16 Tons Tour Europe/cancelled dates due to Toppers injury.

last updated 14 March 2004
last updated 25 May 2015 - added alt source





Audio 2

Sound 3.5 - time 1hr 29mins - tracks 29

Complete Control




Audio 3 - master (alt source?)

Sound 3 - 1hr 26mins - tracks 29

Complete Control





A pretty good recording

A pretty good recording. An upgrade on previous copies, which are a few generations down this one which is from the master tape. All elements are clear but it just lacks a bit of pro fidelity and is a fraction distant. One of the better 16 tons recordings.

The master recording in circulation is an audience source with some limited stereo separation. Vocals suffer much less from the usual distance problems common to non-soundboard sources.

Guitars especially lead guitar are exceptional, high in the mix and clear and detailed. Drums are good too but bass is largely buried although turning up the bass controls largely overcomes this. It just lacks a bit of pro-fidelity and is a fraction distant. The atmosphere is captured well but with very little detracting talking near the taper.

The sound is at its worst at the beginning, on Safe European Home but soon picks up. There is an edit before Clampdown and the sound dips due presumably to a tape dropout. But a third of the way into the song, the sound improves. From here on the sound is actually better than the whole of the first half of the recording.

It is now a touch less harsh, fuller and more immediate, making it a very enjoyable sound indeed, one of the best 16 Tons recordings.

Micks guitars, the vocals and drums come over really well and Pauls bass is there just. Another high energy gig.





“You’re my guitar hero”

Joe Strummer: “.. there were those nights when it burns, when you cease to be anybody at all, you are just part of something, your hands take over, you don’t know what you’re doing or saying, it BURNS, that’s what the audience want to be part of, that burn is what its about” [MTV 91]

Saturday 24th May 1980 in Goteborg was one of those nights. A very good audience recording was taped that night and thanks to the circulation of that master recording, The Clash’s exceptional performance is documented for the future. It’s a hugely enjoyable recording capturing a performance that on many songs is quite astounding.

Guitars are high and clear in the sound mix showcasing Mick’s brilliant guitar sound and playing at this stage of The Clash’s history. His growing ability and development as a guitarist is very evident here; adding new detail and invention to songs but without losing the essential power and swagger of the punk years. His sound has now greater intensity and impact than on the 16 Tons US Tour. He is using effects more and more but now they add to the performances not detract from them as they often did during the Take The Fifth Tour.

Why though on one night it “burned” and others not, no doubt not even Joe knew. However it’s safe to say that two ingredients were usually present on those nights; tension within the band and a responsive audience to feed off. The latter was assured in Sweden, where punk had an immediate and major impact, often credited to it being seen as a boring country with nothing to do; “all quiet on the eastern front”. Certainly the audience are very responsive here despite the large sports hall type venue, and active - Joe says at one point “What’s your name Evil Knievel!”

Obvious tension within the band is less evident but it is very obvious that Mick and Joe are fired up tonight. One exchange is revealing; when Joe shouts the usual “You’re my guitar hero” over Mick’s solo in Complete Control, Mick responds with a disgruntled “You’re joking” and Joe responds “No, No”. Mick out to prove something to Joe tonight and the two workout their tensions on stage to the benefit of the performance.

This is probably the best performance of the 16 Tons European Tour and moreover its one of the most enjoyable Clash bootlegs.




Oslo Photos

Hans Arne Nakrem was at the next nights show in Oslo, his photos are here. The photos show Joe and Paul sporting their short cropped, almost skinhead haircuts of the time.





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the Scandinavium

The Clash would return to the Scandinavium, a large sports stadium in 1981 (see photos). The Scandinavium remains a major entertainment venue today.








Essential, another high energy gig

A strong Safe European Home kicks things off but its Clash City Rockers that signals that tonight is going to be special, that its going to burn. It’s faster and more intense, more like 1977 than its usual 1980 performances. Joe adds adlibs as Mick adds new licks and fills to his lead guitar lines. Then its straight into a fine charged Brand New Cadillac.

Time for the audience and the band to catch its breath on Jimmy Jazz, which is not as extended as some earlier performances but is still memorable. Joe adds his usual stream of consciousness adlibs which takes in a trip to MacDonald’s & Burger King but ends up back in Camden Town “..go to Smokey Joes café, sit inside at the back, behind the canal, have a cappuccino and Swiss cheese!”

Joe addresses the audience only a few times. His first before London Calling is a brief “Hello… to the faraway towns”. We know from the interview with Bill Price that Joe’s cries on the London Calling recording were meant to be the sound of seagulls flying over the River Thames! Tonight he adds his seagull calls not once but 4 times! Mick plays a great solo.

A short pause then Joe says “Ready when you are boss” before launching into Koka Kola, the shortest Clash song which segues as usual into I Fought the Law. The audience are a little too enthusiastic now, Joe says, “Simmer down, control your temper and pass me that bass guitar” Guitar swop duly over the band stretch out into an excellent extended Guns Of Brixton.

Julie's Been Working For The Drug Squad next with Mick’s playing a delight. As on most songs tonight, vocals are drenched in echo on White Man in Hammersmith Palais. Mick sings a verse and there’s a great ending as Joe adlibs as Topper’s drumming builds to a great climax. Energy levels dip on Train In Vain, (a song that unusually for a Clash song gains little from repeated live performances) but leap back up on 48 Hours.

Joe scratches out the intro to Somebody Got Murdered then Mick adds lead lines growing in crescendo. It’s the first decent live recording of the song, and it’s missing some of the added details in later performances but it’s still powerful.

Joe sings the Hit The Road Jack lyrics over Topper’s repeated beat before Police & Thieves thunders in, interrupting Joe in mid adlibbed flow! The band build the tension and drama in the song with loads of reverb echoing around the Scandinavium. Joe’s echoed adlibs are not clear but it’s their effect that matters in combination with Mick’s brilliant guitar lines and Paul and Topper’s driving rhythm section. Together they conjure up a storm of controlled chaos and power which is simply astounding.

Before Stay Free Mick says “Hello to all the people of Gothenburg, I’m being genuinely nice, this song is for all those who spend most of their time in prison, its called Stay Free”.

An edit leads into the start of Clampdown and although a dropout in the left channel affects the sound of the first third of the song, the overall performance here on in to the end of the encore is just phenomenal. The sound improves a notch now over the first half of the gig with the guitars really clear and powerful. Joe does not intone over the start of the song as on the album version and as on recent live performances. As the song extends out to its climactic ending the band whip up an amazing aural apocalypse to match the lyrics.

A great Bankrobber follows curiously introduced, as “Satan is Public Enemy Number 1!” Its played faster with less of a reggae feel, more R&B like its first performances. Mick’s guitar dominates.

A brilliant Jail Guitar Doors next, with no adlibbed verse from Joe as on the earlier 16 Tons performances but Mick’s playing is great. English Civil War is superb the band clearly on top form tonight. The brilliant charge through to the end of the set continues with I'm So Bored with the USA, introduced by Joe as “Lets go down the Burger King, Lets have milkshake and fish!” Joe adds a “Bored with the USSR” for good measure and a “I don’t wanna go to the UK anymore”

Bass drum beats out then Mick’s guitar blasts out, signalling the start of a terrific Complete Control. Mick’s great solo 1980 style is greeted with the usual “You’re my guitar hero” but Mick responds, “You’re joking” with Joe replying an apparently sincere “No, No”.

The lucky people of Gothenburg shout and stamp for more. There is some chat near the taper, but he’s got a great position and equipment. The audience can’t see the band return with the stage lights off and are still cheering and stamping as Topper tears into a fast, furious Tommy Gun. If the run through from Clampdown was superb, the 7-song encore is astonishing. Armagideon Time is saturated in echo and effects, the band creating a stunning sound with Joe’s cries and wails, Mick’s guitar effects and Joe’s chopped chords. Joe loses himself in an extended adlib with references to Kalashnikov’s.

Topper’s drums beat out as Mick powerfully teases out the intro to a raging, superb Janle Jones. The audience are unsurprisingly going wild “What’s your name Evil Knievel!” There’s a pause then Joe says “I’d just like to say one thing.. London’s Burning” It rages along magnificently with Joe signalling to the band the next song, (as he does before all the remaining songs) by adlibbing about Capital Radio over the ending. Following Joe’s instructions the encore does not end here as previously but Mick plays the slow intro with a drawn out gap before he screams “1-2-3-4” and an awesome Capital Radio explodes in, shredding the Scandinavium! Joe adlibs “Turn it off, climb up the tower, get a parachute down to the ground” as Mick unleashes mayhem over Topper’s building drum rolls. The highlight of a gig full of highlights.

Mick’s echoed ending segues into an astonishing live debut for Charlie Don't Surf. It is drenched in echo and effects creating an amazing almost dub effect with Joe adlibbing but adding a signal to the band with “all the power in the hands”. Joe says Topper Headon and the drumming speeds up signalling the start of a suitably chaotic climax of White Riot. Essential.





Goteborg 80 fanzine Funtime #13 (1980) .

It's covering the gig in Gothenburg 1980.

Funtime Fanzine No13
English Translation






Did you go? What do you remember?

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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
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29

Safe European Home
Clash City Rockers
Brand New Cadiliac
Jimmy Jazz
London Calling
Koko Kola
I Fought the Low
The Guns Of Brixton
Julie's been working...
White Man in Ham Palais
Train In Vain
48 Hours
Somebody Got Murdered
Hit the Road Jack
Police and Thieves
Stay Free
Clampdown
Bankrobber
Jail Guitar Doors
English Civil War
I'm So Bored with the USA
Complete Control
Tommy Gun
Armagideon Time
Janle Jones
London's Burning
Capital Radio
Charlie Don't Surf
White Riot



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)

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16 Tons Europe 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 covering the period the 16 Tons tour of the Europe and the UK in May and June and any other articles through to the end of the year.



VIDEO AND AUDIO

Video and audio footage from the tour including radio interviews.



BOOKS

Return of the Last Gang in Town,
Marcus Gray

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Passion is a Fashion,
Pat Gilbert

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Redemption Song,
Chris Salewicz

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Joe Strummer and the legend of The Clash
Kris Needs

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

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