Gigs of Glasgow: Remembering when The Clash busked at Dukes Bar on Old Dumbarton Road in 1985

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The Clash made a few impromptu appearances at some small Glasgow venues on their 1985 Busking Tour

The Clash are one of the best known bands of all time, with the band having performed many memorable gigs in Glasgow at the likes of the Apollo and Barrowland Ballroom.

Joe Strummer and the band made their debut in the city back in October 1977, just six months after they released their self-titled debut album. On the night their setlist included tunes such as “White Riot”, “Police & Thieves” and “Janie Jones” amongst other early tunes.

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Skip forward almost eight years later, when the band returned to the city on their notable Busking Tour which saw them perform at some lesser known venues across the country on a tour which was considered to be the bands ‘last hurrah’ as they hoped for a renaissance.

There was certainly no glitz and glamour to the tour as the band headed out on the road with nothing but their guitars as they hitchhiked across the UK and stayed at some lucky people’s homes which included Joe Strummer and the band staying at a flat on Hyndland Road after meeting a Clash fan in Nico’s bar on Sauchiehall Street.

From there they headed for the Fixx bar on Miller Street for their first small gig in Glasgow. The following day, The Clash then performed in the basement of the Rock Garden at 3pm and by then, word had gone round in Glasgow that Strummer and the band were in town.

Crowds began to gather for there next intimate Glasgow gig which is arguably the one which is most famously remembered by Glaswegians as they then headed for Dukes Bar on Old Dumbarton Road - whose owner was a huge Clash fan. So much so, that to lure the band up to the West End of the city, he offered the band free Mezcal all night if they would perform at his pub.

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Dukes isn’t a big pub, so after Strummer noticed that there was hundreds more people outside he decided to take the band outdoors to play on the streets of Glasgow as the band performed songs such as “The Guns of Brixton”, “I Fought the Law” and “Bankrobber”. If ever you get the chance to visit the bar, you’ll be able to see the plaque on the wall which commemorates the famous gig.

The Clash’s final ever performance in Glasgow then took place the following day at the Glasgow School of Art before they bid farewell to the city and headed for Manchester.

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