Garage, London, 23/7/2011
published: 28 /
Anthony Strutt watches former Green On Red guitarist Chuck Prophet and his new band the Spanish Bombs cover the whole of the Clash's 'London Calling' album in a fabulous night at the Borderline in London
Chuck Prophet was the lead guitarist in Green On Red and has been a solo artist since 1991. Tonight he is playing with a new band, the Spanish Bombs, the whole of the Clash's third album, 'London Calling'. The idea behind this has been put together by a Spanish promoter, and is to get artists to play one of their favourite albums in its entirety.
As a Chuck fan, I'm here for this San Francisco-based artist, not because he is doing a Clash record. 'London Calling' was released on the 14th December 1979 as a double vinyl LP, got to number 9 in the UK charts and has one of the most famous covers in punk rock history. I admire and respect the Clash but they have never done things for me personally.
Ironically that afternoon I have met Mick Jones, who is playing with Big Audio Dynamite at the Royal Festival Hall the same evening which is really bad timing. Tonight, however, the venue is still jam packed with hardcore Clash fans and after 85 mins they are converted to Chuck, Me, myself, I'm still not into this album at all at the end of it, but it is a lot of fun.
Chuck has the voice to do a decent Strummer style vocal, and adds a lot of his own genius to the mix. He opens up with the words, "Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Murdoch. What have you done to my country?" before clashing -my pun intended - into 'Londons Calling'.
The support act is Johnny Green, the Clash's original tour manager, who reads from his book, 'A Riot Of Our Own', about his time with the band. , Much as I am not a Clash fan, I could of listened to him all night, as the book is not just about punk, but a time and place in my history.
DJ Scratchy, the Clash's on the road DJ, sets the mood by playing vinyl of records that the band were fans of. It is a fabulous night really, ending with 'Bank Robber' in all its punk glory, and which is loud, fast and colourful. God Bless, Joe Strummer.