Skip to content

The Clash – Trinity College, October 21st, 1977.

clash_advert_trinity_dublin_oct_1977
The Clash played 2 gigs on this Friday night. First show at 7, the second at 9.30. We went to the second show and kicked ourselves afterwards for not thinking of attending both of them.
This was my first gig and at that time the Clash & Radiators from Space were my favourite groups. The Clash’s first album was amazing. The songs were short, catchy, energetic and sounded fresher & snappier than the heavy drone of most of their other UK punk contemporaries, including the Pistols.

The gig was significant in that it was the first gig in Ireland by an established overseas Punk act. Irish venues had banned Punk groups for fear of violence whilst overseas acts were reluctant to come to Ireland because of the Northern Ireland situation. The Clash’s gig in Belfast the night before was cancelled when the Insurers of The Ulster hall, feared crowd trouble and pulled the plug at the last minute. The roadies had already set up the gear on stage.

The Clash played every song from that first album as well as their then current single, “Complete Control”. There was no trouble. Plenty of pogoing but unfortunately, loads of spitting too, mostly by a gang of about 10 or who kept it up right through the gig. Horrible.

The scans of the reviews from Hot Press by Bill Graham (with thanks to Paul Donnelly @2020PD for lending this issue) and Heat Fanzine (with thanks to my brother, Eamonn) are worth reading.

From Hot Press, Sep 1977

heat-cover-issue4-oct-nov-1977

heatpix1

pix from Heat by Bernard Cregan & Joe Brady

clash sketch

drawing by Patrick Brocklebank – Heat Magzine #4 – Oct/Nov 1977

clashcover_hotpress_oct_1977

clash_review_dub_oct_1977_p1_hotpress

Hot Press, Oct 1977 – click to read

CLASH_hp2

Hot Press, Oct 1977 – click to read

26 replies »

  1. I see a familiar name in the opening line of the Hot press review – Paul Tipping, Trinity College ents officer – the one and the same of Dundalk extraction, perhaps?

    The press release name-checks The Clash as being in the vanguard of British punk – was there really any other kind? – along with the Sex Pistols and The Damned.

    I saw The Damned twice in the UK; once before T.Rex at the Birmingham Odeon (on St Patrick’s Day) and also with Johnny Moped and a few other outliers at the Royal College of Art in Kensington.

    Lots of spitting and leering going on but they were never really came across to me as the real punk deal, more like some middle-class lads indulging themselves on a parent-supported gap-year-from art-school kind of jape.

    In a later incarnation, I would form a close working bond with legendary Irish saxophone player John Earle who supplied the sax parts on The Clash’s famous London Calling album.

    Later on in the Hot Press review above there is a reference to a dinner-jacketed Lt Col John Mainwairing Walsh keeping an eye on the premises while the band are on stage.

    I was intoxicated for the best part of the late 1970s so I have no idea if that was me passing myself off as a card-carrying Trinity College apparatchik or even if i was in the country at the time.

    Any insight that elephant-memoried BNRers might be able to provide in this matter would be greatly appreciated…

    Like

    • Hi Jake, brilliant info! Thanks for updating. Yes, I think you’re right about Paul Tipping.
      I didn’t realise you once saw the Damned AND T.Rex! Marc Bolan died just a month before the Clash Trinity gig.
      thanks again,
      Doug

      Like

      • I can guarantee it was Paul Tipping, then Trinity Ents Officer and later Capital Concerts promoter, who brought us The Specials, Madness, the Damned, Stiff Tours and, the show of all shows, The Jam in the Top Hat, Dun Laoghaire. Oh, I forgot to mention The Greedy Bastards in the Stardust

        Like

  2. Cheers, DubDoug…some of it even true!

    Btw, now that you’re an established media luvvie, do we have to address you as “dahling”???

    Like

  3. Far out man! I didn’t see them until much later in their careers, they played twice at the Hammersmith Palais (yes) in quick succession sometime in the 80’s, which I don’t see listed on their timeline curiously enough. I don’t think my memory is playing tricks on me! We jammed “Police and Thieves” a few times in NRG despite CV’s not being too keen on them! Polly Tipping gets a shout, how cool is that?

    http://www.theclash.com/timeline.html#/timeline/

    Like

    • Hi Brian, We (NRG) played “Police N Thieves” live a couple of times. I remember playing it with you, CV and Gilly in the River Room, Park St, Dundalk. Eamonn was at the Clash gig with me. It helped that he lived in Dublin at the time. Fair play to P Tipping, that Trinity gig must have been a difficult one to get clearance for.

      Like

      • On the night, there was a professor from the college standing at the back of the hall with a decibel counter, checking the volume and people, I remember one of the Owens’ brothers in particular, whistling shrilly behind him. It has to be noted there had been a death at a punk gig in UCD a month before, a gig fronted by the subsequently blighted by association, Vipers

        Like

      • Dermott, thanks for the updates. I remember the decibel counter man. I wasn’t at the UCD gig and you’re right, this had serious implications for any subsequent gig promotions. I remember the Vipers well too. We (NRG) played a few gigs with them in Dublin and Dundalk RTC in 1978.

        Like

  4. I was at that gig too. My old school blazer was “adjusted” so that I could blend in. I had been sceptical about punk up until that… I left converted. And yeah… I seem to remember singing/playing Police & Thieves in the Baggot some years later too.
    1977… we were drinking 3 pints for £1 in Camden Street before the gig.

    Like

  5. Apart from The Clash’s blistering almost terrifying performance, what I remember most about this gig is standing in the queue outside and word going around that Lynyrd Skynyrd had been in a plane crash and half the band were dead. The crowd cheered!! The era of peace and love was well and truly over!

    Like

  6. I am the aforementioned Paul Tipping. The Clash at trinity were nowhere near as good as Dr Feelgood at Moran’s Hotel 12 months previous.

    Toylor, would ypu like to buy the contract for the gig?

    Like

  7. Paul, I think it was Eddie and the Hot Rods who played Morans Hotel (with the Boomtown Rats in support chucking pint glasses at the stage). Feelgood played the Stadium.

    Like

  8. This is great! What a night that was! I remember the Exam Hall in Trinity and Queen Elizabeth I’s portrait right over the stage looking down on the proceedings – as if The Clash wasn’t enough of a culture shock! I don’t think it was too long after until we were back there at Buzzcocks supported by The Worst! We bumped into Buzzcocks the next day, Saturday at the Dandelion, they were with their manager Richard Boone, a big tall lanky fella. John Maher the drummer, bought a gorgeous royal blue waistcoat with gold motifs from the second hand stall run by Jenny Vander that I had my eye on. It cost a tenner, or maybe more, way too much for my budget at the time(I wouldn’t have been able to buy any records if I had bought it!). That night I met Ian, the drummer from The Worst(I think there whole set might have comprised one song – Heroin by the Velvet Underground). The Worst were a trio and didn’t have a bass player. Ian and I went on the lash. Like the Buzzcocks they were Mancs. The wore these long 1950s long leather bikers jackets. They were bikers and they had painted logos on their jackets. Ian’s had the legend ‘TRIBSA’ as his bike had, I think?, a Triumph engine in a BSA frame! We got our photo taken with two passing girls under the portico of the GPO by the elderly gent who was a street photographer. He used wear a leather trilby hat. We fared worse when we ended up in Good Time Charlies which was above the Carlton cinema when this lad flew across the room and decked Ian with a dig. It was us who got thrown out for causing trouble! Those were great times. I was a teenager. Life was grey but the music made it great. Thanks for the memories Jude! Johnny Byrne

    Like

  9. Holy smokes. This is the exact gig that U2 sings about in their new song “This is where you can reach me now”.

    You guys that made this show…some serious history was being made. Not just on the stage….but in the audience. The band was there, and as the lyrics say, “they signed their life away”.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Keep Updated

BrandNewRetro on twitter      Brand New Retro on Facebook     subscribe & get eMail for new posts

Posts by Month