Sharoma The Clash Back To Basics

Back To Basics

All tracks from a live busking performances from 11th May, 1985, at Gateshead Station, England. The name 'Back To Basics' appears to simply refer to the tactic of playing busked versions on acoustic instruments and rudimentary percussion. However, in hindsight the bootleg name may refer to John Major's campaign of the same name to relaunch his government.

Track listing

  1. Movers And Shakers
  2. Cool Under Heat
  3. The Guns Of Brixton
  4. Spanish Bombs
  5. Police On My Back
  6. Jimmy Jazz
  7. (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais
  8. Straight To Hell
  9. Clash City Rockers
  10. I Fought The Law
  11. Brand New Cadillac
  12. White Riot
  13. Bankrobber
  14. Stepping Stone


This is a great CD. It features the Clash lineup of Joe, Paul, Vince White, Nick Sheppard and Pete Howard busking without any backing support whatsoever. Paul, Nick and Vince have an acoustic guitar each and Pete Howard just a drum of some sort. Joe's just on vocals and the rest of the band sing along. It displays a lot of skill, as the songs are performed excellently. There's also a lot of crowd noise and chatter in the background, and the applause the band gets is very impressive. Not surprising as this is a free performance for anyone who was there. Not many bands, especially of The Clash's calibre, would go on a busking tour.

Movers And Shakers and Cool Under Heat are the only live versions available, and it's interesting hearing them. They sound recognisable to the album versions. For Guns Of Brixton, it's not just Paul singing. By this time the audience start to participate with handclaps and singing (they wouldn't have been familiar with the first two songs) and the song sounds great. The instruments the band have are primitive but it's amazing what they get out of what they do have. Pete Howard's drumming still sounds better than the drum machine used in Cut The Crap, and the strong vocals contribute more than most to the songs.

The songs are moving as well, quite apt as the band would be disbanded quite disastrously later in the year. Especially Spanish Bombs and Straight To Hell. Joe's singing doesn't seem as rough as in proper gigs. The best bit for me on the CD is the crowd participation in (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais. The crowd play a big part in the show.

A great performance by the group, lots of energy and a good demonstration of what this lineup could do. Every song is enjoyable, and there's even a cover of The Monkees' hit song to end it that isn't performed anywhere else. Well recommended.

Rated: 8 / 10


After White Riot Joe makes an appeal to the crowd for drinking money, during which a woman says "awww". It seems as if the band were actually skint! Quite amusing when you consider three years earlier 'The Clash' were Top 5 in the UK and US charts.

This show also appears under the name of 'Acoustic Daze', but there is an inferior, slower version around that isn't as good as this one.

Thanks to Sven Stoewer for the copy of this.