Supported by Mikey Dread, Lee Dorsey & The B-Girls

Note: Most of the reviews at Boston were written by Steve Morse, the long time rock critic for the Boston Globe and clearly a fan of the clash (he traveled to NY, NJ and Wash DC to review the band). As a native of Boston and a 25+ year fan of the Clash I have always enjoyed and agreed with his reviews. That can't be said for Jim Sullivan who wrote the Sept. 7, 1982 review. I was at that show and I have never had such a disagreement with a review and to this day, I can't hear (or write!) the words Jim Sullivan with out thinking about how far off the mark that review was (call me obsessed!), other's radio DJs at the time agreed. I thought it was a great show. I have included Sullivan's review just for the historical record. If you post it I may send my own memories of the show at a later date.



Author(s): Steve Morse Globe Staff Date: March 11, 1980 Page: ????? Section: ARTS/ FILMS

In concert with Lee Dorsey, Mikay Dread and the B Girls at the Orpheum Sunday.

Maturity isn't always a popular word in rock circles, but it is applicable to the Clash. The British band has gone from a myopic, huffing-and-pu ffing punk dental-drill unit of a few years ago, to a band that has expanded its rock vocabulary and has grown rather than stagnated.

When the Clash made their Boston debut two years ago, they slaughtered the audience with a blitzkrieg sonic assault. On Sunday they were infinitely more effective. They've already proven they're the most intense rock group on the road, but this visit they didn't merely overwhelm, they entertained. Their developing maturity, as reflected on their new "London Calling" album (by far their most accessible and one of the best rock LPs of the year), carried over conclusively to the stage. They built their set wisely - changing moods and musics - until they exploded climactically. It suggested they might be at their peak now; they were as fluid as they were formidable.

The evening was orchestrated in British music hall style. Five front rows of seats had been removed to allow people room to dance - there were also no security force "redshirts" per order of the band - and a road-crew emcee introduced a series of groups in a festive, if corny, manner. The earlygoing was painful, however. An all-woman group, the B Girls, was amateurish, while Jamaican Mikay Dread was impenetrably dreary as he sang in a densely echoed voice over a tape of atonal reggae disco. Only Lee Dorsey, the soul singer who once had a big hit in "Working in the Coal Mines," was up to the task. He still belted it out vigorously.

The Clash then appeared in front of a large screen showing factory smokestacks - an overt reminder of their working-class sympathies. They built quickly to the rockabilly-ish "Brand New Cadillac" and the ramrod "Safe European Home." They toned down with the offbeat bar-blues "Jimmy Jazz," then demonstrated their growing diversity by switching lead vocals: Joe Strummer on the apocalyptic "London Calling," Paul Simonon on the chilling "Guns of Brixton" (alluding to Jimmy Cliff's underdog role in the film "The Harder They Come") and Mick Jones on a contagious pop number, "Train in Vain," which was an untitled late addition to their new album.

The Clash's sound appeared less angry - partly because of Mickey Gallagher's temperate organ which softened the band's former all-guitar attack - but their politics remained biting. Junior Murvin's "Police and Thieves" and Bobby Fuller's "I Fought the Law" were again centerpieces. The newer "Spanish Bombs" (a look back at the Spanish Civil War) and "Working for the Clampdown" (about ubiquitous repression) further fueled the band's protesting sensibility.

But their new maturity was evident even here. "Wrong Em Boyo" was a harshly political treatise but it had a start-stop-restart transition

recalling Elvis Presley's "Blue Moon of Kentucky." It showed that while the Clash are still voyaging for all the marbles, they're now able to smile and enjoy the trip.