Place of the Notting Hill riots

Music Black Market Clash The Clash (album - 1980)
The Clash's career has served as an example to many apprentices, with or without a crest, around the world. A band whose artistic approach has always gone hand in hand with a political and social conscience, visible on the cover of Black Market Clash, captured in Notting Hill.
Portobello Road Notting Hill London
Portobello Road Notting Hill London - Photo credit: Fantrippers

“What I like about playing America is you can be pretty sure you’re not going to get hit with a full can of beer when you’re singing and I really enjoy that!”

Joe Strummer, singer and guitarist of The Clash

The photo The Clash used to illustrate their US compilation shows Big Audio Dynamite musician Don Letts and The Slits standing up to several police officers on the streets of Notting Hill. A famous shot taken during the 1976 carnival, an event that was routinely interrupted by the authorities because it was considered harmful to public order. The picture has been modified for the cover but is still as striking as ever and of course in keeping with the band’s intentions.

Because at the end of the day, through their music, the group has always questioned the politics of the powerful and challenged authority. The fact of having opted for a snapshot of the riots in Notting Hill, a district that is now so peaceful and romantic, underlines this desire to oppose the protesting rage of the oppressed to much brighter evocations. A way of reminding us that in Notting Hill, as elsewhere, things were not always what they are now.

Since their debut in 1974, The Clash have always used their music to scratch the surface of appearances and tickle the powerful. His first concert was on July 4, 1976, supporting the Sex Pistols at the Black Swan in Sheffield. Once the show was over, the two bands headed to London’s Dingwalls to attend the Ramones’ concert event.
It was during the Americans’ set that the legendary altercation between Joe Strummer and JJ Burnel, the Stranglers’ bass player, took place. The band has always been politically aware and has risen through the ranks at a rapid pace, and on several occasions, the musicians have flirted with trouble. A bit like Don Letts on the cover of the Black Market Clash compilation.


The Clash released six studio albums from 1977 to 1985.

282 Portobello Rd

Notting Hill and Portobello are in the center of one of the most powerful covers of The Clash’s discography.

Located in the heart of Notting Hill, the site of the clashes between police and demonstrators during the 1976 carnival riots has long since been restored to its former glory. Just a stone’s throw from the famous bookstore in the film Coup de Foudre in Notting Hill and Portobello Market, this shopping street now offers everything you’d expect from such a place.

Back in the day, and up until the early 1980s, the police frequently carried out heavy raids during the carnival. Today, mentalities have changed and the municipality encourages the organization of the event.

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By Gilles Rolland

Monday, January 3, 2022

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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