1977 was a turbulent year for the United Kingdom. It was the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, financial hardships, and the violent popularization of punk rock. On January 1st, before Baby New Year could even take his first breath, The Clash would perform at the soon-to-be-infamous Roxy. Filmmaker Julien Temple (The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle, The Filth and the Fury) was on hand to capture the concert. Now, in a new BBC documentary, Temple has unleashed that footage for the first time.
Timing makes the concert significant, as it marked the rise of both The Clash and the Roxy venue as staples in the exploding punk scene. The band was coming out of the Anarchy Tour with Sex Pistols and Heartbreakers as the least-controversial, most-appreciated act on the bill. Roxy, meanwhile, had just dropped its previous name, Shaggarama, and “cheesy” gay club esthetic to try and become a haven for the oft-ostracized punks. For the first time ever, those not in attendance can watch it all come to a head as The Clash debuted new drummer Rob Harper and a new song, “I’m So Bored With the U.S.A.”.
Temple surrounds the concert material with behind-the-scenes and found footage of media broadcasts, riots, reggae, and other punks like Johnny Rotten, all working together to create a fascinating look into the year that was ’77 in England. You can watch the whole 75-minute film below for now.