Hello and a happy Saturday to you all and thanks for dropping in. I’d started writing a long post last night and then saved it to be continued tonight instead as I thought rather than listen to me warble on you might rather listen to and watch some music.
One of the things I like best about the internet is the ability to see an event either live via an illegal stream (football) or a concert you wished you could have attended within 24 hours via Youtube or wherever. One such occasion was the giant New York City tribute to Joe Strummer this week at The Bowery Electric in association with Strummerville and we’ve been rewarded with more than our fair share of videos from what looked like a great night out.
In fact I’ve found more than 20 different videos filmed at the Bowery Electric and with thanks to http://unartignyc.com/ I wanted to share a few of them with you and encourage you to check out the others too. Just a thought, it might have been easier to have filmed and uploaded the entire thing as one video. Here are a few of the highlights in my opinion but do go and find the rest, here is the youtube page. There are cover versions of Clash songs from a huge variety of musicians and interpreted in a number of different styles too which spices it up a bit. As best as I can tell there was essentially a house band for the night with rotating guest vocalists and extra musicians covering the entire set. I thought that the drummer did an excellent job filling in and borrowing some licks that Topper himself would be proud of and the lead guitarist also does a nice lean and clean night of work. Here’s my top four videos but I’ve not seen them all yet.
Safe European Home / Bankrobber – Jesse Malin
This may have been my favourite video of the lot just for the energy of someone who obviously was raised on The Clash. Malin has been in bands since he was 12 and hasn’t lot any passion for being onstage. He was with Heart Attack as a young kid and then D Generation and has since had a lauded solo career.
Somebody Got Murdered / Clampdown – Matthew Ryan
I wasn’t familiar with Ryan but I liked what he did here. He’s labelled an ‘alternative-country singer’ on wikipedia but then again the same source considers Tony Gale a football commentator. There’s far more to him that wikipedia don’t share I’m sure.
Trash City – Michelle Casillas
It’s not often you hear a cover of Trash City which is a shame. A great song and I like this version.
Johnny Appleseed / Stay Free / Straight To Hell – Brian Fallon
We’ve all heard how much The Gaslight Anthem adore The Clash and for that reason alone you’re ordered to watch his set. Yes he makes a mistake or four in Stay Free but that’s forgiven (just…come on chap).
One More Time – Felice Rosser
This has always been one of my favourite tracks off of Sandinista! and not a track you typically see anybody take on as a live cover version and this one comes over well. The stand out thing about the gig in New York was interpretations of songs were as diverse as the lineup, I wish I could have been there but it’s a bloody long drive.
There was also a nice few minutes of recollections about The Clash by photographer Bob Gruen who became great friends with the band, it would have been even better if people would have shut up and listened for five minutes.
I’m not going to be critical of the version of Police and Thieves, I promised myself I wouldn’t because I really liked Bad Brains. Overall though it looked like a stellar evening. I’ll be back later with more bits and pieces but for now it’s back to work.