One of two secret gigs, hastily arranged for Christmas and Boxing Day 1979 prior to the Concert for Kampuchea.

updated 28 Dec 2008 - added Chris Salewicz Trouser Press Interview
updated Dec 2014 - added poster and tickets
updated August 2022 added Story So Far fanzine





Audio 1 - upgrade wanted

Poor - Sound 1.5 - 1hr 19mins - Unknown generation - 20 tracks

Brand New Cadilac





Too many generations off the master

Sadly for what was a unique occasion, The Clash playing for 50p in a small hall, the only recording in circulation is a very poor one.

It’s an audience tape, too many generations off the master where all the sounds merge to the bottom end. Vocals are especially poor, almost completely lost in several songs, making them instrumentals.

Partly this is a result of the acknowledged poor sound from the PA, commented on by Vivian Goldman in her Review in Sounds and certainly Joe’s vocals are better than both Mick’s and Paul’s suggesting all is not the fault of the taper.

White Riot at times is inaudible and there are terrible tape speed problems at times. Bass is very strong but distorted dominating the sound.

There is some clarity though on guitars and drums making it just about enjoyable. For all it’s fault it is the only record of a very interesting gig in Clash history and does include the first known live outings for Keys To Your Heart, Train In Vain, Revolution Rock and Bankrobber.





Two secret gigs, hastily arranged for Christmas and Boxing Day

Two secret gigs, hastily arranged for Christmas and Boxing Day 1979 were held for a combination of reasons; to thank their patient fans, as a warm up for the Kampuchea benefit performance on the 27th at the Hammersmith Odeon and because as Mick said no one in England has anything to do over the Christmas holiday.

Kosmo is reported in Bob Gruen’s book (which includes a number of photos from Acklam Hall, see below) as giving the reason that the Westway to the Clash is what Trenchtown was to the Wailers a physical and spiritual place, so the idea to play at Christmas was to do something for the community from which they came. It was home, Mick Joe and Paul all walked from their places to gig.





Posters









Advert





Acklam Hall, London off Ladbroke Grove

Acklam Hall off Ladbroke Grove, literally under the Westway is small place with a limited 250 capacity. It was 50p to get in same as the youth club held normally in the Hall. Mick had seen Joe playing with the 101’ers here.

A poster was given away at the Hall of the very recent Pennie Smith photos of the Clash in their US finery taken at Mick’s Nan’s flat in Wilmcote House. Tickets were in the form of a Christmas card from the band.

After the US tour grandeur it was back to Johnny Green and Baker with a transit for gear, and with the band heavily in debt The Clash skimped on the quality of the PA with the result that the sound was decidedly ropey. Mickey played organ, Kosmo in gold lame suit was MC and Bob Gruen played a bugle fan fare as the band hit the stage (Paul had evidently tried and failed to teach Baker to play it).

The band wore their Alex Michon designed bowling type shirts for the first time, which would remain their stage gear for most of 1980.

Kosmo paid for flyers from his own pocket but as the flyers were only posted after closing time on Christmas Eve and also because many must have thought it a wind-up ,attendance was sparse on Christmas Day. One special guest who did come and enjoyed herself was Stella, Mick’s Nan seeing her grandson on stage for the first time!

Boxing Day night, from which this recording was made, was decidedly different; the word was out and the hall was packed with people passing out from the crush. A dozen or more boisterous skinheads invaded the stage during White Riot prompting Joe to say Jimmy Pursey was not expected!

“What you doing here then!”

The recording starts like the gig with Bob Gruen’s trumpet heralding the arrival on stage of The Clash, as he would do for the Kampuchea show and then at Bonds in 81. “What you doing here then!” is Joe’s greeting before Clash City Rockers kicks off as the new 1980 set opener.

The noisy crowd are heard chanting “West London La La La”. Joe intros Mickey before Jimmy Jazz “cast your eyes over here, Mr Gluggo Gallagher… this is called Stay Free!”

Jimmy Jazz is the most interesting song so far, with less distortion, bass lines clear and Joe’s guitar and Mickey’s organ heard. “Ok is everybody ready, this one is a recruitment song, I’m not working for..” Clampdown now has the song ending that would be played from here on, Topper’s drum figures bringing the song to a suitable climax. On later performances Joe will add improvised lyrics to this final section, to great effect.

Guns of Brixton and Train in Vain are effectively instrumentals with vocals not heard. Shouts for White Riot are met by Joe “This is White something!” with his vocals heard OK on White Man.

Joe’s first major song, Keys To Your Heart, from the 101’ers gets its first Clash performance, followed by Revolution Rock’s live debut. These songs are the highlight of the recording, with the sound up a notch from earlier.

The sound then dips again to predominantly left channel after an edit. Joe’s latest song Bankrobber gets its first outing here, and it’s much faster than its later recorded and live versions, more R’n’B than reggae. Janie Jones and London’s Burning bring the set to an end.

Armagideon Time kicks off the encore, now in its new arrangement as recorded November 5th and released as the other A Side on the London Calling single on December 7th.

Police and Thieves is a fine extended version with Mick’s soloing heard OK despite the limitations of the recording. White Riot “for Ladbroke Grove” includes the skinheads stage invasion with London Calling the final song.





The Clash Play Revolution Rock

Link

Chris Salewicz, Trouser Press, March 1980
IT'S FOUR days before Christmas. A dark, early evening damp with snow and rain. Immediately south of the Thames, in the inappropriately genteel Victorians





One thing for certain

Aklam Hall review-









Clash make it good

Melody Maker REVIEW -

5 Jan 1980

text version





The Story So Far fanzine

issue #3 (1980)

Band interview, likely date 26th December 79





Clash: Tour and Single





Photos









Andy Rosen photos

25 photos of The Clash by Andy Rosen here and here













Did you go? What do you remember?

Info, articles, reviews, comments or photos welcome.
Please
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Setlist

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20

Clash City Rockers
Brand New Cadilac
Safe European Home
Jimmy Jazz
Clampdown
Guns of Brixton
Train in Vain
White Man
Koka Kola
Keys to Your Heart
Revolution Rock
Wrong Em Boyo
Stay Free
Bankrobber
Janie Jones
Londons Burning
Armagideon Time
Police and Thieves
White Riot
London Calling


There are several sights that provide setlists but most mirror www.blackmarketclash.co.uk. They are worth checking.

from Setlist FM (cannot be relied on)

from Songkick (cannot be relied on)
... both have lists of people who say they went

& from the newer Concert Database and also Concert Archives

Also useful: Ultimate Music database, All Music, Clash books at DISCOGS

Articles, check 'Rocks Back Pages'




Take the Fifth Tour

ARTICLES, POSTERS, CLIPPINGS ...

A collection of
- Tour previews
- Tour posters
- Interviews
- Features
- Articles
- Tour information

A collection of articles, interviews, reviews, posters, tour dates from the Clash's Take the Fifth US Tour covering the period of the Pearl Harbour Tour.

If you know of any articles or references for this particular gig, anything that is missing, please do let us know.



VIDEO AND AUDIO

Video and audio footage from the tour including radio interviews.



BOOKS

A Riot of Our Own
Johnny Green

Link

by Johnny Green (Author), Garry Barker (Author), Ray Lowry (Illustrator)




Return of the Last Gang in Town,
Marcus Gray

Link


Passion is a Fashion,
Pat Gilbert

Link


Redemption Song,
Chris Salewicz

Link


Joe Strummer and the legend of The Clash
Kris Needs

Link


The Clash (official)
by The Clash (Author), Mal Peachey

Link


Other books


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