Good evening and welcome back to The Clash Blog. It’s a pretty historic night (now 3am) in London as I write and one that I never really thought we’d see again. When I started writing this blog about two and a half years ago I assumed (logically at the time) that the bulk of what I’d be writing and compiling would be looking back to years long gone. Not that there was anything wrong with that idea in the first place, The Clash were important enough that I hoped there would be an audience of people who’d get together to celebrate the music and the purpose of the band. Having a purpose was always part of The Clash and as fans I think many of us found appeal in that and in turn it gave us a bit more purpose to be engaged in the world around us. You could have got very long odds a few years ago on Mick Jones taking a tour on the road playing a huge number of Clash songs to passionate audiences throughout the UK. It hadn’t happened up til then and didn’t seem likely until about eighteen months ago, around the same time a B.A.D. reunion was first rumoured, if Mick would do that then perhaps the right reason would see him playing Clash songs live again. Perhaps it was Mick realising he holds the keys to The Clash now, perhaps it was allowing enough time to pass since we lost Joe, perhaps it was the simple undeniable fact that the Hillsborough Justice Campaign is the right cause for Mick to align himself with. I think it’s probably a bit of all three but all three were needed to make it happen. I’ll write much more about Hillsborough in the next few days as I think that’s appropriate.
Tonight though the tour with so much more headed down to London, a sold out and very expectant audience at The Scala had already seen the tour bring out some remarkable guests. This was London though, might the stakes get even higher? Not a Clash reunion – don’t even use that phrase – but a return of others to the stage alongside with Mick Jones. Eight hours ago I had high hopes and had read and heard lots of rumours, here’s what happened courtesy of a special friend of the blog – Martin who promised and delivered a review of what happened tonight. Let’s hand it over to him….
The Savage Nomads, including Chris Salewicz’s son Cole, opened the night. Very quickly the venue filled up until it was rammed solid. Tickets had sold out in under 3 hours for this London gig - ironically there are still tickets on sale now for tomorrow nights Liverpool show! I did not catch the name of the next band up and after them was the Rotten Hill Gang with Hollie Cook and Lauren Jones on vocals – the daughters of Paul Cook and Mick Jones.Next up were The Farm and for the next 2 hours the Scala rocked, with more or less the whole of the Farm plus Pete Wylie onstage for the duration.Groovy Train | Steppin’ Stone | Love See no Colour and then All Together Now – which saw Mick Jones arrive onstage, not to leave until the end of the night.
Next up was Pete Wylie’s set:
Come Back |You better scream – dedicated to Kelvin MacKenzie, the editor of the Sun in 1989 at the time of Hillsborough | The Day that Margaret Thatcher Dies (ed’s note – soon as possible please) | The Story of the Blues | Heart as Big as Liverpool – dedicated to the 96, a song that Wylie said Sony had warned him not to release as a single as “it will only sell in Liverpool…..well it didn’t even sell in Liverpool!” | You can’t put your arms around a memory (Johnny Thunders song) | Sinful
And then, at 9.30pm, we moved onto the part of the set that everyone had been waiting for – The Clash songs!
Train in Vain
Bankrobber – with Hollie Cook on vocals who needed help from Peter Hooton and Pete Wylie with the words
Clampdown - with Richard Archer from Hard Fi on vocals – a Brentford fan. He did a good job
White Man (in Hammersmith Palais) – with Peter Hooton on vocals
Should I stay or should I go – should have been Rex from the Rotten Hill Gang on vocals but he forgot the words and again Wylie and Hooton had to come to the rescue!
Jail Guitar Doors
Brand New Cadillac
Guns of Brixton – sung by Paul
Armagideon Time – calls for Don Letts to join them onstage but he had vanished after being seen earlier
Janie Jones – with John Robb, who spent most of the song crowd surfing!
All together now – a final rousing rendition of The Farm song and then it was good night…..or was it?
Rush – one last song, the Big Audio Dynamite song closed a fabulous, never to be forgotten night!
Roll on Liverpool!
Thanks so much Martin, I can’t even imagine how brilliant it would have been there and to see Mick and Paul sharing a stage.
Simply an amazing setlist , so many Clash songs and so many other great tunes. Photos from above are courtesy of our good friend Peter Stevens, I’ll be working on a gallery tomorrow for you. Added to that Paul Simonon and you’ve got a night that can’t be topped. Please join me in thanking Martin for taking the time to chronicle the details. Nice one.
I’m still reeling about this to be honest whilst simultaneously sickened that I wasn’t there. I know we’re going to have some excellent photos and perhaps passable video over the next 12-24 hours so please drop back in. If you’re going to the Liverpool gig you’re in for a treat on what I’m sure will be an emotional night. All the best – Justice For The 96 – Tim