Manchester Calling: 15 Songs for Joe Strummer

That Goldblade guitar slinger Jay Taylor has recently taken up residence as promoter at the Night and Day in Manchester and has continued bringin' on nights of themed tribute, where many bands play one cover song from a particular artist or genre. Whilst this might seem to be a far cry from the cutting edge, there is a significant fun factor and when I walked in hours into an all day homage to the late great Joe Strummer, the first band I witnessed effortlessly turned all notions of lazy copies on their head.

Sunday March 9, 2003, Manchester, UK

Who are Thee Virus House? This progressive mod punk trio singing "Radio Clash" in sequenced cig smokin' aggressive Suicide mode actually bettered the original by some distance. Hard ass poseur mofos sliced treats from audio satellites. Six months ago they were playing brutal punk garage with an almost Feelgood factor to their Cosmic Psycho onslaught. Now they've ditched the drummer in favor of programmed beats for precision demolition dancing! These coolcats are ones to watch!

The Snakes are the faux-redneck blues bashin' incarnation of scene stalwarts Polythene. These slit eyed neighbours know "Rudie Can't Fail" and the positivity of their stripped raw garage barrage could not be denied. Little Daisy Snake transposed the "Should I Stay" Bo Diddley beats and set an uptone for the evening! I couldn't help but sing along and several others were similarly immersed in the spirit of Strummer.

Left outside with stars in their eyes? No, Joe said every man should get on down and it was his night with his ragin' image up on the screen. A thousand coins were given to his widows charity. There was a real joyous atmosphere with friends old and new, singing along to Clash songs and surprising myself that I still knew all the words!

Moco rocked out a note perfect "I Fought the Law" by the time the party was in full rock breakin' swing. El Presidente took "Rock the Casbah" on an inspired Asian rap trip. Former Stone Roses dancer Cressa niced up the stoner vibes with his Bad Man Wagon espousing "Revolution Rock." The world probably hardly needs a countrylite "I'm So Bored With the USA," courtesy of Little Neemo, but Jay Taylor's lesser known band Bone-Box and Lord Mongo taking a lounge act axe to "London Calling" and "Tommy Gun" respectively proved mirthful. One man claimed to be brought to tears by the cardboard clown Mongo. Gong violin maestro Graham Clark elucidated the fiddling first line on Bryan Glancy's folky "Straight To Hell." There was a finale free for all stage invasion for everyone who wanted a "White Riot" of our own!

A final tribute to Joe Strummer:
Never work for The Clampdown.