The Clash at the Anti-Nazi League carnival in 1978


Aged fourteen, I went on the huge Anti-Nazi carnival in east London in 1978. I got split up from my mates and ended up on my own – bit of a daunting experience. Got out at Embankment tube and watched loads of punks vaulting over the barriers while I politely inserted by ticket stub – as you did in those pre-Oyster days.

Then walked up towards Trafalgar Square glancing nervously at the big police vans nearby. I’d never seen anything like this and they were clearly looking for some aggro. The noise in the square was something else. A band was playing and the cheering was deafening.

At some point, we began the very long march to Victoria park in Mile End. I mean seriously, could you get people to go that far these days? Recall passing under the railway bridge near St Paul’s that was taken down in the 80s and then arriving at the park to hear more bands on a big stage including….The Clash!

But a small confession to make. I just don’t remember The Clash on stage at all. What my memories feature are X Ray Spex and the Tom Robinson Band. But….here’s The Clash and for some reason, Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69 got up on stage with them.

2 thoughts on “The Clash at the Anti-Nazi League carnival in 1978

  1. Great clip, Tony. Your comment has made me a feel bit better about never having seen the Clash, a lasting regret. But I did see Tom Robinson at the Gants Hill Odeon, who were great.
    You were probably too busy buying rock against racism badges from the Cobyn look-a-like on the video to notice the Clash. As the leader of the free world would say, so sad!

    1. The Gants Hill Odeon – I saw Star Wars there when it came out in….1977. Strange you mention the weird people at the Anti-Nazi League gig because even at the tender age of 14, I seem to recall getting into a conversation with some bearded SWP type. Shudder to think about it.

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