Clash, Pistols members revive London spirit of '77

Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:32pm EST
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By Stefano Ambrogi

LONDON (Reuters) - The architects of British punk have been quietly passing on the baton to a new generation in a tiny London bar, but the secret is out and about to hit America.

Founding members of the Clash, the Sex Pistols, Generation X and a collection of young bands have revived the spirit of 1970s London punk rock at a series of small gigs in the Clash's old stomping grounds in London's Notting Hill neighborhood.

Clash founding member Mick Jones has returned to his roots and, judging by the six-week residency at the packed out Inn On The Green, is staying true to his punk ideals.

Fronting his latest band Carbon/Silicon with Tony James, formerly of Generation X, the pair have used a regular ticketless Friday night rock extravaganza to promote a string of local bands many of whom can't be a day older than 15.

For just 10 pounds ($20) at the bar door, teenage bands like the Sandanistas belt out covers of the Clash's "White Riot" and "Magnificent Seven" to a 150-capacity crowd as Jonesy, clearly enjoying himself, dances in the audience.

"We wanted to do something for local acts, local talent," said Tony James, calmly rubbing shoulders with fans at the bar ahead of a recent gig.

"We'd never of thought it was gonna be like this!" a beaming Mick Jones dripping with sweat tells a mostly 40-something rapturous crowd who queued around the block to get in.

His band, then storms through songs laced with Clash-style riffs and harmonies from Carbon/Silicon's first commercially available album released last year.   Continued...

<p>Members of Sex Pistols (L-R) Glen Matlock, Johnny Rotten, Paul Cook and Steve Jones perform at the Roxy bar in Los Angeles October 25, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>