16 Tons Tour
Supported by Mikey Dread

last updated 12 May 2002

Audio 1

unknown gen - Sound 2 - incomplete - 22 tracks - 1hr 17mins

Jimmy Jazz

Master tape or nearer required

The concert was recorded in good quality but sadly the circulating tape is seriously degraded by being too many copies off the master.

The instrumentation all comes through particularly the bass (which is very good) and the vocals are not distant (unlike most tapes from this tour) allowing for Joes improves in songs and between song comments to be mostly made out. But by being too many generations off the master the sound is dulled, losing a lot of the top end crispness with bass sounds dominating.

The tape is incomplete cutting off into Garageland and missing an almost certain encore of probably Tommy Gun and London’s Burning.

It remains though an enjoyable listen capturing The Clash responding in kind to the energy and enthusiasm of the Apollo crowd. The master or low generation source would make this an important Clash bootleg. Can anyone help?


The night before, as Mick confirms on this recording, Bankrobber was recorded in Manchester’s Pluto Studios. The session was slotted into the tour to allow the recording of Joe’s new song (and the first of the ill fated ‘Clash Singles Bonanza’) which had been developing live since its first public airing at the Acklam Hall back at Christmas.

It retained its various ska/r’n’b arrangements until Michael Campbell, was literally Dread at the Controls at the session (ably assisted as usual by Bill Price & Jerry Green). Under Mikey’s production the song gained it’s reggae/dub treatment (surely suiting the song perfectly) and subsequent live performances (including tonight’s) would retain it. Mikey’s influence on The Clash cannot be over stated reaching its peak during the Sandinista sessions.

The Clash only emerging from the studio in the early hours of the morning of the concert, were very tired (as Joe acknowledges on stage) but they respond to the always-enthusiastic Apollo audience with one of the most charged performances of the tour.





Manchester Apollo

The Apollo located in a part of Manchester still untroubled by the so-called Manchester renaissance and gentrification, witnessed many great Clash performances throughout the band’s history. Manchester was always a ‘Clash City’ as Joe put it, and although the seated Apollo was therefore not the ideal Clash venue, the energy and passion of the Apollo audiences always inspired the band.

“We’d like to call it out loud! Don’t doze off - not yet anyway!”

The recording starts as 16 Tons is faded out and Clash City Rockers kicks in. Sound quality is at its worst here with much of the right channel clarity missing.

“Hey, dig this!” intro’s Brand New Cadillac with Paul’s bass lines particularly clear. With Safe European Home Joe changes his usual intro to reflect his tiredness, “Well I just got back and I’d wished I’d wake up!” Jimmy Jazz intros with “Like to introduce you to the man with a charmed life, Mr Mickey Gallagher, Gluggo… like to take you by the nose and lead you into the valley”. Jazz is a usual highlight as the band stretch out and Joe improvises new lines, here including references to stool pigeons, trains, walking down streets and whistling a tune called Texan!

London Calling follows “We’d like to call it out loud! Don’t doze off - not yet anyway!” There’s a gap before Paul’s Guns of Brixton as Joe asks “Not having any trouble are they, what’s the deal with the aisles and all that, who’s the promoter? Let them in the aisles right [cheers] We just wanna say don’t feel like climbing here, right, there’s 2 sides to every story” How Joe’s attitude has changed from the punk days; he still wants the audience to respond, get up in the aisles and dance but not to invade the stage etc because he doesn’t want any violence and fans getting hurt.

Three songs later a clearly angry Joe addresses the bouncers but in a reconciliatory non-confrontational way. “I am NOT going to wind the audience up alright, OK you get it? I’ve got a brain up here just like you have, and everybody else, so what’s the trouble? …Alright, they just want to get a seat out that’s collapsed, so if you give ‘em a hand we can get on with the show”

Back in May 77 on Radio One John Tobler asked, “Would you try to incite an audience to riot?” Joe “Of course, we try it every night.. I don’t care if the ceiling falls down and kills everyone in the theatre, me included..as long as it’s out of hand, out of control”

The 1980 onwards approach of giving the best rock’n’roll show possible is certainly sane and sensible but the 1977 intent certainly made for some chaotic but incredibly exciting concerts.

An edit restarts at the beginning of Bankrobber, which now sounds like the recording and later live versions although still short at less than 3 minutes. Mick plays some nice guitar fills over Paul’s reggae bass lines.

Clampdown is getting more powerful with each show with Topper’s drums and Joe’s ad-libs giving the song a fitting finale. Wrong ‘Em Boyo is another highlight with an edit before, which repeats Joe’s intro “ Lets usher in the cavalry, throw the dice”

Before Stay Free Mick gives a revealing intro “ That new song you heard, recorded it last night, and yeah its definitely going to be our next single, everybody’s gonna be asking, is it true? Was your father really a bankrobber!, but its not for them, its for no one, hah hah!, except for the geezers that are, and this song is as well, the hard done by ones, there is a difference, it’s called Stay Free”.

Police & Thieves gets yet another small variant with Mick and Joe adding their own cries and Ooh’s over Toppers drumming before the usual song intro kicks in. Joe rants semi-coherently as the band build up a fine head of steam!

Capital Radio, always a highlight, does not disappoint tonight either. Mick picks out a staccato short intro with Joe saying “I’m the morning DJ, yes its Radio Piccadilly (local independent) and my name is greasy Keith Stubbs” Mick says “’Orrible noise!” before he screams out “1,2,3,4”and The Clash shred the Apollo!

Joe comes up with another new (as always) mid song improv, which includes “All over London town, all the posers and all the groovers hanging around. Do they know we’re alive?”

“Let’s move our hips” is Joe’s signal to begin an intense Janie Jones followed by Topper’s bass drum and the charge through Complete Control to the encore(s).

An edit leads in at the start of Armagideon Time “Give me rhythm” and the drum and bass begin. Mick intro’s Mikey who toasts between and over Joe’s vocals, both with heavy echo. This set highlight segues into English Civil War as usual on this tour. Garageland cuts off early on but not before someone presumably does succeed in getting on the stage and shouts their own added vocals.


Dave Haslam, 2020
I love Manchester

Did you go? What do you remember?

Info, articles, reviews, comments or photos welcome.
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Clash City Rockers
Brand New Cadillac
Safe European Home
Jimmy Jazz
London Calling
The Guns Of Brixton
Protex Blue
Train In Vain
Koka Kola
I Fought the Law
White Man In Ham Palais
Wrong 'Em Boyo
Stay Free
Police and Thieves
Capital Radio
Janie Jones
Complete Control
Armagideon Time
English Civil War

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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