#353: 2010, Gorillaz, Glitter Freeze

by George_East on December 14, 2011

My head is still very much at the superb Justice Tonight gig last Thursday.  It helps make these long long work days that are preventing me from blogging amongst other things a bit more bearable.  I was thinking a bit about the Paul Simonon guest appearance at the gig.  It was the first time that Mick Jones and he have appeared on stage together playing Clash songs since 1982.  Mick, of course, asked Paul to join back in 1976 and taught him how to play bass.  It was Paul who came up with the name of the band and who was responsible for the initial spray paint pop art design for the band (a design that the Manic Street Preachers played direct homage to when they first emerged back in the early 1990s).  Paul and Mick were there before Joe Strummer and were the best of mates before they fell out bigstyle by the time the band split in 1983.

Paul Simonon has been the ex-Clash member who least bought into the legend of the Clash.  If Joe was the keeper of the true flame and Topper seemed still not to have come to terms with his sacking, Paul Simonon actively sought to keep the memory of The Clash in the past.  His contribution to Don Letts’ superb documentary From The Westway To The World was essentially to say that it was great while it lasted but it was in the past.  He was the only member of the Clash who did not even appear Julian Temple’s fantastic Joe Strummer biopic, The Future is Unwritten.If you check out his art dealer on line (and yes he is a very impressive artist) you will find that his biography doesn’t even mention he was in The Clash.

It is one of the reasons why I really didn’t expect the reunion to happen.  To be fair if it hadn’t been for Damon Albarn, it may not have done.  Paul Simonon played on the stunning The Good The Bad and The Queen album in 2007 with Albarn.  He then played on Plastic Beach the most recent Gorillaz album, and one of my favourite albums of last year.  Not only that but the Blur front man managed to enlist Mick Jones to play guitar.  So if last Thursday was the first time that they had been reunited to play Clash songs since the split, it probably wouldn’t have happened at all if Damon had not reunited them to play Gorillaz songs.

This track was probably my second favourite of last year – Mark E Smith’s opening ‘where’s north from here’ sets up a morse code and then a great thudding dance beat.  Just fabulous.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Geoff Elliott December 15, 2011 at 9:07 pm

I might have gone for Superfast Jellyfish because of Gryff Rhys but hell, Mark E Smith is a legend…..


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