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

updated 14 July 2008 - added poster
updated 5 Jan 2010 - added punters comments
updated Dec 2014 - punters comments on radio source & songs

cdr - good / missing Koka Kola - Sound 4+ - time 27min - FM /unknown generation - tracks 9

In contrast to the other concerts from this period there is precious little known about this one. Even where the concert took place is not clear, there is no town in France called Reitel or Reital, the closest possibility being Rettel.

It is though certainly from France and from an FM radio broadcast, with the announcer confirming the date. Whether the whole concert was broadcast or just the half hour here is not known either. No longer recordings have ever surfaced although another tape is said to include Koka Kola, which is missing here. This recording comes from the Fxxk You Baby bootleg where it is added onto the Wichita Falls 1983 concert. It’s title coming from Joe’s response here to an apparent interruption in the power supply.

Sourced from an FM radio broadcast this has a great sound, the best from this European/UK final leg of the 16 Tons Tour. It’s the best sounding source for hearing the particular live sound The Clash were producing at this stage in their history; very tight and dominated by Mick’s effects heavy lead guitar, played in a great mixture of short solo bursts and punk power chords.

Its source on the Fxxk You Baby bootleg is probably first or second generation as there is a little flatness and lack of clarity however it is a very enjoyable sound with all the instrumentation well mixed and clear. Vocals could be more ‘in your face’ though and there is little stereo separation.
It of course only a section of the concert and an edit loses Koka Kola after it is announced.

The recording starts dramatically with Joe shouting “London Calling to the faraway towns, now war is declared and battle come down” and then Joe’s guitar intro kicks in. A fast paced, intense performance of London Calling, almost great but for a muted guitar solo from Mick. It’s typical of all the songs here, highly enjoyable but not quite inspired enough to make them exceptional performances.

A strong Guns of Brixton follows with Paul’s vocals a bit too far back in the mix but his scratchy guitar chording and Mick’s echo heavy lead guitar lines are very clear.

“All aboard!” shouts Joe as Train In Vain begins but soon there are other shouts and the songs breaks down. The radio announcer says a problem has begun at ‘Rotelle’ and Joe asks “Pour quoi?”. After a short gap and the presumed power interruption is solved, Joe has a go at the culprit, “Nous allons maintenant and fuck you baby!” Train in Vain restarts and Mick’s playing is particularly enjoyable over the ending coda.

There’s no break between songs and now Joe calls for “White Man” and Mick obliges shouting an urgent 1-2-3-4 and the band launch into an excellent performance of White Man In Hammersmith Palais. Mick sings a verse and adds a biting solo. Joe changes the lyrics to “Punk rockers from France and in Germany, you come too late!” and in his pigeon French sings at the end “Only cherchez la jolie!”

Joe announces Koka Kola but an edit restarts as he shouts “Hit the deck” and the song segues into a powerful I Fought the Law. Then Joe scratches out the intro to Somebody Got Murdered with Mick building in crescendo his lead guitar lines over the top. Joe shouts “nouveau chanson” and it does still sound like a new song in transition live, but is nevertheless hugely enjoyable.

“You been to prison?” intros a fine Jail Guitar Doors, with confusion over the usual verse that Joe adlibs on, with Mick in the end adding a few muffled words.

An excellent Clampdown, with the pro-sound recording documenting well the variation on the songs opening that he was playing in June 1980. Sadly the recording ends there, but the quality of the recording and the strong performances makes this an essential bootleg.

About The Clash's performance at the Reitel Festival, France, June 80. I was there. The Reitel Festival (Reitel is a small town at the border between France and Luxemburg) was a flop, and in a big way! 10000 were expected but eventually just 4-500 people showed up. The weather was cloudy, and rain downpoured every hour or so. Mud was everywhere when the evening came.

The festival stage had been set in a field, with a metallic fence all around it. German and Luxemburger Hell's Angels were in charge of the event, and that would prove to be a real problem with the many "punks" in the attendance. Fights broke loose all along the afternoon and the field was regularly covered by teargas clouds.

The festival began with "secondary acts": Fisher Z, The Cure, Kevin Coyne. Things really got worse when UFO (yes, the german hard rock band!) came. Punks started to throw stones and allsorts of objects on the stage.

Finally, it must have been 6 pm when the Clash played. God, to this day I still believe that this gig has been the best rock concert that I've ever seen (and you can trust me, I have seen quite a lot). Strummer was on fire, the band was tight and energetic. A fantastic moment. I still remember Joe on the front of the stage, a dark silhouette with sweat evaporating from his body like smoke emanating from a fire.

We were only a few hundreds, but we gave to the Londonners the success they owed. At one time Paul Simonon even grabbed one of my friends by the hand and sat him on an amplifier on stage! Pure madness. Roxy Music was supposed to take the stage after the Clash, but Ferry - very wisely - decided that it would be too much of a risk for them.

Too bad, I've never seen Roxy. The festival has been broadcast by the France Inter FM network, under the supervision of Bernard Lenoir (yes, the same guy who did the "Black sessions"). Many years later I have read a Joe Strummer's interview and he said that Reitel was arguably one of the best gigs he remembered. Well, I can only agree with him...

Hi, Just came across your website. I was at this open air festival. Just a precision.

The village where the festival took place is spelled Rettel (and not "Reitel"). It is a small village in France, a few miles north-west of the town of Sierck-Les-Bains.

You will see on a map that it is right at the border with Luxembourg, and just a couple of miles from the German border. So, ideally istuated in principle to attract fans from France, Luxembourg and Germany.

What the other contributor who was there writes is accurate. Rain was pouring all through afternoon, and there were many fights. It was cold and muddy... And Roxy Music did not play.

best regards, Luk Haas, Tian An Men 89 Records

I'm a French Clash fan since several years now. Congratulations for your website, it is great to see it back.

In the Rettel 1980 page, you say: "It is though certainly from France and from an FM radio broadcast, with the announcer confirming the date. Whether the whole concert was broadcast or just the half hour here is not known either."

Two persons answered you telling you that Rettel was in France so I guess the first sentence has not been updated since a long time.

About the Clash playing only 8 or 9 songs at the festival, I am really sceptical.

I am also a Cure fan and a 6-song FM recording exists from France Inter radio. I'm quite sure it is the same radio which broadcast the Clash. Moreover, as you can see in the link, Cure played a 18-song set and the Clash were much bigger at that time. So I guess they played a regular set and France Inter only broadcast half of it.†


Again, congratulations for your website, it is great.

Greetings, Julien.

Julien Cohen <jumeteor[ at ] hotmail.com>



London Calling
The Guns of Brixton
Train In Vain
Train In Vain
White Man
Somebody Got Murdered
Koka Kola (missing)
I Fought the Law
Jail guitar Doors

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

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.