16 Tons Tour Europe/cancelled dates due to Toppers injury.

last updated 14 March 2004
last updated 25 May 2015 - added alt source

1 - from master - Sound 2 - time 85.26min - tracks 29

2 - alt source- Sound 3 - 41mins - tracks 14
just disc 2 but better sound

Joe Strummer: “.. there were those nights when it burns, when you cease to be anybody at all, you are just part of something, your hands take over, you don’t know what you’re doing or saying, it BURNS, that’s what the audience want to be part of, that burn is what its about” [MTV 91]

Saturday 24th May 1980 in Goteborg was one of those nights. A very good audience recording was taped that night and thanks to the circulation of that master recording, The Clash’s exceptional performance is documented for the future. It’s a hugely enjoyable recording capturing a performance that on many songs is quite astounding.

Guitars are high and clear in the sound mix showcasing Mick’s brilliant guitar sound and playing at this stage of The Clash’s history. His growing ability and development as a guitarist is very evident here; adding new detail and invention to songs but without losing the essential power and swagger of the punk years. His sound has now greater intensity and impact than on the 16 Tons US Tour. He is using effects more and more but now they add to the performances not detract from them as they often did during the Take The Fifth Tour.

Why though on one night it “burned” and others not, no doubt not even Joe knew. However it’s safe to say that two ingredients were usually present on those nights; tension within the band and a responsive audience to feed off. The latter was assured in Sweden, where punk had an immediate and major impact, often credited to it being seen as a boring country with nothing to do; “all quiet on the eastern front”. Certainly the audience are very responsive here despite the large sports hall type venue, and active – Joe says at one point “What’s your name Evil Knievel!”

Obvious tension within the band is less evident but it is very obvious that Mick and Joe are fired up tonight. One exchange is revealing; when Joe shouts the usual “You’re my guitar hero” over Mick’s solo in Complete Control, Mick responds with a disgruntled “You’re joking” and Joe responds “No, No”. Mick out to prove something to Joe tonight and the two workout their tensions on stage to the benefit of the performance.

This is probably the best performance of the 16 Tons European Tour and moreover its one of the most enjoyable Clash bootlegs.

Hans Arne Nakrem was at the next nights show in Oslo, his photos are at
http://folk.uio.no/hanakrem/music/clash1.html The photos show Joe and Paul sporting their short cropped, almost skinhead haircuts of the time.

The Venue

The Clash would return to the Scandinavium, a large sports stadium in 1981 (see photos). The Scandinavium remains a major entertainment venue today.



A pretty good recording. An upgrade on previous copies, which are a few generations down this one which is from the master tape. All elements are clear but it just lacks a bit of pro fidelity and is a fraction distant. One of the better 16 tons recordings.
The master recording in circulation (other copies a few generations down also circulate) is very good indeed. It’s an audience source with some limited stereo separation. Vocals suffer much less from the usual distance problems common to non-soundboard sources.

Guitars especially lead guitar are exceptional, high in the mix and clear and detailed. Drums are good too but bass is largely buried although turning up the bass controls largely overcomes this. It just lacks a bit of pro-fidelity and is a fraction distant. The atmosphere is captured well but with very little detracting talking near the taper.

The sound is at its worst at the beginning, on Safe European Home but soon picks up. There is an edit before Clampdown and the sound dips due presumably to a tape dropout. But a third of the way into the song, the sound improves. From here on the sound is actually better than the whole of the first half of the recording.

It is now a touch less harsh, fuller and more immediate, making it a very enjoyable sound indeed, one of the best 16 Tons recordings.

Micks guitars, the vocals and drums come over really well and Pauls bass is there just. Another high energy gig.

A strong Safe European Home kicks things off but its Clash City Rockers that signals that tonight is going to be special, that its going to burn. It’s faster and more intense, more like 1977 than its usual 1980 performances. Joe adds adlibs as Mick adds new licks and fills to his lead guitar lines. Then its straight into a fine charged Brand New Cadillac.

Time for the audience and the band to catch its breath on Jimmy Jazz, which is not as extended as some earlier performances but is still memorable. Joe adds his usual stream of consciousness adlibs which takes in a trip to MacDonald’s & Burger King but ends up back in Camden Town “..go to Smokey Joes café, sit inside at the back, behind the canal, have a cappuccino and Swiss cheese!”

Joe addresses the audience only a few times. His first before London Calling is a brief “Hello… to the faraway towns”. We know from the interview with Bill Price that Joe’s cries on the London Calling recording were meant to be the sound of seagulls flying over the River Thames! Tonight he adds his seagull calls not once but 4 times! Mick plays a great solo.

A short pause then Joe says “Ready when you are boss” before launching into Koka Kola, the shortest Clash song which segues as usual into I Fought the Law. The audience are a little too enthusiastic now, Joe says, “Simmer down, control your temper and pass me that bass guitar” Guitar swop duly over the band stretch out into an excellent extended Guns Of Brixton.

Julie's Been Working For The Drug Squad next with Mick’s playing a delight. As on most songs tonight, vocals are drenched in echo on White Man in Hammersmith Palais. Mick sings a verse and there’s a great ending as Joe adlibs as Topper’s drumming builds to a great climax. Energy levels dip on Train In Vain, (a song that unusually for a Clash song gains little from repeated live performances) but leap back up on 48 Hours.

Joe scratches out the intro to Somebody Got Murdered then Mick adds lead lines growing in crescendo. It’s the first decent live recording of the song, and it’s missing some of the added details in later performances but it’s still powerful.

Joe sings the Hit The Road Jack lyrics over Topper’s repeated beat before Police & Thieves thunders in, interrupting Joe in mid adlibbed flow! The band build the tension and drama in the song with loads of reverb echoing around the Scandinavium. Joe’s echoed adlibs are not clear but it’s their effect that matters in combination with Mick’s brilliant guitar lines and Paul and Topper’s driving rhythm section. Together they conjure up a storm of controlled chaos and power which is simply astounding.

Before Stay Free Mick says “Hello to all the people of Gothenburg, I’m being genuinely nice, this song is for all those who spend most of their time in prison, its called Stay Free”.

An edit leads into the start of Clampdown and although a dropout in the left channel affects the sound of the first third of the song, the overall performance here on in to the end of the encore is just phenomenal. The sound improves a notch now over the first half of the gig with the guitars really clear and powerful. Joe does not intone over the start of the song as on the album version and as on recent live performances. As the song extends out to its climactic ending the band whip up an amazing aural apocalypse to match the lyrics.

A great Bankrobber follows curiously introduced, as “Satan is Public Enemy Number 1!” Its played faster with less of a reggae feel, more R&B like its first performances. Mick’s guitar dominates.

A brilliant Jail Guitar Doors next, with no adlibbed verse from Joe as on the earlier 16 Tons performances but Mick’s playing is great. English Civil War is superb the band clearly on top form tonight. The brilliant charge through to the end of the set continues with I'm So Bored with the USA, introduced by Joe as “Lets go down the Burger King, Lets have milkshake and fish!” Joe adds a “Bored with the USSR” for good measure and a “I don’t wanna go to the UK anymore”

Bass drum beats out then Mick’s guitar blasts out, signalling the start of a terrific Complete Control. Mick’s great solo 1980 style is greeted with the usual “You’re my guitar hero” but Mick responds, “You’re joking” with Joe replying an apparently sincere “No, No”.

The lucky people of Gothenburg shout and stamp for more. There is some chat near the taper, but he’s got a great position and equipment. The audience can’t see the band return with the stage lights off and are still cheering and stamping as Topper tears into a fast, furious Tommy Gun. If the run through from Clampdown was superb, the 7-song encore is astonishing. Armagideon Time is saturated in echo and effects, the band creating a stunning sound with Joe’s cries and wails, Mick’s guitar effects and Joe’s chopped chords. Joe loses himself in an extended adlib with references to Kalashnikov’s.

Topper’s drums beat out as Mick powerfully teases out the intro to a raging, superb Janle Jones. The audience are unsurprisingly going wild “What’s your name Evil Knievel!” There’s a pause then Joe says “I’d just like to say one thing.. London’s Burning” It rages along magnificently with Joe signalling to the band the next song, (as he does before all the remaining songs) by adlibbing about Capital Radio over the ending. Following Joe’s instructions the encore does not end here as previously but Mick plays the slow intro with a drawn out gap before he screams “1-2-3-4” and an awesome Capital Radio explodes in, shredding the Scandinavium! Joe adlibs “Turn it off, climb up the tower, get a parachute down to the ground” as Mick unleashes mayhem over Topper’s building drum rolls. The highlight of a gig full of highlights.

Mick’s echoed ending segues into an astonishing live debut for Charlie Don't Surf. It is drenched in echo and effects creating an amazing almost dub effect with Joe adlibbing but adding a signal to the band with “all the power in the hands”. Joe says Topper Headon and the drumming speeds up signalling the start of a suitably chaotic climax of White Riot. Essential.

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Safe European Home
Clash City Rockers
Brand New Cadiliac
Jimmy Jazz
London Calling
Koko Kola
I Fought the Low
The Guns Of Brixton
Julie's been working...
White Man in Ham Palais
Train In Vain
48 Hours
Somebody Got Murdered
Hit the Road Jack
Police and Thieves
Stay Free
Clampdown
Bankrobber
Jail Guitar Doors
English Civil War
I'm So Bored with the USA
Complete Control
Tommy Gun
Armagideon Time
Janle Jones
London's Burning
Capital Radio
Charlie Don't Surf
White Riot

Fanzine Funtime #13 (1980)
page 1 page 2 page 3
english translation here

Any further info / reviews appreciated

May 12 Markthalle, Hamburg - cancelled dates due to Toppers injury - moved to 19th
May 13 Neue Welt, Hasenheide Park, Berlin
The concert on May 13th at the Metropole (as listed) was moved to the "Neue Welt" in the Hasenheide Park (Berlin) Juergen
May 14 Schwabingerbrau, Munich
May 15 Oberlaa, Vienna, Austria
May 17 Wartburg, Wiesbaden
May 18 Philipshalle, Dusseldorf, West Germany
May 19 Messehalle, Hamburg, West Germany
...Joe arrested for hitting a violent fan with his guitar...

Hi, I think, that I have visited the Clash concert in Hamburg on 19. Mai 1980 not in the 'Markthalle', but in the much bigger 'Messehalle', a rather naked concrete hall. So also the foto of the 'Markthalle' is misleading. The opening band was 'Ton, Steine, Scherben' with vocalist Rio Reiser. Or do I remember a different concert on a different date? with kind regards, Heinrich

Did the Clash play two nights in Hamburg?

May 21 Chateau Neuf, Oslo, Norway
advert for the gig + ...photo 1 ...photo 2 ...photo 3 ...photo 4
May 22 Olypen, Lund, Sweden
May 23 Eriksdalsballen, Stockholm, Sweden
May 24 The Scandinavium, Gothenburgh, Sweden
May 26 Cambrai, France
Best Magazine no.143 French Advert for French dates May
May 27 Palais de Sports, Paris, France
May 28 Hall Tivoli, Strasbourg, France
Best Magazine no.143 French Advert for French dates May
May 29 Palais D'Hiver,Lyon, France
Best Magazine no.143 French Advert for French dates May
May 30 Theatre De Verdure, Nice

I was at the Clash gig at the Theatre de Verdure on may 30 1980 in Nice, France. I saw them again very shortly afterwards at the Victoria Hall, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. If they definitely played Newcastle Mayfair on June 12, then the Hanley gig would have to be on 18 June. An 18 day gap seems about right, from memory.

Best Magazine no.143 French Advert for French dates May

Jun 1 Piazza Maggiore, Bologna, Italy
Jun 3 Parco Ruffini, Torino, Italy
Jun 9 Derby Assembly Rooms, Derby
Jun 10 Colston Hall, Bristol
Jun 11 Colston Hall, Bristol
Jun 12 Mayfair, Newcastle
Jun 12 Victoria Hall, Hanley, Stoke - CANCELLED AGAIN
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)

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.

Jun 14 Rettel Festival, France
Jun 16 Hammersmith Palais, London
Supported by Spartacus (toaster) and Holl and the Italians.
Jun 17 Hammersmith Palais, London
Supported by Spartacus (toaster) and Holl and the Italians.
Jun 18 Victoria Hall, Hanley, Stoke
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)

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.

"The gig at Hanley on 18 June definitely took place - J Heath"

The Clash certainly played. I believe that june 18th was the date and I remember a review in the evening Sentinel some time afterwards? Tickets were sold at Mike lloyds record shop Hanley (now long gone as is Lotus etc) Tickets cost £3-ish, sorry lost my ticket stub, for which I believe was dated Febuary the 1st or 2nd, I think. Certain on the month but not 100% on the date. yes the gig was postponed about 4 times and we only got tickets due to returns who could not make the rescheduled dates.
Discharge opened, i remember them tuning up on stage, then Holly & The Italians.

Clash played a largely London calling set as I remember, I recall London Calling, Bankrobber, I fought The Law and Armagiddeon Time, They possibly played complete control, Tommy Gun and the English Civil War? The place was packed out.

It was my first gig and I was only 12 at the time (no alcohol was served, there was always kids running riot at early 80's victoria Hall gigs) and was disappointed with the new material, me and my little friends wanted punk rock, what did we know about the diversity of London Calling and the 6 sides Sandanista (now my favorite album) to come. I remember my ears ringing at school the next day. Sorry can not really remember a lot. We left whilst they were still playing Armagiddeon Time, I heard a rumor years later that they came back for another encore that included White Riot. I do remember the audience demanding this track throughout the gig and the band refused the play it, saying something like that was 3 years ago or some other negative comment.

NO Doubt that they played this gig at all. I could ask my Brother at the coming Christmas Family gathering for his memories if you are interested, he was 16 at the time and could possibly remember more. perhaps he still has a ticket stub?

All the best, Paul. paulekennett[a]gmail.com

Jun 21 Laugardalshöllin Sports Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland
The concert was on June 21st 1980 in the Laugardalshöllin sports hall like most major concerts in Iceland. It was part of the Icelandic Arts Festival which is still held biannually. The hall was full, about 5000 people. The warmup band was Utangar?smenn ("The Outsiders") who were very big at the time. The band I play in now (not then), Fraebbblarnir, was supposed to play too, but at the last moment, the organisers decided they weren't "politically relevant" enough. Fuckers.

I went backstage to meet them. There was a queue a mile long for autographs. The first thing I saw was Joe, signing tits, arms, tickets and whatever like he was on an assembly line. "You look knackered, mate", I said. "You speak English?" he said. "Thank god. Sit down and have a cigarette. I'm not signing any more."

So we sat there for about half an hour, chatting about the Icelandic music scene and whatnot, sharing his cigarettes, beer and whisky, until it was time for the Clash vs. road crew football (soccer) game, an after-concert fixture. I sat on the sidelines and drank whisky with Mikey Dread who was the soundman for the gig, I believe. Now, the band were pretty uniformly useless at football, especially Mick, who pranced around in high heeled, white cowboy boots and fell over a lot. The band went on to beat the roadies for the first time in living memory, so I was well chuffed.

Aug 23 Heatwave Festival, Mosport Park Toronto
Billed as a "new wave Woodstock" [punkstock], the Heatwave festival was held at Mosport Park, northeast of Toronto, Ontario. Performers included Elvis Costello, The Pretenders and Talking Heads. The Clash cancelled at the last minute, leaving Elvis Costello to headline introducing themselves to the crowd as "Hello, we're the Clash". In the end only half as many people as expected, 50,000 people showed up. Review in the NME. See also Post Punk Diary page 73.

From: "Rikard Gustafson" <rikard.gustafson@tjelvar.org>

Various State Recordings
Sweden 1984

The Swedish radio broadcast the the gig the night after Stockholm ’84 and the producers worked really hard on presenting the new tunes but started up with London Calling. Unfortunately my tape was damaged.

Stockholm 81

The ones I recorded myself when we followed them around the whole fxxxing globe I sent to my parents so they were intact. We recorded two sources.

From what I can recall the SQ was superb but when we pressed our copy of Stockholm ’81 we used my source (It was named “När Djurgår’n fick flytta ut för The Clash” b t w) and Michael, a friend and fellow punter placed his tape recorder in front of the master board.

This alternate source was later used for “Stockholm’s Burning” and it sounds a bit better but this source has this guy who’s talking all the time between the tunes. My source has the idiot who screams “White riot!” behind me when Joe talks. I like mine better but everyone else prefer Michaels…

European State Radio Stations
Greek Radio 85

The Greek state radio recorded this show. (I contacted them a long time ago) but all European state archives are closed for people outside; we can’t buy or hire.

Swedish Radio

When I asked an old Clashist friend and journalist on SR ( Swedish Radio ) what had to be done to get all those shows ( Malmö, Lund, Örebro ’77, Eriksdal ’80, Stockholm and Gothenburgh ’81 and ’84, they have them all – complete with perfect sound!)

I got the answer that if a show is asked for by more than 1000 people they’ll put it on the list for P3 Live, a live show every night at 21.00. (Have a look att www.sr.se and go to P3 Live and see the program and old shows.) Unfortunately it’s only 1 hour and therefore edited.