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Sometimes when I look through the posts I've written over the past year or so, I find that bands I've meant to write about over and over again, have somehow slipped through the cracks and I just never got around to putting some sort of tribute of any kind out there. I had just such a moment in the past day or so when I turned on a certain infamous punk album and couldn't believe that I hadn't written more... anything really... about one of my all time favorite bands: the Clash.
Although I have tons and tons to say about this band it seems best to start off by sharing a live clip of one of their most famous tracks, and one from the afore mentioned infamous album of the same name, "London Calling".
This clips comes to us courtesy of postpunk77 (and YouTube of course) and is of the band live from Tokyo on the Young Music Show. I seem to remember seeing a few other clips from this show, but can't seem to track them down right now... oh well, this one is still pretty sweet.
Punk bands often got a bad rep as being horrible live bands (at least musically) and not actually being able to play well. Personally, I think it's in general a very false statement, but perhaps no more so than with the Clash. They were a good tight rock and roll band with plenty of grit, but there's also a hidden complexity to the arrangements... especially on some of their later works and other ones from London Calling the album. Recreating those textures and various interwoven parts might seem easy when compared to some more elaborately arrange songs from other bands, but the sheer energy of the Clash's songs make it that much more difficult to get everything in the right place at the right time. Yet they pull it off, and all with plenty of punk intensity.
Musically, this sounds pretty sweet, although there are a couple of moments where the sound could be better. Really the thing that I think most comes out in this, and really all clips of the Clash live, is their passion and fire. The punk movement was always full of energy from the very beginning, but with the Clash, it's as if you can see by the way they tear through their songs that they were out to change the world one note at a time.
There's a number of other clips of the Clash live that I recommend you check out if you haven't already. They're one of the great live bands, even if it's purely for sheer energy and passion.