THE ANARCHY IN THE UK TOUR

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Andrew Turner contributed to a retrospective published by the Eastern Daily Press in 2004:

"We were incredibly lucky young punks in Norfolk. All the top bands of the day played at WRP and of course the band to see were the Pistols. I didn’t see them when they played Runton, it was before they became nationally known, and a they were virtually banned from playing in the UK after the Bill Grundy incident [when the Pistols unleashed a string of televised obscenities] it looked like I never would.

 

Then in November a ‘secret’ tour was announced in the music press. The venues weren’t listed, but a map of the UK was printed with crosses giving a strong clue to where they were playing. Imagine our excitement to see a cross right up on the Norfolk coast!

 

 

Someone shouts, “Play something then,” and he retorts “You know where the fucking exit is,” before launching into the song “No Feelings”.

The set list was: God Save the Queen, I Wanna Be Me, 17, New York, EMI, Bodies, Submission, Belsen was Gas, Holidays in the Sun, No Feelings, Problems, Pretty Vacant, Anarchy in the UK.

The gig was reviewed by the North Norfolk News on 30 December 1977:

The controversial Sex Pistols concert at Cromer, which at one stage looked like being cancelled, took place after all on Christmas Eve. The group...played for an hour to an audience of nearly 600 punk rock fans...and police did not intervene.

Robert Lowe manager of the Links Pavilion said “We are very pleased with the way everything went. By about 8.30pm we realised there was going to be no trouble and that everyone there was there to enjoy the music.”

He added that the group had played well and among the crowd were a large number of local people. “Afterwards everyone went away very peacefully. They were all interested in finding their way home,” he explained.

Some coach parties had come from as far away as London and Sheffield. Trevor Randall, the promoter, pointed out that the Sex Pistols were not the “naughty boys” they were made out to be. Indeed........

We immediately thought the concert would be at West Runton, but word soon got around that it was at the old Links Pavilion, which I believe had been unused for some time.

Inside the Pavilion it was very shoddy, paint peeling off the walls - and there wasn’t a proper bar, just cans of beer being sold over the counter.The band were encamped on the balcony, Johnny looking especially cool grooving to the dub reggae being pumped out of the PA, wearing an old army pith helmet.

Sid Vicious was wandering around the audience, looking very mean. He spotted a guy wearing a pink tie with a naked lady on it and swapped a t-shirt for it.

The show itself was good, although ultimately it could never quite live up to our expectations. They tore though virtually everything they’d recorded in good style. I can’t remember any great witticisms from John, but Steve Jones, the guitarist, passed out half a case of beer to the fans down the front."

 

Chris Hare has a recording of the gig. At the start Johnny Rotten is complaining that the audience are “really quiet” - with some reference to it being Christmas Eve - and asking, “Why can’t you be more like us?” presumably because they weren’t jumping around very much.

Later in the gig, Steve Jones is trying to tune his guitar and makes some comment that although it isn’t in tune, the audience “don’t mind”.

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......Julien Temple made a film out of the next day's events as the Pistols travelled from Cromer to Huddersfield for their last two British gigs. They were both on the same day - Christmas Day - and the first was a party for the children of striking miners followed by a benefit gig for the strike funds.

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