Uncut Editor's Diary

"Letsagettabittarockin'"

Allan Jones

More on Joe Strummer and The 101’ers

Following my somewhat nostalgic post about calling in at the Elgin and being reminded of many great nights there watching Joe Strummer and The 101’ers in their short-lived scruffy pomp, I’ve received the following email from reader Peter Cabret.

“Over the last few minutes,” Pete writes, “ I've been reading with interest your blog and memories of seeing The 101'ers at The Elgin. Now, I am 21 so they are years
before my time but over the last 5 or 6 months I have been developing a website about The 101'ers. The Elgin page may be of particular interest to you: http://www.101ers.co.uk/theelgin.htm

In addition the new Joe Strummer film by Julien Temple "The Future is
Unwritten" will, I believe, include footage of The 101'ers playing at The Elgin.
Thanks for your time.

Cheers
Pete”

I’ve just spent a very happy half hour on Pete’s site and it’s well worth a look.

As well as the basics of a band history and discography, there are fascinating ‘biographies’ of the London venues The 101’ers regularly played – The Elgin, of course, but also The Nashville Rooms, where on two occasions they were supported by The Sex Pistols, The Red Cow, Hope And Anchor, Windsor Castle, The Telegraph on Brixton Hill and The Charlie Pigdog Club, which was a room above The Chippenham pub where I first saw them in February 1975.

There are also some great eye-witness accounts from fans recalling the gigs they saw, including a post from former Pink Fairies’ roadie, Joly, who remembers seeing them at ‘some hippie festival’, as he puts it, possibly Windsor or Stonehenge.

I wonder if he is thinking of the Watchfield Festival in ’76. This was a chaotic affair, held on a deserted airfield some miles outside Swindon. I remember sitting in a tour bus getting high with Hawkwind when this white van came bouncing across the field, its battered flanks emblazoned with the legend: “The 101’ers – Rhythm & Blues Orchestra”.

Joe and the band had turned up on the off-chance they could be added to the bill, but I can’t actually remember them playing. In fact, I can’t remember ANYONE playing, which is what sometimes happened when you hung with the Hawklords. What I do remember is the rain that started falling late in the afternoon, a torrential downpour that accompanied me on the long walk back to Swindon that night, a grim journey still guaranteed to give me nightmares.

Anyway, not for the first time, I digress.

Thanks to Pete for getting in touch. If anyone else has memories they’d like to share of seeing The 101’ers, you know how to get in touch.


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