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

The 8mm film is the only known footage of the gigs

Footage of Sex Pistols performing two shows at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall in 1976 has sold for £15,000 at auction.

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

Among the audiences of 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 Devoto and Steve Diggle, as well as Factory Records founder Tony Wilson.


A 17-year-old Morrissey also witnessed the gig, shortly afterwards writing to NME saying he would “love to see the Pistols make it”.

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

Sex Pistols at Free Trade Hall CREDIT: Omega Auctions

A spokesman told the BBC that the 8mm Super 8 film is the “only known footage of the gigs”, so the “historic nature” of them was “indisputable”.

Auctioneer Paul Fairweather added that the shows were “huge for bands that spawned off the back off them,” and said “It was the birth of punk.”


Last week, meanwhile, Sex PistolsJohn Lydon has 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 Danny Boyle’s upcoming biopic series, Pistol, with guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook legally challenging his veto.

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