Residency - seventh of seven nights

Support acts included Theatre of Hate

cdr - v. good – Sound 4+ - time 50.08 mins - master - tracks 12

Background (see also 18th October review)

Last night at the Lyceum. Last (and best quality) of Derek Harris’ recordings. Last appearance of Topper Headon on a British stage. Excellent performances. Essential.

As Derek only recorded the encores this night it’s another case of the glass half full or half empty - but what a half! The sound quality is excellent for an audience recording (Derek perfecting the best position to record from and managed to find a decent chrome blank tape to boot!) and the band produce exceptional performances on most of the songs - ending their association with the Lyceum Theatre on a memorable high.

Whilst only capturing the last 50 minutes of the concert, Derek’s recording is (further) documentary evidence that The Clash at the end of 1981 remained very much a phenomenal live experience. Indeed thanks to Derek agreeing to bring his recordings into circulation in 2007, it is now possible to hear and judge performances from every night of the Lyceum residency. The conclusion surely for anyone with ears to hear is that The Clash in late 81 showed no signs of decline in live performance. Indeed The Clash were still moving forward musically, producing night after night performances of a consistently high quality and on those special nights (and there were several at the Lyceum) performances of sheer exhilaration and finesse to rank up there with the very best Clash shows (and therefore of any band on any stage at any time).

Venue (See 18th October review for details)

Derek’s master audience tape is the only recording in circulation. It is incomplete though only capturing the encores. It is however his best recording; an excellent audience recording, capturing all the instrumentation including a decent bass sound and a strong lead guitar mix (which had been missing from his earlier recordings). The sound unusually for an audience one is not distant, vocals are upfront and clear and Topper’s drums and Joe’s guitar are again very clear.
Crank up the volume and enjoy!

Derek’s tape rolled just after the band had begun Police and Thieves (presumably the first song of the first encore) Mick’s solo is refreshingly clear and up in the mix on this recording but although a fine performance it is probably the least interesting on the tape. There is no inspiration from Joe mid song, he mumbles and moans to himself but his muse is temporarily absent. 

Certainly memorable is an excellent sounding and very strong performance of the rarely played Street Parade featuring some great guitar interplay from Mick and Joe and an impressive instrumental improvisation. A shorter arrangement than the first repeated final chorus versions back in May. 

“Alright then eh, Michael” and after a pause Mick says “This is for all my friends” and the band kick into an excellent Stay Free with some great lead guitar; Mick’s interest in playing guitar had been minimal at some nights at the Lyceum but on this recording his playing is inspired and thrilling (even taking Joe aback on the later Brand New Cadillac). 

After a dodgy start, which allows for an instrumental first verse, Washington Bullets is another highlight . The playing is inspired and tight as hell. Mick improvises a lead break and Mick & Joe share committed vocals.

Changing the encores around on this last night Joe shouts  “Which round for me, which round?!” and the band slam into an excellent Wrong Em Boyo. With barely a pause a slashed chord from Joe provides the instruction and the band crash into a pumped up Safe European Home, no exceptional extended ending or rant but still very enjoyable. 

The band leave the stage and the recording captures the atmosphere in the Lyceum as the audience cheer, chant, stamp and clap for more. They are soon rewarded with Joe alone singing “Lay around don’t stay around..” and then Topper and Paul comes in. Mick adds his now customary ear drum bursting scream on a very fine (and excellent sounding) Armagideon Time. Mick picks out strong guitar lines behind Joe’s fine vocals and Topper’s excellent drumming ties it all together. Joe cries/hollers and over the ending repeats “rats, rats, twice as big as cats”.

“Like to introduce to you now, if you don’t mind, to Futura 2000 who’s all the way from Alphabet City” The last time Futura would rap his Graffiti Rap with the Clash, and one of the best sounding recordings to check it out. The band are having fun with Mick adding his effects and the band improvise over the ending.

The opening chords of Should I Stay then ring out around the Lyceum; and its another fresh sounding, tight and energetic performance again featuring some great lead guitar from Mick.  Next its into the highlight of the night an exceptional Brand New Cadillac where Mick’s inspired playing seems to take Joe aback not singing on the first thrilling run through, letting the music do the talking as the band rip it up. Mick’s playing here is a delight the band unusually playing fast and loose with the arrangement and Joe adlibs a jokey  “25p you’re a miser, baby baby won’t you give me more than 5p! I’ll take 10p!…” Remarkable!

Topper’s drum intro heralds a teased out intro to Janie Jones, the band pumped up and on a roll. Derek turned over his tape quickly enough to catch Topper’s drum roll and then Mick’s paint blistering intro to a remarkable Complete Control. A terrific finale with Mick’s playing a delight, the band on fire and extending the song, not seeming to want to end the show! Joe shouts  “This is joe public speaking, controlled in the body, controlled in the mind” but not so surely for the audience in the Lyceum at this point and no doubt for some considerable time thereafter! 

Sadly there’s no third encore, the PA soon plays “Come on baby let the good times roll” but a terrific and fitting finale to the Lyceum residency and Topper’s last British show. Essential.

First saw The Clash at the Lyceum, London around this time (1981), being only 14 at the time, it was one of the first gigs I'd ever been to but remains one of the best. Still remember the sheer power of Safe European Home (hairs are standing up back of my neck as I type this), Tommy Gun and London Calling.

Also then saw them several times in Brixton through Sandinista and Combat Rock - Straight to Hell what a song!!! Most bizarrely was The Clash busking on the steps of Leeds University Union (1984?) when they were following The Alarm around (crap band -who incidently I first saw supporting The Farmers Boys and they never should have got any higher up the bill!).

Incidently The Clash also had more than one drummer which is enough of a link to the GB's to legitimise this bit of reminiscing, besides which beats working!

C Gull


Police and Thieves
Street Parade
Stay Free
Washington Bullets
Wrong Em Boyo
Safe European Home
Armagideon Time
Futura Rap
Should I Stay or Should I Go
Brand New Cadilac
Janie Jones
Complete Control

only 12 tracks
recorded by the taper

Tour poster

City Limits magazine October 1981 article ahead of Lyceum concerts (October 18-26)
Clash of Symbols. Punks prophetswithout honour return from New York with an identity crises. Simon Firth regards them with curiosity...

Melody Maker - Page 1 only!
18th October gig review
anybody have further info?
The Clash and Cocktail Culture. Adam Sweeting, Robert Ellis & Jon Blackmore report on the Clash's week at the Lyceum

18th October NME gig review
The Clash Stimulin. The path of Joe Strummer is as we know, lined with well intentionedgolden heartederrors and the first of tonights was Stimulin whose sound ix was start to finish a disaster.

NME letter of complaint over review
Right Barney - Yes Yes Yes, well done Barney Hoskyns. Did you copy your write up from the one you did before for the 16 tons tour? I bet your feeling pround of your scabby knackered self...

18th October The Times gig review
Rock - The Clash - Lyceum - Pub 20 Oct. Apart from producing the best and most varied triple album of rock, Sandinista!; apart from developing a distictand romantic production stylewhich has already...

22nd October Evening Standad Lyceum review
Ad lib Special - What the Clash won't do for mobey. John Blake on the angry young men who shun the big time. Like their contemporaries, The Police, The Clash could have become millionaires by now...

Lyceum Bootleggers
Excluding the Hits source which was likely taped specially by the Bootleggers, all the lyceum tapes not made by Derek were taped by the "bruce curtis" gang for sale on the street. my mate "M" taped 60 minutes of the 1st night from the balcony but it sounded so distant he wiped it, peoples conversations were drowning out the quiet songs like broadway. Tim Bucknall



full size photos available at




























Photos more...

Paul - lyceum
clash - lyceum
joe - lyceum
joe topper - lyceum
mick joe - lyceum
mick joe 2 - lyceum
paul topper - lyceum
simonon precision ba#10009

Any further info / reviews

Oct 5 Apollo, Manchester
Oct 6 Apollo, Manchester
Oct 7 Apollo, Glasgow, Scotland
Oct 8 Apollo, Glasgow, Scotland
Oct 10 Bridlington Spa, Royal Hall
this is a definate date from ticket stub. Theatre of Hate were support

As a hardcore original punk rocker  at this time I was really off the Clash - I wasn't into their new 'funk' sound and was highly disappointed with London Calling.  But some guys at school were going so asked me to come along so I decided to go.  I told our Physical Education teacher at school about it and he said he would see us there! Yeah right!
We arrived and the queue at the Spa was massive and went round the corner.  So, as typical 15 year school kid rebels we headed to the nearest pub  and who should be in there ... my teacher!!  And he bought us all a pint!!!  Top bloke!
So, as the queue got bigger and the doors opened we ran and pushed to the front and I was the second one into the hall and ran immediately to the front of the stage where Joe stood.
The first band to come on were Theatre of Hate who were fantastic.  Then after what seemed the longest interval ever - probably due tot he fact i was holding my bladder whic was due to burst due to all the quick pints I had downed earlier - the war barriers on the stage started flashing and sirens blasting.  Then they came on!  Joe looked amazing in his white sleeveless shirt, white pants with red pinstripe down the side and his doctor marten soled pointed brothel creepers.  Afetr two or three songs my bladder gave waya nd I pissed on the stage and on the leg of the girl next to me!!  She wasn't happy but no way was I gonna lose my prime position to go to the bathroom.
The gig proved I was wrong in my opinion of the band - they were fantastic!  But I remember saying afterwards that I thought TofH were much better!!
Towards the end of the gig Joe Strummer leant forward off the stage and asked me the time to see if they could fit in some extra encoures!!  Top bloke! That was not the last time I spoke with Joe Strummer ...

Oct 11? Lyceum, Sheffield

Sheffield Lyceum 11 Oct 1981 sunday .can confirm this.i went to bridlington on the sat and got in at sheffield on the sunday for free,bouncer let me and girlfriend in. nudger

Oct 12 Royal Court, Liverpool
Oct 15 Colisseum, Saint Austell
Oct 18 Lyceum Ballroom, London
Oct 19 Lyceum Ballroom, London
Oct 20 Lyceum Ballroom, London
Oct 21 Lyceum Ballroom, London
Oct 22 Lyceum Ballroom, London
Oct 25 Lyceum Ballroom, London
Oct 26 Lyceum Ballroom, London