Rare film footage of historic 1976 Sex Pistols concerts to go on sale

The video footage captures moments from two of the punk band's performances at Manchester's Free Trade Hall in June and July 1976.

Rare film footage from concerts by the Sex Pistols will go to auction later this month.

The sale of the video, which captures historic moments from two of the punk band’s performances at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall in June and July 1976, comes shortly after a High Court ruling over the use of Sex Pistols music in a forthcoming television series.

The June concert has been previously described as “the gig that changed the world” as it inspired a generation of musicians who attended the performance.

The footage and its copyright will go on sale on September 14 through Omega Auctions with a price tag of upwards of £20,000.

Auctioneer Paul Fairweather said: “These concerts have entered into punk folklore and justifiably so.

“The impact that the shows had and the events they inspired truly did change the course of musical history.

“The footage shows the Pistols at their sneering, swaggering best and truly does capture what must have been so electrifying for the audiences lucky enough to have attended.

“We think they are incredibly exciting and can’t wait to see how they will go on auction day.”

Members of the punk rock band Buzzcocks organised the Manchester concerts after watching the Sex Pistols play in London.

The June 4 concert had a small attendance of around 40 people but featured many artists who would go on to shape music history.

Attendees of the shows included Anthony (Tony) Wilson, who was supposedly inspired to start the independent record label Factory Records, and Peter Hook, who co-founded Joy Division and New Order and was said to have bought a bass guitar after the concert.

Other audience members included The Smiths frontman Morrissey, singer and songwriter Mick Hucknall of Simply Red and The Fall’s lead singer Mark E Smith.

Sex Pistols court case
Paul Cook arrives at the Rolls Building at the High Court in London with his wife Jeni (Yui Mok/PA)

Members of the Sex Pistols have been embroiled in a legal battle in recent months after the group’s former frontman Johnny Rotten, real name John Lydon, was sued by the band’s drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones in order to allow their music to be used in the TV drama Pistol, directed by Danny Boyle.

The six-part series, which is being made by Disney and is due to air next year, is based on a 2016 memoir by Jones called Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol.

In a High Court ruling on August 23, Sir Anthony Mann found the pair were entitled to invoke “majority voting rules” against the ex-singer in relation to the use of Sex Pistols material in the series, under the terms of a band member agreement (BMA).

Sex Pistols court case
John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, outside the High Court in London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Rotten criticised the decision, saying: “I am the lead singer and songwriter, front man, image, the lot, you name it. I put it there.

“How is that not relevant? It is dumbfounding to me. It is so destructive to what the band is and so I fear that the whole project might be extremely negative.”

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