Hello again and welcome back to the blog on a pleasantly chilly Tuesday evening, quite happy to say that the last gasps of summer have headed out of here for now. That’s no bad thing because it now means 7 months of daily highs around 70f. Good place to be…why yes. As much as I’d like to spend my last years back in England they’ll have to find a way to reproduce the weather we get in San Diego, perhaps climate change will take care of that?
I have the perfect follow up from yesterday’s confirmation that the Acton Town Hall gig with Mick by Joe Strummer and The Mescalerosis being released next month. I’ve sent another message to Hellcat Records to find out if we might be seeing a CD release of the concert in addition to the vinyl that is now confirmed. I appreciate that a lot of people reluctantly moved from vinyl to CD, replaced so much of what they owned on wax only to see the reemergence of vinyl over the last few years. Its a bit much to ask everyone to want to switch back again isn’t it? I got about halfway through selling my vinyl but then changed my mind, leaving me with about 400 LPs, 200 12″ singles and probably 400 7″ singles, now I wish I had never sold a single thing. I’d say fully 500-600 of my CDs are replacements of what I once owned on vinyl. Even in the last month I found a few more old albums on CD at last to replace gaps that sat in my collection for a decade. It is really frustrating to feel like you’ve been messed around (again) by the record companies and now it is partly bizarre and partly lovely to see brand new albums sitting on record shop shelves in vinyl format. Nobody would have believed you 15 years ago that vinyl would be fashionable in 2012.
I’ve gone off track once again…where were we? Oh yes Acton Town Hall gig, November 2002; for many the holy grail of concerts we just simply should have been at but most of us weren’t. Nobody warned us that Mick Jones was going to be in the audience, although that makes sense as he lives just a short distance away. Nobody could have foreseen him uttering the immortal words ‘take my coat, I’m going up’ and climbing up on stage and plugging in a guitar to join Joe Strummer on some old Clash songs one more time. Sadly of course, not once of us could have predicated that just six weeks later Joe would pass away in his house down in Somerset from an undiagnosed heart condition. So many unlikely events all rolled into one and in exchange the final time that Mick and Joe would ever share the same stage, in some perfect unison the songs they played took them right back to their original early songwriting days when The Clash meant nothing beyond a few dozen ears of friends and associates in Camden Town. I remember reading about this unlikely happening a few days later and wishing I’d never left Acton, I’d surely have been there that night – a local gig in a hall that doesn’t even normally hold concerts. I could have walked home. Instead I remember cursing my luck that I missed it, but cursing our collective luck the following month when we lost Joe right before Christmas. The ache and anguish enveloped that entire festive period and echoed into the new year.
I’m thrilled to repeat news that the 10th anniversary of the Acton Town Hall concert will be remembered with the Arms Aloft 1oth anniversary concert next month in Notting Hill, West London. Huge thanks to Mark Bedford for working so hard on this event and pulling together the artists and the promotion for what promises to be another really special night.Happily I can announce ticket sales are going well, in fact there are just a few tickets left for the concert which takes place on November 16th at The Tabernacle, a fine roster including The Men They Couldn’t Hang, Hard-Fi, Tymon Dogg, DJ Scratchy and more will be playing it loud from the stage and the gig also promises additional Acton Town footage never before released.
Here is the official blurb, ticket information will be beneath that. Don’t forget all proceeds will be going to Strummerville and Jail Guitar Doors, as if you needed another reason to attend!
It will be exactly 10 years since Joe played his last London show. It was a benefit for the Fire Brigades Union and took place in Acton Town Hall. 500 fire fighters and a couple of hundred of Strummer’s most loyal fans watched as Joe’s former Clash comrade, Mick Jones, who was in the audience, felt “compelled” to join the band mid-encore. Joe and Mick performed Clash songs together for the first time in almost 20 years. We were arms aloft in Acton Town!
We planned to go back to Acton this November to mark the 10th anniversary of both the FBU dispute and the benefit gig where Joe, Mick and the Mescaleros generously gave their support. Sadly, however, Acton Town Hall is no longer available to hire. For those present in 2002, Acton Town Hall will always be the site of an amazing night – the last night London burned! But worry not – In 2012 there will be jive in West Eleven!
On Friday 16 November, Notting Hill’s Tabernacle will open its doors for Strummer lovers to remember one of Joe’s finest hours and to pay tribute to a true punk rock hero. Legendary cow punks, The Men They Couldn’t Hang,will saddle up to headline and will be accompanied by sets from Strummer’s mentor and sometime Mescalero, Tymon Dogg, New Town Neurotics frontman, Steve Drewett and dignified Clash tribute band, Take the 5th. Former Clash and Mescaleros DJ Barry ‘Scratchy’ Myers will punctuate the night with dubtastic sounds. Expect words from FBU activists and turns from very special guests! Tickets are on sale now!
We are also pleased to announce that the fantastic Clash inspired band, Hard-Fi, will be playing a one off, stripped down, special guest spot during the evening!
Tickets are £20 or £15 for Trade Union members and for students and those on benefits. We also have children (ages 10 and over) priced at £12.50. Payment will be via Pay Pal.
A special thanks to Stardust Designer Kids Clothes for their help answering the phone and sending out the tickets.
All proceeds will go to Jail Guitar Doors and the Strummerville Foundation for New Music. Be advised that the return to Acton in 2007 sold out in a few days so make sure you get in quick!
Official link to Arms Aloft in Acton Town for more information and tickets is right here. If you have any specific questions about the gig please let me know and I’ll do my best to get answers for you. Thanks and I hope you can make it along.