmunds Corn Exchange in 1978 supported by The Coventry Specials (who later dropped the 'Coventry').

The promoter for the Bury gig was John Hessenthaler:

"The punk thing was a bit of a no-go area, because on the Sex Pistols' Anarchy tour, which The Clash were on, many of the advertised gigs had been cancelled because of local council policy, swearing etc.
"It was a July gig and the local council tried to stop it, but because I had a contract with them I insisted it went ahead.

"There were rumours that there was going to be trouble, but that didn't happen.

"There was also a rumour that Bob Dylan was going to come to the gig, because he was a labelmate and in the country for the Blackbushe Aerodrome festival, but that didn't happen."

The promoter estimates that tickets cost around £2.50 and the capacity of the Corn Exchange was around 900 - around double what it is in 2010.

"It was a great night and quite interesting from a business point of view," said John.

"I'd agreed a fee of £250 with The Clash's management and they were so convinced that it was going to be rammed, that they rang me up a few days before the gig wanting to change it so that they'd get a percentage of the door.

"However, I didn't feel it was going to be quite as big as they thought, so I agreed and they ended up going away with less that the original agreed fee!

"Once you get into the realms of dealing with PA companies and agents, all this 'power to the people' stuff - it doesn't really apply behind the scenes."
Jul 15 Picketts Lock Sports Centre, Edmonton
gig cancelled due to local residents complaints. the Clash also banned from Newcastle.
Jul 21 Liverpool Eric's - Friday evening
They also played an extra show on Friday July 21st at Eric's in Liverpool with the Specials in support. This was in response to the cancellation of the Empire concert and the large demand.
Jul 22 Liverpool Eric's - matinee for under 16's
Jul 22 Liverpool Eric's - evening
the Liverpool show on the 13th - the Empire show was cancelled due to the venue getting cold feet.  They re-scheduled Liverpool to Saturday 22nd July and played two shows at Liverpool Eric's - an afternoon matinee show for under 16's and an evening one.  It was so fucking hot... Paul Simonon mentions the 'ceiling raining' at Eric's on page 39 of the Bob Gruen book - that was the time he meant. 
Jul 24 Music Machine, London
Jul 25 Music Machine, London
Jul 26 Music Machine, London
Jul 27 Music Machine, London