Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

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Chairman Ralph
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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by Chairman Ralph »

Yeah I always loved Joe's rants. They were present through all the years thankfully, one of my favorite boots is the 1977 St. Albans recording. Right after Pressure Drop, Mick's guitar was having some problems so Joe was having some very enlightening conversation with the audience, consisting of "if you want a riot, go outside and bash the fuzz at the entrance. Suppose you think we'll do it for you, so you can go home to bed."
Yeah, Joe's rants always struck me as an essential ingredient of any great show -- whenever I got a new tape, I'd mark those, actually, on the J-card ("Campaign Speech," "Joe Rants," etc.), so I could go right to them, or play them for the uninitiated. That alone guaranteed no shortage of amusement.

And now, here's my list, though -- given the tightness of the proposition -- I'll stick with boots that I played a lot, or made me feel, "Wow, sure would have been great to be there":

1) The Palladium (9-21-79): The infamous bass smashing show, and the one that broke them in this country, IMHO, and it sounds great, too. Why isn't this out in some form, already? Beats me.

2) Hammersmith Palais (6-17-80): Epic, 31-song set that surges from one energy level to the next. Great sound, vibe, and performance. The peak of the 16 Tons experience, in my book.

3) Hong Kong University (2-5-82): Hate to edge out Shibuya Kokhaido, which definitely belongs on any all-time list, but I've always liked this one, too -- you can feel the energy building, from the crowd's noisy anticipation, to the boys hitting the stage, and cutting loose, of which Washington Bullets is just one great example!

4) Brixton Fair Deal (7-11-82): Terry Tour it may be, but it yielded Down At The Casbah Club, which was the first boot (Clash, or otherwise) that I ever bought, so I've always had a soft spot for it. Raw and urgent, not high on finesse, but the crowd seems well up for it, all so there you go, then.

5) The Isstadion, Stockholm (2-17-84): As co-author of We Are The Clash, I have to pick one from this era, and this is another tape that got a lot of airtime/drivetime. For those who wondered what the post-Mick era might bring, this night makes a great case for the defense.

I see some interesting omissions here, too -- no '76 stuff? No White Riot shows? No '77 Out Of Control shows, where they really start to coalesce as a unit? No summer/fall '82 shows, like Kent State and Akron, which also rank among my faves? No busking shows? But I'm guessing that another go-round -- Top 10, 20 or 30, whatever -- might fill some of those gaps.

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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

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Chairman Ralph wrote:
19 Oct 2022, 4:06pm
Yeah I always loved Joe's rants. They were present through all the years thankfully, one of my favorite boots is the 1977 St. Albans recording. Right after Pressure Drop, Mick's guitar was having some problems so Joe was having some very enlightening conversation with the audience, consisting of "if you want a riot, go outside and bash the fuzz at the entrance. Suppose you think we'll do it for you, so you can go home to bed."
Yeah, Joe's rants always struck me as an essential ingredient of any great show -- whenever I got a new tape, I'd mark those, actually, on the J-card ("Campaign Speech," "Joe Rants," etc.), so I could go right to them, or play them for the uninitiated. That alone guaranteed no shortage of amusement.

And now, here's my list, though -- given the tightness of the proposition -- I'll stick with boots that I played a lot, or made me feel, "Wow, sure would have been great to be there":

1) The Palladium (9-21-79): The infamous bass smashing show, and the one that broke them in this country, IMHO, and it sounds great, too. Why isn't this out in some form, already? Beats me.

I see some interesting omissions here, too -- no '76 stuff? No White Riot shows? No '77 Out Of Control shows, where they really start to coalesce as a unit? No summer/fall '82 shows, like Kent State and Akron, which also rank among my faves? No busking shows? But I'm guessing that another go-round -- Top 10, 20 or 30, whatever -- might fill some of those gaps.
I think Cleveland 79 has my favorite Joe rants even if they are generally nonsensical as opposed to belligerent.

Not to be too obnoxious, but I think we've concluded that the bass smash occurred the night before. Still, the greater point stands that the 9/21 show is tremendous.

76 shows are kinda interesting but not anywhere near as good as the 77 stuff. They play slower and less intense. The self titled stuff doesn't have the same fury in 76 as it does in 77. For White Riot tour, the May 8, 1977 show is my favorite, though the sound quality is quite rough that I can't push it. Leceister sounds great but is lacking the key S/T songs. The 11/15/77 footage is probably my favorite all time footage of the band, but it's only four songs, so I feel like it's only worthy of an honorary mention. The busking tapes are more interesting than enjoyable as dynamic live performances, so I wouldn't include those either.
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by Chairman Ralph »

I think Cleveland 79 has my favorite Joe rants even if they are generally nonsensical as opposed to belligerent.

Not to be too obnoxious, but I think we've concluded that the bass smash occurred the night before. Still, the greater point stands that the 9/21 show is tremendous.
Hey, I'll take either nonsensical or belligerent, as far as the rants go -- like I said, it always made for a lot of nonstop entertainment! Even if you couldn't quite always figure out what Joe was really getting at. For that matter, I suspect that he didn't always know that, either!

No worries about the bass-smashing date -- I'm often going from memory, rather than getting all those shoeboxes of tapes and CDs, and trying to rummage through them all -- but it still boggles my mind that a great show like that one hasn't been considered for some type of official release. Because they really pull out all the stops, and they're really firing on all cylinders. Yet the relatively antiseptic-sounding Shea Stadium is the one that gets rolled out, with the usual solemn push -- only in Clashworld, I guess, right?
76 shows are kinda interesting but not anywhere near as good as the 77 stuff. They play slower and less intense. The self titled stuff doesn't have the same fury in 76 as it does in 77. For White Riot tour, the May 8, 1977 show is my favorite, though the sound quality is quite rough that I can't push it. Leceister sounds great but is lacking the key S/T songs. The 11/15/77 footage is probably my favorite all time footage of the band, but it's only four songs, so I feel like it's only worthy of an honorary mention. The busking tapes are more interesting than enjoyable as dynamic live performances, so I wouldn't include those either.
I brought up '76 and '77, because, well -- it just feels a bit weird to me. not citing any shows from the punk era, from one of its founding fathers! But maybe you hadda to be there to really feel some of those nights.

I do think 9-5-76 is pretty solid -- it has surprisingly good sound, for the period, and lotsa great Joe rants, while we're on that subject -- and I also like Birmingham Town Hall (11-5-76), and Manchester Electric Circus (12-9-76), where you can start to hear them edging away from the earlier approach, and closer to what they'd eventually become. They're not quite there yet, but getting closer, for sure.

I agree that the White Riot era stuff is hit, and a fair amount of miss, sound-wise, but hey -- that's what we've got to work with, till something else emerges from the prevailing murk. Mont de Marsan, Paris and Malmo stand out as some of the peaks of that era, for me.

As far as the busking stuff goes, I'd point to yet another boot -- and that's the one we all know and love, Back To Basics, which features a pair of good-sounding performances that stand up, from a purely musical aspect. But hey, the title here is "Top Five," so it can't make that particular cut. But it's another one that I still out periodically from time to time, so that's gotta be worth a few points there! :mrgreen:

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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by SuzukiSamurai »

Chairman Ralph wrote:
19 Oct 2022, 4:06pm
I see some interesting omissions here, too -- no '76 stuff? No White Riot shows? No '77 Out Of Control shows, where they really start to coalesce as a unit? No summer/fall '82 shows, like Kent State and Akron, which also rank among my faves? No busking shows? But I'm guessing that another go-round -- Top 10, 20 or 30, whatever -- might fill some of those gaps.
I definitely agree that Top 10-20 would help fill a lot of those gaps. The band played upward of 300 to 400 concerts, so condensing them into a top 5 is very tricky. My top 5 would consist of:

1) Mont de Marsan, 1977-08-05. I think their longest '77 concert, with some fantastic performances, including live reveals for The Prisoner, White Man, Clash City Rockers, and Complete Control.
2) Notre Dame Hall, 1979-07-05. Some more song reveals for London Calling, but I love the tight and cozy atmosphere, and how enjoyable the band is playing.
3) Hammersmith Palais, 1980-06-17. As it was said, peak 16-Tons tour. I love the Mikey Dread songs and the uniqueness of them playing his song Jumping Master.
4) Koseinenkin-Kaikan Hall, 1982-01-30. Two-hour-long set list, at what I truly believe to be their best tour (after several internal arguments with myself). Shibuya is a truly excellent gig as well but I find myself listening to this concert more.
5) AC Hall, Hong Kong, 1982-02-25. This night be my favorite concert of all time. Despite the iffy sound quality and few badly placed edits, I end up listening to this concert at least once a day. Joe's energy and banter with the audience is unforgettable.

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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by Chairman Ralph »

I definitely agree that Top 10-20 would help fill a lot of those gaps. The band played upward of 300 to 400 concerts, so condensing them into a top 5 is very tricky. My top 5 would consist of:

1) Mont de Marsan, 1977-08-05. I think their longest '77 concert, with some fantastic performances, including live reveals for The Prisoner, White Man, Clash City Rockers, and Complete Control.
2) Notre Dame Hall, 1979-07-05. Some more song reveals for London Calling, but I love the tight and cozy atmosphere, and how enjoyable the band is playing.
3) Hammersmith Palais, 1980-06-17. As it was said, peak 16-Tons tour. I love the Mikey Dread songs and the uniqueness of them playing his song Jumping Master.
4) Koseinenkin-Kaikan Hall, 1982-01-30. Two-hour-long set list, at what I truly believe to be their best tour (after several internal arguments with myself). Shibuya is a truly excellent gig as well but I find myself listening to this concert more.
5) AC Hall, Hong Kong, 1982-02-25. This night be my favorite concert of all time. Despite the iffy sound quality and few badly placed edits, I end up listening to this concert at least once a day. Joe's energy and banter with the audience is unforgettable.
Ah, yes, looks like my brain omitted the "2" from the 25 on the Hong Kong! This is what happens when you don't go back to those shoeboxes to double-check these things. Or the pile of silver discs currently taking up a fair amount of my desk. :mrgreen:

Anyway, Notre Dame Hall is an interesting choice, but I can definitely see it. The sound quality isn't great, but you get enough of the vibe to get the idea, and the band seems quite relaxed, which adds something to the performance, obviously. Looking back, it's interesting to think how the Clash aired a fair chunk of that album, London Calling, before it ever hit the racks. Who does that now? Always loved the flyer and the pix from that gig, too.

You'd also need more gigs from that Australia/Far East tour, as well -- a lot of special moments and great playing emerged from that whole experience, yet it's not quite as well documented as some of the better-known outings -- the usual paradox. But what we have is really good, as your list shows.

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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

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1 - Hammersmith Odeon, London (27 December 1979)
2 - Brixton Fair Deal, London (11 July 1982)
3 - Theatre Mogador, Paris (26 September 1981)

and then all the others.....
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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

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Red Angel wrote:
20 Oct 2022, 6:44am
1 - Hammersmith Odeon, London (27 December 1979)
2 - Brixton Fair Deal, London (11 July 1982)
3 - Theatre Mogador, Paris (26 September 1981)

and then all the others.....
Is the Mogador gig the one where all the crowd are clapping along to Police and Thieves? Incredible...
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by Red Angel »

Heston wrote:
20 Oct 2022, 10:05am
Red Angel wrote:
20 Oct 2022, 6:44am
1 - Hammersmith Odeon, London (27 December 1979)
2 - Brixton Fair Deal, London (11 July 1982)
3 - Theatre Mogador, Paris (26 September 1981)

and then all the others.....
Is the Mogador gig the one where all the crowd are clapping along to Police and Thieves? Incredible...
Yes, the audience is very involved
Last edited by Red Angel on 06 Nov 2022, 5:08am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

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I know it's almost cliché at this point, but Cleveland '70 is definitely my favorite.
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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

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JennyB wrote:
20 Oct 2022, 10:45am
I know it's almost cliché at this point, but Cleveland '70 is definitely my favorite.
Ah yes, the proto-punk days. :lol:
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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by JennyB »

Kory wrote:
20 Oct 2022, 2:46pm
JennyB wrote:
20 Oct 2022, 10:45am
I know it's almost cliché at this point, but Cleveland '70 is definitely my favorite.
Ah yes, the proto-punk days. :lol:
God dammit. I meant '79!
Got a Rake? Sure!

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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by Stefano1972 »

my old cdr from the Kent State University 1982 show, after almost 20 years don't work more. Somebody can help me, please?
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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by Heston »

Stefano1972 wrote:
27 Oct 2022, 8:37am
my old cdr from the Kent State University 1982 show, after almost 20 years don't work more. Somebody can help me, please?
Try 101guitars forum. They had all clash boots up at one time.
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by Stefano1972 »

Heston wrote:
27 Oct 2022, 11:33am
Stefano1972 wrote:
27 Oct 2022, 8:37am
my old cdr from the Kent State University 1982 show, after almost 20 years don't work more. Somebody can help me, please?
Try 101guitars forum. They had all clash boots up at one time.
Thanks Heston!
Nembutol numbs it all
But I prefer alcohol

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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by matedog »

Stefano1972 wrote:
27 Oct 2022, 1:42pm
Heston wrote:
27 Oct 2022, 11:33am
Stefano1972 wrote:
27 Oct 2022, 8:37am
my old cdr from the Kent State University 1982 show, after almost 20 years don't work more. Somebody can help me, please?
Try 101guitars forum. They had all clash boots up at one time.
Thanks Heston!
If that doesn't work, let me know, I can re-up.
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

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