The Who Newcastle Arena 6th Nov 2000
Support from Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros
The Who’s tour in 2000 was in support of the live album “The Blues to the Bush” (as mentioned on the cover of the tour programme) and was their first full-fledged tour as a five-piece band since 1982. Roger, Pete and John were joined by Rabbit on keyboards and Zak Starkey on drums. This was the Who’s first visit to Newcastle since 1981. The set was a run through Who favourites, including a few, such as “The Kids Are Alright” and “Mary Ann With the Shaky Hands”, which hadn’t been performed live for many years. On some of the other nights of the tour they performed “The Seeker” and “A Quick One While He’s Away”. Support came from The Clash’s Joe Strummer with his band The Mescaleros.
It was great to see the Who again, and to hear all the classics. A great concert which reminded me just how great the Who were.
Setlist: I Can’t Explain; Substitute; Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere; Relay; My Wife; Baba O’Riley; I Don’t Even Know Myself; Bargain; Drowned; Behind Blue Eyes; Pinball Wizard; The Real Me; You Better You Bet; Who Are You; 5:15; Won’t Get Fooled Again
Encore: Let’s See Action; The Kids Are Alright; Mary Ann With the Shaky Hands; My Generation
John Entwistle passed away in hotel room 658 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on 27 June 2002, the result of a heart attack induced by cocaine. Townshend and Daltrey said in tribute : “The Ox has left the building — we’ve lost another great friend. Thanks for your support and love. Pete and Roger.”
The next time I saw the, now in effect a two piece, Who was in 2004 at a Teenage Cancer Trust concert at the Albert Hall. I’ll reflect on this concert tomorrow.
Archive for the ‘The Clash’ Category
The Who Newcastle Arena 6th Nov 2000
Rush Newcastle City Hall June 12th 1980: a dilemma and a culture “clash”
This was one of those nights were I was torn between two gigs. Rush were playing at Newcastle City Hall and The Clash were playing at Newcastle Mayfair on the same night. Now you couldn’t get two more different bands which made my dilemma all the more interesting. I already had a ticket for Rush, I was going with a group of mates, and the gig was sold out (in fact Rush played two sell out shows on this tour, as had become the norm for their visits), when The Clash gig was announced. I hadn’t missed a Newcastle gig by either band; what could I do? I decided to buy a ticket for The Clash and try and times things so I would see both bands. Now on the rare occasions I have tried to do this, it usually hasn’t worked out very well, and I’ve ended up not enjoying either gig that much. So on the night of the gig(s) I went along to the City Hall with my mates to see Rush. This was the Permanent Waves tour, and my mates were massive Rush fans who couldn’t believe that I would leave the gig early to see The Clash. But that is exactly what I did. The norm at The Mayfair was for the band to take the stage around 10pm at that time, so I watched around one hour or so of The Rush gig then quickly drove down the road to the Mayfair to see The Clash. Rush were at the peak of their success of the time, and the City Hall was packed with rock fans who lapped up the complex melodic rock and mystical lyrics that Rush are masters of. Very different to the fast punk energy that I was about to witness down at the Mayfair.
I arrived at the Mayfair ballroom just as The Clash had started the first song of the night. I always find it strange entering a gig late. Its like coming into a party uninvited when everyone is already drunk. Picture this. I enter the packed ballroom, having just left the sold out City Hall where everyone was sitting down listening intently to Rush, and The Clash are playing Safe European Home, and the place is going completely nuts. The atmosphere is electric, the air hot and sweaty. I stand on the balcony and wander around the place, taking it all in. The Clash were fast, loud, energetic and Strummer was amazing.
For once my aim of taking in two (very different) gigs on the same night worked, although I didn’t see that much of Rush, and couldn’t really get into their set as my mind was more focussed on getting my timings right in order to catch The Clash.
This was the last time that Rush played in Newcastle for 27 years, when they played at Newcastle Arena.
The Clash Newcastle City Hall 1982
Support: Nod The Geordie Poet (?!)
The Clash returned to Newcastle in 1982 to play two nights at The City Hall. By this time The Clash were starting to disintegrate. Topper Headon had left to be replaced by Terry Chimes, and it was the beginning of the end for the band. They had just released Combat Rock. Although my ticket shows the gig as having taken place in May 1982, all of the gig listings show the gig as actually being in July 1982. I guess the tour must have been rescheduled. I remember a group of us went along to the gig, and that we were sitting pretty close to the front. I don’t think the venue was full. I remember the gig being ok, but not on the same level as earlier Clash gigs that I’d seen. This was the last time I saw The Clash.
The Clash Newcastle Mayfair June 12th 1980
Support Joe Ely
(And a trip to the City Hall to see Rush)
This was one of those nights were I was torn between two gigs. Rush were playing at Newcastle City Hall and The Clash were playing at Newcastle Mayfair on the same night. I already had a ticket for Rush, I was going with a group of mates, and the gig was sold out, when The Clash gig was announced. What a dilemma for me! I hadn’t missed a Newcastle gig by either band; what could I do? I decided to buy a ticket for The Clash and try and times things so I would see both bands. Now on the rare occasions I have tried to do this, it usually hasn’t worked out very well, and I’ve ended up not enjoying either gig that much. So on the night of the gig(s) I went along to the City Hall with my mates to see Rush. This was the Permanent Waves tour, and my mates were big Rush fans who couldn’t believe that I would leave the gig early to see The Clash. But thats exactly what I did. The norm at The Mayfair was for the band to take the stage around 10pm at that time, so I watched around one hour of The Rush gig then drove down the road to the Mayfair to see The Clash. By then I had missed support act Joe Ely. In fact I arrived in the venue just as The Clash had started the first song of the night. I always find is strange entering a gig late. Its like coming into a party uninvited when everyone is already drunk. Picture this. I enter a packed ballroom, The Clash are playing Safe European Home, and the place is going nuts. I stood on the balcony and wandered around the place, taking it all in. The Clash played much longer that night than the previous times I’d seen them. Of course by 1980, they had a much larger repertoire of songs to draw from. They were great as usual, but I didn’t see as much passion and energy as at the Newcastle Poly gig a couple of years before. I thought the gig dragged at times, but picked up towards the end, and the place went nuts when they finished with White Riot. So my aim of taking in two gigs on the same night sort of worked, although I didn’t see that much of Rush, and couldn’t really get into their set as my mind was more focussed on getting my timings right in order to catch The Clash. Setlist: Safe European Home; Jimmy Jazz; Revolution Rock; The Guns of Brixton; Train in Vain; London Calling; Spanish Bombs; (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais; Somebody Got Murdered; Koka Kola; I Fought the Law; Jail Guitar Doors; Hit the Road Jack; Police and Thieves; Clampdown; Stay Free; English Civil War; I’m So Bored With the U.S.A.; Complete Control; Armagideon Time; Tommy Gun; London’s Burning; Capital Radio; What’s My Name; Garageland; White Riot.
The Clash Newcastle Polytechnic Oct 28th 1977 and Dec 2nd 1978
Support acts: Richard Hell and the Viodoids (1977); The Slits (1978)
The Clash came back to Newcastle later in 1977, and again in 1978. I only have vague memories of the 1977 gig, and can;t be certain that I attended, although I think I did. I remember there was trouble and some fights at one, and maybe both, of the gigs. I read somewhere that Richard Hell had a firework thrown in his face. I have very vivid memories of the 1978 gig. By 1978 The Clash were massive, and the gig sold out almost immediately. I also bought tickets for their gig at Middlesbrough Town Hall, but sold them to a couple of mates so that I could go and see The Jam at the Mayfair that night. That night at Newcastle Polytechnic I saw something different in The Clash. It was as if they had moved up couple of levels, and were now a confident, and great rock band, rather than another punk act. The place was packed, with everyone standing on chairs and tables. I think they started with Safe European Home; I do remember that they were just stupendous. I also remember being particularly impressed by Mick Jones guitar work, and when he took the lead for Stay Free, which remains one of my favourite songs to this day. This was the best time that I saw The Clash, and the night I realised that there were a major rock band. I remember saying to Marie that, on that night, for me they were up there with The Who and Zeppelin as one of our best live rock acts.
The Clash White Riot Tour Newcastle University May 20th 1977
This was the night that punk truly arrived in Newcastle, and the first time I saw The Clash. It was the first really big punk gig in Newcastle, and it sold out well in advance. Most of the tickets had been sold to students through the students union; in fact if I remember correctly you had to be a student to buy tickets, which was the source of some agro and trouble on the night of the gig. Luckily I was a student at Sunderland Poly at the time and I used my union card to buy a couple of tickets for Marie and I. When we arrived at the Union building on the night of the gig, the entrance was surrounded by a group of local punks who were trying to get in. There were a few scuffles between the doormen and the punks, who were angry because they couldn’t get in to see “their band” who (in their eyes) were playing for a group of middle class students.
In 1977, Newcastle University ballroom was in a smallish room up a flight of stairs, with the main bar being down on a lower level. The union building was a maze with several bars, a pool room, and several lounges. You could wander around the building and dip in and out of the gig in the main ballroom. There was a great sense of anticipation that night. The North East had missed out on the Sex Pistols Anarchy tour which had been booked to visit Newcastle City Hall, and had been cancelled because of the controversy around the band. So this was the first chance for local punks to see a “big” punk band. The place with packed, however the audience was largely students with a smattering of local punks who had somehow managed to buy tickets, and were crammed around the stage upstairs. I sensed that these guys didn’t really know much about punk, but had decided that it was right for them. They were probably much more into the image, the concept of anarchy and rebellion, than Clash music. The first Clash album had been released a few weeks before the gig, and the audience were there as much out of curiosity and because of reports that they had read in the NME and Sounds than as result of the music. Similarly for me, I’d read reports that The Clash was THE new punk rock band to out-punk (and out rock) The Pistols, so I had to see what these guys were like. Support came from The Prefects (replacing The Jam, who had just left the tour) Subway Sect, and The Slits. Marie and I made a point of making sure we made our way from the bar up to the ballroom to see each of the bands. The sound wasn’t great for any of the support acts, who all seemed a bit amateur and ramshackle to be honest; but I guess thats what punk was about in those early heady days. There was lots, and I mean lots, of spitting at the band. This was one of the first times I’d seen the crowd spit at the stage; its difficult to imagine how prevalent the practice was in those days. The Clash were just streets ahead of the support acts. For their set there was lots of pogoing and the spitting was relentless. Poor Joe Strummer was covered in spit. They looked great; just like their pictures on the cover of the first album. I’d heard some of the tracks from the first lp, and new the single White Riot, and loved Janie Jones and Police and Thieves, which were played a lot at punk gigs at venues like Middlesbrough Rock Garden in 1977 and 1978. The set was short, as were each of the songs, and consisted of tracks from their great first album. The sound was a bit murky, but the atmosphere, the band’s passion, and the power of delivery made up for it. We’d seen a few punk bands during 1976, including The Sex Pistols at a small gig in a pub in Whitby, but this was the first sold out and wild punk gig that we had attended, and it was just great. It set me off going to lots of punk gigs over the next few years. Don Letts, who managed The Slits at the time, was wandering around with a massive video camera, filming the event. The music between the bands was very heavy, loud dub and reggae, which was quite new to all of us. There were further scuffles around the entrance area throughout the night, with punks fighting with the guys on the door to get in, and there were a few fights inside the gig. As I had very long hair at the time, so I could easily have been a target. I was always careful to avoid trouble, and always managed to do so. I can’t find any record of the setlist, but based on reports from other gigs on the tour it is likely that is was something like this: London’s Burning; 1977; I’m So Bored With the U.S.A.; Pressure Drop; Hate and War; Cheat; Police and Thieves; 48 Hours; Capital Radio; Deny; Remote Control; Career Opportunities; White Riot; Janie Jones; Garageland; 1977. The day after the gig Joe Strummer and Topper Headon were arrested, in true punk fashion, for stealing pillowcases from a hotel room in Newcastle (!), and spent some time in the cells. Great memories of an era that now seems so long ago. Where did all the time go?