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Added 5th June 2007 by mat


The Electric Circus
9th December 1976

A ticket for one of the handful of 'Anarchy in the UK' gigs that weren't pulled... Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Clash and Johnny Thunders.

This item was exhibited in the Urbis Punk exhibition.

Latest Discussion

“Did I read somewhere that the Pistols played in Didsbury in 76? Did the gig go ahead? Anyone know about this one?”
“The Damned were kicked off the tour before it reached Manchester. They were replaced by The Buzzcocks.
The tickets were sold through the Virgin record shop. It might be time playing a trick but I remember the ticket as an orange colour, similar to the SAHB one shown elsewhere. As they were ripped in half on the way in I never had it to keep so can't be sure.
I've always been surprised that there aren't any photos from the night around as there were many tabloid hacks and photographers there, obviously hoping to capture something to feed the fires ignited by the Pistols appearance with Grundy. If anyone knows of any pics I'd love to see them!
The night ran late, the Buzzcocks opened and were still trying to master their instrumentals, and while you knew something very special was happening just how monumental could never of been imagined at the time. We just felt angry and very different from all the fools.”
11 Nov 2007
“i went to the pistols gig in didsbury. had quite a good night along with about 100 others.
just a shame that the pistols weren't there. one band did play though, think they were called the undead or something like that. hadn't heard of them before and never heard of them again.
we went in the gates facing the didsbury hotel.”
30 Jan 2008
“sorry, i'm confused! so the pistols were due to play in Didsbury - but didnt turn up? where, at the Didsbury Hotel?

We filmed a discussion about Punk at the Urbis ex with Tony Wilson and Paul Morley (see Wilson was talking about how today it's hard to imagine exactly how shocking and 'dangerous' the Pistols were seen as in those early days, and that after one of the gigs (maybe this Electric Circus gig?) the police closed the roads to the hotel in Disbury (maybe Fallowfield) where they were staying, thinking that the public should be protected as they made their journey back!

We should put more of the clips up as it was great discussion...”
02 Feb 2008
“it was part of the university. the gates to go in were facing the didsbury hotel. it was in a campus hall. i seem to remember mr morley was among our group that night.
the hotel where the police were called was the arosa hotel which was on the corner of wilmslow rd and moldeth rd, fallowfield. it was for the first of the electric circus gigs.”
05 Feb 2008
“i've uploaded the rest of the Morley/Wilson Punk discussion. There's seven consecutive clips...
11 Feb 2008
“According to the late/great Dave Goodman, he seemed to recollect that the Pistols played that Didsbury gig.......must've been all them drugs befuddling his old hippy napper, leading to false memory syndrome!”
06 Feb 2010
“I seem to remember someone once telling me the Pistols were going to play in Stalybridge but it never happened. Anyone know of this tale? Is it true?”
07 Feb 2010
“On ebay at the minute there's a Man City programme from 4th Dec 1976, City v Derby County, with an advert for the Anarchy single and this electric circus gig. Nice! Bidding starting at £20.
07 Feb 2010
“That's true about Buzzcocks trying to put the Pistols on at the Commercial in Stalybridge as opposed to the FTH , can't remember why it didn't happen. I seem to remember seeing a letter to the venue from Howard Devoto, maybe at the Urbis Punk exhibition a few years ago.
And that Didsbury campus gig, I was also told the Pistols never showed and as for Dave Goodman, he did have a vivid imigination/poor memory according to those that knew him. Delete as appropriate. But don't we all ?”
23 Feb 2010
“The plot thickens, according to author Alan Parker and a few others the Pistols did play at Didsbury college on 1/10/76. The other gigs in 1976 were, 4/6 FTH, 20/7 FTH ,9/12 Electric Cicus and 19/12 EC.”
23 Feb 2010
“One of my regular haunts years ago was the Commercial in Stalybridge and I was there the night Buzzcocks were on.

This was home to the Stalybridge Motorcyle Club and for obvious reasons the band and their entourage did'nt go down too well.
They were billed as 'The Buzzcutts' and Howard Devoto was soon the centre of abuse with his leopard skin tights and ballet shoes ( I think he wore a pink tutu as well).When they got on stage he announced "It's 'COCKS' actually" to which someone replied "And you're a bunch of pricks actually" They only lasted a couple of songs before getting booed off.The crowd had never seen anything like it before and were more used to seeing Fenders and Les Pauls played properly instead of a cut in half Audition from Boots The Chemist tinkering out the two note solo from 'Boredom' and the one string melody from Sinatra's 'Strangers In The Night'. For all I know McLaren,Rotten and all could have been there that night..........who knows they had a big enough following.

Quite a memorable gig.”
24 Feb 2010
“Great story, Arnie!”
24 Feb 2010
“I went to the Commercial on the night the Sex Pistols were supposed to play and it was Slaughter and the Dogs who took their place. No idea of the reason why the Sex Pistols did not perform but glad that it is has been confirmed here that they were supposed to appear and it is not my memory that is going after all these years.”
02 Jan 2011
“Atimewhen has it right I was among those who schlepped to Didsbury to see the Pistols only to be disappointed. It was in a typical college hall/gym type venue and the band that did play were crap. We fled to the Didsbury and got the ale in.”
04 Feb 2011
“Hi Mat, I'm making a documentary with the profits going to Kidneys for Life. We interviewed Clint Boon who mentioned the Electric Circus, amongst other people. Do you think we could use the picture of your ticket in the film if we credit you?

Many thanks
29 Dec 2013
“I remember 18 or so years ago while in the sauna at Hyde baths having a conversation about music etc, this guy whom I can't remember spoke about seeing the Sex pistols at staylbridge, we know for sure the Buzzcocks played in staylbridge as howard devoto knew the owners, apparently the gig didn't go down well because of Howard's pink slippers, I think the pistols played the screen on the green the day after, so it's possible the sex pistols were there”
02 Jan 2023
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