The Clash have featured quite a lot for me in various ways of late, which is never a bad thing and they certainly feel as relevant as ever. In the 40th anniversary of the release of London Calling and fresh from the exhibition in London a week or so earlier before the Starcrawler gig I was back yet again at the Arts Centre for Clash tribute band London Calling, with support from Borrowed Time.
Not sure why but I wasn’t expecting the gig to be quite as busy as it turned out to be but it was pretty busy with mainly 50-somethings who were all good-natured, enthusiastic and who knew all the words.
First on though were Borrowed Time who’d made the long journey from Gloucestershire and were seemingly more than ready to explode with energy. A sort of hardcore sound reminiscent of the 1982 wave of punk, they had a decent reaction from the crowd and spread a good message.
Generally I don’t (or didn’t) tend to do tribute bands but I have to say the ones I have previously seen have all been excellent: The Ramonas, Think Floyd and Lioness all impressed me. Add London Calling to the list. Coming onstage to an intro tape of Morricone’s “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly” giving it a real proper gig feel and the crowd were up for it. The opening words were: “Fuck Boris Johnson!” and they launched straight into album opener London Calling to get a mosh-pit singalong right from the off which slightly surprisingly considering the average age, didn’t let up all night.
Some songs worked better than others but most hit the spot, all the faster ones certainly did, and by the time they were doing Clampdown I was won over, one of the set highlights for me but there were plenty of others. They did warn us they might go off-piste at some point and would that be OK? It sure was and to the crowd’s obvious delight they couldn’t resist doing so, treating us to tracks from just about all the Clash albums with Tommy Gun, English Civil War, Complete Control et al sending the audience absolutely nuts. At the encore “Mick” asked which we’d like to hear, Stay Free, or Should I Stay or Should I Go? We got both! By the time they finished with White Riot it looked like they’d given everything. So had the audience. A very enjoyable gig and a treat to hear these songs performed live.
“AGMP Concerts presents
London Calling UK play THE CLASH
“London Calling” 40th anniversary concert
+ Borrowed Time
The UK’s Premier Tribute to THE CLASH play their 1979 album in full + more.
“Among the very best albums ever recorded” – Q Magazine
The Clash released their acclaimed third album “London Calling” in 1979. The first Punk double album, it reached the Top 10 in the UK Charts and sold over 5 Million copies worldwide. The title song also reached the UK Top 20 and is arguably The Clash’s most famous song. The album was voted sixth-greatest album of all time by the NME and eighth-greatest album by Rolling Stone Magazine.
London Calling, The UK’s premier tribute to The Clash will be paying homage by playing the album in it’s entirety in sequence. They will then go on and play the best of the rest including all the hit singles and more such as “Should I Stay or Should I Go”, “Rock The Casbah”, “I Fought The Law”, “White Man in Hammersmith Palais”, “Complete Control”, “Stay Free” “Clash City Rockers”, “White Riot” and more.”
A few years ago I was very kindly offered an exhibition of my photographs for NS&V at Norwich Arts Centre who somehow knew of my fondness for this album and the artwork and designed this brilliant poster, this week of London Calling reminded me of it.