...Southall Defence Fund benefit. Support Aswad, The Members. The other support act was Bongo Danny and the Enchanters.

updated Dec 2014 - added punters comments
updated Dec 2014 - added posters
updated August 2022 added newspaper advert

No known audio or video

If you know of any recording, please email blackmarketclash

for the Southall Defence Fund, set up by RAR

A benefit gig for the Southall Defence Fund, set up by Rock Against Racism after protesters had been arrested during an anti-fascist/ anti racism demonstration. The Gig was organised by People Unite under the banner Southall Kids are Innocent“. Both shows were attended by capacity crowds and a good time was had by all with no trouble,” writes Mick in Armagideon Times. The Clash @ Facebook (includes comments). See also this Clash City Collectors post.

Lorne Cartlidge: Was there, but it's another one of those gigs that a lot of memory as faded,apart from a lovely gell I remember chatting too in a cafe before.hand...something seems to stick in memory real or imagined of Mick in a red suit box jacket..

NME Clash Townsend Rainbow

30 June 1979



Glossy poster available after the gig.

Link - Another linkMore info

The Rainbow - Punk 77

Link or Archive PDF

The Rainbow in Finsbury Park N4. Large venue that was originally part of the Astoria chain of cinemas in the 1930's that like so many became a rock venue.

In its time it had seen just about every major act play there from Jimi Hendrix to the Who. Closed in 1975 it lost some ground to Camden's Roundhouse but its reopening and refurbishment in 1977 set it back on course as a prominent North London venue.

In punky times it was infamous for the Clash riot where seats were torn up. The Stranglers regularly played here and the Ramones had their 1977 New year Eve concert immortalised on vinyl with the double classic 'It's Alive'. In 1977/1978 Jock McDonald would rent out the top and put on gigs, meaning you could have Thin Lizzy playing below while the Meat cranked it out upstairs.

Set on an island between two one way systems that went to and from the West End you could reach it by exiting the labyrinthine Finsbury Park Tube station tunnels and it was always worth getting a quick drinkie in the George Robey pub opposite.

Sadly residents complaints about noise and people shut it down in the Eighties. Now some god-awful gospel revival bollocks occur there. Fantastic ceiling of star and palm trees....but no Rainbow.

Photos, links

Historic Theatre Photos provides images and information about the Rainbow Theatre, including its architectural style and history. Cinema Treasures has a collection of 53 photos of the Rainbow Theatre. Reddit has photos from the famous Rainbow Theatre in London, taken on March 31st, 1974.

The Rainbow Theatre, 2002

The Rainbow in Finsbury Park, N4

The Rainbow Theatre
232 Seven Sisters Road
N4 3NX

Link or archived PDF

The Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park, London

The Rainbow Theatre, located in 232-238 Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, London, is a historic venue known for its unique architectural style and its significance in the music scene. The theatre was built in 1930 as an "atmospheric cinema" designed to house entertainment extravaganzas, including film shows 2.

The building's interior is described as a Moorish Harem, complete with a domed Byzantine cupola, staircases, corridors, Baroque mirrors, and wall friezes that could have come from India. The first thing you see upon entering is an illuminated fountain set within an eight-sided raised star pool 6. The theatre is considered one of the greatest cinemas of its kind in Europe .2

In the 1960s, the theatre began to be used for concerts, hosting performances by renowned artists such as Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, the Beatles, and Cliff Richard. In November 1971, it reopened as a full-time rock concert venue with a show by The Who . The theatre continued to host rock concerts regularly until 1982 1010.

The Clash's performance on May 9, 1977, as part of their White Riot Tour and was described as electric, with the band effectively communicating and connecting with an audience of 3000 1.

The song "White Riot" was written by Joe Strummer and bassist Paul Simonon after they were involved in the riots at the Notting Hill Carnival of 1976 4. The song is considered a classic in The Clash's canon and was performed in public for the first time during the White Riot Tour 12.

The Rainbow Theatre lay derelict from 1982 until 1996 when its freehold was acquired by the Universal Church, a Brazilian foundation. The church carried out an extensive restoration of the building . As of the current date, the building still stands, serving as a testament to its rich history in the entertainment industry.10


The Rainbow Theatre Facebook

[1] Explore The Rainbow Theatre on GuideTags - [2] Rainbow Theatre on Wikipedia - [3] Rainbow Building on Architect Magazine - [4] White Riot on Wikipedia - [6] Rainbow History - [7] Rainbow Building on TrendHunter - [9] On This Day in 1977 - White Riot Tour - [10] Historic Theatre Photos - Astoria, Finsbury Park - [12] The Clash White Riot 7-Inch Review - [14] Rainbow Theatre - A Famous Music Venue - [16] The Clash London Up Down Westway - [17] Clash at Rainbow Finsbury Park - May 1977 - [18] Rainbow Theatre on YouTube - [21] From Colman to Costello - Astoria and The Rainbow Finsbury Park (PDF) - [23] The Clash, The Jam, Buzzcocks - White Riot Tour - [24] Rainbow Theatre on Concert Archives


Youtube dicussion

Mark Chatterton's Rock Files 145 subscribers Subscribe 25 Share Download Clip Save 1,381 views 9 Jul 2021 The Rainbow Theatre was one of London's premier music venues in the 1970s and early 80s.

Band's ranging from the Who to the Jam, the Grateful Dead and Bob Marley all played there. Mark Chatterton interviews Rick Burton, former stage manager at the Rainbow about his time there, the history of the place, it's unique architecture, who player there, what live albums were recorded there and what it was actually like back in the golden age of rock 'n roll.

As soon as they hit the stage my mate and I pushed our way as far to the front as possible.

I remember arriving slightly late, and the worse for booze. The support act were just arriving on stage, and although listed as Sham 69, I am pretty sure they were not there. I do remember Rat Scabies, and a few of his mates playing, although he, and some of the others were very drunk/the worse for substances, and the set, which seemed to be little more than a few numbers, was a complete shambles, and they were booed off.

There was then a lot of waiting for The Clash to appear, but when they did - WOW. Lighting was basic white lights, and the backdrops of images of planes, etc. were the only distractions from the band. As soon as they hit the stage my mate and I pushed our way as far to the front as possible. I seem to remember them playing almost all of the first album, and quite a lot of what would become their second - everything at breakneck speed. I had already seen The Jam on a couple of occasions, and didnít think they could be topped. But crap support or not, this gig was absolutely amazing. I remember White Riot being among the encores, and several people getting up on stage. Looking back now, I canít believe how lucky I was to pay £2.25 (cheap even at the time) to see the most amazing live band ever. I only wish there was a live recording of the show!í

I have looked everywhere for a live recording of this show - or anything from the tour. I canít get the downloads on the links you sent below to work. You suggest not buying cds from ebay, but it is very difficult knowing where else to get them - I desperately want something to remind me of one of the nights of my life.

Spence, Paul Spenceley <paul.brownie[at)blueyonder.co.uk>

Did you go? What do you remember?

Info, articles, reviews, comments or photos welcome.
Please email blackmarketclash

Sounds Review - Rainbow

14 July 1979

It’s what we’d all come for. What the whole weekend was about. Silence; then handclaps. Curtains rise on The Clash. I’m hoping. They’ve gotta be better than at the Notre Dame. That was just a practice gig. And they are. Far, far better.

They’ve changed, for better or for worse. They look cooler, trendier. There’s the new songs, controversial in their acceptability, but in spite of the talk of the `new Clash’, they still play the old songs. And they play them well, as ever.

Starting off with `White Man In Hammersmith Palais’, crashing through `Clash City Rockers’, `I Fought The Law’, `London’ Burning’ to name but a few The new numbers aren’t new anymore though. l’ve heard them before and they sound miles better on the second time around. Deep and pounding `London Calling’, `Death Or Glory’, and new Clashic `Rudie Can’t Fail’.

You couldn’t move. Even the Rainbow was steaming. All eyes on Joe as he poured Out his feelings, his passions with an ironically twisted smile. Nearly lost his mike to the ebullient followers. Threw his guitar triumphantly into the atmosphere as the set closed. Plenty more where that came from.

Return to the stage. Stand there like gods. Play `Tommy Gun’ and `Garageland’ for the fans who are theirs for ever. Then they’ve gone. Lights go on, bathing sweaty faces. Certain in their love of The Clash, maybe less certain of this time. But give em enough rope, and you’ll find little has changed.
The Clash live on.


NME review - Clash are alive.

The Members
Bongo Danny

14 July 1979

Rainbow 14 July 1979

The myths and symbols are vaguely echoed; the vulnerability of the attack on the massive obstacles - of everything from falling in love through struggling for survival to wondering what is the `cause’ - is more obvious than it has ever been.

But Clash are alive.

Alive because caught within the flash where most people aren’t even able to blow their noses, Clash are willing to blow their lot. Clash’s significant resignation is manifested as the ultimate defiance. And that’s positive enough and primitive enough to be actually liberating.

Clash are alive because they refuse to congratulate themselves, could never isolate themselves and because their confusion doesn’t render them impotent but infuses the whole being with practical resistance and the urge to uncover.

The Clash are dangerous and alive because with quiet industry they’ve reached a stage where they are something a Lot more than simply `scandalous’ within the rock’n’roII network. And they operate with a strange value on the perimeters avoiding fake pulp publicity, making all sorts of mistakes - showing themselves up and being realistic enough to offer no hope. Because there is no hope.

NME -Paul Morley review, The Clash are alive!

So who sits back?

Clash are the real sound and fury. They’re the first’ rock’n’roII band you could call `dangerous’ without chuckling at the same time.
Clash explode through everything once they’re on stage. They know more than anybody that that’s where it matters.

You only have to look.

I used to blindly follow what everybody else whined about The Clash, what they’ve read into it; about the frills and the poses and the slogans. Now I will decide for myself, and I’m going to be right.

They’re a sort of blank screen on which the entire history of rock’n’roll achieves a comprehensive focus; corny, splendid, and, er, rebellious. They’ve got all the cliches and all the soul; all the poses and all the grunts.

When MIcK Jones keeps his face and body straight and slashes his right hand across his guitar- that is rock’n’rolI. And it’s not silly. It’s great!

Before Clash, sharing the- bill and the spontaneous pained outcry against the Southall debacle and completing a moving union three acts entertained with that mixture of toughness, tenderness and triviality that makes you glow inside.

Bongo Danny And The Enchanters played the droning rhythms. Part time attention is what you need for this stuff. In the seat-less Rainbow that was easily attained; it was a light way to start.

The Members were even better than I hoped for.
You can tell they’ve been playing a lot lately. Their set was taught and right; pop song after pop song, some verging on the epic, some bumping around an immediately identifiable reggae feel. Nicky Tesco seemed angry and J.C. was in his element. Who needs anything more?

Aswad, despite hints that the event was running well overtime, (a deserved `Members’ encore was apparently out of the question), played a long set.
At first I was bored, my mind kept wandering. But then I noticed my right leg was moving and my fingers clicking. So I concentrated. Aswad are not as languid as a casual listen would suggest. There is depth and strength that you might have to move in close for.
Their music drifted into pokey jamming and choppy doodling, floated around a little, but didn’t seem out of place. When Aswad finally left, the atmosphere was thick and sticky and just right.

Clash run out onto the stage, towards a mass of multicoloured hair, sweaty faces and pounding fists, and everything is as it should be. Topper is shoved away. Paul Simonon is loose limbed and beautiful. Mick Jones is a red guitar hero. Joe Strummer is a contorted leader.

Clash are a hard rock group, but calling them that - and inadvertently incorporating all the traditions of rock’n’roll that are really irrelevant - it must be said that no one else deserves the title.

Clash are hard but it goes far beyond a mere label, a simple cosy dismissal.

They do what has to be done - thinking about the plectrum, thinking about a clenched nose - and play each moment for all it’s worth. You don’t know what this Really means until you see Joe Strummer inching towards the drum stand, side on, legs twitching, guitar on hip, face wrecked, fingers flurrying.

They thrash time, do it for themselves (which accounts for some of the posing), and push it so that everything threatens to collapse and there are a lot of holes. But the spirit keeps it together as much as needs be.

And faced with an audience whose responses are as `mechanical as everyone says The Clash’s poses are, they need that spirit.

The Clash are audacious, natural, contrived: everything end nothing. The moment matters, and no more. The moment can hurt. But perhaps only because I wanted it to (and at the moment I’m making the rules).

This was a ragged sort of gig, but I think that it’s the totality that is far more important than a single event. It started off like something important, but soon wilted. Perhaps it was because there were lots of new songs, and people just weren’t familiar with them.

I thought the new songs sounded like masterpieces, but then you’ve probably learned not to trust me by now.

The Clash have a long way to go, but they’re closer than anyone else that I can think of. No one knows what to do with them these days, but I’ve made my mind up.

The Clash are alive!

Paul Morley

Paulo Hewitt review (partial)

Full review wanted

14 July 1979

A Riot of Our Own pg -

Photo from music press


Photos Virginia Turbett

13 photos - Musicpictures.com

Photo unknown

No known audio or video
If you know of any recording, email blackmarketclash



White Man
Safe European Home
London Calling
Clash City Rockers
Hate & War
I Fought the Law
Rudie Can't Fail
Death or Glory
London's Burning
Stay Free
Capital Radio
I'm Not Down
Police & Thieves
Remote Control
Complete Control
English Civil War
Tommy Gun
Brand New Cadillac
What's My Name

Remote Control
Hate & War
I Fought the Law
Brand New Cadillac
Lover's Rock

There are several sights that provide setlists but most mirror www.blackmarketclash.co.uk. They are worth checking.

from Setlist FM (cannot be relied on)

from Songkick (cannot be relied on)
... both have lists of people who say they went

& from the newer Concert Database and also Concert Archives

Also useful: Ultimate Music database, All Music, Clash books at DISCOGS

Articles, check 'Rocks Back Pages'

End of the US Tour in February to the beginnning of the Take the Fifth Tour in August


A collection of
- Tour previews
- Tour posters
- Interviews
- Features
- Articles
- Tour information

Tour articles, clippings and sundry from the end of the US Tour in February to the beginnning of the Take the Fifth Tour in August.

If you know of any articles or references for this particular gig, anything that is missing, please do let us know.


Video and audio footage from the tour including radio interviews.


A Riot of Our Own
Johnny Green


by Johnny Green (Author), Garry Barker (Author), Ray Lowry (Illustrator)

Alright Now TV pg159
Notre Dame pg 167
Finland pg 180, pg13
Derry pg 183

Johnny Green first met the Clash in 1977 and was their road manager for three years. Ray Lowry accompanied the band as official "war artist" on the second American tour and designed the ' London Calling' album cover. Together, in words and pictures, Green and Lowry give the definitive, inside story on one of the most magnificent rock 'n' roll bands ever.

Return of the Last Gang in Town,
Marcus Gray


Passion is a Fashion,
Pat Gilbert


Redemption Song,
Chris Salewicz


Joe Strummer and the legend of The Clash
Kris Needs


The Clash (official)
by The Clash (Author), Mal Peachey


Other books

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I saw The Clash at Bonds - excellent
Facebook page - The Clash played a series of 17 concerts at Bond's Casino in New York City in May and June of 1981 in support of their album Sandinista!. Due to their wide publicity, the concerts became an important moment in the history of the Clash.
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