The Clash -
Sunday, 10th May 1981
The ‘Sandinista’ album released on 12 December 1980, had met with little critical acclaim apart from the weekly UK based music paper ‘Sounds’ and the influential US publication ‘Rolling Stone.’ A tour to promote the album was scrapped because the record label CBS refused to provide the essential financial support. At this time the band were a half million pounds in debt to their record company. Eventually after the return of Bernie Rhodes (their original manager) a tour of the major European cities was finally set up. The Impossible Mission tour began on Monday 27th April 1981 in Barcelona. It was their first gig in ten months, the longest gap in their history. As the tour progressed the ‘Sandinista’ songs took on a different form, and longer more improvisational sets followed. This show mid-way through the tour was recorded and broadcast on Dutch radio. This is the rebroadcast (2008) that has been cleaned (remastered?) by ‘Sonny Burnit’. The following 9 tracks are still unavailable from a soundboard source: Safe European Home, Complete Control, Corner Soul, Wrong Em Boyo, Brand New Cadillac, The Street Parade, Washington Bullets, Armagideon Time and London’s Burning.
This is a show that deserves an official release, the complete set in best ever quality would be a fitting live legacy. The Clash are firing on all cylinders here, it's an explosive performance and justifies their legendary live reputation.
For those too young to have seen the Clash, their live volume was like a nuclear blast, pummelling the ears. The closest a modern band has got to it, is perhaps Mogwai, different musically but they employ a similar wall of sound.
A review by ‘Rat Patrol’ on the 'black market clash' site declared that this show has the best One More Time, Lightning Strikes and This Is Radio Clash performances. It also has the following tracks in their best available quality, Somebody Got Murdered, Career Opportunities, Charlie Don’t Surf and The Leader. He also declared that London Calling was the weakest track because Joe sounded half asleep. I can’t say I agree with that last comment.
I tried to compile the whole show using the circulating audience recording but because of the varying sound quality it didn’t work out, except for the intro which included Sixty Seconds with the opening track London Calling, it sounds much better hearing the beginning of the show in it’s true context. I have added a link for this track for those who wish to burn it to cdr, in place of the original London Calling.
Note that the FM source has gaps between the tracks. Thanks to those who have provided the links for the FM and Audience sources. I have not included the details of their origins, so as to deflect any unwelcome attention from their site by the copyright police!
In a 'Rolling Stone' magazine interview from 2013, shortly after the release of 'Sound System', Mick Jones was asked. So there’s no plan to release any concerts now? He replied,
“I'm not even thinking about any more Clash releases.
This is it for me, and I say that with an exclamation mark."
Hopefully he will have second thoughts and change his mind. The upcoming release of a new Jam box set containing no less than six concerts may concentrate further thoughts on the subject:
Disc 1: Live at the 100 Club – 11th September 1977,
Disc 2: Live at the Music Machine - 2nd March 1978
Disc 3: Live at Reading University – 16th February 1979
Disc 4: Live at Newcastle City Hall – 28th October 1980
Disc 5: Live at Hammersmith Palais – 14th December 1981
Disc 6: Live at Wembley Arena – 2nd December 1982
It would be a shame if the last officially sanctioned live release by the Clash was as a support band. Surely the best live band of my generation deserves a better legacy. So c'mon Mick, none of us are getting any younger!
1. London Calling
2. The Leader
3. Somebody Got Murdered
4. White Man In Hammersmith Palais
5. Guns of Brixton
6. Lightning Strikes
7. Ivan Meets GI Joe
8. This is Radio Clash
9. Charlie Don’t Surf
10. Magnificent Seven
12. Train in Vain
13. Career Opportunities
15. One More Time
16. I Fought the Law
Impossible Mission 1981 tour dates:
Apr 27 Barcelona, Spain
Apr 28 Madrid, Real Madrid basketball stadium
Apr 30 Cascais, Portugal
May 1 Lisbon?
May 2 Velodromo de Anoeta, San Sebastian, Spain
May 4 Bordeaux, France
May 5 Palais des Sports, Lyon, France
May 6 Palais de Beaulieu, Lausanne, Switzerland
May 7 Zurich (venue?)
May 8 Hippodrome de Pantin, Paris, France Aud
May 9 Palais St. Sauveur, Lille, France SBD *
May 10 Jaap Edenhal, Amsterdam, Holland FM *
May 11 Forest National, Brussels.
May 12 Musikhalle, Hamburg, West Germany
May 14 Idrottshuset, Copenhagen, Denmark Aud
May 15 The Scandinavium, Gothenburgh, Sweden Aud
May 16 Isstadion, Stockholm, Sweden Aud
May 18 Eissporthalle, (West) Berlin Aud
May 19 Circus Krone, Munich, West Germany
May 21 Velodromo Vigorelli, Milan, Italy Aud *
May 22 San Remo
May 23 Stadio Comunale, Florence, Italy Aud
A recording exists for all the shows not in grey, those with an asterisk have the best sound quality