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

updated September 2004
updated 14 July 2008 - updated ticket

photo courtesy of Bazarboy, France

More Photos 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5..

cdr - average - Sound 3 - time min - - unknown generation - tracks 29
cdr- quite good- Sound 4 - time 87 min – 2nd generation – tracks 29

click to enlarge

The Clash return to Paris, always a “Clash City” with a guaranteed highly enthusiastic reception. Their growing reputation and following in Paris meant on this visit they played the cavernous Palais Des Sports.

A good audience recording documents another excellent performance typical of these final 16 Tons gigs. The bands musical development is amply demonstrated but there’s no loss of intensity and excitement. The run into the encores and the two encores themselves proof in point. There are even better performances (and better recordings) from this leg of the tour but this recording is important too because of the contribution of blues harmonica player Lew Lewis on three songs. Lew had played on several other 16 Tons dates but this is the best recording in circulation.

Lew Lewis

Lew Lewis was one of the maverick characters of the British pub rock boom. He first came to prominence as a member of the early Eddie & The Hot Rods line up. Joe and Lew’s paths crossed as early as October 75 when the 101’ers played on the same bill as Eddie & The Hot Rods at the Nashville.

Lew is a great Little Walter influenced harmonica player. He formed 2 bands under his name, gaining a hit and Top Of The Pops TV exposure with ‘Lucky Seven’. He guested on Dr Feelgood’s early records and was a session player for many bands including The Stranglers and of course The Clash, getting a credit on Sandinista. He had played with The Clash earlier on the 16 Tons Tour at its start at Aylesbury and at Ipswich where his band also played support.

In 1987 he was sentenced to 7 years for holding up a Post Office with a fake pistol and has since been seriously ill. Fittingly though Lew played at Joe’s memorial gig at Chinnery’s in Southend on 2nd May 2003.

The Venue

It would have been right tonight if Police & Thieves had been given it’s frequently on this tour performed Hit The Road Jack intro because in 1961 Ray Charles played 5 triumphant nights at the Palais des Sports at the height of his fame.

A large cavernous hall, away from the city centre, the Palais Des Sports hosted scores of top acts over the years and was even used as a temporary prison for Algerian prisoners!

The audience recording taped that night was a good one, the problems of the widely circulating copy emanate from it being 3rd generation or more from that original master. There is reasonable range and detail, bass prominent but not focussed, guitars and drums good and vocals OK but somewhat distant. Vocal adlibs are hard to make out. There are several tape dropouts and some echo and distortion problems.

The sound goes noticeably flatter from Stay Free onwards and there is an edit on Police & Thieves, which loses the last third of the song. There’s plenty of audience shouting and clapping near the taper, which adds atmosphere and rarely detracts from its enjoyment.

A 2nd generation tape from the same source has no song edits and is an improvement in clarity and detail. More of Joe’s adlibs can be made out and the sound quality does not dip from Stay Free onwards.

It is another very strong (and long!) performance from this leg of the tour but Joe’s not as inspired to improvise lyrics as on the tours’ very best nights.

The main highlight is Lew Lewis’ contribution on Jimmy Jazz, White Man and Train In Vain. Joe name checks him briefly before Jimmy Jazz “Mr Lewis, Mr Lew Lewis” His harmonica playing comes through clearly and certainly adds to the enjoyment of these performances.

There is some fighting in the audience during London Calling with Joe adlibbing lyrics during the song about it! Mick’s solo is impressive and Somebody Got Murdered is getting better with each performance.

Police and Thieves is as usual a highlight with Joe cracking a joke in the intro; “Attention Les Flique.I don’t want to wear a pork pie hat because I’m a vegetarian!” Mick’s heavy use of effects takes the fire out of his solo but the song builds to its climax impressively. There is no edit of this song on the 2nd generation tape.

The sound goes flatter from Stay Free onwards on the widely circulating tape but not on the 2nd gen. one.

Clampdown is strong with Mick adding to the “steal the best years of your life” line an impassioned “they fuckin’ will!” As the song builds to its extended climax Joe says “drummer can you give me that nuclear beat!”

Bankrobber is played slower than at Gothenburg and on Jail Guitar Doors, Joe adds an adlibbed final verse about Paris. The run into the encores is brilliant with an excellent English Civil War, I’m So Bored With the USA (with some adlibs)
and a storming Complete Control.

The lively and appreciative Paris audience get two encores. The first kicks off with Armagideon Time, switched back to its usual first song of the encore. On the previous gigs the energy levels had exploded into Tommy Gun then inevitably dropped for Armagideon Time. Here it segues with Topper’s machine gun intro into a terrific Tommy Gun, a fired up Joe spitting out the words. Janie Jones has its great teased out start and the energy levels peak on London’s Burning. But the extended encore continues with the always standout Capital Radio, Joe adlibs “ I sent a letter, I made a phone call, It didn’t do any good, it didn’t do any fuckin’ good at all, nothing on the radio, C.A.P. I. T., C.A.P.I.T., Capital Radio”. A rousing Garageland returns to end the set.

The crowd succeed in bringing the band back for a no doubt unplanned second encore. Joe “I don’t talk much tonight cos I know you can’t understand, so there… Mick jumps in “BUT this song is called” and Joe adds “ Comment appelle!” and the band rip into an impassioned What’s My Name. An extended White Riot appropriately ends the show. Joe’s up for more though “Spanish” he says but that’s it except for some parting comments about the start of the Iran – Iraq war; Joe “Thanks for coming, there’s a war going on you know, some people know there’s a war going on, none of my friends who play music they don’t know!” Mick, “If they ask you to go don’t bother!”

photo courtesy of Bazarboy, France


Safe European Home
Clash City Rockers
Brand New Cadilac
Jimmy Jazz
London Calling
Koka Kola
I Fought the Law
The Guns Of Brixton
Julies in the Drug Squad
White Man In Ham Palais
Train In Vain
48 Hours
Somebody Got Murdered
Police and Thieves
Stay Free
Jail Guitar Doors
English Civil War
I’m So Bored With the USA
Complete Control
Armagideon Time
Tommy Gun
Janie Jones
London’s Burning
Capital Radio
Whats My Name
White Riot

Poster for French dates

1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5..

Best Magazine no.143
French Advert for French dates May

Best Magazine 141 (Avr 80- Mick Jones)
...pg1-2 ...pg3-4 ...pg4-5

Rock & Folk no.162 [French]

Metal hurlant n°53 7.80
cartoon clash!
...page1 ...page2 ...page3 ...page4 ....page5 ...page6 ...page7 ...page8

Any further info / reviews

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.