“Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?”
The now legendary June 4th, 1976 gig at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall spawned the British punk movement and the post-punk scene that was soon to follow only two years later. In the audience were future members of the Buzzcocks Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley (who organized the gig and opened for the Pistols); a nascent version of Joy Division; the two founders of Factory Records Martin Hannet and Tony Wilson; Mark E. Smith of The Fall, Mick Hucknall of Frantic Elevators and much later Simply Red; and a one Steven Patrick Morrissey, who would form The Smiths.
The Pistols smashed out 13 songs in their dynamite set, including covers of Dave Berry’s "Don’t Give Me No Lip Child," Paul Revere and the Raiders “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone”, the Small Faces “What’cha Gonna Do About It,” The Stooges’ “No Fun”, and The Who’s “Substitute.” When asked for an encore, they played “No Fun” again....genius.
Of their originals, their two most famous songs--”God Save the Queen” and “Anarchy in the U.K.” had yet to be written--but “Pretty Vacant,” “Problems,” "New York," “No Feelings” are all here in their raw form.
A few songs never made it onto their first album, but can be found on their heavily bootlegged demo tape they recorded the same year.
When the Pistols stumbled back into London, everybody in Manchester and beyond had started a band, or at least that's how it felt. By the time the Pistols got back to London, The Clash and The Damned had formed. And even if you hadn’t been at Lesser Free Trade Hall, you told your friends you had been and picked up a guitar.
The band would return three weeks later to play the Hall again, playing to hundreds this time and solidifying the dawn of the punk era.