Sort it Out Tour Supported by The Slits

updated 12 Feb 2012 - added ticket
Major update Dec 2014 - cataloguing dates of offical releases

There is a lot of confusiojn over the recordings over three nights; which belongs to which so we have unusualy listed all three with a breakdown of the official and unofficial recordings and which night we believe they originate from.

Wednesday 3rd January
3rd Party source - Sbd - sound 4.0 - full - 19 tracks
We can assume this is the correct date as Joe apologises to ticket holders from the Music Machine gig and Mick says this is the last gig for 6 months.

Friday 29th December
3rd party source - sbd but from copie(s) - 18 racks -
Sound 4.0 - full? -
There is no way of knowing if the Bootlegs Sort it Out/Buy or Die/USA 79 are from the 28th and the 29th. Sort it Out says it from the 29th with the last two tracks from the 28th. We are going to accept that. Buy or Die is a reissue but with a full Garageland.

Thursday 28th December
3rd party source - sbd but from copie(s) - 18 racks -
Sound 4.0 - full? -
There is no way of knowing if the Bootlegs Sort it Out/Buy or Die/USA 79 are from the 28th and the 29th. Sort it Out says it from the 29th with the last two tracks from the 28th. We are going to accept that. Buy or Die is a reissue but with a full Garageland.


Sort it Out CD - Sound 4 - 68min -
unknown gen - 18 tracks [plus 2 from the 28th]
this copy has an edit in Garageland and shouldn't

USA 79 CD - Sound 4 - 64min - cd/m - 18 tracks
complete but no tracks from the 28th

Buy or Die CD - Sound 4 - 68min - cd/m - 21 tracks
re-issue with all 20 tracks plus Rockers Galore b-side

Offical Releases
We have listened over and again to these tracks and in our best efforts we believe these tracks correspond to the above gigs. The official releases have been remixed (16 track originals?)

We have concentrated on teh intro and outro's of each song and Joes lyrics where there tends to be particulalr differences.

Clash on Broadway Boxset

  1. English Civil War = from the 3rd -
    intro words “yeah Awright”
  2. I Fought the Law = 28th
    We are not sure but around 'Sweetest Girl' doesn't match either 3rd or 29th & quite section of the low tempo twoards the end doesnt match either. See Rude Boy Cassestte below.

Rude Boy Cassette (official)
A very limited promo tape issued by Atlantic Publishing Nov 16 1980.

  1. I Fought the Law = 28th
    Same as Clash on Broadway version and maybe the origianl that Sony used and that is listed as the 28th.

From Here to Eternity

  1. City of the Dead = 3rd -
    Defo from the 3rd - last chord/guitar screech
  2. I Fought the Law = 28th
    same as CoB

  3. Drug Stabbing Time = Def 3rd -
    end vocals “Straight up”

From Here to Eternity sampler

  1. City of the Dead = 3rd -
    same as FHTE!

From Here to Eternity II (unofficial)

  1. Cheapskates = Defo 3rd -
    matches Cheapskates played on the 3rd
  2. Safe European Home = Defo 3rd -
    joes two shouts twoards the end

Sony Sound System Boxset

  1. City of the Dead = 3rd -
    Intro words match
  2. Jail Guitar Doors = 28th?
    Does not match 29 or 3rd
  3. English Civil War = 3rd -
    sounds similar
  4. Stay Free = 3rd? - Not 29th
    End matches the 3rd
  5. Cheapskates =Def 3rd -
    29th Tops adds one drum strike at end, 3rd drums out
  6. I Fought the Law = Same as FHTE

Rude Boy Video -

  1. I Fought the Law - 28th - Same as FHTE

Rude Boy DVD - with bonus track

  1. I Fought the Law - 28th - Same as FHTE
  2. English Civil War - = from the 3rd -
    intro words “yeah Awright”

Rude Boy Promo cassette more info
Sound 5 - 6min - 1gen - 2 tracks
English Civil War

Clash on Broadway Box Set - 5 - 6min - 2 tracks
English Civil War

From Here To Eternity - Sound 5 - 6min - 2 tracks
I Fought the Law and City of the Dead

full gig - drom 16 track mobile studio
slight distortion - Sound 5 - 66min - 19 tracks

Rude Boy Video - Sound 5 - 3min - mast - 1 track
I Fought the Law

Rude Boy DVD - with bonus track - Sound 5 -
6min - mast - 2 tracks
I Fought the Law + English Civil War bonus

Visit the Clash on Stage website for a comprehensive catalogue of unofficially released CD's and Vinyl.

Much confusion

There has been confusion over which of the 3 Lyceum dates are the source for the Sort It Out /Buy or Die CD and which for this “Rude Boy” filmed/recorded concert. This pro-recorded gig used in the film IS the 3rd january and NOT the 28th as previously thought. The boots, Sort it Out and Buy or Die are from the 29th, and maybe as stated the 28th as well.

The recording from here on the 3rd is much superior to the boots from the 28th and 29th and nearly as good as they appear on FHTE.

FHTE dates the “Rude Boy” gig as 28th December from where I Fought the Law and City of the Dead came and the Clash On Broadway booklet has English Civil War from this concert as recorded January 79. However all three tracks come from this pro-recorded gig of the 3rd January and FHTE has most likely got it wrong.

FHTE used the Rude Boy dates which have proven wrong previously; eg. the Music Machine July 78 songs are not from the 27th July as stated.

Mick confirms the date of this particularly gig himself by saying clearly before White Riot “This is the last gig for about 6 months, so this will have to sustain you”. The dates given on Sort It Out are therefore correct with that recording coming from the 28th or 29th December. This pro-recording though is the 3rd January.

16 track mobile studio for Rude Boy

For Rude Boy (and CBS) this gig was recorded professionally on a 16 track mobile studio like the previous gigs on the 28th and 29th December.

The definitive live versions from this gig of I Fought The Law and English Civil War from Rude Boy have also been available on the Clash On Broadway (ECW now joining I Fought the Law on the DVD to - previously not available on video). And the terrific City of The Dead was more recently released on FHTE.

More recently Sony have released more tracks through Sound System Boxset. (See above)

the full gig

The only defects in this recording are some patches of distortion, a few drop outs and the fact that this source has not been mixed by the likes of Bill Price for FHTE to pick out the instrumentation and improve the stereo separation.

Guitars are a touch too far back in the mix to get the full 78 Clash power, giving a rather too polished sound. But these are minor criticisms and its still a definite 5 sound quality and highly enjoyable. Together with Sort it Out/Buy or Die, there exists two excellent quality recordings of the three Lyceum shows.

The Clash all dressed in black (for Dave Mingay’s benefit for Rude Boy live footage) and explode into Safe European Home, followed by the definitive live version of I Fought The Law.

Joe then says “Special hello to those of you who got Music Machine tickets and got fucked about at the door (referring to the Sid Benefit gig) and the whole lot of you for waiting”.The January date was added to cope with excess demand and problems at the Sid Benefit.

A brilliant Jail Guitar Doors follows with Joe singing the Toots & The Maytals lyrics “54, 46 that’s my number, right now someone else has that number”.

So many of the performances are brilliant and arguably the definitive live recordings in circulation (Drug Stabbing Time, Cheapskates, Julie probably – Tommy Gun and Clash City Rockers have a number of competitors not least the Something Else TV performances), that its easier to pick out the ones that are not superlative.

Police and Thieves has certainly been performed with more intensity and imagination, which together with Capital Radio are normally the standout songs from the 78 set lists because they allow more musical and lyrical improvisation. But here Capital Radio too whilst still highly enjoyable is not inspired. The FHTE decision to use the fantastic Lewisham 80 performance is vindicated.

White Man suffers from a tape edit mid way and a further edit that repeats the Robin Hood refrain. It’s a great performance though, with Joe spitting out the words with venom and passion.

There is a pause before Stay Free with Mick saying of Joe “he says just get on with it, that’s all he ever says to me”.

Stay Free suffers mid way with bass distortion and Mick’s vocals dropping of in the mix, before the song picks up again with some great lead work from Mick on the end coda. Julie’s Working for the Drug Squad, not normally a live favourite is excellent here, providing some contrast with its r’n’b almost funky backing.

The band then charge through the older crowd favourites (with Joe’s voice sounding increasingly hoarse), Janie Jones, Garageland, and into the encore of Complete Control, London’s Burning and White Riot with Mick teasing the audience over Topper’s drumming with “wait for it” before crashing into the first chords.


Safe European Home
I Fought the Law
Jail guitar Doors
Drug Stabbing Time
The City of the dead
Clash City Rockers
Tommy Gun
White Man in Hammersmith
English Civil War
Stay Free
Julies been working for...
Police and Thieves
Capital Radio
Janie Jones
Complete Control
Londons Burning
White Riot

Music Machine oversold -
extra date added Lyceum 3 Jan

Record Mirror review

Any further info / reviews appreciated

NME front page only
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]>

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]>

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