Working for the clampdown

The Clash, the dawn of neoliberalism and the political promise of punk

Edited by Colin Coulter

Working for the clampdown


  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1423-5
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: July 2019
  • BIC Category: MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Punk, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture, MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Rock, SOCIAL SCIENCE / General, Society & social sciences / Popular culture, Society & social sciences / Society & culture: general, Society & social sciences / Cultural studies, Cultural studies, Sociology, The arts / Music


This volume brings together a range of writers from different academic disciplines and different locations to provide an engaging and accessible critical exploration of one of the most revered and reviled bands in the history of popular music. The essays collated here locate The Clash in their own explosive cultural moment of punk's year zero and examine how the group speaks from beyond the grave to the uncanny parallels of other moments of social and political crisis. In addition, the collection considers the impact of the band in a range of different geopolitical contexts, with various contributors exploring what the band meant in settings as diverse as Italy, England, Northern Ireland, Australia and the United States. The diverse essays gathered in Working for the clampdown cast a critical light on both the cultural legacy and contemporary resonance of one of the most influential bands ever to have graced a stage.


1. A Riot of Our Own: An Introduction to the Book
Colin Coulter (Maynooth University, Ireland)
Section One: No Elvis, Beatles or the Rolling Stones: The Clash, the Politics of Pop and the Neoliberal Conjuncture
2. Six Things I Love and/or Hate About The Clash
David Hesmondhalgh (University of Leeds)
3. The Clash and Musical Artistry: Against The Corporate Voice.
Caroline Coon (Artist, Writer, Manager of The Clash from 1978 to 1980).
4. The Clash, Revolution and the Dawn of Neoliberalism
Jason Toynbee (Open University)
5. Rudie Can't Fail: The Clash as Pop Situationists
Richard Barbrook (University of Westminster)
Section Two: Back in the garage with my bullshit detector: The Clash and the Cultural Politics of Punk
6. Nothing matters: Punk as a response to nihilism
Kieran Cashell (Limerick School of Art & Design)
7. 'Are you going backwards. Or are you going forwards?' - England Past & England Future in 1970s Punk
Ruth Adams (King's College London)
8. What if Keith Levene had never left The Clash? Punk and the Politics of Novelty
Pete Dale (Manchester Metropolitan University)
9. The Clash: A teenage auto-ethnography
Martin James (Southampton Solent University)
10. Still the Last Gang in Town? Identity politics, inherited fandom and authenticity among second wave fans of The Clash.
Kathryn Reaney
Section Three: It could be anywhere, Most likely could be any frontier, Any hemisphere: The Clash around the world
11. 'Cashing in the bill of rights'? ?The Clash in New York, in myth and realityHarry Browne (Dublin Institute of Technology)
12. The only band that matters: The night The Clash didn't play Belfast
Colin Coulter (Maynooth University, Ireland)
13. The One Struggle: the music and politics of The Clash in an Australian context
Alessandro Moliterno (The Australian National University)
14. Brigade Rosse: The Clash, Italian Punx and the Years of Lead
Giacomo Bottà (University of Helsinki)
15. 'I Live by the River': Britishness, Englishness and The Clash
Conrad Brunström (Maynooth University, Ireland)
16. 'Stagger Lee's Come Out on Top': The Ballad of Stack Lee, from St. Louis to Jamaica to London
Katherine Reed (Utah Valley University)

To purchase as an ebook, please visit your preferred ebook supplier

Amazon Apple Kobo

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout