16 Tons Tour Europe/rescheduled dates due to Toppers injury.
Supported by Whirlwind

The June 1980 gig at Bristol Colston Hall was supported by Holly and the Italians

updated 20 June 2004
updated 7 July 2008 - added punters view (Ray)
updated 25 Dec 2008 - added support info
updated 12 April 2011 - added ticket,pass and flyer

cdr - good soundboard / tape wear - Sound 4 - time 81min - low? - tracks 25

The 16 Tons Tour finally wound up back in Britain, in order to play the re-scheduled concerts postponed from February when Topper injured his hand. With barely a break after returning from Turin, The Clash played Derby Assembly Rooms on the 9th and Bristol Colston Hall on the 10th.

The January/February 16 Tons UK tour is poorly served by circulating recordings but 4 of the 6 known dates from the final UK leg circulate in good quality. Continuing in the rich vein of the Bologna and Turin recordings, the Bristol one is also from the soundboard but has better sound and some stereo separation. A very enjoyable recording indeed capturing The Clash in continuing superb form, with Mick’s effects driven lead guitar dominating the sound. Ironically whilst in the recording studio Mick’s guitar was getting pushed further and further back in the sound mix, on stage thankfully his guitar is still powerful and dominant.

Some lists have this as the afternoon performance with a second recording attributed to the evening. This must be wrong as the ‘evening’ show is very probably Southampton and is definitely from the first leg of the Tour as Mickey Dread appears. The latter supposedly had a falling out with The Clash when they refused (through lack of funds) to pay for Mikey to bring over a backing band from Jamaica. But Mikey did return to guest on the final Tour nights at the Hammersmith Palais nights. Rockabilly band, Whirlwind continued to provide support as on the European leg.

Joe says “Good afternoon” to the audience on the Bristol recording but probably as a joke. Municipal venues like the Colston Hall required bands to be on and off stage much earlier in the evening than The Clash preferred and were used to in clubs.


The Clash played the prestigious Colston Hall on the White Riot Tour, and would return again in 1984. The Hall is still very much in use today, with its 1867 front façade and excellent acoustics. Although seats can be removed today, they could not be back in 1980. The Colston Hall stage and auditorium can be seen in the dreadful Hearts of Fire film where it was used to film Dylan’s ‘live’ performance.

Taken direct and raw from the soundboard the best circulating recording captures all the instrumentation very well and more importantly the intensity and attack of the performance. Its faults are mainly due to tape wear and it being at least one copy, but more probably several copies off the master.

There is some hiss and numerous minor tape dropouts but its faults can’t detract from it being a highly enjoyable sound. A number of other faults are from the original soundboard problems as the soundman wrestled with the legendary Clash volumes. Can anyone turn up a master or lower generation copy?

“Hello good afternoon, glad to see you could make it here, Monsieur Jones”, is Mick’s who plays a wobbly intro to Clash City Rockers. The performance though immediately picks up and drives along brilliantly, Joe and Mick clearly up for it tonight (as usual!) What other band managed to dig out such intense performances (almost) night after night? There’s plenty of tape wear problems but it’s a great start.

“Recently we went to this gaffe called the Pigs Foot and outside we met Vince Taylor standing out in the street there and he went like that!” leads into a brilliant and wild Brand New Cadillac. Whether it was a gesture of approval or more likely not from the song’s British born writer, (described variously as either unstable or less charitably as clinically mad) Vince must at least have been pleased with the royalties from The Clash’s cover. He must have received precious little else in the way of royalties before his death in 1991.

“Just got back and wished we’d never leave now” intros a strong Safe European Home but too much original distortion does detract a little. The three song opening attack has got the audience going and Joe is concerned for those in the front in the all seated theatre. “The seats, yeah? Listen, you Oi Mister, if you go maybe two rows in front of you there won’t be any pressure on the seats, yeah if you just go round quietly, on the tenterhooks of the Cincinnati!”. Mick builds the intro as Joe speaks then Topper comes in, “We’re ready”, then Paul’s bass, and a superb Jimmy Jazz follows, which really swings, the band stretching out, Joe in great vocal form, and Mick delivering a brilliant solo.

The rarely performed Revolution Rock follows, not heard since Edinburgh in January. Again it gives the band the opportunity to stretch out and improvise a very enjoyable performance. Both it and Guns of Brixton is reggae on acid Clash mid 1980 style with the rhythm overlaid with layers of effects dominated lead guitar! Train In Vain or as Joe shouts “Soul Train!” is very strong tonight with Mick’s playing a delight especially on the ending coda. Mid song there is an original sound problem, which soon clears to give an improved sound. London Calling is also very strong, a driving intense performance with a typically great mid 1980 solo by Mick. Spanish Bombs next also allows Mick to stretch out and play inventive lead guitar lines behind Joe’s vocals.

”This song was another miss for us, I’m talking about the charts. What’s the trouble down here anybody got any idea? Any trouble down there or is it just arseing about? Lets have the slow hand clap, (the crowd oblige till the trouble stops) Do you wanna give us a speech Mister? Mick “Right this song is about this” and screams out “1-2, 1-2-3-4” as the band launch into an impassioned White Man In Hammersmith Palais. A great performance ends with Joe adlibbing “Oh my God, & fuck me Jesus, in my time, in my time of dying, in my time of crying”

Joe shouts to intro Somebody Got Murdered, “Topperus Nicolatus Headon” (Joe correctly pronouncing Nicky’s surname; Heeed-on). The song, like most of its live performances is much more powerful than the Sandinista version and Topper adds a drum roll finish to a song in previous performances searching for an ending.

“We’ve just been to Italy & France and they’ve still got a lot of drugs over there” begins Koka Kola segueing into a great I Fought the Law with both Mick and Joe screaming out the lyrics. This is another recording which clearly demonstrates that Mick was every bit as vital to The Clash live experience as Joe.

“Lock ‘em up boys, I don’t care what their name is just lock em up!” shouts Joe as Jail Guitar Doors rings out. Joe makes up a new verse as usual and Mick comes up with variations on his solo. “We’re gonna take over now, slow, slow”, Topper beats out the intro to Police & Thieves but an edit loses a few minutes but what’s left is brilliant with Joe adlibbing over Mick’s great improvised guitar lines.

A very fine Bankrobber starts off with a few lines of Rockers Galore perhaps as a nod to the missing Mikey Dread. Joe shouts, “Street Parade, coming soon! well then Clampdown (cheers from the audience) now we’d like to get really stuck in here”. They certainly do, beginning with Mick’s mid 80’s variant on the songs intro and building and building to a climax with Joe making up a stream of consciousness rant involving the light of the moon, 3 Mile Island, Germans, and getting the water cannon out!

”OK robots you got it!” says Joe as Mick takes a break to tune up. A strong Stay Free is followed by an even better English Civil War. “This one’s for Kojak, bullets!” as an intense Bored With the USA blasts out. There’s no break as Topper’s bass drum beats out, and Mick’s buzz saw guitar intro’s an exceptional Complete Control. Brilliantly intense with a great solo from Mick and the band driving the song almost manically as the volume (and distortion) levels rise to its breathless conclusion.

The encores begin as usual with Armagideon Time complete with screams from Joe, guitar effects a plenty from Mick and the whole song saturated in dub echo. At the end of the song Janie Jones begins but an edit loses the song and returns with a terrific Julie’s Been Working for the Drug Squad with Mick shouting out mid song “We know you’re here!”

Mick plays variations on the usual intro to Capital Radio as Joe intones “A long time ago Noel Edmunds was born, and a long time ago even before that Tony Blackburn was also born. Oh what a sad day, it ain’t no happy birthday!” As Mick’s last note hangs in the air, Joe shouts “By the tower of Big Ben!” followed by Mick’s screamed “1-2-3-4” and the song proper blasts in. A strong if not great performance of this live Clash classic.

Joe for once seems lost for adlibs coming in late with reference to Jimmy Young another unlamented BBC DJ from the past. The song ends with both Joe and Mick screaming out “Capital Radio” and “Don’t touch that dial”. Its straight into an intense Garageland with Joe saying over Topper’s intro “One time Sid Vicious and Keith Levene were standing at the top of Wardour Street trying to bum 10p’s off passers by”. Mick then teases out his guitar intro before the song burns along. Sadly an edit loses the ending and any remaining songs played that night.

An upgrade nearer to the master would be terrific but even in its present form its an essential Clash bootleg.

I had a little beer back in June myself, as I first saw the Clash 25 years ago in Bristol, was just 17 at the time. Met the whole band after the show and had a good chat with Joe. They were so good to their fans. Got a copy of the concert boot recently and was amazed at the sound and energy and general quality of the playing, amazing. Ray


Clash City Rockers
Brand New Cadillac
Safe European Home
Jimmy Jazz
Revolution Rock
The Guns Of Brixton
Train In Vain
London Calling
Spanish Bombs
White Man In Ham Palais
Somebody Got Murdered
Koka Kola
I Fought the Law
Jail Guitar Doors
Police and Thieves
Stay Free
English Civil War
Bored With the USA
Complete Control
Armagideon Time
Julies been working...d/s
Capital Radio Jam
Capital Radio

Any further info / reviews appreciated

Clash cancel dates at Balham,
Mile End Cinemas. New June dates. Bankrobber "uncommercial"

27 April 1980 Observer
Joe Interv on 16 Tons Tour

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.