It’s Friday. Thank God!
I really enjoyed my early morning open water swim this morning (click HERE). Being in the open water at sunrise really is my happy place. Now, however, I’m stuck in Corporate Hell doing stupid corporate bullshit. The good news is though that I can always listen to some records as background ambiance to prevent me from going all postal and virtually stabbing someone with my nail clippers (if such a thing were possible). Anyway, today’s listening pleasure is the ‘Friday, 15th November 2002 Acton Town Hall, London‘ album by Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros.
More probably known as the ‘Live at Acton Town Hall‘, it was first released in 2012 as a Record Store Day exclusive – a vinyl double LP in a limited number of 2,200 copies. The show had been recorded directly off the mixing desk by fans who, with foreknowledge of Mick Jones’ plans to attend, anticipated some kind of onstage reunion of the former Clash songwriting partners. The recording circulated for many years just amongst a small group of fans who knew of its existence before surfacing a decade later at Hellcat Records.
The concert, a benefit for striking firefighters, was recorded on November 15th, 2002 and features one of the final live performances by Strummer (the last live show being in Liverpool on November 22nd, 2002), who died due to a heart condition on December 22nd, 2002. The performance features songs Strummer recorded with The Clash along with songs from Strummer’s albums for Hellcat Records including new written songs such as ‘Coma Girl‘ and ‘Get Down Moses‘ that eventually would appear on Strummer’s posthumous album, ‘Streetcore’. The highlight of the performance features a reunion with Strummer’s former bandmate Jones for the first time in almost twenty years performing ‘White Riot‘, ‘Bank Robber‘ and ‘London’s Burning‘.
I first heard this album a year or so ago while visiting Uncle Lance and Auntie Amy in Rochester, NY. Uncle Lance had picked it up on a whim, despite the album having no front or back cover, or a list of songs on the records themselves which is bizarre, true. In truth, had I seen it at the same time I likely would have passed it up.
Fortunately, Uncle Lance is wise and did not and it was awesome.
Sadly, I never figured I’d see this oddball of an album ever again. However, the album resurfaced again this year, limited to just 500 for UK independent stores only and, low and behold, there it was siting at the SRCvinyl Niagara* store…and on sale.