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Firefighters Benefit in Memory of Joe Strummer




On Saturday 21st December, London’s Coronet Theatre plays host to several prominent punk prime movers and some of scene’s most promising risings stars, as they remember Joe Strummer and raise cash for a cause close to the late Clash frontman’s heart.

Six weeks before his premature death on December 22nd 2002, Strummer played his final London gig with The Mescaleros at Acton Town Hall in support of striking firefighters. His former bandmate Mick Jones was in the audience that night and felt “compelled” to join the band onstage mid-encore, performing Clash songs with Strummer for the first time in 20 years. A historic moment for Clash fans, the gig also established a link between Strummer and The Fire Brigade’s Union, which remains strong some 11 years after his death. The union provided a guard of honour at Strummer’s funeral, and joined forces with The Strummerville Foundation in 2012 to host a memorial concert marking the 10th anniversary of his passing.

This year’s benefit at The Coronet will continue the tradition, and sees both Strummer’s contemporaries and up-and-coming stars influenced by him lining up to pay their respects, whilst supporting firefighters taking industrial action against unfair employment and pension changes.

Headlining the event is Strummer’s fellow punk rock veteran Glen Matlock, who of course made his name as original bassist and key creative force in The Sex Pistols. In recent years, Matlock has added stints with Earl Slick’s Slinky Vagabond, the Mike Peters fronted Dead Men Walking, and even the reformed Faces to an eclectic, ever-expanding rock ‘n’ roll CV, and has also established his own group The Philistines.

Featuring Gary Lammin (formerly of the Strummer-produced Little Roosters), Martin Stacey (Chelsea) and Chris Musto (Johnny Thunders’ Oddballs), The Bermondsey Joyriders are a trio with equally impeccable ‘77 credentials, as well as a radical agenda for the 21st century. Their 2012 concept album ‘Noise & Revolution’ mixed punk fury with bluesy slide guitar sounds and spoken word narration from iconic performance poet John Sinclair, and won them critical acclaim and a reputation as an incendiary and daring live act, following a string of shows at which they and Sinclair performed the record live and in full.

Fronted by Martin Muscatt, cousin of The Clash’s Mick Jones, Taurus Trakker boast blood ties to the original Acton Town Hall show. Complementing Muscatt’s distinctive style of witty, observational lyricism and Dylan-esque delivery are livewire drummer Allison Phillips, bassist Wiggsy and saxophonist Dave Wright, and together that put on a show which sparks with spontaneous energy and musical chemistry.

Tipped as the voice of punk‘s next generation, Louise Distras plays a socially conscious and insightful brand of protest poetry that, in a spiritual sense, is also firmly descended from the Clash bloodline. Having released debut album ‘Dreams From the Factory Floor’ only this September, she is already gaining wide-spread acclaim, and was hailed by The Guardian as “putting punk and protest back into the mainstream”.

In addition to live performances, the evening will feature DJ sets from dub mash-up maestros Dreadzone, and ‘Rude Boy’ star Ray Gange.
More acts are due to be announced very soon – stayed tuned for further updates!


Firefighters Benefit in memory of Joe Strummer
Sat 21st December, 7pm til late at The Coronet Theatre (28 New Kent Road, SE1 6TJ)
Featuring – Glen Matlock, The Bermondsey Joyriders, Taurus Trakker, Louise Distras, Dreadzone (DJ set), Ray Gange (DJ set) + more TBA
Tickets – £8 advance at

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