Princess Street, Edinburgh (afternoon) - Coasters, Edinburgh

... your comments ....

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

page updated - June 2000 - began
page updated - April 2020 - redesigned and added too

Edinburgh Princess Street (afternoon)
No known audio or video

Coasters, Edinburgh

Audio - crowd sing a long - Sound 3 - 30min - low? - 11 tracks

Pressure Drop (full tape)

There are marginally slightly better copies than this. A bit less compresseion. I have two tracks from that.

Much like Back to Basics LP/Acoustic Daze CD recorded at Newcastle but slightly lesser in sound, Edinburgh is flatter than any others (busking) in sound but the instruments are a little clearer over the audience singing than at Sunderland.

A little thin at the top end but clear of any distortion. Pete Howards drumming is clear throughout and the spanish guitars can be heard just about, as can the band singing, espeicially in the earlier numbers.

For the most part these busking recordings consist of members of the audience singing to Pete Howards drumming but are atmospheric/exciting none the less.

If you know of any recording, email blackmarketclash

Did you go? What do you remember?

We are looking for scans - articles - tickets - posters - flyers - handbills - memorabilia - photos - comments / any info - you might have. Anything welcome.

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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.

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."

Edinburgh Coasters - Edinburgh gig archive

Coasters circa 1979.  Picture by Simon Clegg.
Simon Clegg writes "The Roller disco picture of everybody leaving
after a gig; Although it's not a very good picture
technically a lot of people seem to like it."

Fans outside Coasters waiting for The Clash

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.

Edinburgh Clouds and Coasters

In 1985 'Coasters' was the blanket name used for the 3 club complex, the main club on the ground floor operated as Coasters for Roller disco and under 18's club,†at night the Coasters signs†were switched off and the 'Outer Limits' signs were switched on and the bars opened, this area had a capacity of†over 1000 and is the area that Joe†Strummer played in.

The upper floors operated†at the weekend as 1st floor (Bermuda Triangle) was the 'Hoochie Coochie Club' (capacity around 250) promoted by Alan Campbell and Sam Piacentini, it was Alan Campbell that brought Joe into the club after coming to see me to arrange for us to open at short notice. The queues went right around the block and we were packed out way beyond capacity, even after closing the doors another huge queue formed who could not get in.

The club was literally bursting at the seams and along with security staff I had to help to stop the sheer weight of the crowd from damaging the DJ podium and equipment, while Joe and companions did a fantastic acoustic set on a corner stage. Even though everyone was packed like sardines there were no incidents of any kind and the crowd behaved impeccably throughout, truly a very special night!!

The 2nd floor (Barbados Suite) operated as the 'Goombay Beat' (capacity around†150) promoted by Newton Sekibo, the rest of the week the clubs were available for hire, with the main Coasters/Outer Limits area being in great demand for live concerts mainly promoted by 'Regular Music' (Barry Wright & Pete Irvine) we did everything from REM, China Crisis, New Modern Army, The Pogues to Village People, Gloria Gaynor, Edwin Starr etc etc etc etc etc....approx 2-3 Live Concerts every week.

The Club only returned to its old name of the Cavendish in 1989 after we sold the club. It had been the Cavendish up until around 1970, changed to Clouds by Unicorn Leisure until the early eighties when it became Coasters/Outer Limits/Hoochie Coochie Club and Goombay Beat, then it was reverted to the Cavendish in 1989.

Hope this helps give a little more info and insight into the occasion described on your site!

Best Regards Ricky Lewis & Suzi Mowbray

Photos by Neil Atkins (colour) and Stpehen Gray from
The Clash, Coasters, 14 May

backstage at the upstairs part of Coasterís Disco in Edinburgh,
14th May 1985, (photos by Steven Grey) here

Damien Love - @DeviceMonstrous - @stupidythings - 29/07/2019, 17:20
There's some good stuff about the busking tour Glasgow & Edinburgh stops toward the end of the pretty-damned-interesting-all-round We Are The Clash book;…
and also this via @GlasMusicTour…

Lost Glasgow - @LostGlasgow - 27/05/2016, 12:10
Joe Strummer busking in Edinburgh on The Clash's 'Busking Tour of Britain' in '85. I wonder if anyone has photos...

Lost Edinburgh - · 27 May 2016 · - Edited
[Photo] (The late) Joe Strummer of The Clash busking outside the St James Centre in 1985

Back in May '85 the remaining members of The Clash were in the middle of their rather ingenious ‘Busking Tour of Britain’, devised as the group’s last hurrah before disbanding for good. Joe simply claimed he was doing it "for beer money", and why should we doubt him? This was a man whose preparation for the 1982 Paris Marathon involved the consumption of 10 pints of lager before bedtime - if there was a bedtime.

Following a well-received, cover-laden St James Centre performance, Joe and the band played La Sorbonne, Cowgate and Coasters, Tollcross on 13th and 14th May 1985 respectively

©Gary D Dempsey

Source: Edinburgh Gig Archive — with Mark Waddell

Noreen Mcneil
I was there that day/night :) Gary D Dempsey

Iain MacLaren
I saw them at Coasters in Tollcross on the following night, 14th May with David Reid. Word of mouth event; queues round the block; free entry; some doubt as to whether they would turn up; then basically a big acoustic singalong. Incredible.

Alan Wood
Had a pint in the white cockade in roe st with them.

Ronald F.Smith
I recall being asked by the owner suzy to take photographs and arranging entry for Campbell a d his pals.To be honest I had no idea who the clash were.

Cab Mackab
Hi Campbell.s dad hope your keeping well. Cab [photo with friends outside]

Steven Small
La sorbonne, The Clash played there impromptu. Great venue, however, always lots of police outside determined for an easy charge.

Gordon Scott
I remember him doing this eas at the center that day in HMV.

Roy Clark Isserlis
Joe Strummer wrote graffiti on a financial building on St Andrews Sq

Tim Keppie
They went to Jimmy Boyles place at Abbeyhill too.

George Hobb
Was at the la Sorbonne gig acoustic White Riot was brilliant, the coasters thing was mobbed didn't get in but met joe outside on his way in.

Stuart Austen
A day I'll never forget. I met them as they arrived early in the morning at St Andrews Square bus station as I was out getting breakfast. They asked me where was a good place to busk and then set up in Princes St. I gave Joe 50p. They later played a free gig at Coasters at Tollcross which was heaving. Thanks for the photo and the memory.

David Nelson
the security guard was a guy called Brian i worked with him around this time

Karen Downie
Saw them! Tim Keppie My band was booked to play La Sorbonne that night and we arrived to a packed La Sorbonne.Obviously not here to see us we thought. Then the barman came and got me and told me Joe wanted to speak to me to discuss when and who would go on first.Cocky wee shit I was at 17 I suggested they go on first then I could forever say the Clash had supported us.Joe was happy with that,borrowed our snare drum and entertained us all with acoustic versions of Clash classics. We had a chat in the front bar and I asked him why he was doing this.He replied "Cause we want to get back to the kids".He bought me a pint and chatted and we did our set which thankfully a few punters hung around to see. We couldn't believe the night we had had. I will never forget it.

Angus Dixon‎  - to  - The Clash Blog  - 4 November 2012 ·
previouly unseen footage (and the only known to exist) of joe and the clash mkII's busking tour in edinburgh will be on BBC Alba TV (virgin 188, sky 168, freesat 110) on monday night at 2230 as part of their buskers series - don't worry there's english subtitles. it will also be available on the i-player.
BBC ALAB Busking programme link

Steven Gray  - · 24 November 2012 ·  -
Photos taken backstage and frontside at busking gig tour.

Lost Edinburgh  - · 4 May 2014  - Michael Canning Paul Paul Byrne Martin McCann
Joe Strummer of The Clash busking outside the St James Centre 1985. The band were due to play La Sorbonne, Cowgate on May 13 1985 (almost 30 years ago!). Strummer claimed he was busking "for beer money". ©Gary D Dempsey 

La Sorbonne was a notorious pub/club throughout the eighties, deep in the belly of the Cowgate. It played host to various gigs as well as being one of the most infamous places in Edinburgh.

The Clash played here the night before they "busked" at Coasters, announcing the following nights gig to a handfull of amazed patrons!   Joe Strummer was spotted busking by Hazel,  a friend of your author,  in Princess Street that day, she asked him what they were busking for?  Strummer said "beer money" and promptly offered her a drink from his beer can, he then asked her where La Sorbonne was!

Rae Stewart  - @MrRaeStewart  - 01/03/2018, 22:36
@74frankfurt I was there. The rumours ripped around Edinburgh that day - that they’d been seen busking on Princes St, then that they’d play Coasters. Hundreds crammed in, all acoustic, and everyone sang along. So I saw the #Clash play - but I couldn’t hear them.

Colin Anderson  - @ColinAnderson65  - @holyroodmandy @brucerisk - 07/08/2018, 10:27
Saw The Clash 3 times in Edinburgh on this busking tour. Once in Rose Street and [once] in a music bar [La Sorbonne?] next to Sneaky Pete’s in Cowgate when they walked in and asked if they could play some songs on the stage. Also at Coasters in Tollcross. Fantastic times.

Colin Anderson  - @ColinAnderson65  - 7 Aug 2018
Replying to @holyroodmandy  - and @brucerisk  - Saw The Clash 3 times in Edinburgh on this busking tour. Once in Rose Street and was in a music bar next to Sneaky Pete’s in Cowgate when they walked in and asked if they could play some songs on the stage. Also at Coasters in Tollcross. Fantastic times.

mandy rhodes  - @holyroodmandy  - 7 Aug 2018
It was. The Clash had come up to go to Jimmy’s Gateway project. (Edinburgh)
via Lost Edinburgh FB page  - - 26/10/2019, 21:47 -

Gregor Gall  - @leftacademic - 01/12/2019, 14:03
The Clash in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh in 1985 on the busking tour:

Scottish Post-Punk  - @ScotsPostPunk  - @GCPunkNewWave  - @avalanche_edin 
Joe Strummer/The Clash busking HMV, St James' Centre, Edinburgh - May 1985 

Gary Bowie  - @Gazb_72  - 23 Dec 2019
Replying to @LostGlasgow - Did they busk in Woodlands Road ? The sign on Oddbins suggests so

Lost Glasgow  - @LostGlasgow  - 23 Dec 2019
Yep. Stopped to play while buying a carry out.

Lenny  - @lennyg1967  - 24 Dec 2019
I’ve got it on cd

Rae Stewart  - @MrRaeStewart  - 1 Mar 2018
Replying to @74frankfurt - I was there. The rumours ripped around Edinburgh that day - that they’d been seen busking on Princes St, then that they’d play Coasters. Hundreds crammed in, all acoustic, and everyone sang along. So I saw the #Clash play - but I couldn’t hear them.

John Arbuckle  - @JDArbuckle65  - 1 Mar 2018
Replying to @74frankfurt - Remember seeing them kicking about at Potterrow and telling my mates I'd just seen the Clash..."naaah!"

Kenny Taylor  - @bluejambo1874  - 2 Mar 2018
Replying to @74frankfurt -  and @HistoryofSMC - Saw them in la sorbonne the night before ... bouncers at coasters were taking money off the fans to let them in !!! Twats

PictureThis Scotland  - @74frankfurt
The Clash at Coasters, Edinburgh, during their 'busking tour'. (May 1985) Picture: Neil Aitken

Merienda Restaurant  - @MeriendaEdin  - 3 May 2019
Replying to @74frankfurt -  and @iainpope73 - My pal was a 16 year old Edinburgh lad and his garage band were the support,

Did you go? What do you remember?
Info, articles, reviews, comments or photos welcome.

The Drum Club


North and South
White Man in Ham Palais
Straight to Hell
Pressure Drop
I Fought the Law
Brand New Cadilac
White Riot
The Guns of Brixton
Johnney Too Bad
Police on My Back

If you know of any recordings, email blackmarketclash

There are several sights that provide setlists but most mirror 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

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

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