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Pam's Kind of Punk Diary #4: The Clash at the Glasgow Apollo The Clash, Suicide, The Specials... Down at the Apollo a riot was going on

Pam's Kind of Punk Diary #4: The Clash at the Glasgow Apollo

The Clash, Suicide, The Specials... Down at the Apollo a riot was going on

by Pam, Kind of Punk Diarist
first published: February, 2022

approximate reading time: minutes

That was really the only moment I was terrified during that concert! I really was terrified!

The Clash at the Glasgow Apollo
Tuesday 4 July 1978

Today I went back to school which was pretty normal in that we did practically nothing all day. At lunchtime we went up to Miss Neil’s (the music teacher) room and played White Man in Hammersmith Palais. There was then a house meeting and I went off to that. When I came back F and W (two of the 5 boys in our class) came up with A and I and I to hear the record.

Now after school was panic time as I got ready to go to the Clash concert- as usual my eyes just would not go right! Anyway I wore my black cords, baseball boots, Mum's pink top, PVC jacket (needless to say) and my hair in a ponytail tied with a tie. At 6.40pm A and her brother came for me. We drove up to Glasgow and parked the car outside the station. We then waited for T to arrive and when she did we walked up to the Apollo and stood in the queue. We saw the famous H from Edinburgh who now has pink hair! She was obviously “on business”! (she's a groupie).

Eventually we got in and I found that I was sitting in exactly the same seat as last time! We sat for quite a while before the first group Coventry Specials came on. They played a variety of songs mainly with a reggae beat and I thought that they were rather good. The lead singer was dressed all in white and was rather nice! They had a lot of courage as the audience kept shouting at them but the band played on. There were two coloured men, Rastas, I think, in the band and I think this was partly the cause of the reaction. At one point the lead singer said ‘if you don't like the idea of a black and white band then ****!” One guy in front of us shouted at them and A told him to shut up.

When they had finished A escorted me to the loo and she had what she describes as a “close encounter of the worst kind”. I'm a little insulted that at these things never happened to me. Although I should really be grateful.

Suicide were the second support group and they were absolute crap! There were only two members, one who sang, or rather wailed and collapsed on the floor and strutted about like a cockerel. He was a really creepy individual with shortish black hair, staring eyes and a pillarbox mouth. He was American and kept saying ‘man’! The second member stood almost unmoving at the synthesiser and was wearing dark clothes and ski visor type sunglasses. Their music consisted of monotonous wailings and vibrations getting louder and louder until I felt ill! The audience hated them and they were booed off. There was a lot of clapping to the tune 12,123,1234, fuck off! The singer got his sleeve caught up in the microphone stand and couldn't get it off for ages. Eventually they had to go off after not finishing a song called 96 Tears. I didn't shed any for them!

The ClashAfter another longish interval the Clash came on at last. Everyone rushed down to the front and A and I were practically squashed and thrown along the seats. That was really the only moment I was terrified during that concert! I really was terrified! Bouncers kept coming along the aisle with people grasped in their hands and shoved people to the side, again almost flinging me across the seats. At one point a person in front of us was grasped by a bouncer and pushed down onto the seat and shaken - he seemed somewhat bewildered. As far as I could see he had done nothing! Seats across the aisle from us were being broken up- one minute they were there, the next they were gone! Joe Strummer at one point told everyone to stop fighting- so did the guitarist. Joe Strummer jumped down and pulled a bouncer off one person! Two people at different times got on stage and sang along. They were taken backstage. The Clash were excellent though and I really enjoyed myself but I thought it was a bit too short. They only did one encore. It wasn't as good as the Buzzcocks or at least I didn't think it was.

Going up the stairs we were nearly squashed. When we got outside we took T up to her parents who had been waiting an hour as the thing had gone on over the scheduled time. Down at the Apollo a riot was going on. Four fire engines arrived and people were being thrown into police vans. When A, her brother and I were walking back we saw broken windows and one group was standing by one and said ‘my, my just look at that broken window!”

We got back to the car and drove back home. I didn't see anyone I knew at the gig which was a shame but never mind! I really had a good time; I got in at about 1am.

Essential Info
← Pam's previous diary entry

Kind of Punk Diarist

Pam Cross kept a diary when she was a teenager. During the period when she first started going to gigs in the late 1970s in Scotland's central belt she would travel from her small, home town to Edinburgh and Glasgow to watch some of the well known and less well known punk and new wave bands of the time. These are her stories...
about Pam »»



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