Sharoma The Clash Arthur Scargill's Christmas Party

Arthur Scargill's Christmas Party

All tracks performed live at the Brixton Academy, London, 7th December, 1984. The second of two nights fund raising for the Miner's Strike that year. The 6th December show is on the Working In A Coalmine bootleg.

Track listing


  1. [James Bond theme] / One More Time
  2. London's Burning
  3. Complete Control
  4. This Is Radio Clash
  5. Spanish Bombs
  6. Rock The Casbah
  7. North And South
  8. Are You Ready For War
  9. What's My Name
  10. Dictator
  11. Capital Radio
  12. Broadway
  13. Tommy Gun


  1. Brand New Cadillac
  2. We Are The Clash
  3. Armagideon Time
  4. Career Opportunities
  5. Bankrobber
  6. Three Card Trick
  7. Garageland
  8. Dirty Punk
  9. Ammunition
  10. White Riot
  11. Safe European Home
  12. London Calling


I've had this show for ages, and am finally sitting down to review it. It opens with over two minutes of the band warming up to One More Time, including a rendition of the Monty Norman James Bond theme. Joe has changed the lyrics to fit the event - the second of a two night money raising event for the miners and their families, who were destitute in the cold bleak Thatcher era. One More Time is an excellent live version, and the sound quality is very good on this show. London's Burning is full of energy, and has some very clear backing vocals from Nick Sheppard or Vince White. Without falling for my usual mundane track by track summary I'll try to tell you the highs and lows of this show and whether or not it is worth it.

The sound quality is pretty good, though the whole thing is occasionally dogged with mic interference. Joe's lead vocal sometimes fades away to barely audible but the sound isn't so bad the show is spoiled by it, although the mic problems can be annoying. As for the playing it's pretty much trademark '84 Clash. Fast, hard and rugged, stripped down arrangements on Clash tunes old and new. Just as I write this Radio Clash is being performed. Shame they never dropped that from the set. It seems very out of place here. Also, a reason to acquire this show and its sister show, Working In A Coalmine, are for the second generation of Cut The Crap songs - North And South, Dirty Punk and Fingerpoppin' (though the latter is only on WIAC) and more evolved earlier CTC tracks, such as Ammunition, We Are The Clash and This Is England (also only on WIAC). Sex Mad War and In The Pouring Rain have been dropped from the set and more later Mick Jones era Clash tunes (such as One More Time, Radio Clash and Broadway) have made their way into the set.

"Thank you for putting your money where you mouth is! ... It's been two years since we made a record, anybody noticed that? ... We've got a record, and we're gonna put it out in the new year! We're gonna make a comeback!"

After Radio Clash, and to much cheering from the crowd, Joe announces the ill-fated record that would dog his career and the end of the Clash phenomenon ever since. This was late 1984, and Cut The Crap didn't appear until nearly a year later. Studio sessions did take place in January and the plan was evidently to get the record out very quick. I suppose you all know the tragic story behind events. It's interesting to hear the initial enthusiasm behind the album and the comeback, and judging from the live shows of the era and the energy behind them, the album it could have been.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, please help us to Rocker The Casbah! Sing!"

The show is going by this stage, and the band are definitely using Mick Jones style sound effects during Rock The Casbah. This Clash lineup was really evolving by this stage. North And South is excellent, and this show is one to pick up just to hear it. Performed very well live, the song is sung well by Joe and the band, with Joe taking the backing vocals. The tune is left very much in the background with this being a vocally driven song. It works very well. Are You Ready For War has a nice guitar intro, and is a good version. Other highlights of disc one include Dictator (with a proper real drumroll intro) and Broadway. Nice to hear that in here. A moody number - "caught in a depression" - that fits very well with the occasion.

The Clash have no end of songs that have massive relevance to the miners and their battle with "The Leader" Margaret Thatcher. The second CD in this show contains a fair few (Career Opportunities, Three Card Trick). Kicking off with a fast and rocking Brand New Cadilliac, and into the fairly new and now more practiced We Are The Clash. Then a great Armagideon Time. Again, it's nice to see the more experimental and unorthodox songs in here. Have to wonder why Mag 7 and Know Your Rights have been omitted though. The highlight of the second CD is probably the fast mad rendition of Career Opportunities. Bursting with energy, the audience would certainly relate to the message of the song. Bankrobber is troubled with a few problems in the recording early on but gets going okay. This lineup handles this classic quite well. Dirty Punk is the other highlight. Much faster and better than the studio version. One to hear for sure. The drumming, and in fact all of the instruments, seem a bit light in the mix though. London Calling (uniquely) ends the set and has some nice reverb on Joe's voice near the end, but not before the band has thrashed out White Riot and (though you can't hear much of the beginning) Safe European Home. Looking at the setlist, it makes more sense (when compared to a traditional Clash gig) if reversed. One More Time would make a good end track, and London's Burning often made the encore in the later years. And almost every gig out there starts off with London Calling and Safe European Home.

This show comes recommended. There are no fewer than eight Cut The Crap tracks, all performed excellently. Good sound quality, and the band in energetic form. The lacking sound quality at times, as well as the odd pause, dropout and interference, prevent this being a 9.

Rated: 8 / 10


For those of you who are not familiar with the 1984 Miner's Strike, Arthur Scargill was the effective leader of it. He is a longtime figure in UK socialism and today is leader of the Socialist Labour Party.

Thanks to Dave Tacey for the copy of this.