22-05-1980 Hope & Anchor, London, EnglandAttendance; unknown
Set; unknown, .U2 kick off the British leg of their 11 O’clock Tick Tock tour. This is their first headline UK date since signing the record deal with Island Records.
The last time U2 played this famous London venue back in December ’79 only 9 paying members of the public were in the audience, two of them were fellow Dubliner’s, Pete Holidai & Phil Chevron from The Radiators From Space.
23-05-1980 Moonlight Club, London, EnglandAttendance; unknown
Set; includes 11 O’clock Tick Tock, Stories For Boys, Another Time Another Place, Twilight
Record Mirror Review by Chris Westwood I just had a letter from the Virgin Prunes & I just caught U2 bopping in the Moonlight spotlight, the sense of Ireland is creeping under my skin, so I’m feeling happy & excited for the moment.Springing from behind a dormant buzzy house PA into graceful full – tilt, U2’s second Brit – tour date was the kind of remonstration I’d hoped for, all loose wires & sound – swamps, flawed & gorgeous.
The fact that this was bulging with fault’s, humorous little cock ups mikes falling over, cigarettes refusing to light, etc etc – won’t bother U2, because that’s what they’re all about. Line them up with The Fall & you’ve two examples of people attacking pop with vengeance, thriving on all they leave askew or out of place, forcefully questioning all the myths, rules & plastic regulations of rock n roll “discipline”, & conversely making the most valuable rock n roll there is…
The Edge (guitar) always appears pretty vacant, often stationary & blank; he also uses the guitar – as opposed to playing it – with numbing agility & spontaneity, never slipping into the kind of indulgence U2’s looseness could allow. Bono (vocals/arms/energy) never stops. He’s the manifestation of all things good about U2, writhing, striving, reaching, jumping, dipping, virtually the visual outlet for all that should be seen & felt & understood about U2.
And they’re not hard to understand; they’re writing about you & me, the people around us – they’re writing about, & for young people in the only way I’ or they, could understand.
Tag on Adam (bass) & Larry (drums), a tight, insidious rhythm section, U” could be playing instrumentals; their music laps into so many cracks & crevices it’s almost solely responsible for drawing me back towards pop music. Now I see bands like Teardrop Explodes, The Distractions, Pink Military, & so on & so on. And I wonder why our charts aren’t bulging with these people.
“11 O’clock Tick Tock” mightn’t be chart fodder, but it’s a gem, cutting & cruising along, a sort of instrumental with lyrics. “Twilight” sticks out too, tangle & torn & viciously sensitive. Or “Stories for boys” or “Another Time Another place”, or.
I could list a set & it wouldn’t make much difference. I could tell you that this was probably a poor U2 set…… & that should make a difference.
The PR in me tells me to tell you to see U2 if at all possible. The journalist in me agrees whole – heartedly. Those who care will see; that’s enough from me.
24-05-1980 University, Sheffield, EnglandAttendance; unknown
Main Act; John Ottway & Wild Willy Barrett
This is U2’s first show in the UK outside of London. It’s also the only known date that U2 will be on the bill with John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett.
26-05-1980 New Regent, Brighton, EnglandAttendance; unknown
Admission; unknown Set; unknown
U2’s first visit to Brighton, they are again wrongly billed as the U2’s.
At the time of this concert the New Regent was a well know in Brighton for giving up and coming bands a chance to play live.
27-05-1980 Rock Garden, London, EnglandAttendance, unknown
28-05-1980 Trinity Hall, Bristol, EnglandAttendance; 50
Support; Sting Rays, Electric Guitars
There is a bus strike in Bristol on this day & Fashion are a no show. U2 are supported by two local bands “Sting Rays” & “Electric Guitars”. Only about 50 turn up for the show, this maybe due to the bus strike. The venue capacity is about 600.
29-05-1980 Cedar Ballroom, Birmingham, EnglandAttendance; 30
Main Act; Fashion
As Fashion are a local band from Birmingham, U2 will be the support band for tonight’s show.
There is a bus strike in Birmingham today, only about 30 people turn up for the show.
Fashion are: Luke Sky (Lead Vocals & Guitars), Mulligan (Bass, Synth), Dik Davies (Drums, percussion)Luke Sky “We’re sitting in his black cab, parked round the corner from Outlaw Studios. I’m right back where Fashion recorded our first demo – was it only two years ago? It feels like bloody years, and all of them stacked on my back. I stare out at the grey veil of drifting rain.
“Yeah Dad. I’m sure.” I turn and smile at him, an expression devoid of any warmth, “Fuck the music business, eh.”
“But I thought the tour with that Irish band went well.” He says.
“U2? Great band. Fucking disastrous tour for us. If you can call a dozen small clubs a tour.”
“Well, long as you’re sure.” He says.
“Too late now anyway.” I say.
30-05-1980 Nashville Rooms, London, EnglandAttendance; unknown
Support; Fashion, The Tea Party
31-05-1980 Polytechnic, Manchester, London, EnglandAttendance; unknown
Main Act; Wah Heat & Pink Military
U2 are third on the bill supporting Pink Military, Wah Heat open the show.Those U2 pictures are interesting.
I took them at at Eric’s and they became a little bit of history. U2 were supporting Pink Military and Wah! Heat and they were third on the bill.
What I saw in them that night is something that I have rarely seen before. When Bono started to sing…and who could believe the guitar sound that The Edge was coming out with? What I felt was the passion.
“This was taken when U2 were supporting Wah! Heat and Pink Military on tour. Even then you could see that they had something special. I rarely photographed opening bands due to the cost of the film and having to queue at the bar.” Franesco Mellina Image supplied by Jason Smith
02/06/1980 77 Club, Nuneaton, EnglandAttendance; unknown
Admission; unknown Set; unknown
This club is still operating in Nuneaton, since 1981 it has been known as the Queen’s Hall, it has a capacity of about 300+.
03/06/1980 Boat Club, Nottingham, EnglandAttendance, unknown
04/06/1980 Beach Club, Manchester, EnglandAttendance; unknown
One surprising and very well-known name also chalked up at a gig at the Beach Club, as Eric Random recalls: “I remember we tried to book Blurt and the agent said if you’re having Blurt will you have this other band that we’ve got. I said ‘alright, we’ll have them as support’. So we get there and there’s this huge artic – you couldn’t even get it in the same street. The band had endless equipment. Blurt saw this and left in the end. It was a complete disaster… So U2 ended up playing there, but I left, I didn’t watch them.”
05/06/1980 Fan Club, Brannigans, Leeds, EnglandAttendance; unknown
Admission; unknown Set; unknown
The “Fan Club” held concerts a various venues in Leeds, this concert took place at “Brannigan’s”, other venues used included the Queen’s Hall, Polytechnic, Grand Theatre, Ace Of Clubs, Cosmo Club, Unity Hall Wakefield, St George’s Hall Bradford.
06/06/1980 J.B.’s, Dudley, EnglandAttendance; unknown
Admission; unknown Set; unknown
07/06/1980 Marquee, London, England
I believe U2 did not play The Marquee on this date.Image from “Time Out”
Although U2 are listed on 11 O’clock poster as playing this date, I believe this not to be the case!
- Fashion are listed as playing else where (Moonlight Club) in London on this date.
- The only advert for the Marquee, I can find for this date has a band called White Spirit playing (see picture to the left).
- Most tellingly, in his review of the Claredon Hotel concert in HOT PRESS, Bill Graham states (“remaining two dates at the Moonlight Club and then the Marquee supporting the Photo’s”).
I am listing U2’s support slot to The Photo’s on July 13th 1980 as their first appearance at the Marquee Club. U2 will play this venue 6 times during the first leg of the “Boy” tour.
08/06/1980 Half Moon Club, Putney, London, EnglandAttendance; 200
The pub as it is today (2011)
Set; includes 11 O’clock Tick Tock, Out of Control, Twilight, Another Day, Stories For Boys, Boy/Girl, encore 11 O’clock Tick Tock
This is the last show U2 will play with Fashion. Although this pub bares the same name it is a different venue to the Half Moon that U2 play in July & becomes their first sell out concert outside of Ireland. One pub is in Putney (this one) the other Herne Hill, both pubs are in London.
After this concert U2 return to Ireland to start work on their first album for Island Records, the Windmill Studio, Dublin. Boy will be released later in the year.
28/06/1980 Wheatfield, Clondalkin, IrelandAttendance; unknown
U2 take a break from recording the “Boy” album for this concert, maybe to try out some of the new tracks they have recorded.
10/07/1890 Claredon Hotel, London, EnglandAttendance; 200
Support; Midnight & The Lemon Boys, Medium Medium
Admission; £1.75/£2.00 Picture by Paul Slattery Melody Maker
Set; includes 11 O’clock Tick Tock, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, Electric Co, encore I Will Follow.U2 Claredon Hotel, London Review By Paulo Hewitt, Melody Maker
At a time when music seems content to nosedive recklessly into mediocrity, U2 appear like the proverbial cavalry & take my breath away. Just like that.
Their performance last Thursday was easily the finest display of awe-inspiring rock that I’ve witnessed in a long time. It contained just about every emotion that rock has ever attempted to evoke – from anger to savagery, beauty & that indefinable essence where words become useless & you realise that you’re in the presence of something so special, so precious that you want to hold it & let it run for ever. U2 were that good.
For their opening “11 O’clock Tick Tock to the final strains of “Electric Opening”, where they handed the microphone to the audience & left it at that, they ran riot with passion, honesty, commitment & above all, humility. They conjured up a music so refined, so refreshing, so unique that at times it defied description. Each song was so instinctively right, so close to the bone that it was frighting. They were built like epics – from the Edge’s guitar harmonics to the exhilarating vocal climax that vocalist Bono brought to bear. Visually, they’re a treat. When you weren’t watching the impassioned gyrations of Bono, wondered how the rest of the band kept their emotions in such disarming check as they delivered music that bristled with power & intensity.
U2 proved that within the suffocating body that is 90 per cent of rock at present, there’s still room for real innovation & genuine excitement. They revived this boy & made him go right over the top. But he doesn’t care because U2 are for you & me. And U2 are for you. And they’ve only just begun.
Hot Press review by Bill Graham We’ve arrived and to what? Mucho publicity courtesy of “Sounds” and a photo accompanying paragraph in “Time Out” that’s a prestigious and encouraging recognition. This is essential because U2’s current game is “find the audience”. They’ve played London before and built up the first traces of a following but amid the competing tribes of the Capital, they’ve got to mark out, advertise and populate their own parish. None among us doubt the band’s capacity to win over any audience that arrives with any open hearted curiosity towards U2 – rather it’s getting them to appear that’s crucial.
And the following Thursday night at the Claredon in Hammersmith, the game plan appears to go awry. Afterwards we commiserate and realize that the date has not been publicized by “Time Out” and that Thursday is the low day before the weekend – but there’s a discouraging and unbalanced turn out.
The Clarendon is a first floor hall in a hotel of Victorian vintage and it’s rather like a miniature version of the Trinity Examination Hall with the same high ceiling and echoing acoustics. It requires about 500 to pack it but only 200 arrive and that’s included a high guest list quota of interested bands and Island records staff. I wander around looking for teenagers – they’re hard to find.
And the circumstances of environment and audience make for a struggling emotionally naked gig. There’s nothing inaccurate or unfeeling about the band’s playing but the confrontation between band and the worldliest audience of the tour has its moments when the daredevil comes close to desperation. With wild determination, Bono keeps bringing his toys to them, keeps demanding “Look at this” but the chemistry is odd and you know he knows it. The audience has come to measure U2 against their building reputation as “At least this week’s thing” and won’t be willed into enjoyment. And at moments I’m wondering if some aren’t inwardly tut tutting at Bono for lowering his front and making a disgracefully unreserved exhibition of himself. He reveals himself to the core, he shows his want; that isn’t playing the game according to the rules of that modern spectator sport called rock ‘n’ roll. It’s madness, another category entirely.
I feel small clouds of bemusement in the atmosphere and partially understand Dave McCullough’s anger at a similar date at the Nashvile where under 20’s weren’t permitted the empathy necessary for shared euphoria is absent. Despite a small crowd bopping around the front, Bono just can’t feel the audience. Each number gains applause, but it isn’t enough, it isn’t enough.
The lack is answered. Suddenly out of this unsettled climate wafts a moment of sublime dignity. A sequence of guitar chords – the linking passage between two new songs “An Cat Dubh” and “ “The Heart Of A Child” – stealthily spirals upwards and for once the acoustics assist. Soothing, a peace offering, this vision of un-wasted youth that sounds like “Albatross” as reinterpreted by Eno transforms the mood and when the song is over there’s a muted sighing cheer of recognition. Such sweet thunder!
Doubt diminishers, though Bono’s still fraught on the encore “I Will Follow” and a triplet of fans joins them on stage. One wears a tee shirt of Sid Vicious, the man whose manipulated inauthentic self detonating rebellion represents all U2 stand against. A small stubborn step forward for U2 has been achieved.
It was tense, it was wrought iron, it was big because of the volume and the echo. It was vast. It was most peculiar. The audience were tense because I think they were in a place they weren’t used to being in. It was cold – it was a peculiar place upstairs in a hotel, a large dance floor with light shades, at the same time bare. It was the unknown and the unknown is always very interesting. Last night was more of emotion, of the band relaxing into the audience and into the music.
Bono can be the band’s best reviewer. The first two dates are a complete contrast. At the Half Moon Club in Herne Hill, south of the Thames, a warm and comfortable pub where the dressing room is the manager’s living room, U2 gain a full house and Paul McGuinness smilingly ambles across to inform me that this is a landmark night, the first time U2 have sold out in an English venue.
It shows in the music also. U2 play a much more contented, less abrasive set, their ardour somewhat cushioned in this cosy pub. I like the set, I smile more than the previous night but it’s not an environment to bring out the performing extremes in Kid Galahad and his companions even though for the encore Bono leaps off the stage to serenade the audience from the raised enclosure where the mixing desk and us flunkies are located. It’s a good gig, well done boys and all that, an opportunely timed confidence builder for the remaining two dates at the Moonlight Club and then the Marquee supporting the Photo’s.
11/07/1980 Half Moon Club, Herne Hill, LondonAttendance; unknown
Admission; unknown Half Moon Herne Hill today 2012
Set; includes 11 O’clock tick tock, Out of Control, Boy/Girl, Stories for Boys, encore 11 O’clock Tick TockAlthough this pub bears the same name, it is a completely different venue from the Half Moon U2 played in 1979 & earlier on this tour. Both pubs are in London, this one is in Herne Hill, the other Putney.
The pub is currently closed after the floods of 2013, it’s not looking like it will re open. Hot Press Review by Peter Owens Half Moon Herne Hill
At the appointed time U2 commandeered the shoe box stage & set to the task of expanding it with determination of an SAS squad. With in moments they had stretched it to gargantuan proportions, the Edge doggedly elbowing himself an action space, Bono straining & reaching out & up & up & Adam cowing the impressive bulk of the p.a. beside him into an easy submission. The last date of the first full tour & it seemed like a homecoming, although most of the audience still didn’t know them from Adam…. well, from Cain anyway.
There’s something frightening about pure joy, a tiny fear that if you succumb totally to it you’ll never return, & Bono inculcates that vital tension with natural ease. The glint in his eyes, the slight tremor as he drinks in the air & the mood which he’s created & which he needs to feed back from, the wariness that the thin line between ecstasy & epilepsy might at any moment snap.
It won’t, of course, because Bono has the rare gift of captivation without putting himself in danger. He surges, he clutches at anything within reach, the mike stand, the p.a., the lighting frame. The Edge just becomes more & more quietly inscrutable, the hint of a smile fleetingly visible, & Adam lolls & sprawls into disjointed vision of straw hair.
“Tick Tock” both opens & closes, & again the live version is structured differently from the record, Bono’s one man chapel choir rushing in straight after the first verse, an angel where fools fear to tread. And when it’s finished, there’s another 200 U2 fans to be added to the list. No further calling cards needed, the battle is already won & the rest of the set is in a sense unnecessary. But for 40 minutes they anchor down the goodwill without respite, lambasting the crowd into surrender.
And for the first time, the inclusion of all “U2-3” in succession is not noticeable, the graft into newer material invisible because of the maturer, more fully realised arrangements. Sting is somewhere in there now in “Out Of Control” but that’s no slight as Bono’s voice now occasionally develops, a more corrosive edge with use. Larry, for me once the slight chink in the armour, has pulled through with honour’s & is now a far more positive force, pushing where once he held back times.
U2 are like an imminent thunderstorm, inducing an electrostatic breathlessness, the prickling of the skin, the uncomfortable gnawing on the soles of the feet. The difference between them & almost any other band is that such effect, the key to satisfaction, is normally achieved either by the bluster of the best metal or the aloofness of “modernists”. U2 achieve it all simply by smiling, & very shortly Britain will be thanking them for it.
12/07/1980 Moonlight, London, EnglandAttendance; unknown
Support; Modern Jazz
Admission; £1.50 Image from “Time Out” magazine.
This is the one and only time U2 are known to have played with Modern Jazz.
This is U2’s second sell out concert in the UK, with a further 200 people locked out.
U2 will play this famous London venue on each of their first 3 tours of the UK, U2-3, 11 O’Clock Tick Tick & finally the Boy tour.
This is the fourth of U2’s 5 visits to the Moonlight Club; the first 01/12/1979, their first ever concert on main land UK, the second is 10-12-1979, just nine days after their first gig. The third is 23-05-1980, and the last is on 09/11/1980.
13/07/1980 Marquee Club, London, EnglandAttendance unknown
Main Act; The Photo’s
Admission; £2.00 Image from “Time Out” magazine.
Set; 11 O’clock Tick Tock, Speed Of Life, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, Pete The Chop, Electric Co., instrumental, Stories For Boys, I Will Follow, encore 11 O’clock Tick Tock.This is U2’s first gig at the famous London Marquee Club, next time they play this venue they will be the headline act.
U2 were due to support The Photo’s back in December 1979 during the U2-3 tour of London, but the show at Brunel University was cancelled due to Wendy Wu having a sore throat.
21-07-1980 Project Arts Centre, Dublin, IrelandAttendance; unknown
Main Act; The Blades
Advert from Hot Press
Set; includes 11 O’clock Tick Tock
Using their original name “Feedback”, U2 play a surprise concert supporting The Blades at the Project Arts Centre, I believe this was used as a warm up gig for the open air concert at Leixlip Castle were U2 will be supporting The Police 27-07-1980.Hot Press review by Liam Mackey U2 were the surprise guests, billed under their archaic moniker of Feedback. My original brief was to write them up mock Local Motions fashion i.e. an interesting four piece, could go far, but they’ll have to get rid of their lead singer etc.
The opening bars of “11 O’clock Tick Tock” put paid to those notions. U2 stormed through a compressed set that was undeniable in its potency, exhilarating in its uncontrived drama. They’re a band who already seem to have arrived at a creative peak yet, unbelievably – and just think about this – their debut album has yet to see the light of day. U2 music draws on great, surging, tides of power that have nothing to do with flash bombast and everything to do with an imaginative perception of dynamics and contrast and more fundamentally, the kind of passion that fuels the best rock ‘n’ roll music. I’m supposed to keep this brief, so for the moment, let’s just say that this 30 minutes of U2 was the most impressive performance I’ve ever seen by an Irish band. Oh, and one other thing, judging by certain remarks I’ve herd passed in recent months, there are few people out their who seem to be suffering under the delusion that Hot Press has “adopted” U2 as the paper’s pet band. To you I say, don’t be silly – go to one of their gigs. Hearing is believing.
A hard act to follow and inevitably The Blades were placed in a more realistic perspective, which is less a reflection on any major deficiencies in The Blades, more and affirmation of the burgeoning greatness of U2.
27-07-1980 Leixlip Castle, Dublin, IrelandAttendance, 15,000
Support for The Police, Squeeze, Q-Tips, Skafish, Moondogs, John Otway
Admission £6.50 in advance, £7.00 on the door Set; includes Another Time Another Place, 11 O’clock Tick Tock, Shadows & Tall trees, A Day Without Me, Twilight. encore A Day Without Me
Skafish don’t play after turning up 10 minutes late for their set.Dave Fanning In Dublin magazine With the new single (“A Day Without Me”) as the second encore, U2 provided a powerful reminder that “Boy”, the debut album, will soon be with us. Backstage U2 producer Steve Lillywhite was smiling, out front thousands were dancing, U2 were excellent, John Otway was mad and The Police proved that Beatlemania is alive and well and living in Sting (swoon).
The picture sleeve for the single is “Blackrock” Railway Station.
15-08-1980 Theatre Hall, Wexford, Ireland “11th Gorey Arts Festival”Attendance; unknown
Photograph supplied by Patrick Brocklebank. For my U2 photo’s taken by Patrick check out his superb book “Where The Streets Have 2 Names”
The 11th Gorey Arts Festival, the Friday night is headlined by U2. U2 preview many of the tracks from their forth coming album Boy.
16/17-08-1980 Carnsore Point “Anti Nuclear Rally” Wexford, IrelandAttendance; unknown
Admission; £5.50 Gig guide from “In Dublin” Set; unknown
Although U2 are listed on the bill for this concert in the “In Dublin” magazine it is not known if they played or not. U2 were in Wexford for the “Gorey Arts Festival” on the 15th. In his autobiography Christy Moore talks about playing with U2, could it be this festival?
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