Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

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John Pemberton
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Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by John Pemberton »

Which 5 shows are the their best ever? Either due to historical significance or because they were just playing great that night? Doesn't have to have a great sounding recording (or even any recording for that matter)--name your top 5.

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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by Wolter »

1. Shibuya, 1/82 - My favorite Clash boot
2. Cleveland, 2/79 - The most rocking Clash boot
3. Mont de Marsan, 6/77 - My first Clash boot, and pretty scorching in its own (this one is 100% personal and probably wouldn't make too many lists)
4. US Festival, 83 - Not the best show of the mini-tour, but too significant to ignore
5. Jaap Edenhall, 81 - Just an all around great show.
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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by Heston »

Good choices from Wolt, but that US Festival gig is a bit too wooden to my ears.

The Melbourne gig from 82 is up there for me, heard it for the first time recently and it ROCKS hard.
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 101Walterton »

Poole Arts Centre 82 - because I was there and they were the bollocks.

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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by Wolter »

Heston wrote:Good choices from Wolt, but that US Festival gig is a bit too wooden to my ears.

The Melbourne gig from 82 is up there for me, heard it for the first time recently and it ROCKS hard.
Yeah, US was 100% based on significance.
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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by matedog »

I wrote this years ago:
1. 5/24/80 Scandinavium- Thrilling, energetic, and funny from start to finish. Joe ad libs on pretty much every song, the tempos are accelerated, and the performances are top notch all around. There is even a once performed special treat of an embryonic Charlie Don’t Surf which sounds completely different from anything The Clash ever did, live or studio. The first ten seconds of Clash City Rockers says it all.
2. 2/13/79 Cleveland- One of the few great performances caught and preserved on soundboard and it’s a doozy. The special treat for me are the encores which captures the band at its most furious (which says a lot). Oh and Joe’s intro to Police and Thieves is pretty much the greatest thing ever.
3. 5/21/81 Milan- An uncharacteristically energetic show from this very Sandinista show. Joe is in manic mode throughout, pushing Clampdown to unprecedented heights. Bonus points for being one of the best sounding audience recordings of those times.
4. 6/1/80 Bologna- Skip the first eight or so songs when Topper is MIA and a rich man’s Terry is filling in (excuse the ubiquitous Terry pot shot). This is a lesser version of the Scandinavium show which means it’s a freaking great show. It starts off safe and unsure and by the end it has devolved (evolved?) to a sloppy manic, incredible frenzy with Joe singing and Mick playing with little sense of “right and wrong” notes. There is almost a sense of that if they slow down, they’d die. Or at least get caught. Highlights are Joe and Mick alternately shouting “Murder!” at the end of Somebody (something they inexplicably never did on any other version I’ve heard) and a frightening, atonal beautiful mess of an Armagideon Time.
5. 1/24/82 Shibuya Kohkaido- With an overwhelmingly exuberant crowd, The Clash were clearly enjoying themselves on this one. The energy that they were able to leach from the crowd is quite evident in the 1-2-3 punch of Somebody, Clampdown, and the loosest structured Radio Clash known to man. Also props for containing an Ivan that I can not only listen to, but enjoy.

I don't think I'd really change that list. The top 3 in particular are endlessly enjoyable listens. It's worth mentioning the difference between best concerts vs. best bootlegs. Scandinavium isn't great quality soundwise, but the performance just smokes. Wolt's mention of June 10, 1981 is also up there.

Further reflection, when I was really getting into the boots, the Spring 1980 and Spring 1981 shows include so many noteworthy and interesting shows:
May 19, 1980 - Mayhem and stage invasion.
May 24, 1980 - See above
May 27, 1980 - Interesting for Lew Lewis guesting on harmonica on a few songs. Only time they've ever done that.
June 1, 1980 - See above
June 12, 1980 - Another chaotic, riotous show ala May 19.
June 17, 1980 - Finale to the London Calling tour with Mickey Gallagher back on keys and a massive 30 song set that also includes the one off "Jumping Partner" with Mickey Dredd

That doesn't even include June 3rd video, June 10th and June 14th crisp soundboards.

May 10, 1981 - As mentioned above, a top 5 contender.
May 16, 1981 - Terrific final run of 8-10 songs at the end. Includes a unique One More Time - Street Parade medley.
May 21, 1981 - See above
May 23, 1981 - Joe rated this one highly and it's a enjoyable mess of a show.

You also got great May 8th and 9th soundboards and that Barcelona show with the messy take on Let's Go Crazy.
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 HumphreyBear »

Heston wrote:Good choices from Wolt, but that US Festival gig is a bit too wooden to my ears.

The Melbourne gig from 82 is up there for me, heard it for the first time recently and it ROCKS hard.
Well I only ever saw one, and it was this one. Best gig by any band that I ever saw.

I will always have a soft spot for Cleveland 79 as it was probably the first Clash boot I ever owned

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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by Wolter »

HumphreyBear wrote:
Heston wrote:Good choices from Wolt, but that US Festival gig is a bit too wooden to my ears.

The Melbourne gig from 82 is up there for me, heard it for the first time recently and it ROCKS hard.
Well I only ever saw one, and it was this one. Best gig by any band that I ever saw.

I will always have a soft spot for Cleveland 79 as it was probably the first Clash boot I ever owned
I'm fairly glad Cleveland wasn't my first boot, or every other one I heard would seem slow.
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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by Heston »

My first boot was Newcastle Mayfair 80, a pretty riotous show and one I still enjoy. I've got a couple of mates who were there and they say it was as hectic as it sounds on tape.
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 Low Down Low »

First Clash boot was the 9 June Bonds show and it was like finding gold on the street. The megalist is incredible, but nothing can replace the sheer joy of finding live Clash in the 80s. A near religious experience!

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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by River »

1. Lewisham Odeon 2/80 - The recording is rough, but the soundboard songs we do have are some of the best performances. You can definitely tell the band was on top of their game for that show. Capital Radio being my main highlight, I still get chills from that.
2. Hammersmith Palais 6/80 - 30 songs and the band is so tight. Gluggo is back for the night and so is Mikey Dread. A nice one off of a Mikey song and Mick's playing is great. I always loved the late 80 "echo-mania" that Mick was on.
3. Captial Theatre 3/80 - Not the best night as its sandwiched in between a great Palladium and Orpheum show, but it was my first live Clash I heard.
4. Hong Kong 2/82 - This is one hell of a show. A very rowdy crowd and a tight band. Washington Bullets is the definite highlight.
5. Melbourne 2/82 - Another great Far East show. The set is interesting and very long. I love Tommy Gun here. Fast and hard.

This list is probably going to change tomorrow but for now this is it.

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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by Dirty Harry »

1 24-01-82 Shibuya Kohkaido - like wolter says the best Clash boot ever!!
2 24-09-81 Theatre Mogador - mick going mental with his effects
3 22-10-81 London Lyceum - the one date on the lyceum residency where they seem to be on fire
4 29-05-82 The Lochem Festival - OK not everybodys favourite but theres something about it i love, one of the best Police and Thieves versions ive heard and it was the first Clash boot i ever bought
5 13-05-77 - De Montfort Hall Leicester - best sounding 77 show
Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don't have any surface noise. I said, "Listen, mate, "life" has surface noise."


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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by Dirty Harry »

Heston wrote:My first boot was Newcastle Mayfair 80, a pretty riotous show and one I still enjoy. I've got a couple of mates who were there and they say it was as hectic as it sounds on tape.
Love this bootleg, Sounds like a total riot going on just like the Hamburg gig from 1980
Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don't have any surface noise. I said, "Listen, mate, "life" has surface noise."


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Re: Top 5 Clash concerts of all time

Post by Heston »

Dirty Harry wrote:1 24-01-82 Shibuya Kohkaido - like wolter says the best Clash boot ever!!
2 24-09-81 Theatre Mogador - mick going mental with his effects
3 22-10-81 London Lyceum - the one date on the lyceum residency where they seem to be on fire
4 29-05-82 The Lochem Festival - OK not everybodys favourite but theres something about it i love, one of the best Police and Thieves versions ive heard and it was the first Clash boot i ever bought
5 13-05-77 - De Montfort Hall Leicester - best sounding 77 show
I've always lovef Police and Thieves from Lochem. They totally fuck it up but it's just teetering on the edge of genius/complete breakdown.
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 bmc »

MANCHESTER Feb 84 because of Joes rant that can't be found on any boot to that extent. Some of the parole stuff on video but the best has to be the 4 video tracks from Elizabethan ballroom Nov 77.

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