# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Rock Against Racism - Those Were The Days

  by Andrew Twambley

published: 8 / 3 / 2024

Rock Against Racism - Those Were The Days

In the mid-1970s while I was a young (relatively) innocent teenager, studying in Liverpool, I was encapsulated by the intoxicating emergence of punk and spent my non-studying hours either in the pub or at gigs. In my earlier years in Blackpool I had been protected from all forms of political, social and racial injustice, by parents and by my school. If I recall correctly there were no black, Asian or any other minority kids at my school, so I had no idea what grown up life had in store for me. Liverpool was an eye opener and I socialised with everyone, who would talk to me…with most being united under the banner of music. What, however, rapidly became plain and obvious was racism, a totally new concept in my book. Why were people, who didn’t look like me, viewed by some as of lesser worth? My own best mate at the time (and to this day) was mixed race but it never occurred to me that he was in any way different. At the time we were seeing the rise of The National Front and various far right factions who sought to preach a very unhealthy sermon of hate and prejudice,but at the same time the music industry was rising against this abhorrent mind set by setting out how it was and how it should be. Hence the rise of the Rock Against Racism movement and all that went with it, including the glorious RAR Rally at Victoria Park inLondon on 30th April 1978. My university was well behind the movement and organised a coach trip to the rally, a trip which was oversubscribed by hundreds. Fortunately I was first in and bagged a ticket. Unfortunately my memory of the whole day is somewhat sketchy.. but I have always cemented it as the greatest gig I ever attended. I recall waiting for the coach about 5 a.m. and vaguely remember being dropped off in Trafalgar Square mid-morning, launching me into an army of like minded people of all descriptions. I have little recollection of the seven mile walk to Victoria Park in East London, save for it being slowed down by a few pathetic anti-protests by the knuckle-dragging brigade of the National Front. We arrived at the park just as Steel Pusle were ending their set in humongous applause. There followed amazing sets by The Tom Robinson Band and X-Ray Spex before the day culminated in the crown jewels of The Clash aided by Jimmy Pursey. I know the event has been steadfastly etched, proudly into my mind as the greatest gig of all time. Evidence of this can be seen on YouTube and in The Clash movie ‘Rudeboy’. But why would I like to revisit this gig more than any other…… because I just cannot remember enough about it. It was almost 50 years ago so the ravages of time and the cans of Watney’s Red Barrel have laid waste to my actual recollections…. So, please call up H.G. Wells and order The Time Machine to take me back….”just for one day”

Band Links:-

Play in YouTube:-

Picture Gallery:-
Rock Against Racism - Those Were The Days

Rock Against Racism - Those Were The Days

Rock Against Racism - Those Were The Days

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit


In our new series ‘Those Were the Days’ our writers will be writing about a gig which they wish they could attend again. In the first in the series, Andrew Twambley recollects attending a Rock Against Racism gig with The Clash, X-Ray Spex, The Tom Robinson Band and Steel Pulse in Victoria Park in London in April 1978.

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors