16 Tons Tour
Toots and the Maytels (pulled out at last minute)
Supported by Ian Dury & The Blockheads & The Vice Creems

updated 3 April 2003
updated 8 Nov 2006
updated 13 April 2011 - corrected support acts
updated 22 January 2022 added flyer with text on reverse
updated Augist 2022 added fanzine review

Audio 3

unknown gen - sound 2 - 60.47mins - 18 tracks / edited

White Man in Hammersmith Palais

Video - Punk & Its After Shocks

sound 5 - 7mins - 4 tracks -

London Calling


Dangerous Minds | "Previously only available in battered VHS versions and shitty looking DVD transfers, Wolfgang Buld’s Punk In England (originally titled Punk and Its Aftershocks) has been remastered and made available for viewing thanks to the generous folks at See Of Sound.

Filmed in 1980 as punk was fading, Punk In England captures the scene at a point of transition from a revolution to the pop mainstream. With dynamite performances by The Jam, Ian Dury, The Clash, The Specials, Madness, The Pretenders and many more. Enjoy."

DVD - Punk in England

sound 5 - 7mins - 3 tracks
London Calling, Police & Thieves, Janie Jones snippet & Complete Control

Sound: Lacking decent clarity or range

The first UK leg of the 16 Tons Tour is poorly served by circulating recordings. Apart from the Lewisham Odeon official tracks and the Punk and Its After Shocks video the remaining recordings are all poor (Southampton is just OK).

The Aylesbury tape in circulation is one of those, lacking decent clarity or range.

It’s been copied too many times and suffers from an annoying static that sounds like something repeatedly knocking the microphone.

It’s interesting though for the harp playing by Lew Lewis on a number of the songs, also for the inclusion of the rare Death or Glory and some experimental intro’s. There are some tape speed problems as well throughout. The sound is very distant and a touch flat. Listenable if poor, Joe’s vocals are muffled and Mick’s guitar dominates, though Toppers drums can be heard as well as well as Paul’s bass.

The tape cuts off some of the end of the main set probably Clampdown, I fought the Law, London’s Burning I and definitely London Calling included in the video.


Prior to the gig the band had appeared on TISWAS SHOW (UK-ITV) on 5th January 1980, promoting London Calling. An early morning kids programme that was both serious and silly.

First night of the lengthy 16 Tons Tour

First night of the lengthy 16 Tons Tour, which would have been even longer but for Topper getting his hand stabbed with scissors during an altercation about drugs, resulting in the last 6 dates being postponed until June.

The Clash had not toured the UK since the end of 78 (partly because of CBS debt) and they were at the height of their popularity in Britain. London Calling, single and album were high in the charts and venues sold out fast. Punk had taken off in a big way with spikey haired punk rockers contrasting with The Clash’s new slicker retro rocker, greased back look.

The Tour, the support acts, a new album

Clash favourites, the great Toots & The Maytals sadly cancelled at the last minute resulting in a last minute search for replacements. Ian Dury & The Blockheads stepped in to repay the favour paid to them by The Clash supporting them at the Kampuchea Benefit. Prince Hammer and Lew Lewis also stepped in, the latter providing harmonica at Aylesbury and elsewhere in 1980. Mikey Dread, of Dread At The Controls fame would appear later and have a huge influence on the sound Bankrobber and Sandinista. Mikey has said recently that he is angry that he has not received the royalties since that his imput merited.

The Clash touring party was still swelled by the likes of Robin Crocker and Kris Needs (whose band played support at Aylesbury) and Mo Armstrong (over from San Francisco with FSLN bandanas and first news of the Sandinista’s. Baker and Johnny were still there but now there was catering and merchandising, organised by Blackhill who were still the management. Barry “Scratchy” Myers still DJ’ed and Tennessee Ernie Ford’s classic, 16Tons became the first Clash stage “fanfare”, the song’s lyric of obvious appeal to The Clash, not least because of their huge debt to CBS. Dreadlocked (at least via his hat) Ray Jordan became a new fixture in the Clash camp, able to defuse any potentially violent situation before it blew up.


The sound and set was now slick and professional. Shows were paced unlike the 100mph whirlwind from the start of the punk years. But the final run through of early classics still sent the audiences wild. Also see A Riot of Our Own p219 for this gig.

Aylesbury crowds were always enthusiastic; tickets for The Clash were the fastest ever to sell out. The Friars was sadly closed in 1984.




Flyer - 2 sided



Aylesbury - Friars

see also www.aylesburyfriars.co.uk

“We’d like to bring on a couple of friends”

The recording starts with an urgent sounding Joe shouting “Testing microphones, 1-2” then Mick plays the opening chords of Clash City Rockers.

There is some chat near the taper and then memorably Joe shouts, “you won’t succeed, you GOTTA try”. Straight into Brand New Cadillac a short gap before Mick shouts out “1-2-3-4” and they slam into Safe European Home. “We’d like to bring on a couple of friends” Mickey is introduced on organ “We also have some harmonica”. Lew Lewis’s playing adds another dimension to Jimmy Jazz making this one of the highlights. There’s an edit which loses probably loses at least London Calling. It restarts with Guns of Brixton followed by a lengthy drum intro to Train In Vain. The harmonica can be heard to good effect here.

An excellent White Man also benefits from the harp playing and from Joe ad-libbing over the ending. Koka Kola this time does not segue into I Fought The Law. Wrong Em Boyo is followed by another edit and then an interesting Bankrobber with some experimental touches, still played as a ska/r’n’b number.

Joe’s cries of “woahh,woahh!” herald the start of Police & Thieves, filmed thankfully by Wolfgang Buld in its entirety.

Mick’s Stay Free next before a rare live outing for Death Or Glory. The Notre Dame recording is much more interesting though.

Another edit leads into Janie Jones, and then Topper’s drum intro’s lead us into Garageland and the end of the main set.

Armagideon Time begins the encore as usual, played now in the recorded arrangement. The song leads into English Civil War as it would for most of the tour. The recording stops abruptly during Complete Control probably cutting off the likely second encore.

Ellen Foley and Aylesbury gig

12 Jan 1980

Don't Dictate fanzine

issue C (1980)

Issue C of Don’t Dictate fanzine

Aylesbury and London Calling

NME - The Laurel and Hardy of Rock n Roll at it again

12 Jan 1980

Magazine? with set list +

SOUNDS - Justice Tonight

12 Jan 1980

alternate scan

On the Road with the Clash

Traxmarx - includes this gig

Riot of Our Own pg 219/221

Spit The Dog & Punk & Its After Shocks Video

On the morning of the gig The Clash were in Birmingham being interviewed by Sally James for Tiswas and being attacked by Spit The Dog! The band were no doubt delighted to be on Tiswas, which was a hugely popular kids Saturday morning show. Juvenile but enormous fun when recovering from a Friday night hangover. An audio recording exists of the short interview.

Punk & It’s After Shocks video

Wolfgang Buld who also produced the Punk In London DVD for Studio K7 was back in London in December 79/January 80 (according to the video cover) to film a follow up. He was at Aylesbury and a short 8-minute but excellent section appears in his film, released in the early 90’s as Punk & It’s After Shocks video. Mick is also seen playing guest lead on Sweet Gene Vincent at the same gig with Ian Dury and the Blockheads. The sound is a big improvement on his Munich (probably) 77 footage; it’s from the desk and in excellent mono. It’s also lip-synched unlike the earlier film.

The Video

The video starts a third of the way into an excellent London Calling (missing from the audio tape of the gig). There is then a short interview with Joe and Paul dressed in their black crombies and trilby’s, who explain the band’s changes since Wolfgang last filmed them. Joe;” Instead of using the hammer, we’re trying to be more subtle with it, first we’d go to hit to hit you right in the middle of the head with it a 100 times (“now we’re behind you!” Paul adds) Now we’d like to … a few strokes of the hammer here and there is more powerful than .. “ pounding his arm up and down like a hammer.

Police and Thieves crashes in and this time we get the whole song which includes Joe’s improvised lines “You read in the bible, page No.1! that’s Genesis to Revelations, now what generation can you tell me, I did not know, I was not brave..” This ties in with the bootleg audio recording further confirming this as the date, along with the Blockhead’s footage.

Another short interview “Can we do the same thing all the time, this is the question. No then you’re just dead, you do the same thing who wants to know, makes people sick in the head to do that, so we have to always try new things and like everyone’s a load of like sheep going its horrible, its nice, but they don’t fucking know, only we know what we’re doing and obviously we think it’s for the best, anyway we can play, we can handle it better now, so we don’t disguise that, we try to play as good as we can (short clip of Munich 77 - Janie Jones) Obviously we’ve spent 4 year’s playing now non-stop, obviously we must be 4 times better otherwise we’d be pretty much idiots, huh?”

There’s then an all too brief 35-second clip of Complete Control. It would be great if like the earlier video it could be released on DVD with extra footage.


Photo courtesy of Alyn Currie @ www.punkrockposters.net

PHOTO advert Mark Jordan Aylesbury 1980

Did you go? What do you remember?

Info, articles, reviews, comments or photos welcome.
Please email blackmarketclash


Clash City Rockers
Brand New Cadilac
Safe European home
Jimmy Jazz
London Calling * (Vid only)
I Fought the Law missing?
Rudie Can't Fail missing?

Guns of Brixton
Train in Vain
White Man in Ham Palais
Koka Kola
Wrong `Em Boyo
Police and Thieves *
Stay Free
Death or Glory
Janie Jones *
Armagideon Time
English Civil War
Complete Control*

bold indicates on video

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'

16 Tons UK Tour


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

A collection of articles, interviews, reviews, posters, tour dates January, February 1980 covering the period the 16 Tons tour of the UK.


Video and audio footage from the tour including radio interviews.


Return of the Last Gang in Town,
Marcus Gray


Passion is a Fashion,
Pat Gilbert


Redemption Song,
Chris Salewicz


Joe Strummer and the legend of The Clash
Kris Needs


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


Other books

Search all of facebook

Search all of Twitter

Search for a local library

Search auction site

Search flickr

Search Instagram

Search the internet

Search The Internet Archive

Image search

Getty Images The Clash here
Need to vary search and year

The Clash Art for Sale - Fine Art America
Collection of Clash images, need to vary search and year

WireImages here

Any further info, articles, reviews, comments or photos welcome.

Submit an article here

We are looking for scans - articles - tickets - posters - flyers - handbills - memorabilia - photos - comments / any information - you might have.

Please like and post on our Facebook page or alternatively email blackmarketclash

You can also follow us on Twitter
We also have a Clash Twitter list
of other notable Clash Twitter accounts here

Blackmarketclash Links
Extensive links page can be found here with links to web, twitter, Facebook, traders etc..

If Music Could Talk
The best Clash messageboard and which also has links to downloads on its megalists

Go here for uploads and downloads. It's not a massive space so its on an as and when basis.

Also go to 101 Guitars for downloads

For the more ambitious, create a DIME account

Contact your local library here and see if they can help.

If you are searching for articles in the USA - DPLA Find the local US library link here

WorldCat? - find your local library Link

British Newspaper Archive - United Kingdom Link

Newspaper ARCHIVE - USA+ Link

Historical Newspapers - USA & beyond Link

Elephind.com - international Link

New York Times - USA Link

Gallica - France - Not very helpful Link

Explore the British Library Link

Trove - Australia National Library Link

The Official Clash
Search @theclash & enter search in search box. Place, venue, etc

The Official Clash Group
Search @theclashofficialgroup & enter search in search box. Place, venue, etc

Joe Strummer
And there are two Joe Strummer sites, official and unnoffical here

Clash City Collectors - excellent
Facebook Page - for Clash Collectors to share unusual & interesting items like..Vinyl. Badges, Posters, etc anything by the Clash.
Search Clash City Collectors & enter search in search box. Place, venue, etc

Clash on Parole - excellent
Facebook page - The only page that matters
Search Clash on Parole & enter search in the search box. Place, venue, etc

Clash City Snappers
Anything to do with The Clash. Photos inspired by lyrics, song titles, music, artwork, members, attitude, rhetoric,haunts,locations etc, of the greatest and coolest rock 'n' roll band ever.Tributes to Joe especially wanted. Pictures of graffitti, murals, music collections, memorabilia all welcome. No limit to postings. Don't wait to be invited, just join and upload.
Search Flickr / Clash City Snappers
Search Flickr / 'The Clash'
Search Flickr / 'The Clash' ticket

I saw The Clash at Bonds - excellent
Facebook page - The Clash played a series of 17 concerts at Bond's Casino in New York City in May and June of 1981 in support of their album Sandinista!. Due to their wide publicity, the concerts became an important moment in the history of the Clash.
Search I Saw The Clash at Bonds & enter search in red box. Place, venue, etc

Loving the Clash
Facebook page - The only Clash page that is totally dedicated to the last gang in town. Search Loving The Clash & enter search in the search box. Place, venue, etc

Facebook page - Our very own Facebook page. Search Blackmarketclash.co.uk & enter search in red box. Place, venue, etc

Search all of Twitter
Search Enter as below - Twitter All of these words eg Bonds and in this exact phrase, enter 'The Clash'

Images on the offical Clash site.

www.theclash.com/ (all images via google).
Images on the offical Clash site. site:http://www.theclash.com/