updated 7 July 2008 - Acoustic Toon aded + photo
updated 5 Jan 2010 - Added punters comments

cdr- crowd sing a long - Sound 3 - 20min - low? - 6

Acoustic Toon 7" Vinyl - 1 track - Pressure Drop - Upgraded sound

The Clash at The Drum Club

Much like Back to Basics LP recorded at Newcastle earlier in the day, but slightly lesser in soundand with more crowd participation.

It a more dynamic sound than Edinburgh, and maybe Glasgow, but the instruments are nearly buried in the crowd sing a long.

It is a little thin at the top end but clear of any distortion.

Sunderland Echo

May 11, 1985
Clash rock The Salem

One of the biggest punk bands in the world set out on a very low-key tour armed only with acoustic guitars and a pair of drumsticks. Patrick Lavelle recalls Saturday, May 11, 1985, to Remember When The Clash (pictured below) visited Sunderland.

THEY had played to tens of thousands at concerts in the United States and at least half a million in a Rock Against Racism rally in London in the late 1970s.

And in the 1980s their raw, energetic album, London Calling, was voted the best album of the decade by Rolling Stone magazine.

So what was Joe Strummer and other members of The Clash doing in the Salem Hotel pub in Hendon in May, 1985? "They were having a few drinks," says Marty Yule, one-time drummer with Sunderland’s most well-known punk band, The Toy Dolls.

"They were on a busking tour playing venues across the country and they were in Sunderland for a few days, kipping down wherever they could."

The Clash, anti-establishment, anti-racist, anti-violence and anti-commercialisation, were going "back to basics". The band never played live on Top of the Pops and frontman Strummer didn’t like doing autographs. The Clash hated the "celebrity" side of the music business. When they embarked on a national "busking" tour everything was low-key and only those in the know found out where they were playing.

On Saturday, May 11, 1985, The Clash played Gollums Bar in the Mowbray Park Hotel and The Drum Club in Genevieves (The Mayfair in Newcastle Road) that night. But Marty, who now runs Hot Rats record shop on the corner of Stockton Road and Olive Street, remembers The Clash playing The Bunker in Stockton Road in the same week. "I was living in Ashbrooke at the time and my mate Jerome Dagg came round and shouted up to my window ‘The Clash are in the Carlton Bar’. "I couldn’t believe it, but they were there, having a couple of pints."

The Carlton Bar, Sunderland’s punk rockers may remember, was inside Langham Tower, one of the then Polytechnic’s buildings, and attracted students and non-students alike. "The Clash were really down to earth. They were talking to everyone, very approachable," Marty says.

In their few days in Sunderland The Clash did play The Bunker, says Marty, but the gig was cut short. "At the time Alan Christie was the keyholder for The Bunker and the place got packed out once it was known The Clash were there.

"The only problem was The Bunker didn’t have a licence for live concerts, so they had to be called off the stage. There were fears we might get closed down." During their time in the North East – they also played in Gateshead and outside a gig in Newcastle by The Alarm, says Marty – a local photographer, Gerry McCulloch, captured them on stage and off. "Gerry took some great photographs," says Marty. "I think he still has them but he’s now living and working in the film business in London."

13th may 85

"The clash played in princes street edinburgh in the afternoon and then played at la sorbonne at night where they announced the gig at coasters the next night."

"Sadly I only found out about this the day after the coasters gig I read an interview with simonon once where he said that the busking tour was the best time he ever had with the clash."

"It must have been great, just turn up and play, you dont know where your going to sleep or where your going to go tomorrow and I believe gateshead station was actually a pub or a venue called the Station rather than an actual subway or train station."

you've ommitted a gig - 10th May 1985. - The Bunker, Sunderland. I never made it to this one, but did get to the Gateshead Station gig the day after. Afterwards we got the train back home and went for a drink with them in the Salem. The Gollumns gig was originally booked for local band 'Patrick'...who eventually 'supported' The Clash that evening. That was a mental gig in a tiny basement room!! Then it was onto The Drum Club for the final show of the day....... i was 16 at the time, i saw the clash 3 times in one day.....life somehow was never the same again!!

Cheers Dave

I saw The Clash play in the Carlton Bar at Sunderland Poly.

At the time, I was a student living nearby, and I'd walked up to have a pint.

Normally, you'd just stroll in. This night, it was chaos, with people milling about outside and the door shut.

I managed to ask Hazel (possibly Heather) who ran the bar what was going on by shouting through the glass. She yelled back: "The Clash are playing."

The place was packed out  and she wasn't letting  any more in.

Not wanting to miss it, a few of us managed to sneak in round the back through a fire door and sure enough, there was Joe, standing on a table singing. No amplification, obviously, and the drummer was playing on the back of a chair.

Can't remember what they played - although Janie Jones rings a bell - but it was certainly a memorable night.

Either later that night or the next night I also saw them at The Bunker, where Strummer wasn't impressed when a lad climbed on stage and tried to join in. I think he was pretty promptly shoved back where he came from.

As a footnote, the same kid, a student, was killed a while later when he fell out of an upstairs window of a house on Tunstall Road, round the back of Ashbrooke cricket ground.

Phil Smith - philip.smith4[a]virgin.net


Pressure Drop
White Man in Ham Palais
I Fought the Law
Police on My Back
Clash City Rockers

White Man in Ham Palais

Sunderland Echo (remembers)

Any further info / reviews

BUSKING TOUR...Joe and Paul took the boys on an impromptu busking tour - playing publicly and outside venues acoustically... the 'shows' generated some excitement about the forthcoming album... They all hitched from London by the M1 and agreed to meet up in the pub near Nottingham Railway Station. The Last Days of the Clash - Vince White pg 226
May 3 S Under Canal Bridge, Nottingham
Vince White describes this as their first gig. A practice under the Canal bridge wheer no-one can see them. Stepping Stone, Police & Thieves, Come on Everybody The Last Days of the Clash - Vince White pg 227
May 3 S The Precinct, Nottingham
Their first public gig where the band walked to following the practice under the Canal bridge. They play Stepping Stone, Police & Thieves, Come on Everybody & Stepping Stone again. The Last Days of the Clash - Vince White pg 228
May 3 S Outside Marks & Spencers, Nottingham
Their second public gig. They play Rivers of Babylon & Not Fade Away (Bo Diddley). The Last Days of the Clash - Vince White pg 228
May 3 S Old Market Square, Nottingham
Marcus Grays Last Gang in Town 1st Edition page 434

"Hi, Had to comment on what a fantastic site. RE:May 3 Garage Club, Nottingham Nice to see that impromptu gig outside the Garage has been listed for posterity. I remember me and my mate dicky making our way to the Garage on that night.  We were in both Nottingham's "No Tears " at the time and were out after a gig. We could hear the strains of someone busking "career opportunitys" floating down the street. I remember commenting that "Someone thinks they're the Clash". We rounded the corner of the small street the Garage was on and there were the Clash playing out on the street. There were only 3 or 4 people watching. As we got up to them they had just finished the number. Joe asked what we wanted to hear. Someone said "White riot" and they just launched into it.They came into the club and held court in the first bar and were very friendly. I'm pretty sure they didn't play in the club. Cheers, Blue" - Stuart Nock
May 3 S Garage Club, Nottingham
Marcus Grays Last Gang in Town 1st Edition page 434
May 4 S Outside Pubs and Clubs - Leeds Sat night
I was sitting in the MJ coffee lounge at Leed Uni. Someone came in and said: "There's a bloke outside, looks just like Joe Strummer." Yeah, right. That's going to happen. So I take my time, drink my coffee, go take a piss and amble downstairs. I get there just in time to see them play the last few bars of the last song. And it wasn't even a Clash song. Apparently they busked the queue of the Phonographiqe later on that evening. But I missed that as well. See also The Last Days of the Clash - Vince White pg 230
May 4 S Le Phonographic nightclub, Leeds
Outside Leeds Railway Station 1.30am Sunday night. See also The Last Days of the Clash - Vince White pg 230
May 6 M Leeds - Royal Park Road pub, Royal Park Road, Leeds 6
Think they only played a few songs there...

Copyright - any use strictly forbidden
I moved to Leeds from the former G.D.R. to live with my 1st wife and very young daughter. We went out the day before the picture was taken to some hippy friends' couple house. He had few days earlier be beaten up by a glue-sniffing skinhead for no reason. We walked through a road called Delph Lane near the spot and in brilliant sunshine saw some very neat looking leather clad punks outside a terraced house drinking beer. We did not recognise them and I said to the mrs jokingly: here are the skins, we're gonna get a walloping. When we arrived, the TV was on and Andy Kershaw said that The Clash are busking in Leeds. The next day I took a camera by chance and managed to take the pics. Unfortunately I may not have the negs anymore, but I'll have a tidy up in the next 2 weeks and let you known if I find them. Tilo - tilohartig[a]yahoo.co.uk
May 7 T Leeds University
Outside Leeds Univercity where the Alarm were playing that night -disrupted after 15 minutes /4 songs (about 7pm) from the Chumbawamba website. "The red paint thrown over Joe happened in Leeds, outside the University before an Alarm gig. There's a couple of references on the web to it: Pouring red paint over the Clash on their comeback "busking" tour in Leeds demonstrated their contempt for what they saw as false prophets. Meanwhile, anarchy was becoming archaic in the U.K., as a pallid version of the Clash, sans Mick Jones, roamed the streets in search of lost credibility. They'd done the America, champagne and coke thing, and they came back over here trying to prove that they could still relate to the kids," says ex-punk Bruce, who felt betrayed by his former idols. To me it just smacked of insincerity; they were doing this tour where they would be busking outside gigs. So [fellow Chumbawamban] Danbert [Nobacon] sprayed them with red paint and then got chased through Leeds City Center by a load of angry people. But he managed to escape."

Alarm website lists gig as May 07, 1985 University, Leeds. The band played Cool Under Heat, Movers and Shakers, White Riot and Clash City Rockers to more than 500 fans. See The Last Days of the Clash - Vince White pg 230
May 7 T Faversham Pub, Leeds
after a short walk down the road from the Uni, the band set up in the pub car park and played a full set for 45 minutes (about 7.45pm) - date confirmed from Alarm website. More info on this gig read The Last Days of the Clash - Vince White pg 231 -

I saw them busking outside Leeds Uni - followed them around town before they caught the train to York when I guess this picture was taken- an amazing night - even had a leak next to Mr Strummer in the Faversham arms! Neil Coombes

May 8 W York St Sampson Square 12noon
York Jam down Petersgate 9.00pm
York Minster, York 9.30pm
played three songs including I Fought the Law before being moved on by the Police.
May 9 T York, Kings Square/Market Square
at Lunchtime on a park bench. The famous photo is from this lunchtime gig and the reason Joe's jacket has orange paint is some protestor threw paint over him from a window in Leeds! "Pete used his drumsticks banging on the bench (and told me he was pissed that he had no drum so a mate of mine went home to get him one which he used at the evening gig at St Johns College.) On the photo I'm the kid with the bleached hair directly infront of Joe! This photo was taken by the Yorkshire Evening Press." Neal
May 9 T York, York Arms Pub
The band Spent all afternoon at the York Arms pub where joe gave an interview to Radio York (which they passed onto Radio 1 and Joe later said if he saw the interviewer he would kill him as he had asked if he was an independent and only gave the interview because of this).  Joe was mainly hanging outside talking to the kids while Paul and the other guys were sitting in the 'snug' at the front of the pub struming and singing guitars.
May 9 T York, Ripon & St Johns College
At about 7pm a gang of people (I would say 100 plus) with the 5 Clash walked through the streets of York with the band Strumming Spanish style songs leading them to Ripon & St Johns College - like pied pipers!  It was amazing!
May 10 F The Bunker, Sunderland
I never made it to this one, but did get to the Gateshead Station gig the day after. Afterwards we got the train back home and went for a drink with them in the Salem. The Gollums gig was originally booked for local band 'Patrick'...who eventually 'supported' The Clash that evening. That was a mental gig in a tiny basement room!! Then it was onto The Drum Club for the final show of the day....... i was 16 at the time, i saw the clash 3 times in one day.....life somehow was never the same again!!
May 11 S Greys Monument, Newcastle
i saw joe and paul and the other guys playing at greys monument in the centre of newcastle one afternoon...i guess it was the same day they were in gateshead too...1985....from what i remember joe just kind of appeared and said "we are the clash" and they started playing.....a large crowd quickly gathered and the police turned up and duly got "on their back" and moved them on - they went about 30 yards off in the direction of the central station they started playing again...by which time i couldn`t see them any more in the melee that quickly developed...
May 11 S Newcastle - Underpass on edge of the Town Centre
They managed to squeeze in another set in the afternoon after moving on from Newcastle's Monument. A small underpass/tunnel on the outskirts of the town centre. Only about a dozen there, including a couple of local kids on BMX's circling the curved wall around Joe.
May 11 S Newcastle Exhibition Park Subway
Could this be the gig mentioned above? 3 tracks only
May 11 S St James Centre
May 11 S The Station, Gateshead, Newcastle (aft)
Acoustic Daze CD and Back to Basics LP; the gig was actually at The Station (not Station Pub), which was a building used by the gateshead music collective for gigs, rehearsals etc. it was actually gatesheads old police station and was situated on swinburne street as opposed to the station pub which is situated on hills street. these two buildings would have been within 5 minutes walk of each other had the old police station not have been demolished since.
May 11 S Gollums Bar, Mowbray Park Hotel, Sunderland
On the saturday night,they played a set at Gollums bar, before the Drum Club set. The lads had spent the two hours previous to Gollums drinking in THE SALEM bar, Hendon. Recording Exists. See The Last Days of the Clash - Vince White pg 232
May 11 S Genevieves function room of The Mayfair. Sunderland (The Drum Club)
Many years of DJing and promoting later Joe turned up with the new gang at my Indie club in Sunderland - busking tour. People always get the name wrong. This was the second busk of the night. Previously done at Gollums a bar associated within the Mowbray Park hotel S'land. Sunderland Mayfair  - in the Genevieves function room which was named as THE DRUM CLUB for my indie nights. Joe talked to me about perhaps going to Glasgow next. Could I see him ok for some expenses. It was the best 30 quid I've ever given away.
May 13 M Edinburgh Princess Street (afternoon)
the clash played in princes street edinburgh in the afternoon and then played at la sorbonne at night where they announced the gig at coasters the next night
May 13 M Edinburgh, La Sorbonne

When they busked at Edinburgh, they also played at a place called the La Serbonne which was down the Cowgate. If my memory serves me, it was the night before Coasters and it was free. The place was jam-packed. I remember it well cause the flat I was staying at got busted by the police the same night. happy days. Holly

May 14 T Edinburgh Princess Street (afternoon)
the band played in the centre of Edinburgh in Princes Street (the main Street)at the corner of The Mound where there is a speakers corner, where basically you can get up and spout off as long as your not offensive.Well he said that The Clash played there before the Coasters gig. They played quite a few numbers before heading off to Coasters with a large following running after them, as they are only about a mile apart.
May 14 T Coasters, Edinburgh
Clouds was the upstairs part of Coasters (now called the Cavendish) where strummer played again with the clash busking in 1985 and with LRW in 1988 - Coasters itself is pretty small and both the upstairs rooms are tiny.
May 16 T The Rock Garden in Glasgow
*we don't have - never received

From memory I am sure that on the 1985 Busking Tour they also played "The Rock Garden" in Glasgow on the afternoon of the 16th May. I was too slow in getting down there but someone from the "Bicycle Thieves", a local Glasgow Band, tipped me off about "Dukes" for later that night. Alan

Just discovered your website. I met the Clash by chance in Glasgow on the day they were here. They were sitting on the stairs of The Art School. We went for a beer then went to the impromptu gig with them at the Rock Garden which is mentioned.

I always carried a little recording walkman in those days (cheap one, couldn't afford a Sony Pro) but did record them to tape. I have done a couple of copies of this for friends in the past but maybe I'll dig it out (ed. nothing surfaced from this email). Quality was poor as the crowd was singing along so loudly but you get a good feel as to what was happening and golden moments like a guy moaning cos they had been given his drums without his permission and you could hear his unhappy comments all the way through. Keep Rockin' PBH. Paul Henderson <pbh667[a]gmail.com>

May 16 T Glasgow University evening- the cul de sac bar
cancelled due to crowd congestion
May 16 T Glasgow Mayfair Reggae Disco early evening
I'm pretty sure that on the Clash busking tour after the Cul de Sac they played a reggae disco called the Mayfair later in the evening, anyone else ever tell you that? I was at the Vics Cafe show next day and was told then by someone. See The Last Days of the Clash - Vince White pg 235
May 16 T Glasgow - Dukes Bar evening
See The Last Days of the Clash - Vince White pg 235

I was going to the corner shop near my house and passed the recently re-opened Dukes Bar, I saw a The Clash plaque outside and took a couple of photos. Dukes Bar now and the plaque

I am opening a bar in Glasgow which in the 1980's was called Dukes - the name of the new bar. The clash played there during the unplugged tour on 16 May 1986, and I intend to put up a plaque outside (artwork attached) It would be good to know if there is anyone about who was there and could share some memories.
Mark Brunjes - Director, AB LEISURE LIMITED - 211 Dumbarton Road - G11 6AA

May 16 T Glasgow - The Wind Jammer Bar
From memory they actually played a pub called the Windjammer on the Thursday night (which is close to Dukes Bar). I also recall there was a small article in the Daily Record newspaper about the windjammer show either on the Friday or Saturday after.
May 17 F Glasgow Art College - Vics Cafe 12 noon
rumours of Carlisle, Liverpool and Birmingham. See The Last Days of the Clash - Vince White pg 235
May 17 F Glasgow The Fixx Pub on Miller Street
A photo of which reappeared in a Scottish obituary in Dec 2002. See The Last Days of the Clash - Vince White pg 235
May 18 S Manchester City Centre
The band arrive in Manchester to busk. Unknown if they actually played. Quickly decide to catch the trai back to London. See The Last Days of the Clash - Vince White pg 237
May 29? Huddersfield - they came to play a gig in Huddersfield many moons ago and just started busking in the street without anyone knowing, 1st rate band, 1st rate lads - David Shilton
Oct 22 Portsmouth
Almost certainly the wrong date but we have this info on good authority:

Back of British Home Stores. According to the fanzine 'Six Gun Sound' The Clash busked in Portsmouth on Monday 22 October just after the release in September of This is England (Released September 30, 1984). The Clash played Career Opportunities, Police & Thieves, English Civil War, All the Young Punks, Brand New Cadilac and 'a scorching rendition of their new single This is England'. Six Gun Sound was a BAD fanzine a couple of years later supporting the band of the same name who started out as Rebel Truce until they realised there were 2 Rebel Truces'.