Concerts for the Peoples of Kampuchea.

Updated 12 Feb 2012 added punters comments
updated 24 May 2015 - added two offical tracks

White Men In Hammersmith Palais CD
Tommy Gunn label – sound 5 – 56.18min – 16 tracks

16 Tracks LP – sound 4+ - 52min - 16 tracks

Dispatches From The Clash Zone LP
(omits Clash City Rockers & Brand New Cadillac
and has inferior sound)

Concerts for the People of Kampuchea 2LP’s
Official release - Sound 5 - Armagideon Time Only

Concerts for the People of Kampuchea Bonus CD (2014)
Official release - Sound 5 - London ccalling, Bankrobber

Video: Official film of Concerts – Shown in early 80’s on ITV, and VH1 in early 90’s – Armagideon Time & Mick playing on Sweet Gene Vincent with Ian Dury & The Blockheads

The Concerts for the People of Kampuchea

The Concerts for the People of Kampuchea were a sequence of benefits to raise money for the plight of the people of the former Cambodia, held over four consecutive nights from the 26th to the 29th December. The Clash appeared on the 27th following two secret gigs at Acklam Hall.

Joe was uneasy about supporting Ian Dury & The Blockheads, because he thought it showed where Blackhill’s priorities lay. He was uneasy too about being part of this music biz event, which on other nights included Wings, Queen & The Who. The all seated Hammersmith Odeon did not improve his mood.

Further tensions arose when Mick wanted to play guest guitar on Sweet Gene Vincent during the Blockheads set. Mick was reportedly in tears after being criticised by Joe & Johnny for rock star behaviour, but played anyway. Photographer Bob Gruen blew the bugle to start The Clash set and then took some great photos included in his recent book.

The Hammersmith Odeon

The Hammersmith Odeon, one of the most famous venues in London was always shunned by The Clash for their own concerts. It represented all they hated about the rock business; all seated, passive, bouncers stopped dancing in case some one couldn’t see, no chance for any real interaction between stage and audience and not least it’s long association with the rock dinosaurs they so loathed.

The old ballroom, The Hammersmith Palais, just up the road from the Odeon was much more in favour. Nevertheless Mick in particular would have been at least secretly pleased that he was playing in the Odeon and welcomed the opportunity for The Clash to reach a wider audience. Mick’s enthusiasm and Joe’s unease come through clearly on the recording.


Pro recordings

Although a professional mobile recording crew were there to both film and record the concerts only Armagideon Time from The Clash set has ever surfaced.

Audience recordings

Thankfully though a superb audience recording of the whole set was quick to circulate widely from the early 80’s onwards in the shape of the 16 Tracks LP.

The sound quality for an audience recording was excellent, capturing all the instrumentation and vocals very well. The only down side being the usual vinyl imperfections and the lack of soundboard “in your face” quality vocals and stereo mixing.

The Despatches from the Clash Zone, is a bit rarer but has inferior sound to 16 Tracks and omits Clash City Rockers and Brand New Cadillac.

White Man In Hammersmith CD

In 2002 Tommy Gunn in Japan released the CD White Men In Hammersmith Palais, which is sourced from the master audience recording and is a noticeable upgrade on the 16 Tracks sound.

The remastered sound is crisper, has more detail and width, with the bass in particular more focused. Greater stereo separation too makes for a more enjoyable listening. It’s sound is now so good that the difference between it and the official Armagideon Time sound whilst still there, is not significant.

The White Men CD release includes an Outroduction track, which sheds some light on the taper(s) of this excellent recording.

Bob Gruen blew his bugle intro as The Clash hit the stage (as he had done at Acklam Hall) and an American voice is heard asking the taper “How was that? Marvellous Complete Control, did you hear my bugle?..when I played that trumpet”. Bob, as it must have been, talks to the taper about their band, touring and when they will release their third LP.

They also confirm they will be there the next night for Wings. The tapers were not Clash fans as they say Complete Control was the only decent song performed. It is very likely that Bob would have been backstage and therefore it makes it even more likely that the tapers were backstage or how else would they have captured such an excellent sound? But who were they, does anyone know?

Certainly the tapers deserve a vote of thanks from the thousands of Clash fans who over the years have enjoyed listening to this excellent Clash performance which while lacking the mania and frequent chaos of the earlier punk years makes up for it with professional, pace, precision and controlled power.

Bob Gruen’s bugle opens the Clash set and this recording. Clash City Rockers then blasts out with Mick’s guitar to the fore, the guitar effects that marred many a Take The Fifth recording thankfully abandoned. Mick’s guitar playing is excellent throughout, inventive, controlling the power when needed then cutting like a knife. Mick and Joe share the vocals on the song, trading lines. Mick’s vocals are higher in the mix than Joe’s bringing his “Beatle-like harmonies” to the fore.

The set continues in the same order as it would throughout the 16 Tons tour.

Safe European Home gets a great driving performance followed by Brand New Cadillac where Paul’s bass lines drive the song. Mickey Gallagher is introduced before Jimmy Jazz, which allows the band to get into a groove, and really swings!

Joe “Well thank you, glad to see you all parted with your money and I hope maybe there’s someone in the audience who can see that it gets to where its supposed to go to and not into someone’s back pocket! Mick quickly intercedes “Not to cast doubt! A great Clampdown is next with Mick now singing the “men in the factory” section like the recorded version. It now has the new ending first heard at Acklam Hall of Topper’s drum pattern’s maintaining the momentum of the song through to its end. This ending would be retained here on but with the addition usually of an inspired ad-libbed rant from Joe making Clampdown one of The Clash’s greatest live songs.

Train In Vain is heard live here for the first time on a quality recording (first outing on the poor Acklam Hall recording). Wrong ‘Em Boyo next is superb with Mickey’s organ really adding to the song; “You could call it mixed up R’n’B”

As Koka Kola ends there is the same warm but hardly enthusiastic applause as previously. Maybe not surprising as they were playing largely to Ian Dury fans and playing 10 new songs out of the 16 song set (London Calling was released less than 2 weeks earlier and Bankrobber was not even recorded yet!)

But Joe is annoyed; “Ian will be on in a minute”. Then Mick “We’re only across the road you know” leads into another highlight, a brilliant White Man In Hammersmith Palais. The audience response is now noticeably greater.

Mick sings Stay Free and plays some great lead guitar on the ending coda. “Gluggo (Joe’s nickname for Mickey) Hit me! ” as his organ intro leads us into our first proper hearing of Joe’s new song; Bankrobber. It’s played much faster than its later reggae styled recording, a mixture of ska and fast R’n’B and another definite highlight.

Janie Jones and a brilliant Complete Control blazes the way to the end of the set, with Mick’s soloing on the latter as powerful as anything previously. The audience call them back for a well-deserved encore. Armagideon Time is now played in the same arrangement as it’s recently released recording. No doubt the song was chosen for the official album and film because of the appropriateness of its lyrical content to the Kampuchea crisis.

Finally an inspired London Calling ends the Clash set with Mick’s great guitar work to the fore, and Joe whooping and hollering to great effect. He still manages to change some the lyrics of the first verse (“…you should be more careful…) even though the song has now been released!

The White Men CD includes an “outroduction” of Barry “Scratchy” Myers reminding the audience of the upcoming 16 Tons Tour, an announcement about parking in the nearby Old Folk’s Home (!) and the afore mentioned dialogue with Bob Gruen and our esteemed taper.

Can't remember the date now (it's listed on your site) but it was a lovely little hall with a bar at the side. I remember I was getting a round of beers in when they hit the stage with "Clash City Rockers" blasting out. Fabulous concert with them really adopting all those Clash poses, side by side and stage front. Mikey Dread came on to sing for "Bank Robber". Unforgettable. James

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Clash City Rockers
Brand New Cadillac
Safe European Home
Jimmy Jazz
Clampdown
The Guns Of Brixton
Train In Vain
Wrong ‘Em Boyo
Koka Kola
White Man In Ham Palais
Stay Free
Bankrobber
Janie Jones
Complete Control
Armagideon Time
London Calling

bold indicates on video or soundboard

A Riot of Our Own pg220

Trouser Press March 1980

NME gig review

MM? Review

Any further info / reviews appreciated

Chris Knowles
The Essential Clash Bootleg Bible
includes this gig

Dec 25 Acklam Hall, Ladbroke Grove, London
...secret Christmas gig
Dec 26 Acklam Hall, Ladbroke Grove, London
...secret gig
Dec 27 Hammersmith Odeon, London
...Concert For Kampuchea
...16 Tons and what do I get / Another day older and deeper in debt... (Tennessee Ernie Ford)
Jan 5 Friars, Aylesbury
Jan 6 Odeon, Canterbury
Supported by ? and Tradition.

Canterbury Odeon Jan 6th was suported by the purple hipsters and a local band that included a chap from camel ..or caravan ...cant quite remember. Is there a recording of this night ?? i went home deaf - sadman1[a]tiscali.co.uk

Jan 8 Top Rank, Brighton
Supported by Gillinski Bros and Prince Hammer and the Creation Rebels.
Jan 9 Top Rank, Brighton
Supported by Gillinski Bros and Prince Hammer and the Creation Rebels.
Jan 11 Leisure Centre, Crawley
Supported by the Escalators and Prince Hammer.
Jan 12 Pavilion, Hastings
Jan 13 Locarno, Bristol

was this gig may have been postponed to the 10th June. 2nd punter says it definatley went ahead on this date. Anon1

theBristol Locarno gig on 13thJan 1980. If my memory serves correctly I'm fairly sure that this gig was cancelled. My recollection is that I wanted to go but didn't get a ticket because I feared not gaining entry as the venue wasover 18's only and I was a very young looking 16 @ the time and had previously experienced difficulty gaining entry at the same venue. Ican recall being delighted when the gig was re shedulded for the Colston Hall as there wereno age restrictions there.

Tony Griffiths <tony_griffiths(at]btinternet.com>

Bristol Fanzine Story So Far (printed summer 1980)
Page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4

Jan 14 Gaumont, Ipswich
now The Regent
Jan 16 De Montford, Leicester
Jan 18 Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland
Jan 19 Odeon, Edinburgh, Scotland
Jan 20 Odeon, Edinburgh, Scotland
Jan 21 Apollo, Glasgow, Scotland
support Jan 21 & 22nd were Glasgow band "First  Priority". One of thier members is a scottish journalist.
Jan 22 Apollo, Glasgow, Scotland
A Riot of Our Own p227.
support Jan 21 & 22nd were Glasgow band "First  Priority". One of thier members is a scottish journalist.
Jan 23 University, Lancaster
A Riot of Our Own p227 - See Blackpool Gazette
Jan 24

Tiffany’s, Blackpool cancelled

A Riot of Our Own p227 - See Blackpool Gazette
Jan 25 King Georges, Blackburn
supported by The Not Sensibles
Jan 26 Deeside Leisure Centre, Queensferry, Nr Chester
Jan 27 Top Rank, Sheffield
A Riot of Our Own p222
Jan 29 St. Georges, Bradford
Jan 30 Royal Spa, Bridlington
Support The Akrylics and the Gang of Four

Support for this gig was (The) Akrylykz, Roland Gift of Fine Young Cannibals first band

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akrylykz

I don't know if Gang of Four were supposed to play (no support acts were listed on the ticket), but they didn't as far as I recall - Mikey Dread did a set after Akrylykz and got a lot of racist abuse from some local idiots stage left. The abuse died down when Strummer, Simenon and Mickey Gallagher came out and skanked along with Mikey Dread. mark west

Jan 31 University, Leeds
Feb 1 Victoria Hall, Hanley - cancelled
Poster advertising Clash concerts at the Victoria hall in Hanley near Stoke- on- trent. The concerts stated are for 1/2, 20/2, 12/6, & 18/6.

Hanley Victoria Hall, Feb 1 was postponed at least twice, maybe three times. I think the final date was either mid-May or early June (the May date may have been cancelled because Topper broke his finger)

Feb 3 Apollo, Manchester
Feb 4 Apollo, Manchester
Feb 5 Top Rank, Birmingham
Feb 6 Top Rank, Birmingham
Feb 7 Tiffany’s, Coventry
On the Road with the Clash
Traxmarx - includes this gig
Feb 9 Guild Hall, Portsmouth
Feb 10 Wessex Hall, Poole
Feb 11 Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, Wales
The venue is no longer there as the roof collapsed under the weight of snow in the big snowfall of winter 80/81. I seem to remember that the support act, Mikey Dread had a rough time and performed under a hail of pint glasses. However towards the end of his set The Clash came out on stage to join him and skanked around with bandanas covering their faces (a la Bankrobber) and, of course, the mood changed instantly! The gig was stopped on at least one occasion as Mick & Joe pleaded with the crowd to stop fighting. Also there was a big gap at the end of the gig before they came back for their (2nd?) encore, and in fact part of the crowd had already left before they played ?White Riot? and there was a massive surge as people tried to get back into the venue.
Feb 12 Stateside, Bournemouth
Feb 13 Top Rank, Southampton
Feb 15 Electric Ballroom, London
The 1979 shows at the Electric Ballroom were supported by Joe Ely and a group called the Vincent Units - the Lyceum gig (on the Sunday was Mikey Dread and the Nips)...Supported by someone called ANgel?
Feb 16 Electric Ballroom, London
The 1979 shows at the Electric Ballroom were supported by Joe Ely and a group called the Vincent Units - the Lyceum gig (on the Sunday was Mikey Dread and the Nips)...Supported by someone called ANgel?
Feb 17 Lyceum, London

The 1979 shows at the Electric Ballroom were supported by Joe Ely and a group called the Vincent Units - the Lyceum gig (on the Sunday was Mikey Dread and the Nips)

Feb 18 Odeon, Lewisham
Feb 20 Victoria Hall, Hanley
Poster advertising Clash concerts at the Victoria hall in Hanley near Stoke- on- trent. The concerts stated are for 1/2, 20/2, 12/6, & 18/6.

Hanley Victoria Hall, Feb 1 was postponed at least twice, maybe three times. I think the final date was either mid-May or early June (the May date may have been cancelled because Topper broke his finger)

Feb 22 Liberty Theatre, Balham, London cancelled
...Ticket ...Poster
Feb 23 Mile End Liberty Theatre, London cancelled
...Poster
Feb 25 Bristol Colston Hall
Cancelled Toppers injury to his hand. Ticket
Feb 27 Le Palace, Paris, France
Filmed for the French TV Chorus with Antoine Decaunes.