Banned Biographies

Banned Biographies is an audio documentary series charting the careers of some of the most notorious bands ever to grace the world’s stages.

London Calling - The History of The Clash

October 30th, 2020

The Clash are so much more than simply a punk band, they infused elements of reggae, dub and later R&B and rap which marked them out as unique in a sea of Sex Pistols soundalikes that were springing up in Britain in the late 1970s. They were also the most genuinely political bands of the original wave of UK punk.

While the Sex Pistols’ debut gig at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall has been acknowledged as the starting point of that city’s punk and new wave scene, The Clash’s first gig at Eric’s, supported by The Specials on the 5th May 1977, was a similar watershed moment for Liverpool. The gig was witnessed by people who would later form Big In Japan, The Teardrop Explodes, Wah!, Dead or Alive, The KLF, Frankie Goes To Hollywood fame and Echo & The Bunnymen.

The Clash's influence can still be heard in American political punk bands such as Rancid, Anti-Flag, Bad Religion, NOFX, Green Day, and Rise Against! as well as in the political hard rock of early Manic Street Preachers.

Outside of rock music, Chuck D has credited the Clash as an inspiration for Public Enemy, in particular for the way their use of socially and politically conscious lyrics gained attention from the music press.

Join me on the deepest of dives Banned Biographies has taken so far into the lives and careers of the members of probably THE greatest UK punk band ever.

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