The Clash this weekend. Recorded live at the Lochem Festival in the Netherlands on May 20th, 1982 and preserved for posterity by the venerable Netherlands radio network VPRO and their flagship station 3VOOR12-FM.
This is a significant Clash concert. It marks the very final appearance of founding member, Drummer Topper Headon, and the reappearance of Joe Strummer, who had mysteriously dropped out of sight a while earlier.
It was also an important appearance because it coincided with the release of their-then latest album Combat Rock. Even though only three songs from the new album are performed, it was still an important gig for the band, as it was around this time things were starting to fall apart, and tensions within the band threatened to reach the boiling point.
It’s a significant concert historically, but it’s not one of the best musically. Joe Strummer sounds to be phoning it in, his voice struggles in a number of places – and lyrics are forgotten in a lot of other places. And although Topper was asked to leave because his heroin addiction was considered to be damaging his playing, it doesn’t really sound that way in this show.
Even though The Clash were becoming huge in the U.S., it was all the tension and in-fighting which would eventually pull the plug on everything.
It’s important to realize The Clash were a hugely influential band during the 1970s and 1980s. They were responsible for bringing about a lot of political awareness and a rebellious attitude to the forefront. They were often referred to as “the only band that matters” and had a big impact on Alternative rock, as a result.
With all that said – here are The Clash, as they performed at the Lochem Festival in Holland on May 20, 1982.
Crank it up.