Impossible Mission Tour

updated September 2004
updated February 2008
updated 5 Jan 2010 - added soundboard details
updated 18 May 2010 - added 12 track soundboard details

cdr - 2nd gen - Sound 4 - time 92min - tracks 25

cdr - RADIO 7 - Interview after gig with Mick/Paul - 5.21*
*CD songs edited out/interview only

The Paris Calling boot (Soundboard)
12 tracks - much poorer and edited soundboard -
There's a French radio interview with Mick and Paul from this gig in good quality, but the tape of that is hacked up to skip over the songs that were between the interview segments. Possibility these two chunks of setlist could be the performance segments from that tape and that it was broadcast like this.

An ever evolving style

One of the key aspects of The Clash’s music was that it was constantly changing and evolving (for better and worse) as the band reached out to embrace an eclectic range of musical forms. They understood well that musical stagnation was not an option, it would have destroyed their inspiration and enjoyment and thus led to the break-up of the band. It is ironic then that a major factor in their eventual break-up was that their individual musical directions eventually became too divergent to be contained within the band.

Mission Impossible Tour

The Clash’s changing musical development is most obvious of course in its studio output but live performances too exhibit continually changing approaches even to the songs that remained ever present from one tour to the next. The Impossible Mission Tour presented the not inconsiderable challenge of translating the multi-instrumental Sandinista songs to the live stage with just 2 guitars, bass and drums. Mickey Gallagher’s broken arm (resulting from an accident during one of the band’s tour rehearsal football games) prevented his musical contribution. The recordings from this tour document how these songs evolved from show to show. They also reveal the changes that were made to the older material to make them fresh and thus still interesting to play night after night.

Thanks to an excellent audience recording the Paris concert reveals these musical changes and developments very well. Moreover it documents a great performance, inspired no doubt by the now guaranteed enthusiasm and energy of Paris audiences. The Clash would of course return to Paris in September to play a 7-night residency at the Mogador.

Toppers Drumming

A very enjoyable feature of the concerts on this tour is Topper’s excellent drumming which shows precious little sign of the debilitating effects of his addiction. In a 2004 interview Topper says that although his addiction worsened significantly around the Sandinista period, he was (very surprisingly) not an intravenous drug user until he was sacked from the band in 1982.

The venue
The Hippodrome de Pantin was variously described as enormous and cavernous, with a 6000 plus capacity. It ceased being a major venue for Paris concerts in the mid 80’s.

LeINrocks 2003 from Paris 8 May 1981

This is a gig that circulates abundantly and in varying quality.

The best version is from a 2nd generation source and has a very enjoyable sound, one of the best of the tour. It has very good detail, width and clarity. All the instrumentation is clear and unusually for an audience source vocals are good and suffer only marginally from distance to the stage. Bass is a little low in the mix but otherwise clear and undistorted. The only downside is that the sound overall is a touch shrill and towards the top end. There is some limited stereo separation.

There are several edits which lose parts of Junco Partner and the end of London’s Burning but complete lesser quality versions of these have been added. There is some loss in the left channel up to Junco Partner where after the problem goes.

An upgrade to the master would of course be very welcome but in its existing form this is a very enjoyable recording; crank up the volume and enjoy!

France - Radio 7 Interview after gig with Mick & Paul

French Radio 7 interview after the gig with Mick and Paul lasting 5.21. Songs are edited out and it is the interview only.

Paul talks about Sandinista and that it was not intended to be a triple album but after the single a month debacle with CBS and the Bankrobber single, the band decided, with a swipe at CBS, to put out all 12 singles with the orginal album making it a triple.

Mick is asked about the political side of Sandinista and like at Florence portrays his and The Clash's political conscience. Somethig which the band seem less guarded in the comments about when outside England, particularly in Europe. Talking about poverty and struggle of poor 3rd world people and their struggle with apathy of western media to real issues.

This very enjoyable recording starts with the by now usual Morricone intro followed by London Calling. Indications that tonight will be a great performance come though with an inspired Safe European Home. It’s tight powerful and intense, Joe’s guitar and his improving musicianship coming through well. It displays the 1981 subtle changes made on the older material to keep it fresh and exciting to play. The audience roar their approval, their enthusiasm no doubt firing the band’s performance.

The Leader is followed by another highlight tonight - Somebody Got Murdered. “Murder, start the murder style, don’t rest one week”, shouts Joe then the song builds and builds, fed by Toppers powerhouse drumming and Mick’s lead work to a breathless climax. It is one of the key Sandinista songs that translates much more powerfully to the live setting.

“Sounds like shit, huh?” says Joe before a terrific White Man In Hammersmith Palais demonstrates otherwise. A great ‘duelling banjos’ ending has Mick and Joe playing off each other. Guns Of Brixton exhibits more changes, 1981 style to the established songs but there are changes even from night to night with the earlier Willie & The Hand Jive snippet now dropped.

“Strike” screams Joe, again the mass of lyrics on Lightning Strikes gives him problems. The song live getting stronger and stronger from night to night, but its still not quite fully polished yet.

Corner Soul is working great live and there is more inventive playing from Mick on this fine performance. This Is Radio Clash sounds the finished article too, tight and together with Mick’s guitar and effects to the fore.

Before Ivan Meets GI Joe (a difficult song to translate live but tonight is tight and enjoyable) Joe gets angry at someone in the crowd, “Yeah, we gonna go to 1977 in a minute, you boring cunt”.

By Charlie Don’t Surf Joe is now sarcastic “Yes if you can wait for 1977 just a bit longer- got your return tickets? got your platform tickets, got all the right gear on, got the right attitude, well just kinda hold it there for a second we’ll be right back”. Joe adlibs about Saigon radio coming in, and Jimi Hendrix on the radio. There is plenty of applause; the complainer is in the minority, with the Paris audience receiving the Sandinista heavy set very enthusiastically.

“Sept” shouts Joe as way of a French introduction to an excellent Magnificent Seven. The audience shout back “What”, to Mick’s “You lot”. Mick is really into it tonight, sharing vocals, and playing inspired guitar unlike on some of the earlier shows from this tour. The song has the instrumental attack break at the end added in Lyon but tonight it then drops down to drum and bass, extending the song still further with Joe adlibbing about the Hippodrome and the audience in a combination of French and English!

Junco Partner is a great performance tonight, tight and inventive with inspired vocals from Joe. An edit on the 2nd generation source loses most of the song, only returning for the final few bars but a lesser source has been edited in to replace almost all that’s lost. After the edit the minor loss on the left channel is restored and the sound improves from now on a notch.

Mick’s Train In Vain is played with a slightly lighter feel now but his playing on the ending coda is not as effective as the best of the 1980 performances. Wrong ‘Em Boyo gets minor arrangement changes too, most significantly a new Topper drum intro. A fine Bankrobber follows with Joe incorporating into the lyrics a plea to fix his monitor at the start of the song.

Then Joe says for the benefit of the 1977 complainant, “Monsieur, Ici pour vous!” and the band kick into Career Opportunities. Mick and Joe share lead vocals, and the song not played till this tour for nearly two years consequently sounds fresh and exciting, the band clearly enjoying playing it. It gets a huge cheer from the audience.

The energy levels remain on peak to close the main set with a great Clampdown. Still not quite scaling the heights of the best 1980 performances, tonight its played with more venom and passion than earlier nights on this tour. Joe adlibs revealingly over Mick’s screaming guitar “Don’t come to no more rock’n’roll, its just a waste of time. This is not revolution, this is just rock’n’roll with a little bit of knife” the rest is unclear, drowned in echo but a suitably apocalyptic ending has Joe shouting “keep on fucking jamming like Mohammed Ali!” The band leave the stage but the audience roar for more.

One More Time, as at Lyon wisely becomes the first encore song rather than as previously the main set closer. This makes for better pacing, as it’s a song that builds dramatically, ideal as an opening song. An underrated Clash classic song One More Time is developing brilliantly on this tour and is both powerful and moving tonight. Joe adlibs over Mick’s effects soaked guitar “One more time in Brixton, in Florida, in the synagogue, in the Lebanon” and the song ends with a cry of desperation from Joe.

Spanish Bombs is even better, simply awesome, arguably its best live performance. Mick’s guitar cuts like a knife weaving creative guitar lines, around Joe’s impassioned vocals. There’s more drama in this 1981 version, the song dropping down briefly to drum and bass, and then speeding up then down. There is an extended ending with terrific playing from Mick, who also shares lead vocals throughout.

“For Vince Taylor and his Playboys” shouts Joe as the band blaze into Brand New Cadillac. Joe adlibs against Mick’s guitar improvisations on Street Parade, which ends somewhat raggedly, a song still coming together, live. A roar from the audience greets the intro to a passionate Janie Jones. The encore ends with “Bon nuit” from Joe and screams for more from the wildly enthusiastic Paris audience.

The 2nd encore begins with a tighter more involved Armagideon Time, than performances of it earlier in the tour. Then Joe says “There was a cinema in 1977, quite near here, the Palais Des Glaces“ ** then he makes an animal-like scream of “Paris” then the band kick into a cacophonous frenzied performance of Paris is Burning. An edit loses the ending of the song but a lesser source has been added which ends abruptly. Hard to imagine the audience would not have stood demanding and screaming for more but presumably the concert ended there without the playing of White Riot or any other song.

The first essential 1981 bootleg.

**Palais Des Glaces - First French gig, Toppers first gig, 27 April 1977 "The Night of Punk"


London Calling
Safe European Home
The Leader
Somebody Got Murdered
White Man In Ham Palais
The Guns Of Brixton
Lightning Strikes
Corner Soul
This Is Radio Clash
Ivan Meets GI Joe
Charlie Don’t Surf
The Magnificent Seven
Junco Partner
Train In Vain
Jimmy Jazz*
Wrong ‘Em Boyo
Career Opportunities
One More Time
Spanish Bombs
Brand New Cadillac
The Street Parade
Janie Jones
Armagideon Time
London/Paris is Burning

FRANCE - RADIO 7 - Paul/Mick
Don't have

Metal Hurlant Magazine 04.81 [French]

Rock n Folk 170 (March 81)
...cover ...pg1/2 ...pg3 ...pg4 ...pg5 ...pg6 ...pg7 ...pg8

Best Magazine 152 (March 81)
Mick Jones-Paul Simonon
...Cover ...pg1-2 ...pg3-4 ...pg5-6

Any further info / reviews appreciated

Apr 27 Barcelona, Spain
Apr 28 Madrid, Real Madrid basketball stadium
Gig reviewed in Record Mirror 9 May 81. Gig played in front of 7,000
Apr 30 Cascais, Portugal
May 1 Lisbon?
May 2 Velodromo de Anoeta, San Sebastian, Spain
May 4 Bordeaux, France
Joe IDs this date and gig the following night in Lyon before the first track
May 5 Palais des Sports, Lyon, France
May 6 Palais de Beaulieu, Lausanne, Switzerland
May 7 Zurich [venue unknown]
May 8 Hippodrome de Pantin, Paris, France
May 9 Palais St. Sauveur, Lille, France
In 1981 the gigs at Lille and Amsterdam were supported by the Belle Stars (they were travelling on the tour coach which we bummed a ride on!), I think they did most of those European dates. J Heath
May 10 Japp Edenhall, Amsterdam, Holland
In 1981 the gigs at Lille and Amsterdam were supported by the Belle Stars (they were travelling on the tour coach which we bummed a ride on!), I think they did most of those European dates. J Heath
May 11 Forest National, Brussels.
May 12 Musikhalle, Hamburg, West Germany
May 14 Idrottshuset, Copenhagen, Denmark
May 15 The Scandinavium, Gothenburgh, Sweden
May 16 Isstadion, Stockholm, Sweden
May 18 Eissporthalle, (West) Berlin
May 19 Circus Krone, Munich, West Germany
May 21 Velodromo Vigorelli, Milan, Italy
May 22 San Remo
May 23 Stadio Comunale, Florence, Italy
May Rome - cancelled
the proposed Rome concert never came together- problems with Bernie
May 26 The Bullring, Milan?? or Arena Civica
Usually named from Londonderry boot LP which was the 23rd. Probably did not take place.