London Calling – The Gov, Thursday 25thJuly 2019
(Review: John Glennie)
The UK’s Premiere Tribute to The Clash, LONDON CALLING, celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the double masterpiece “London Calling” by playing it in full and in sequence.
London Calling – the band – is Reg Shaw (aka Joe Strummer), Dave Devonald (aka Mick Jones), Joe Guatieri (aka Paul Simonon) and Shane Tremlin (aka Topper Headon) – and they do The Clash really, really well.
Of course, hitting the stage with the opening and title track really had The Gov crowd jumping and cheering – as it is, in my opinion, the best track on the album. They moved straight into track 2 Brand New Cadillacand on through the album – won’t mention all the tracks but they certainly did The Clash justice! Throughout the gig, Dave Devonald was shredding some pretty mean lead guitar, but don’t think the rest of the band weren’t good. They all were, but he stood out for me.
There was a bit of a hiccup when Reg complained, in no uncertain terms, about the quality of his cables. Soon after he disappeared off stage and returned holding one of his own cables up in triumphant defiance and promptly swapped over the offending one – to loud cheers from the crowd! They resumed and performed great versions of classics such as Rudie Can’t Fail, Clampdownand The Guns of Brixtonto name but a few.
Reg introduced Death or Gloryas “this is a song about us” but I get the feeling that the latter has already been achieved. A couple of songs later, after thrashing around the stage he also said “I promise not to break any more of your stuff!” – and again, more cheers. After The Card Cheatthey had a slight detour from the London Calling album with a delightful version of Bobby Fuller Four’s I Fought The Lawbefore working through the remaining tracks of the album and finishing with Train in Vain.
After a short break they returned for the encore and my favourite songs of the evening: Johnny Comes Marching Home, Rock the Casbah, Should I Stay or Should I Goand wrapping up the gig with White Riot. For all four encore tracks the crowd joined in and provided a (very good) virtual choir.
A great evening and a fitting tribute to The Clash’ classic album.