16 Tons Tour
Josef K & Mikey Dread

This tour featured local bands booked by the local promoter.

last updated 28 August 2004
updated xmas 2013 with Nationwide video comment
updated 22 January 2022 added photos, tickets and comments

Audio 1

unknown gen - sound 1.5 - 1hr 25mins - 25 tracks

Clash City Rockers

poor audience recording

Another poor audience recording but a notch better than some of the other recordings of this leg of the 16 Tons Tour. It’s not too many generations off the master and there is some clarity.

Its main faults are distance, lack of range, poor hard to decipher vocals and some distortion. It is though complete with no intrusive audience chat. Guitars come through and bass is quite good. It’s a flat thin sound but the performance is so strong that it is an enjoyable listen, just.

Video & audio BBC Nationwide documentary

- 12.39mins - 3 sound

I think the live footage in those two videos is from the two Edinburgh gigs from Jan 19/20th 1980, and not from the 18th Dundee gig. Last 30 secs Londons Burning in nationwide clip does sound a lot like the Londons burning from 20th.cheers

Forgot to mention that it looks like Joe's wearing the same clothes in the van ( nationwide interview) and the soundcheck pictures from the 20th.

Second night of two at the Edinburgh Odeon again without Mickey Gallagher on keyboards.

Second night of two at the Edinburgh Odeon again without Mickey Gallagher on keyboards. Another great gig, Edinburgh has always been a “Clash city” with some unusual performances but again a poor recording.

Nationwide TV documentary

This excellent 12-minute documentary includes great live clips of Clampdown, Revolution Rock, London Calling and London’s Burning. It shows The Clash preparing for the gig with Joe drinking honey and lemon and listening to the speeches of Martin Luther King.

Mick talks about CBS and Joe about their run-ins with the Police. Fans are shown waiting outside praising the band “they’re noo a rip off!” (and later being let in through the window). The voiceover begins with “The Clash don’t sing soppy songs about teenage love or pick ups at the local disco, they tell of White Riots, they warn of Armagideon Time, they shout about the cost of living.

They say they have no allegiance to either the right or the left, and despite an almost contemptuous disregard for exposure on TV or radio, they are one of the most successful groups in Britain today”. There’s a great comment “They’re broke- rock’n’roll gypsies constantly on the move, frightened to stop”.

Reasonable video dubs and good audio dubs exist and short clips (sadly not the live ones) appear on Westway To The World and the rebroadcast of the Something Else, Tommy Gun in the early 90’s


Edinburgh Odeon

The Odeon cinema chain feature frequently in the 16 Tons itinerary. Existing cinemas used for gigs were seated and not ideal for Clash gigs, but in many of the towns played they would have been the only large enough venues available. See photo of the Edinburgh Odeon façade.

the audience greets the opening chords of Clash City Rockers

As the 16 Tons intro fades a roar from the audience greets the opening chords of Clash City Rockers. Mick’s added guitar licks come through and like the rest tonight it’s a fine tight performance followed by Brand New Cadillac with Paul’s bass lines coming through.

“Well I just got back and I wish I’d never left” leads us into Safe European Home, there’s plenty of distortion but the strong performance comes through.
Joe appears to talk about the “cakewalk” about his words are almost undecipherable. It’s presumably an encouragement to the audience to get out of their seats and come up the aisle to the stage.

Mickey is again absent so Mick fills the gaps on Jimmy Jazz to interesting effect. There’s a false ending to the song and again Jimmy Jazz allows the band to stretch out and improvise musically.

“This is the City Of The Dead” is well received and the song gets another different ending.

Next highlight is Bankrobber, a song in transition in this part of the tour, with differences of arrangement, tempo with each performance. “That was the bank robber song and this is the gambling song” is Joe’s intro to Wrong ‘Em Boyo, another fine performance with some improves from him. Joe is now adding new improvised lines to the ending of Clampdown over Topper’s powerful drumming.

After Stay Free, Joe’s introduction is unclear but as Topper beats out a repeated pattern Joe sings a brief Hit The Road Jack, (the Ray Charles classic), before it segues seamlessly into Police and Thieves. The first recording in circulation of this new treatment of the song.

Capital Radio makes a welcome return to the set, Joe improves over Mick’s intro and in the song itself. Although his words are unclear the power of this great Clash song comes through. Indeed the run in from Police and Thieves through to Complete Control builds and builds the intensity leaving the audience screaming for an encore.

Armagideon Time has heavy echo on Joe’s vocals and again the song segues into English Civil War. Garageland whips up the excitement again leaving the audience shouting and stamping for more.

Second encore begins with the comparatively rare Revolution Rock, which goes straight into a fired up London’s and Edinburgh’s Burning.

Further evidence that The Clash were in great form on this leg of the tour but let’s hope better recordings will surface one day.

Joe Strummer “sneaked” us in - maybe a dozen of us

Andy Unger

If that’s the case then I was there that night. Have two abiding memories of that night… one was that me and my friend Billy Kerr travelled through to Edinburgh for this (sold out) gig, hoping to maybe cop a guest list (we were 16yo blaggers!) but no luck. However, we were hanging about the back door of the theatre, along with a few more ragamuffins, and Joe Strummer “sneaked” us in - maybe a dozen of us, all piling in stage right. Second memory was this wee 13/14 yo punk on the front row spitting on Paul Simonon (spitting was pretty passé by this point).

Simonon clocked the wee dick, and waited until the end of the song and leaned in and spat a massive gob in the wee bastards face. Sweet revenge. And a GREAT gig. (We also tried to blag in the next night at Glasgow Apollo, but Joe didn’t sneak anyone in that night, as he had stated in to watch the support band after sound check. Glory days of all the young punks! 

The Clash Official



Photos from the afternoon soundcheck

Did you go? What do you remember?

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Clash City Rockers
Brand New Cadillac
Safe European Home
Jimmy Jazz
London Calling
City Of the Dead
The Guns Of Brixton
Train In Vain
Koka Kola
I Fought the Law
White Man In Ham Palais
Wrong 'Em Boyo
Stay Free
Hit the Road Jack
Police and Thieves
Capital Radio
Janie Jones
Complete Control
Armagideon Time
English Civil War
Revolution Rock
London's Burning

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


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