06-09-1980 General Wolfe, Coventry
Attendance, 100
Support; unknown
Admission; unknown

The General Wolfe closed it's doors in 2011

Set; unknown, but U2 did do 2 encores

I first saw U2 at the General Wolfe Public House in Coventry on Saturday 6th September 1980. This was before I'd heard and fallen for “I Will Follow”, and was a fairly spontaneous attendance. I guess I'd read about them in either the NME or Sounds, but went along with little in the way of expectation – my regular evening DJ John Peel never ever liked U2, refusing sessions from them on more than one occasion, indeed they didn't record their first Radio One (Richard Skinner) session until a year later, and the BBC rarely played songs that weren't in the charts (the internet of course was still in the future).
The General Wolfe is a dominating Victorian building just over a mile north of the city centre on the corner of the Foleshill Road and Station Street West, in an area now, and then, replete with Asian Restaurants, Sweet Shops and General Stores. It was not, in 1980, the most salubrious of hostelries, but its back room was a popular venue for developing bands, mostly of the local persuasion, who'd perform, as U2 did this night, to no more than 100 people.
I reviewed the show in my first ever fanzine One Off;
“They came on about 10.45 – a 4 piece comprising: blonde bassist in specs (good looking): lead guitarist in paint stained jeans: drummer with earring: vocalist in leather with mass of hair. They play a very powerful set with few bad numbers. When they play fast and loud they're excellent – hard hitting drums, powerful multi style guitar breaks, solid bass and eccentric vocalist obviously enjoying himself. But the slower numbers dragged on a bit. Much of the vocals were inaudible but the lead singer's antics and enjoyment did a lot towards nullifying that complaint. They were on for an hour and did two encores. The national music press says they'll be the next big thing and for once they could be right” 
Certainly prescient to a degree if somewhat short of being a rave review, but what I really remember now of that evening is that as I'd promised her parents I'd get my girlfriend home at a respectable hour, we had to leave as soon as U2 left the stage after their two encores. The layout of the back room meant you had to go out through a door to the side of the stage, which we duly did, following the band as they too used the same exit. There was no indoor back stage area for the band to hang around and wallow in the applause, just the small car park to the rear of the pub and so we had to pass them as we walked out onto Station Street. A cheery “Goodnight” from us as we went by, got a friendly “Thanks for coming guys” from the nameless and rather sweaty lead singer.
Whether or not such bonhomie had any impact, before the month was out, I'd seen them again at Coventry Polytechnic and within a couple of months, U2 were my new favourite band. By June 6th 1981, I was fan enough to travel south to Aylesbury, with my girlfriend and my sister Sue, to watch them at Aylesbury Friars.

07-09-1980 Lyceum Ballroom, London
Attendance; 1,500
Support; The Books, The Au Pairs, Delta 5, U2, Echo & The Bunnymen
Admission; £1.50  & £2.00 on the door

Set;11 O'clock Tick Tock, I Will Follow, Stories For Boys, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, A Day Without Me, Twilight, The Electric Co.

 

08-09-1980 Marquee Club, London
Attendance, unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; £1.50  & £2.00 on the door

Advert from NME

Set; unknown

This is the first of 4 Monday night gigs that U2 will play during September at the Marquee on the 1st leg of Boy tour, U2 will also return to the Marquee in November for two more nights at this famous London venue.

09-09-1980 Berkeley, Bristol

Attendance, unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; £1.50  & £2.00 on the door

Set; unknown

11-09-1980 Wellington, Kingston upon Hull

Attendance, unknown 
Support; unknown
Admission; £1.50  & £2.00 on the door

Set; unknown

Mrs Wilson’s reign began in the early 1960's with partner Harry Shaw, and it was the first club in the city to have a 2am “supper licence” and the first to have a gambling licence. But it was Mrs Wilson’s empathy with the underdog that set the club on course for its role as a centre for musical counter-culture, which it has maintained ever since.
“The club downstairs was strictly conventional – on a Friday night it was darts – but upstairs it was totally different, and somehow they seemed able to marry the two. “She realised from a particular act that appeared at the club there was no venue for people who liked their entertainment that way. “They used to come to her and say ‘Mrs Wilson, we’ve got nowhere else to go’...” Other groups to have appeared at The Welly include U2, The Specials, The Fall, Pulp, and Hull bands The Red Guitars and The Housemartins.
From the Yorkshire Post

12-09-1980 Taboo Club, Scarborough

Attendance, 20
Support; unknown
Admission; £1.50  & £2.00 on the door

Captain "B" of UK Decay at the Taboo

Set; 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, I Will Follow, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, A Day Without Me, Twlight, Electric Co, Things To Make And Do, Stories For Boys, Boy/Girl, Out Of Control, encore 11 O'Clock Tick Tock

11 O'clock Tick Tock, I Will Follow, Touch, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, A Day Without Me, Twilight,
The Electric Co./ Send In The Clowns, Things to Make and Do, Stories For Boys, Boy-Girl, Out Of Control

"Somebody told me you would be a difficult audience, but I don't believe that", Bono calls out optimistically after the opening song. The small crowd are very quiet. Only a few clap when a song has finished. Bono sighs, "Look, I'm not asking you to crack skulls here, but..." A rousing version of Out Of Control leaves hardly any impression either, but the band come back for an encore nevertheless.

One more thing about ‘Taboo’. I remember a mate ringing me up to ask if I fancied going to see a band there one night during the week. I thought about it but decided against going for one reason or another. When I saw him next I asked if the band were any good and he said they weren’t bad. I then asked if there were many there and he said that was only about 15 or 20 in the audience. The last question I asked him as what were they called? He thought about it for a few moments, said that they were from Ireland and then the name came to him. “I remember now, they are called U2. I think they will go on and do quite well………” And the rest…as they say….

13-09-1980 Queen's Hall, Leeds Futurama Festival

Attendance, 4,000
Support; Eaten Alive By Insects, Soft Cell, The Distributors, Music For Pleasure, Y?, Vena Cava, Blah Blah Blah, Modern English, I'm So Hollow, Acrobats Of Desire, Altered Images, The Mirror Boys, Guy Jackson, Clock DVA, Wasted Youth, Simple Minds, U2, League Of Gentlemen, Bill Nelson, Robert Frip, Siouxsie & The Banshees
Admission; unknown

Set; unknown

NME review U2 of course should be a today tennybop group. People remain unconvinced by them - some say they lack heart! - but if U2 were in the right chart environment the cynics would understand. Their music tends towards the elaborate - hence few see that they want to be a radio band - but is sustained by a devastating rhythmic propulsion. Why should pop necessarily be hard square blocks?'
Singer Bono hams it up. "I felt like Pope John Paul", he said afterwards, but he just loves to flop into the audience and rouse them. He falls over a lot. "I try to stay poised but I just can't". 
He overacted, the band concentrated. They went down well. It was a lot sharper than their poor Lyceum show a few days before.
U2 can be as compelling as they come.
U2 and then Echo And The Bunnymen half - well, a quarter - made me forget where I was. At the back of the hall, people who hadn't seemed to move all day curled up on their sleeping bags with their possessions in a carrier bag as if all they wanted to do was sleep sleep sleep. A lot of the audience were not so much stoned as close to hysteria.

The Queens Hall, supposedly a top venue ....... a converted tramshed, with the appalling acoustics, a floor of rock solid concrete, appalling climatic conditions, stinking toilets & terrible catering set in those days the most dismal part of the city!

15-09-1980 Marquee Club, London

Attendance, unknown
Support; Vision Collision
Admission; £1.25

Image from "Time Out"

Set; unknown

This is the second of 4 Monday night gigs that U2 will play during September at the Marquee on the 1st leg of Boy tour, U2 will also return to the Marquee in November for two more nights at this famous London venue.

16-09-1980 Fiesta Suite, Plymouth

Attendance, 70
Support; unknown
Admission; £1.25

This is a reproduction of the original posters
Set; The Ocean, 11 O'clock Tick Tock, I Will Follow, Touch, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, A Day Without Me, Twilight, The Electric Co., Things to Make and Do, Stories For Boys, Boy-Girl, Out Of Control. 
U2 are again wrongly listed as the U2's in the advertising for this concert.Music expert Robin Ash, who runs Plymouth mail-order business Beatnik Bay Records and Books, has trawled through the archives to list what he thinks were Plymouth's greatest gigs, U2 are listed at #17 DJ Davy is well known in Plymouth for his lively, fun and personable style. He has been on the Plymouth Night Club scene since 1977 after he landed the resident DJ job at the Top Rank Suite on Union Street – you remember the Majestic, Oceans, Monroe’s etc etc?
In early 1978 Davy moved to Yorkshire with Top Rank and worked at Sadies, Bradford – Belinda’s Leeds – Fiesta, Sheffield – Top Rank Suite, Sheffield and more.
On returning to Plymouth he was offered the prime resident DJ position at the Fiesta Suite on Mayflower Street where he stayed for four very happy years – Davy matured as a DJ and could work with bands like u2, The Jam, Heatwave and more. That coupled with two Disco Party nights and two over 30s nights capped off with four hours of ballroom dancing gave him a wide repertoire of DJ styles.Teresa I remember seeing & speaking to U2 at Fiesta like it was yesterday. During the day is was a Roller Rink for roller skating & being 10/11 years old I was there. The guys got there early & was not too impressed that they couldn't set up straight away so sat around trying to find someone who was in charge. The Edge was grumpy & called me over as I went by to ask if I know where the bosses was, I didn't. He wasn't very nice to me & tried to pick on me a bit because of my cheap skates. But Larry & Bono told him off for talking to me like that, Bono said "it's not her fault she don't have good skates & we grew up poor so we know what it's like" Bono told me to stay away from The Edge cos he's in a grumpy mood & didn't have much sleep, he then asked me if I could find the boss of the place for him. Larry was really sweet to me talking about music & asking me where I came from, my age etc & then got told off by Bono who said" for gods sake man she only young!!" I didn't know back then what was going on but Larry turned around & said "Im only talking to her" & they had a bit of a talk. He asked me if I was gonna stay for the gig & I said OK not a clue who they was then. Larry grabbed a flyer & got all of them to sign it for me which I binned or lost pretty soon after. I remember the guys saying they was hungry & needed a drink & I think Bono said he only had a fiver on him. I had a quiet a few conversation with Bono & especially Larry that day who kept talking to me & Adam was giggly & teasing Larry saying he had a girlfriend (me). I remember liking their music back then little did i know that a few years later I would be way in to it & wish I kept that signed flyer!David Saunders I can't remember too much about the gig for various reasons.
I talked to the guys backstage for a while and they were really polite so I snagged some food and beer from the club kitchen.
The attendance was low, just about 70 people which was disappointing as I always looked forward to our live concerts at the Fiesta (nice break from the dance around your handbag brigade).
I had The Edge on my side of the stage and he was rocking out. 11 o'clock tick tock has always stuck in my mind since then.
I was sat on a beer crate in my DJ area with some beers and watching on from a side angle" - Bono put a lot of effort and feeling into his performance despite the sad "turnout" (Hey that's Plymouth)
Bono stalked the stage waving a large flag and the crowd were going nuts and clustered around the front of the stage (as opposed to spread around the Fiesta 1500 capacity).
The "crowd" were great and varied - a few young punks, older music freaks, a few heads and I did notice a lot of notepads around too.... NME etc.
I am a great music fan and was impressed and thought there's another GREAT band destined to oblivion.....
I wish I had my photograph taken with them now.
U2 are one of the very few bands that I'll buy the new CD "unheard" on it's release date!
So glad they made it.
I now live in the San Francisco Bay Area and of course am off to see them next time they play here.
David Saunders
aka DJ Wavy Davy

17-09-1980 Demelzas, Penzance

Attendance, unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; unknown

Set; unknown

18-09-1980 Civic Hall, Totnes

Attendance, unknown
Support; The Well Endowed, 96 Tears. Both local bands from Totnes 
Admission; unknown

Set; unknown
According to the local press, (Totnes Times) the Civic Hall recieved a telegram on the Monday from Centre Ocean Promotions who organized the event. Stating that one of U2 had gone down with appendicitis, it also stated that U2 would play a gig in October to make up for the cancelled concert. As this concert was due to place on a Thursday, it calls into question weather the gigs on 15th, 16th & 17th were also cancelled.
There is also a report on the front page of the Totnes Times 23/10/1980, stating that the U2 gig from next month will be cancelled as the County Cancil was banning all future rock concerts at the Civic Hall.

19-09-1980 Marshall Rooms, Stroud

Attendance, unknown
Support; Midnight & The Lemon Boys
Admission; unknown

Set; includes 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, Touch, A Day Without Me,Twlight, Stories For Boys
I still have the poster for the gig at my parents!!

I've even emailed Marcus after finding him on the net about their gigs.
What you said is partially correct...the support band blew off U2 completely.
The thing is that MATLB had been playing the local area with bands such as the Photos (which is where I saw them) so had built up a bit of a following.
MATLB put me on the guest list with my mate..we turned up at the soundcheck..and who else was there?
Only my old mate Ian Dench!!   (true)
Denchy had some single that had been released in Ireland only..which impressed the band.
I remember Bono offering me some of his pizza.
The crowd at the gig were NOT mostly hardcore punks, it was more of an arty crowd.
U2 were s**t that night..but its far too long going into the more than a little bizarre circumstance of the gig now.
As far as I remember I didn't see a member of demob there (although it IS possible). There was only about 60 people there.
I would tend to notice when they were around as one or 2 of them were like the kind of bullies you get at school! Joey Deacon

21-09-1980 Nag's Head, Wollaston

Attendance; unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; £0:50p

Set; unknown

The Nags Head Pub in the 70s

What looked like your standard local village pub from the outside, was actually one of the most forward-thinking music venues in the country. Over the next four days we bring you the story of the Nags Head during this time.
So, what was so special about the place? Well, bands and artists who played their included Rod Stewart and The Faces, Free played their first ever gig there, Edwin Starr, U2, Wishbone Ash, Yes, Medicine Head, Mott The Hoople, Status Quo, Elkie Brooks... the list goes on.
On top of this, John Peel (yes, John Peel) had a regular Friday night Dj spot at the venue - he also helped with the running of the night (he was on hand-stamping duty as punters entered the building!).

I remember the Sunday night early 80s when U2 played there. I watched them soundcheck and decided not to spend the 50p entrance fee later in the evening because they sounded so bad. A lot of other people had also decided to come down from the top room after watching the soundcheck before Bob came around for the money. Bono had cottoned on to this and came outside into the car park and walked around trying to persuade anyone who would listen to go back upstairs. But faced with a fool wearing a mohair jumper and leopard skin trousers most including me decided to save 50p, beer was 50p a pint anyway. Bono being what he is decided to try and persuade the bikers sitting at the furthest table to come in. Now, these guys looked terrifying to us at 18 years of age. They used to ride their bikes without helmets , the cops didn't bother them and they didn't bother you if you let them be. Everyone looked on as Bono chatted to them like long lost friends showing the type of diplomacy he obviously puts to good use nowadays. I don't know if the bikers went upstairs to watch but it was a big crowd in the end. They were also doing a few nights at the marque in London that week. I don't regret not seeing them though, they were not the band then that rocked every venue they played a year or so later. Killing joke also played there in 1980 , now they were fantastic and it was obvious we had seen something special. John Peel sometimes did the disco on a Sunday night which was punk and new wave night in the 80s. He stopped coming very early in that year, don't know why though.
Phil Quincey

​22-09-1980 Marquee Club, London

Attendance, unknown
Support; Jane Keroway & Strange Behaviour
Admission; £1.50  & £2.00 on the door

Set: Boy/Girl, 11 O'Clock Tick Tock

This is the third of 4 Monday night gigs that U2 will play during September at the Marquee on the 1st leg of Boy tour, U2 will also return to the Marquee in November for two more nights at this famous London venue.

Boy/Girl & 11 O'Clock Tick Tock and recorded at this concert, they will be used as the "B" side of U2's next single I Will Follow.

23-09-1980 Limit Club, Sheffield

Attendance; unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; unknown

Set; unknown

This is the first of two visits U2 will make to the "Limit Club" in Sheffield on the "Boy" tour.

The Limit
In the basement of a disused Jeans factory/warehouse at 70-82 West Street, Sheffield, stood The Limit. It was a medium sized nightclub and venue for gigs. It opened in March 30th 1978 which was 37 years ago. and closed around 12 years later in 1991 or 1992.

One of the most legendary and fondly remembered venues in Sheffield's musical history. The Limit was a live venue and night club - a subterranean haven for those seeking alternative music, a different dress code and general refuge from the maintsream 'townie' bars across the city centre.
The Limit experience invariably included flooded toilets, sticky floors and p*ss weak lager - all happily forgiven by those in search of kindred spirits out for a truly eclectic musical experience from DJ Paul Unwin and a regular roster of live acts - whether local or touring.
The venue presented a wide range of bands from Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, Adam and the Ants, The Cramps, U2 (Bono famously split his leather trousers at a Limit concert), Wilko Johnson, Soup Dragons, even Curiosity Killed the Cat - but also welcomed many new and emerging Sheffield bands including The Human LeagueComsat AngelsCabaret VoltaireDef Leppard and more.
One of the more infamous gigs featured an early incarnation of Pulp in 1986 - with Jarvis Cocker in a wheelchair (thanks to his antics climbing out of a first floor flat window at a party and coming a cropper).
The venue opened in March 1978 with local band Bitter Suite playing to a packed venue - and quickly established itself as an eagerly anticipated weekly night out for a growing community of Sheffield punks, goths, gays, transexuals, students and regular looking kids too. "It was an utter dive. But it was OUR utter dive". (John Quinn)
Jo Wingate.

24-09-1980 Friars, Maxwell Hall, Aylesbury

Attendance,
Main Act; Rory Gallagher, Rage
Admission; £3.25

Set; 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, I Will Follow, Touch,  An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, A Day Without Me, Twilight, The Electric Co., Things To Make And Do, Out Of Control

U2 were added as a last minute support for fellow Irish man Rory Gallagher and were paid £25 for this show. It appears that a show previously reported to occur on this date, at Bogart's in Birmingham, did not happen.

This is the first of two visits U2 have to Aylesbury on the Boy Tour, on the second they will be the headline act with Altered Images being the support.

25-09-1980 Brady's, Liverpool

Attendance; unknown
Main Act; Pink Military, Wah Heat
Admission; unknown

Picture

© Francesco Mellina

Set; unknown

U2 will return to Brady's later in the "Boy" tour (November), this time they will be the headline act.

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

Pink Military

Pink Military (Jayne Casey, Peter Lloyd & John Kirkham)

Pink Military (originally Pink Military Stand Alone) were a post-punk band from Liverpool. Led by former Big in Japan singer Jayne Casey, other band members included former Deaf School drummer Tim Whitaker, guitarist Martin Dempsey who also played in Yachts and It's Immaterial and  drummers Chris Joyce (who also played in The Durutti Column and Simply Red) and Budgie (who went on to The Slits and Siouxsie and the Banshees). After Big In Japan split up in summer 1978, singer Jayne Casey formed Pink Military along with John Highway (guitar), Wayne Wadden (bass guitar), Paul Hornby (drums), and Nicky Cool (born Nicky Hillon, keyboards). The band mixed punk-influenced rock with elements of disco and reggae. Their first release was the "Buddha Walking" single in February 1979. This was the only release from the original line-up, as in the months that followed Wadden, Hornby and Highway all left, with Steve Torch, Tim Whitaker (ex-Deaf School), and Martin Dempsey (formerly of Yachts) making up the next settled line-up. The band were then picked up by the 'Eric's' label (associated with the club of the same name), with the Blood and Lipstick EP released in September that year. Further line-up changes followed, with Whitaker and Torch replaced by Mothmen drummer Chris Joyce, Charlie Gruff (Charlie Griffiths), and Neil Innes. John Peel gave the band his support and they recorded two sessions for his BBC Radio 1 show, the first in November 1979, featuring Budgie on drums, the second in May 1980. The band's only album, Do Animals Believe In God? was released in June 1980, with the band having signed a deal with Virgin Records who acted as distributors. A further single was released the next month, and proved to be the final release before the band split up in 1981. Casey went on to form Pink Industry, while Dempsey joined It's Immaterial and later the Mel-o-Tones. Joyce joined The Durutti Column and later played in Simply Red

Wah Heat

 

Formed: 1979 Liverpool, United Kingdom
Members: Pete Wylie (guitar, vocals), Rob Jones (drums), Pete Younger (bass, 1979), Washington (bass), Colin Redmond (guitar), J.J. Tyler (synthesizer).Wah! are a Liverpool band of numerous name variations that have featured a revolving set of musicians alongside singer/guitarist Pete Wylie since emerging from the city's Eric's club scene of the late 1970s. Despite some UK chart success during the 1980s, the band's progress was hampered by record company problems. Wylie went solo and played with musicians including The Farm but was sidelined for a long period after suffering serious injuries in an accident in 1991. He was back by the end of the decade, however, recording his first Peel session for 15 years in 2000.

26-09-1980 Cedar Ballroom, Birmingham

Attendance, unknown
Support; Xpertz, Midnight & The Lemon Boys
Admission; £3,00

Picture

 Set; unknown

Derek WhortonSaw U2 there in September 1980. They had 2 singles out. We were undecided whether to go in because it was £3! The band turned up and got us in for free, letting us carry the guitars. I had a vision of how I expected them to look and was a bit disappointed with the image. Adam with his curly mop of blond hair and glasses! The Edge was awesome though, even then. Bono tried everything to get the crowd (one man and his dog) going and I remember him dancing along the raised area to the left of the stage. Two lads were sat drinking on the edge of the stage with their backs to the group. Bono would curl the mic lead around them. They did most of the first album. I still have the song list from off the stage somewhere, must dig it out and send in the setlist.
Support bands were Xpertz & Midnite Lemon Boys.
Great days.

Midnight & The Lemon Boys

PicturePhoto taken by Richard D Jones

Marcus Myers • vocals, rhythm guitar
Chris Anderson • bass
Mrs Hoggins • drums
Nick Sayer • guitarThe Lemon Boys were formed in 78 by Nick Sayer (Sago) formerly of Fan Club with Oggs on drums, Chris Anderson on bass and me on vocals and rhythm guitar. We did seem to get a bit of a buzz going and did a fair amount of touring supporting U2, the Photos and the Lambrettas to name a few.
Unfortunately for us, we were never signed and so as far as I know, never actually committed anything to vinyl. However, our then manager Simon Watson (Watto) was known to be a bit of a hoarder and I'm pretty sure he has some kind of archive of photos, demos etc. If you`re out there mate, please get in touch!
Nick had a bad back injury in 1980, so for a year we carried on with the late Tony Maybury on guitar. I've only just found out about his death from this website. My memories of him are of a very sweet, quiet bloke who was very easy to be around, who always looked 'cool', played an equally cool Rickenbacker guitar, and always seemed to have loads of birds after him.

27-09-1980 Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry

Attendance; unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; unknown

Set; unknown

This is the first of two concerts that U2 will play at Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry on the "Boy" tour. Up until 1987 Coventry Polytechnic was known as Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry.

29-09-1980 Marquee Club, London

Attendance, unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; £1.50  & £2.00 on the door

Set; The Ocean, 11 O'clock Tick Tock, I Will Follow, Touch, An Cat Dubh, Shadows 'n' Tall Trees, Into The Heart, Day Without Me, Twlight, Things To Make & Do, The Electric Co, Stories For Boys, Out Of Control, encore 11 O'clock Tick Tock.

The Ocean
11 O'clock Tick Tock
I Will Follow
Touch
An Cat Dubh
Into The Heart
A Day Without Me
Twilight
The Electric Co.
Things to Make and Do
Stories For Boys
Out Of Control

This is the final of 4 Monday night gigs that U2 will play during September at the Marquee on the 1st leg of Boy tour, U2 will also return to the Marquee in November for two more nights at this famous London venue.

Walking in the footsteps of their literary forefathers Dublin's new romantics are slowly but surely building an ambience of expectancy and urgent furore, rivalled only by the kind of buzz that goes round their fair city when it's last orders on a Saturday night.
U2 control a vivid conception of how their music should sound, coupled with a remarkable sense of destiny. It's this innate development of a collectively inspired direction, driven by a charismatic passion, that has imbued their music with such a fearsome coherence.
In the man they call Bono, they have a singer of great range and power. Fortunately he never indulges this talent, editing his contributions expertly, so when not singing, he stalks the stage pushing on the band and imploring the audience to go up with them.
There's something of the animal magnetism once associated with Iggy Pop, though Bono looks more like Robin Williams of "Mork & Mindy" than the peanut butter fiend. Much of their live presence relies on his visual dynamism yet he never becomes a separate entity strutting like so many other primadonnas in front of the rest. Always there remains an invisible but unbreakable bond between the four.
By fusing traditional elements of driving, urban rock with the Edge's plaintive, mercurial guitar they achieve a strikingly original approach on equally impressive songs such as "I Will Follow" and "Into The Heart", both to be included on the forthcoming album produced by Steve Lillywhite.
On "Shadows 'n' Tall Trees" they delve into an emotional minefield with dexterity and vision, while a "Day Without Me" shows they are capable of incorporating a clever sence of bathos as well as demonstrating a worthy sence of humour.
Beyond all the analysis what hits home most is their extraordinary vitality. Naive enthusiasm may be passe in some quarters but when it's channelled into music as expansive as this it could crack a heart of granite.
If they can survive the kiss of death given to any new band hailed "the future of rock 'n' roll", U2 should establish themselves as one of the best things to come out of Ireland since James Joyce and Guinness. Melody Maker review by Ian Pye

30-09-1980 Polytechnic, Brighton

Attendance; unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; unknown

Set; unknown
02-10-1980 Fan Club, Leeds

Attendance; unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; unknown

Set;  The Ocean, 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, I Will Follow, Touch, An Cat Dubh,
Into The Heart, A Day Without Me, Twilight, The Electric Co., Things To Make And Do, Stories For Boys, Boy-Girl, Out Of Control.
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.
03-10-1980 Porterhouse, Retford

Attendance, unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; ​unknown

Set; unknown
04-10-1980 School Of Economics, London

Attendance, unknown
Support;
Admission; unknown

Set; 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, I Will Follow

Johnny I came across my ticket from this gig recently. It was a pretty big event at the LSE, with U2, which had recently been on the cover of the the NME, headlining for a long list of bands. Eleven O'Clock Tick Tock and I Will Follow were the first two numbers and they captured the student crowd that was packed in a small room, less than the size of a gymnasium, with no seating. The other thing that stands out nearly 30 years later is that this group was cheerful and smiled while playing, especially Bono and Larry. That was very different from the other hip bands of the day, which was still the tail end of punk/new wave.

05-10-1980 Half Moon Club, London

Attendance, unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; unknown

Set; unknown
07-10-1980 Boat Club, Nottingham

Attendance, unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; unknown

Set; unknown
09-10-1980 Cavendish House, Manchester, Polytechnic

Attendance, unknown
Support; Midnight & The Lemon Boys
Admission; £1.00, £1.25

Picture

 Set; unThe Ocean, I Will Follow, Touch, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, A Day Without Me, Twlight, Electric Co, Things To Make & Do, Stories For Boys, Boy/Girl, Out Of Control

Guy CosnahanA bunch of us from UMIST went to have a beer at the Manchester Polytechnic Student Union bar. For £2 we heard five bands. The top of the bill was a local favourite 'Elti Fits'.
I remember being on the balcony when U2 played. It was only a year or so later I connected them with the albums having read an early biography.
A good night out & I can honestly say I paid 40p to see U2!

Picture

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11-10-1980 Kingston Polytechnic, London

Attendance, unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; unknown

Set; unknown

This is U2's last concert in the UK for a couple of weeks, as they head off into Europe for the first time for a few concerts in Holland & Belgium.

U2 Play Headline concerts in mainland Europe for the first time

15-10-1980 Milkyway, Amsterdam, Holland
Attendance, unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; unknown

Set; The Ocean, 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, I Will Follow, Touch, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, A Day With Out Me, Twlight, Electric Co, Things To Make And Do, Stories For Boys, Boy/Girl encore 11 O'Clock Tick Tock

The Ocean
11 O'clock Tick Tock
I Will Follow
Touch
An Cat Dubh
Into The Heart
A Day Without Me
Twilight
The Electric Co.
Things to Make and Do
Stories For Boys
Boy-Girl

U2's first headline concert in Europe in a proper club, the night before they played to a small crowd at a radio station. They have also played a concert in Paris as support to the American band Talking Heads.

16-10-1980 Vera, Groningen, Holland

Attendance, 300
Support; unknown
Admission; unknown

Set; The Ocean, 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, I Will Follow, Touch, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, A Day With Out Me,  Electric Co,
17-10-1980 Gigant, Apeldoorn, Holland

Attendance, unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; unknown

Set; The Ocean, 11 O'clock Tick Tock, I Will Follow, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, Twilight, Out Of Control
18-10-1980 Klarick, Brussels, Belgium

Attendance, unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; 220BF

Set; unknown
19-10-1980 Lyceum Ballroom, London

Attendance, 1,500
Line Up; The Last Word, Discharge, U2, Slade
Admission; £3.00

Picture

Set; unknown

07-11-1980 University, Exeter
Attendance, unknown
Support; Midnight & The Lemon Boys
Admission; £1.00, £1.50

Set; unknown
08-11-1980 University, Southampton

Attendance, unknown
Support; Midnight & The Lemon Boys
Admission; £1.00, £1.50

Set; unknown
09-11-1980 Moonlight Club, London

Attendance, unknown
Support Midnight & The Lemon Boys
Admission, £1.50

Picture

Advert from NME

Set; unknown 

This is last last of 5 concerts that U2 will play at this famous London venue. U2's first ever UK concert was at the Moonlight Club on 01/12/1979.

11-11-1980 Kent University, Canterbury

Attendance, unknown
Support; David Frost & The Flamingo's
Admission, unknown

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Advert from NME

Set; Stories For Boys, The Ocean, 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, Touch, Into The Heart, Another Time Another Place, Electric Co, Things To Make And Do, Twlight, I Will Follow, Father Is An Elephant

The set is changed around for this concert and starts with Stories & ends with Father Is An Elephant, this last song will only be performed live a couple of times.

12-11-1980 University, Bradford

Attendance, unknown
Support; Medium Medium
Admission; unknown

Set; unknown

 

PictureMedium Medium's 1980 by Brynn Jones

John Lewis (vocals/sax), Andy Ryder (guitar/vocals), Alan Turton (bass), Nigel Stone (drums), and Graham Spink ("special noises")
By the end of 1978, The Press, a two-year-old Nottingham-based punk/rhythm and blues band, had undergone personnel changes and a change of name to re-launch itself as Medium Medium. Medium Medium's self-described "extreme dance music" had reviewers scrambling to draw comparisons with the band's contemporaries and find a label for its post-punk sound.
The group's solid dance rhythms and staccato, ringing guitar tones were superficially reminiscent of the Gang of Four, but John's tangential sax playing and Graham's tape and keyboard interjections from the front-of-house mixing desk took Medium Medium in another direction.
"Free-blown dubbed-up white funk" was how Max Bell described the sound in England's New Musical Express (NME). "At the forefront of the post punk funk movement," stated the U.S. publication, Cashbox.
In July 1980 Medium Medium opened for a young Irish band playing one of their first gigs in England, a band with whom they had first played in December 1979 at London's Moonlight Club. The show with U2 at the Clarendon in London drew a favourable review from the Sounds music paper's writer, Phil Sutcliffe.
"I've never heard so many harmonics played in one night," wrote Sutcliffe in reference to the guitar playing by both Andy and The Edge. "It made a point, a focus, a question mark, urged you to observe that these bands were not ordinary," he stated, noting Medium Medium's live power.
Even more gigs with U2 followed in late 1980 when the Irish band returned for a tour of universities in support of its Boy album. By now Medium Medium had acquired a manager, Chris Garland, a Cheltenham 'old boy' living in Europe. A U.K. tour with Athens, Georgia-based bands Pylon and the Method Actors came at the end of 1980. Europe was calling, and the band travelled to Holland for the first of many tours abroad.
The constant touring and enthusiastic reviews began to pay off, creating a buzz amongst the record companies, and in February 1981 Medium Medium signed with Cherry Red and released its second single, "Hungry, So Angry." In Sound International magazine Dave Henderson wrote prophetically, "It could be one of the most important records of the type to emerge this year and will doubtlessly be revered as a classic after the group have long since departed."
(This history of Medium Medium originally appeared in the booklet for the 2001 Cherry Red retrospective enhanced CD release, "Hungry, So Angry.")
13-11-1980 Limit Club, Sheffield

Attendance, unknown
Support; no support
Admission; unknown

Set; The Ocean, 11 O'clock Tick Tock, I Will Follow, Touch, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, A Day Without Me, Twilight,
The Electric Co., Things to Make and Do, Stories For Boys, Boy-Girl.
This is U2's second visit to the "Limit Club" on the "Boy" tour This was my first experience of U2 live and although in hindsight the set could have been ruined by the sound system not working very well the sheer energy and passion of Bono and the music carried them. 
14-11-1980 Town Hall, Kidderminster

Attendance, unknown
Support; no support
Admission; £1.50

 

Set; unknown

15-11-1980 Polytechnic, Bristol

Attendance, unknown
Support; No Support
Admission; unknown

Set; I Will Follow, 11 O'clock Tick Tock, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, The Electric Co., Stories For Boys

The old Bristol Poly at Ashley Down is now part of Bristol College. ​

18-11-1980 University, Reading

Attendance, unknown
Support; Medium Medium
Admission; unknown

Set; unknown
19-11-1980 Polytechnic, Wolverhampton

Attendance, unknown
Support; Medium Medium
Admission; unknown

 

Set; unknown

If this was the venue for U2's gig at Wolverhampton Poly, it's capacity was only 150.

20-11-1980 Polytechnic, Blackpool

Attendance, unknown
Support; Medium Medium
Admission; unknown

Set; unknown
21-11-1980 Nite Club, Edinburgh

Attendance, 400
Support; No Support
Admission; unknown

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Set; Stories For Boys, The Ocean, 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, Touch, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, Another Time Another Place, Cry-Electric Co., encore: 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, The Ocean, Father Is An Elephant

 

 

 

 

 

22-11-1980 Brady's, Liverpool
Attendance; unknown
Support; Medium Medium
Admission; unknown

Set; unknown

Ged Hynes I heard about the concert on the radio a few days before the event. The club, down a back street, was subterranean with pipes running under the ceiling and and along the brick walls. The band were on a small stage which I recall was set back in an arch. Bono spent part of the time swinging from the pipes in a very energetic performance. The band were lively and the songs were good but the club was not very busy. The bar wouldn't have made much. I also saw Slaughter and the Dogs there. They didn't go onto greater things.

24-11-1980 Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry

Attendance, unknown
Support; Medium Medium
Admission; unknown

Set; unknown 

This is U2's second visit to Coventry to play Lanchester Polytechnic on the "Boy" tour. Up until 1987 Coventry Polytechnic was known as Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry.

26 & 27-11-1980 Marquee Club, London

Attendance, unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; £2.00

Picture

Advert from "Time Out" magazine

Set; Stories For Boys, Another Time Another Place, I Will Follow, Twlight, Out Of Control, 11 O'Clock Tick Tock

By Gavin Martin What a strange place to discover U2! here they are buried in the capital's heaving underbelly - the rank squalor and degradation of Soho.
In fact, rock music is a strange place in which to discover U2. More often than not, rock is sickness which feeds off money, sex, and drugs - a joylessly directionless pastime. People don't use rock music, it uses them; an immovable addiction? The masses' idea of leisure sounds too much like work to me.
Time to burn it down, time to rearrange the warped ideals and restore validity to rock music.
Time for U2 - optimistic, soulful, and clear sighted.
This evening it's an imperfect U2 production. The edge is blunt (pun intended) and the vocals are badly mixed. But ... with the callow eyes of pre-pubescent youth gazing from the backdrop, a sweet resonant haze of sound sweeps over the crowd, glided with golden chimes of guitar and coated with tonal creaminess. "Stories for Boys" is a song with a rare sense of space and textural control and it evokes a tumble of mysteries, dreams, and imaginations.
Strike the tuning fork! In U2's world the games of young adults -- rock and roll or even (gulp!!) life itself -- should be like the games of young children: playful, restless, and exploratory. They have the unfettered and un-cynical outlook of four bright young kids.
Only a blind man and the dead could ignore the passion and charisma generated by singer Bono. The very essence which underpins the performance is an electric vibrancy between the stage and the dance floor. It's something loads of groups try for, but only a few can achieve. Bono carries it to the edge of the stage, crouches and curls upwards, writhing like a tiger and uncoiling like a snake through a forest of outstretched arms and pawing hands. It's unique spectacle and a unique feeling; the only comparison I can think of is with some old Iggy Pop footage once shown on OGWT.
Bono drives himself, the band, and the audience so fast that sometimes the zeal and the fervour predominates and the music loses its delicacy. You feel the internal combustion will burn the group out prematurely. Bono senses this air of "too much, too soon" and so tries to deflate the overblown U2 myth.
There are still bridges to burn and the heights to scale. Their intrinsic sensuousness is flawed by outward baseness: repugnant rock 'n' roll excess. That they should even be playing this venue with its counter-culture Amos Brearleys -- dungarees, dope, and clammy smugness.
As musical craftsmen drummer Larry, guitarist The Edge, and bassist Adam use a cudgel where they should use a chisel. The sentiment of "Another Time, Another Place" is one victim of the sloppiness. They should either obviate or justify their relish for rock 'n' roll's sticky frills and cliches.
Bono doesn't want to overemphasise his Christian faith, which is ridiculous but understandable. "Messiah Rock - a guy who takes Breaking Glass seriously," critics and cynics will sneer. Rock 'n' Roll people are frightened by religious matters unless the creeds are safely distanced (Rasta and Eastern mysticism).
U2 still have contradictions in their makeup, they could be mapping out vectors of emancipation but they too often enforce the myth of slavish dependence. I'm not saying that Bono should become the white James Brown, but he could benefit from a copy of "Reality" for Christmas.
When they get good I could almost cry smiling. "I Will Follow" is "the sort of song that should be in the top one," says Bono. Ain't that just so! The sound of Arthur Lee's Love without LSD. "Twilight" is crisp and pellucid, tingling with slivers of warm, laconic drumming. Tightly coiled, firing incisive pellets of emotion and colour is "Out of Control."
U2 are a positive answer to Killing Joke's negativity. At 11 O'Clock it's time to go home and the children aren't crying anymore. "Tick Tock" is the only requiem they want to hear. Another foolish game comes to an end....
An inverted hippyism: U2 are not "far out", they are near in! Closer to the heartbeat, closer to the senses, and closer to the soul. They can get wiser, stronger, and better. My advice is simple: keep on pushing.
New Musical Express. All Rights Reserved.

28-11-1980 Aston University, Birmingham

Attendance, unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; unknown

Set; Stories For Boys, The Ocean, 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, Touch, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, Another Time Another Place, Cry, The Electric Co., Things To Make And Do, Twilight, I Will Follow, Encore, 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, The Ocean, Father Is An Elephant

29-11-1980 Keele University, Newcastle Under Lyme

Attendance, unknown
Support; unknown
Admission; unknown

Set; unknown

30-11-1980 Jenkinson's, Brighton

Attendance, unknown
Support; Midnight & The Lemon Boys
Admission; £19.0 & £2.50

Picture

Advert from NME

Set; unknown

Jenkinson's was one of a number of small bars/nightclubs on the seafront under the promenade in Brighton.

Midnight & The Lemon Boys are a local Brighton band.

 

Midnight & The Lemon Boys

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Marcus Myers • vocals, rhythm guitar
Chris Anderson • bass
Mrs Hoggins • drums
Nick Sayer • guitar
Hi there, this is Marcus, the former lead singer of Midnight and the Lemon Boys and the Kemptown Rockers.
I must say, my eyes got slightly misted up reading about all the different bands at that time, and remembering the faces and places. It all seems so long ago! I still have strong memories of drinking Snakebite in the back bar of the Windsor, buying ‘Specky Blues’ five for a quid, and pogoing to just about anybody at the Vault, Alhambra, Art College Basement etc.
The Lemon Boys were formed in 78 by Nick Sayer (Sago) formerly of Fan Club with Oggs on drums, Chris Anderson on bass and me on vocals and rhythm guitar. We did seem to get a bit of a buzz going and did a fair amount of touring supporting U2, the Photos and the Lambrettas to name a few.
Unfortunately for us, we were never signed and so as far as I know, never actually committed anything to vinyl. However, our then manager Simon Watson (Watto) was known to be a bit of a hoarder and I’m pretty sure he has some kind of archive of photos, demos etc. If you’re out there mate, please get in touch!
Nick had a bad back injury in 1980, so for a year we carried on with the late Tony Maybury on guitar. I’ve only just found out about his death. My memories of him are of a very sweet, quiet bloke who was very easy to be around, who always looked ‘cool’, played an equally cool Rickenbacker guitar, and always seemed to have loads of birds after him.
The band eventually ground to a halt early in 81. Oggs went off to be a full time drummer with the Test Tube Babies, and after a two year gap, Nick formed Transvision Vamp with Wendy James and made a few bob.

01-12-1980 Hammersmith Odeon, London

Attendance, unknown
Main Act; Talking Heads
Admission; unknown

Picture

Set; unknown

02-12-1980 Hammersmith Palais, London

Attendance, unknown
Main Act; Talking Heads
Admission; unknown

Picture

The "Palais" shortly before it closed down

Set; unknown

Like Talking Heads, U2 arrived at the Palais with their scrapbook full of euphoric notices, most of them for the recent début album, "Boy". U2 have two basic styles; blatantly epic and diffidently epic. Both hard to take. They manage to be simultaneously precious and blundering. Their songs are overwrought, over long but never over soon enough. Allan Jones Melody Maker

Bono climbs all over the P.A. systemRay Morrisey

Starting life as a tram shed, the Hammersmith Palais De Danse was born in 1919, and for nearly ninety years kept the public entertained.
Over the years, the venue hosted a vast range of concerts, taking in all styles from Dixieland, big band, swing, rock'n'roll, pop, rock, punk, reggae, bhangra and ska.
A medium sized venue - bigger than a nightclub, smaller than the nearby Hammersmith Odeon - and purpose-built for music, the Palais was an ideal live venue, putting on world famous acts.
Bands who have played the Palais include Joe Loss, Bill Haley, The Kinks, James Brown, Talking Heads, Rolling Stones, Elton John, U2, Massive Attack, PiL, The Cure, The Pogues, David Bowie, The Specials, King Sunny Ade, Toots and The Maytals and, of course, the mighty Clash.
On 5 June 1977, Joe Strummer, the legendary front man of the Clash, checked out an all-night reggae show at Hammersmith Palais and was inspired to write one one of his finest songs:
White Man In Hammersmith Palais: The Clash

03-12-1980 Baltard Pavilion, Paris

Attendance, 1,200
Main Act; Talking Heads
Admission; unknown

Picture

Baltard Pavilion

Set;11 O'Clock Tick Tock, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, Another Time Another Place, Cry-Electric Co., Things To Make And Do, Twlight, I Will Follow, encore 11 O'Clock Tick Tock 

Talking Heads bring U2 over to France after the two shows together in London. Bono speaks to the audience in French, this is U2's first concert in France.

Talking Heads

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David Byrne, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth were alumni of the Rhode Island School of Design. There Byrne and Frantz formed a band called "The Artistics" in 1974. Weymouth was Frantz's girlfriend and often provided transportation for the band. The Artistics dissolved within a year, and the three moved to New York, eventually sharing a communal loft.  They played their first gig as "Talking Heads" opening for the Ramones at CBGB on June 20, 1975.
Later in 1975, the trio recorded a series of demos for CBS, but the band was not signed to the label. They quickly drew a following and were signed to Sire Records in 1977. The group released their first single, "Love → Building on Fire" in February that year. In March 1977, they added Jerry Harrison (keyboards, guitar, backing vocals), formerly of Jonathan Richman's band The Modern Lovers.
Their first album, Talking Heads: 77, which did not contain the earlier single, was released soon afterwards. The album received considerable acclaim and spawned what became the group's first charted single, "Psycho Killer". The song was released to the radio just months after the serial killer known as the Son of Sam was terrorizing New York City, prompting many to assume some eerie connection. However, it was later revealed that Byrne had written the song nearly four years earlier.
The Remain in Light album's lead single, "Once in a Lifetime", became a Top 20 hit in the UK but initially failed to make an impression upon its release in the band's own country. But it grew into a popular standard over the next few years on the strength of its music video, which was named one of Time magazine's All-TIME Best Music Videos.
1983 saw the release of Speaking in Tongues, a commercial breakthrough that produced the band's only American Top 10 hit, "Burning Down the House".  1985's Little Creatures (which featured the hit singles "And She Was" and "Road to Nowhere").
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