Sort it Out Tour

updated 2 Jan 2009 - added radio interview

there is no known recording of this gig

cdr - 30 minute interview by Ian Penman with Mick and Joe

"the Dec 2 Polytechnic, Newcastle gig did take place (thought you could be right it might be the 9th, it was a Saturday anyway) as I was at this concert, and out of the 20 or so clash gigs I attended this was my favourite due to the atmosphere. The clash were supported by the Innocents, and the Slits.

The poly was a guests only venue and most of the punks at the concert were not student union members so were not allowed in, and a lot of the students would not sign people in. There was no problem buying tickets so a lot of people were pissed of with he students as they thought they were being ripped off as there was also no refund (not that anyone wanted a refund). I managed to get in early and there was a lot of fire escape doors kicked open to let people in.

I can't remember much about the Innocents except they had a female singer and I think were along similar sound as the Raincoats or Kleenex. The Slits came on stage and Ari invited all the punks to "kick the shit out of the students for being wankers and not letting people in" or something along those lines, and a lot of the punks obliged. During the slits set someone at the front of the stage stuck their hand up Ari's mini skirt so he had the shit kicked out of him, by the audience, and Ari as he was pinned to the stage and couldn't go anywhere as Ari stamped on his face and couldn't turn around as the people behind were hitting him as well.

The Clash, and particularly Joe was apparently a bit peeved at Ari's outburst and the fighting and after playing Safe European Home (the opening song) asked for everyone to calm down, then went on to play the best gig Iv seen, probably due to the band being in a bad mood over all the fighting.

The next day the gig was on the front page of the Northern Echo with a shot of the Clash on stage taken from the back balcony of the Poly and a review of the mini-riot that had taken place (I was also in the picture :-)), and as far as I can remember the Northern Echo was only published on a Sunday at the time. Iv thought about checking the news-agency archives as I wouldn't mind a copy of the picture as I never kept the original article, it was not something I thought about at the time."

A second review of the Newcastle gig

Newcastle Poly 2.12.78

There was a lot of tension building up to this Clash gig, the last night of the tour, as only students were allowed to buy tickets. The local, and thriving, new wave scene took exception and students with good music taste (and a union card) received a degree of harrassment to deliver tickets.

At the time I was a student and working, voluntarily, on the Newcastle University newspaper "The Courier" and sensed a story. I was interested in how they could play a venue to such a limited, privileged audience and remain loyal to their well-known egalitarian beliefs. I phoned their manager, Caroline Coon, with the obvious questions and eventually had a couple of conversations with her to the effect that the band was determined to see the doors opened up on the night to the general public.

Newcastle Poly was (maybe still is) a typical venue with a number of entrances/ exits and a big high room which doubled up as the Refrectory in the day time. There were hundreds of people hanging round outside, on a very cold night - without tickets  - verbally assaulting me and my fellow Clash-loving student mates. There was a lot of tension in the air when The Slits came on. They were clearly not happy at playing to the selected audience and made their views well know, resulting in a few isolated fights.

When the Slits closed their (15 minute) set, there was a serious attempt by the general public to get into the venue. Many had tickets but they also had to show a Student Union Card to get in. A lot of students (including myself) dropped our Union Cards from an upstairs window to people trying to get in. Some managed it.

The tension and the aggravation clearly got to Joe and the band. It was the most incendiary live performance I've ever seen. He was furious with the Slits and stopped the show a number of times to get people to back off from the stage, saying this was not how he wanted to close the tour.

On the way out it was clear the venue was overcrowded and there were some hairy, potentially nasty scenes of people panicking to exit. Nevertheless anyone who was there will tell you that this was the gig to remember for the rest of your life.

A third review of the Newcastle gig

Dec 2 1978 Newcastle Poly - I'd just been married that afternoon and took the wife for her honeymoon so it definitely happened. Your reviewer is spot on about the situation. I had to leave my newly wed other half outside for an hour before a serious blag got her in. 25 years later she's still with me - now that is loyalty.
It was a rather fierce gig though - intense and the songs were played with real venom. A right mellee stage front.

unknown

Any further info / reviews appreciated

NME front page only
C-L-A-S-H
2 December 1978

NME? The Clash sack Rhodes
Page 1 ... page 2
New dates and reasons behind sacking

A Clash Of Interests
Miles, Time Out,
15 December 1978Will success spoil Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Topper Headon and Joe Strummer? Miles chronicles the decline of a movement and the rise of a rock band. IT'S BEEN a long time since anybody regarded The Who as a mod band, the Beatles as exponents of Merseybeat, or Bob Dylan as a folk-rocker...

The Face 1980 -
Sort it Out Tour Perspective
Vaughan Toulouse quit the dole in PLymouth to follow the 1978 Clash Sort it Out Tour. "For a while back there in the summer of 76 I was fast lsoing hope in the future of rock n roll."

Clash Tour Dates
NME 7 October 1978 -
UNDER THE banner of “The Clash Sort It out”, the band next month begin their longest-ever British tour. It will include several Loildon dates in early December, details to be announced shortly. Meanwhile, confirmed gigs are:

Extra dates added
Melody Maker?
The Clash have extended their British Tour up to Christmas and have finalised...

Tour poster

December 15th 1978 Time Out cover story + cover image about The Clash (actually a very condensed version of a book written by Miles that was around at the time) page 1 ... page 2 ... page 3

Advert from the same Time Out for Purley & Lyceums concerts on 18/28/29 December 1978

The Inncoents
from Marguerite, lead singer

The fist date of the sort it out tour was the scottish gig. Edinburgh, i thought they played Glasgow right before that?

We missed the first gig. There was a snow storm and we drove up, we walked in just as theClash went on, but after that we did ALL the gigs. Two with out the slits, just us and the Clash, but mostly us, then the slits and then the Clash.

The tour officially started in mid Nov on a tuesday, I seem to recall that we were trying for that. So we played thirty gigs, came back played with Suzie and the Banshees at the music Machine and then did the Sid Vicious Benefit.

I don't know why you seem to be the only people who noticed us in the years since...but thanks for it.

Just to add. I didn't count all the cancelled dates, but we were often on the road waiting to hear if we would play or not...Newcastle was a mob scene...

I hope this helps, write back if you have any questions.

Best Marguerite, <clarity32[a]gmail.com>

Meloday Maker front cover only


These dates have changed and reflect A Riot of Our Own, the NME and tape details.

Belfast was the first night, Dublin the day after, a day off in London before Paris. The remaining dates fit around the Belgium tape and A Riot of Our Own. Several French dates are missing after Paris

Oct 13 Belfast, University SU, Queens Hall
Johnny Green (A Riot of Our Own p106) states this was the opening of the tour. Date from NME gig review.
Oct 14 Top Hat, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin
with Berlin .. ticket ... poster
Oct 16 Le Stadium, Paris
Johnny Greens book states this was Le Palace (Le Palace is the promotion company for many French gigs). As the poster says, its the 16th October at Le Stadium.
Oct 19

Leuven (in the town parc during a beer festival)

There is a reference in Discogs of a bootleg of the concert in Leuven. I doubt it is genuine:

Oct 20 The Stokvishal, Arnhem, Holland
I went a concert of The Clash at the Stokvishal in Arnhem (Holland) on friday, October 20 1978. I don't know for sure if my agenda is completely right, but it seems right. The Stokvishal was a great place at this time, it was an old factory hall based on the, during the Arnhem battle of 1945, completely distroyed  area close to the Arhem bridge.
Other concerts I visited at that time at the Stokvishal: Iggy Pop, Cure, Only Ones, Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers, Specials, Madness, Theatre of Hate...
Oct 21 The Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland.
We believe this may have been the 24th (see above). The 21st. Both these last two gig are noted on p110 of A Riot of Our Own.
Oct 22 Ancienne Belgique, Brussels
some tapes have this labeled the 30th. The recording (Joe) I.D.'s the venue as Brussels but Johnny Greens book A Riot of Our Own (p109) suggests the Begium date of the 22nd was Leuven just outside Brussels. Around 1500 people at the gig. Great photos here from Philippe Carly
Oct 23

Cinema Home, Fieron (suburb of Liege)

It is said that it was the backroom of a pub in a industrial suburbs. It must have been surrealistic like Belgium.
The book said the Clash trashed and destroyed the walls between the bacsktages. About the date, the book said the band played a monday, so it must have been the 23rd. Photo below from gig. There's a book with a pic on page 88 link here

One member of the dutch punkband The Filth confirmed that they played as support act from The Clash on the 21th of october 1978 in Paradiso in Amsterdam. We thought this gig may have been the 21st. I can see at the description of the gigs at the end of october 1978 that you are not sure of the dates you mentioned are correct. The day before they played at the Stokvishal in Arnhem. The date you gave: 24th of october 1978 Paradiso is wrong! Yours Sincerly, Peter Clash fan from Holland

Johnny Greens book A Riot of Our Own (p109) suggests a Belgium gig at Leuven just outside Brussels, following a drive up from Paris. Some suggestion that this gig followed the Brussels gig. 400 people there.

Oct 25 Roxy Theatre, Harlesden, London
Postponed on the 9th September, resheduled date of September 25th postponed and also further resheduled date of 14th October postponed. New GLC restrictions limited tickets to 900, so a second night scheduled for the other 700.

Whirlwind supported. I do not know about the 26.10.78. Free t-shirts (Tommy Gun) given to audience for being messed around previously. I have two. Colin

Oct 26 Roxy Theatre, Harlesden, London
Nov 3 Bath Pavillion
see ticket
Nov 9 Village Bowl, Bournemouth cancelled? (NME 7 Oct 78)
Nov 10 Winter Gardens, Malvern cancelled?
Nov 12? Canterbury Odeon
A Riot of Our Own pg124
Nov 14 Locarno, Coventry cancelled?
Nov 15 Belle Vue, Manchester
Nov 16 Odeon, Edinburgh, Scotland
Nov 17 Town Hall, Middlesborough
Nov 18 Leeds University
supported by the Innocents as well as by the Slits.
Nov 19 Top Rank, Sheffield
supported by the Innocents as well as by the Slits.
Nov 20 De Montfort, Leicester
supported by the Innocents as well as by the Slits.
Nov 21 Locarno, Bristol
supported by the Innocents as well as by the Slits.
Nov 22 Birmingham Odeon cancelled
Nov 22 Village Bowl, Bournemouth
Nov 23 Ipswich Gaumont cancelled
Nov 23 Apollo, Manchester
Nov 24

Kings Hall, Derby

supported by the Innocents as well as by the Slits. ... ticket ... ticket ... poster
Nov 26 Top Rank, Cardiff, Wales
Nov 27 University, Exeter
Nov 28 Tiffany’s, Coventry
Melody Maker lists this as the Locarno at Coventry?
On the Road with the Clash
Traxmarx - includes Tiffany's Gig
Nov 29 Victoria Hall, Hanley, Stoke

Subject: Re:Stoke 78-
...the guy (mark) who runs the punk vinyl stall on Leek (saturday) & Newcastle under lyme markets, is attempting to retrive his tape of stoke 78 from a mate in essex. PS don't confuse mark with the white haired prog seller also on leek market


The 29th November '78 wasn't the Stoke Mandeville concert. '78 was with the Slits, was more rock, less anarchic, better musically, but I was a bit disappointed all the same (that isn't to say it was a bad concert, but compared to the first..). We weren't allowed backstage after the concert. Joe insisted that everyone got in for £2,25 whether they were advance sales or not, threatening not to play otherwise. (1)

the gig line up was the clash slits and the innocents, viv and the rest of the slits came into the crowd to watch the clash autographs were given, when the clash arrived for the sound check, they also signed loads of stuff for the group of fans at the back door, which included me 14 years old and a clash fan then (2 nacro_killer)

"During the drum intro for Tommy Gun, Topper hit himself in the eye with a drumstick, so joe shouted "tommy gun!, with one eye!" (Tim)

I was at the same gig, had an amazing night, fist of all Topper was playing so maically his drum stick snapped in half and I managed to get the top half that flew off...and then after the gig me and my mates managed to get in the dressing room, sitting on the floor with the band talking, they all signed my Sort It Out Tour poster, unbelievable! (Shaun)Howdy


Excellent site - been checking you out for a few years now. Couple of bits of trivia regarding punter comments on 29/11/78 Hanley Victoria Hall.

Fans were allowed backstage at this gig - eventually. The reason for the delay was a scene being filmed for Rude Boy. The bit near the end where Mick lambasts Ray for is Racist quips. Clearly seen behind Mick is some graffiti stating "Stoke Punks rule" or similar. Caroline Coon was floating about looking impossibly glamourous to a very impressionable 14 year old. Another very brief scene was shot and appears in rude Boy - the trashed dressing room (done previously by the Jam) where Joe is tuning his Tele. Bruno Brooks later interviewed Topper and Paul which was broadcast on the Sunday following the gig and later issued unedited as a pic disc (featuring a later pic of Joe with mohican!!!)

I'd love to get in touch with the previous commenter 'nacro-killer' as I used to work for NACRO in the eighties and possibly know the individual. Do you have a forum? Rob Wild <rob.wild1[a]virgin.net>

Nov 30 Wirrina Stadium, Peterborough
Dec 2 Polytechnic, Newcastle
last night of the tour according to A Riot of Our Own pg 125 and it definately took place. It is listed on adverts in the music press as a late date for the Tour.
Dec 4 University Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland
cancelled due to student only policy which Joe found out about and objected too. A Riot of Our Own pg123
Dec 5 University Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland
cancelled due to student only policy which Joe found out about and objected too
Dec 6

Liverpool University Guild of Students (Mountford Hall & Stanley Theatre), Liverpool,

You've a gig listed on the Sort It Out Tour at Liverpool University on 6/12/78 which Iím not sure ever took place.

?????? Brighton Top Rank
I saw the Clash at the Brighton top Rank in '78 or possibly the first half of '79, can't see it listed anywhere, anyone else remember it? It was well before London Calling, they opened with English Civil War, I remember it cos Topper let me and some other kids in the side door as you were sposed to be 21 to get in and the bouncers weren't having any of it! I was 16 at the time I'm pretty sure, still at school anyway and i left in '79. I'd love to know the date of the gig.
Dec 10 Liverpool Erics

Erics published a book with a flyer advertising the Clash on 10 December.

As the Clash had cancelled a gig at Glasgow Uni on 5/12/78 due to the student only door policy , perhaps they also binned the Liverpool Uni gig and switched it to Ericís on the 10/12/78 ?

Dec 12 Pavillion Bath
This gig definately took place. Thx for info. Poster
Dec 17 Portsmouth Locarno
Dec 18 Tiffany’s, Purley
[originally anounced as Purley Locarno] supported by the Slits - snowed heavily. A large cheesy nightclub in South London. Supported by the Innocents as well as by the Slits.
Dec 19 Music Machine, London
...Sid Vicious Defence Fund benefit. Also supported by Phil Rambow and Friends.
Dec 20 Civic Hall Wolverhampton?
Dec 21 Hastings Pier Pavillion
Dec 22 Friars, Aylesbury
On the Road with the Clash
Traxmarx - includes Friars Xmas Party featuring The Clash
Dec 28 Lyceum, London
Dec 29 Lyceum, London
Jan 3 Lyceum, London
This gig may have been the 31 December?
On the Road with the Clash
Traxmarx - includes this Lyceum gig