The Clash

Just can’t get enough Pt. 8


As I progress further into the desolate darkness of my final project as a masters student, I find an occasional light. There are both pros and cons to writing about your favourite thing day in and day out. The most fascinating thing of the week has been starting my piece on Brixton’s past and its music.

I came late to the party (as usual), but much of what I have learned has been really useful. My favourite piece has been about Brixton and the music it has inspired. The most mind-blowing revelation was finding out that Eddy Grant’s hit ‘Electric Avenue’ was written about the 1981 riots in the area. Electric Avenue is the most popular market street in South London.

The story also introduced me to ‘The Harder They Come,’ the Jamaican gangster film that Paul Simonon references in his lyrics for ‘Guns of Brixton.’ On The Clash’s fourth studio album Sandinista! the band cover ‘Police on My Back’, originally by The Equals who were fronted by Grant.

Anyway, The Equals are another fascinating band that I’ve slept on apparently. All the praise for the magnificence of Eddy Grant.

A bit of that magic

Now safely tucked away back in London, but not yet finished with the holiday season. Some times a bit of magic actually does happen at this time of year. And this time, we were blessed with a special Christmas message from Elvis. Wait…no… he’s dead. Turns out that David Bowie does an excellent Elvis impersonation.

On Boxing Day, the Starman delivered his message on BBC Radio 6’s This is Radio Clash. His impersonation is with a unmistakable nod to the King. It’s both quite funny and a bit sweet. As a side fun-fact, are a couple other connections between the two music gods. Both share the same birthday (January 7th) and according to Bowie, his single “Golden Years’ was offered to Elvis to perform, but he turned it down.

Here’s what Bowie had to say to the audience:

“Hello everybody, this is David Bowie making a telephone call from the US of A. At this time of the year I can’t help but remember my British-ness and all the jolly British folk, so here’s to you and have yourselves a Merry little Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you very much.”

That aside, I’m amazed that I hadn’t heard of This is Radio Clash before. If you hadn’t guessed already, the show is ran by the three remaining members of the punk outfit The Clash Topper Headon, Paul Simonon and Mick Jones. Their two-hour radio show is as one would expect – a bit of rock and roll, dub, raggae, and their personal favourites. Paul Simonon has already proved himself a good DJ while working with Damon Albarn back in October.

It’s nice to see old friends together again. It can be a bit disgusting watching other bands get together again for massive sums of money, but at least the radio show is actually cool and really worth a listen.

UK readers can listen to the message on BBC’s website for a few more days.