Footage of Sex Pistols’ legendary Manchester Free Trade Hall shows sells for £15,000

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The only known footage of 8mm film gigs is

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In 1976 footage of the Sex Pistols performing two shows at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester sold at auction for £15,000.

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The number of future musicians in the crowd caused the two shows to have gone down in music legend, inspired by the show to form their own bands.

Among the audience for the two shows were future Joy Division bandmates Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner and Ian Curtis, The Fall’s Mark E Smith, Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley, Howard DeVotto and Steve Diggle, as well as Factory Records founder Tony Wilson.


A 17-year-old Morrissey also saw the gig, shortly after he wrote Granthshala Saying that he “would love to see the pistol make it”.

Now, auction house Omega Auctions has sold footage of the show filmed by music fan Mark Roberts for £15,000.

Sex Pistols at Free Trade Hall Credit: Omega Auctions

a spokesperson told BBC That 8mm Super 8 film is “the only known footage of gigs”, so the “historic nature” of them was “undeniable”.

Auctioneer Paul Fairweather said the shows were “too big for the bands that left them behind,” adding that “it was the birth of punk.”


Last week, meanwhile, Sex Pistols’ John Lydon opened up about his financial struggles, which he said have worsened after losing a legal battle against his former bandmates last month.

Lydon was sued after refusing to license the group’s music for inclusion in the upcoming biopic series of Danny Boyle, Pistol, Guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook legally challenged his veto.

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