It only seems a year ago that Bridgwater formally twinned with the US city of Seattle in order to take part in International Clash Day celebrating the life and works of Joe Strummer, lead singer and songwriter of that illustrious punk band and who famously chose to move to Bridgwater, where he sadly died in 2002, but not before declaring it ‘a Clash Town’.
To keep the International link going, Somerset Film is hosting an International Clash Day event on Tuesday February 7th.From 2pm till 5pm visitors can enjoy Clash music and images in the Engine Room café in Bridgwater High Street with a live link to the KEXP radio station in Seattle. The station will be dedicating the day to Joe Strummer and the Clash and their music. There will be live music in the cafe from Claude Sandiford plus a video link to Prague, from where the Leader of Bridgwater Town Council Brian Smedley will be joining in together with Czech musicians and Clash fans.
Cllr Smedley says “At absolutely no expense (no really) Bridgwater Town Council will be again paying tribute to the great Joe Strummer. On this occasion I will be in Prague with sociology students from Bridgwater College and part of their residential in the Czech republic will include this special event where we hope they can learn something about punk music and the role music has played in the politics of countries around the world. One of our guests in Prague will be Jiri Kobes, singer with the anarchic Czech 70’s band Plastic People of the Universe, a group that was constantly harassed by the Czech communist authorities at the time for deigning to be different and as a result the opposition movement that eventually became the velvet revolution gained one more cause to rally around. We will be discussing with Czech musicians, young and old, about the influence of the Clash, the Plastic People and whether music can actually change things. And then we’ll be going to the pub.”
Somerset Film’s Phil Shepherd says “We are pleased to be contributing to this event with the support of the Joe Strummer Foundation. It’s all about honouring Joe Strummer’s love of Bridgwater – he played one of his last concerts here as a benefit for us just before his untimely death. There will be images, music, anarchy and cake. Everyone welcome to come along and join us on the day”.
If you want to join in on the day you can turn up to the Engine Room Bridgwater 2-5pm or the Cafe V Lese in Pragues Vrsovice district 3-6pm or tune in to KEXP on 90.3FM or maybe visit their website KEXP.ORG.
Councillor Smedley added “Bridgwater’s not just a Clash Town it’s an Internationalist town and so we’re always pleased to engage with our friends the world over. And anyway, the Americans need cheering up at the moment……”
Anyone wanting to revisit the glory days of International Clash day 2016 can witness the reading and signing of the original proclamation here.