La Sorbonne/Subway

La Sorbonne was a rather notorious pub/club throughout the eighties, deep in the belly of the Cowgate. It played host to various gigs as well as being one of the most infamous places in Edinburgh. 

Site of La Sorbonne 20th April 2009. ©S.S. 2009.

  • 1985 May 13th The Clash
Joe Strummer busks outside St James centre 1985  Thank you to John D Dempsey for this rare photo. ©Gary D Dempsey 1985.

 The Clash played here the night before they “busked” at Coasters, announcing the following nights gig to a handfull of amazed patrons!   Joe Strummer was spotted busking by Hazel,  my partner,  in Princess Street that day, she asked him what they were busking for?  Strummer said “beer money” and promptly offered her a drink from his beer can, he then asked her where La Sorbonne was……..

Twisted Nerve at La Sorbonne.  Thank you to Jan for the photo.
  • 1985  15th August Nico & The Faction
  • 1985  19th September The Three Johns
  • 1985  25th September The Toy Dolls
  • 1985  26th September Balaam & The Angel
  • 2005  29th May The Arctic Monkeys (when the venue had changed it’s name to The Subway)
  • 2005  13th September The Immortal Lee County Killers & The Black Diamond Heavies
Thank you to Paul McKean for the poster above.  Designed by Don Huggan.
  • 2006  10th February This Bike Is a PipeBomb, I Stand Alone, xDuckstabx, Today We Fight, & 15 Minutes