Thursday, 23 June 2011

The "Joe Strummer Memorial" Busking Tour

One chilly afternoon in October 2008, with a biting wind blowing, Julian Cope and Black Sheep turned up at the site of the Peterloo massacre to perform the Manchester leg of his Joe Strummer Memorial Busking Tour. Over 3 days they travelled the country, busking at "UK cultural centres" (11 of 'em according to the website) - it was advertised online a couple of days before they set of and no times were advertised, so it was very much a case of hanging around and waiting for them to show up. When they did arrive, he had a brief chat with us before starting the...err...gig. It was a pleasure to meet the great man.

I decided to capture some of it on my phone and, had my hand not turned blue with the cold wind, I'd have filmed more. Still, what you have here is fairly representative. Check out the other people's videos on Youtube for other footage of this and other venues.

Here's what the Head Heritage site had to say about the choice of venue:

"On August 16th, 1819, the huge crowd of 80,000 people, which had gathered in Manchester’s St. Peter’s Field to protest about the price of bread due to the unfairness of the new Corn Laws, were brutally attacked by cavalry fresh from the Battle of Waterloo who’d been sent to police the situation. With over 700 injured and 15 dead, the incident became known as the Peterloo Massacre and led to the forming of the Manchester Guardian."

And here's the footage I took:

And the highlight - parts 3 and 4 are one track (I missed the first 5 or 10 minutes I'm afraid) split into two, incorporating a version of Pristeen and the legendary "face solo"...

Stills from the video are also on Flickr


  1. Mr W, fine footage...I am in awe!


  2. And it looks like the tour documentary that was filmed at the time might finally get a release - here's a promo of it http://www.startproductions.co.uk/Work/JulianCope.html