01-12-1979 Moonlight Club, Westhampstead, London
Attendance, unknown
Main Act: The Dolly Mixture
Admission £1.00

Advert from NME

Set; includes Boy-Girl, Out Of Control, Shadows & Tall Trees, Inside Out, Concentration Cramp, The Dream is Over.

The Dolly Mixture are; Rachel Bor (Vocal & guitar), Debsey Wykes (vocal & bass), Hester Smith (vocal & drums)

Like when Bono, at the Moonlight Club the previous weekend, went to take off his sweater, he handed the mike to the nearest “punter”, to hold for him. The guy’s bewilderment changed to amazement, to laughter, as Bono returned to stage front and thanked him for his help. he didn’t stop dancing for the rest of the set. Rock singers don’t do that kind of thing. But who achieves anything worthwhile by
following a bunch of rules?
Hot Press review by Rass Fitz It´s funny how the memory plays tricks. I remember U2 supporting someone – it must have been the Dolly Mixtures, as I saw them at least once the Moonlight Club. That would be one of the Dec 1979 gigs I guess.
They clearly had something because I still remember them on stage, but we London hipsters (ish) thought they were a bit old fashioned, with the haircuts, and a bit posy, in that they were more trad-rock-band style on stage rather than the anti-hero punk style of the last couple of years. Bono did have some charisma of course, even at that age.
The Dolly Mixtures were fun. I must see if they´re on Spotify…. U2 are billed as Capitol U2 in the UK music press.
U2 get their first write up by Dave McCullough in Sounds magazine, this is also their first concert outside their native Ireland.
This is the first of 5 visits by U2 to the Moonlight Club; the second is 10-12-1979, just nine days after their first gig. The third is 23-05-1980, and the fourth on 12-07-1980 is their first sell-out concert in England, their 5th & final show at the Moonlight Club is on 09-11-1980.
The Dolly Mixtures are a 3 piece all girl punk group. U2 will also support The Dolly Mixtures on 05-12-1979 at Covent Garden’s Rock Garden; these are the only two shows the bands will play together.
The Moonli ght Club is a function room in the Railway Tavern Pub. In the 60’s it was called Klooks Kleek, bands such as The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Cream, Yardbirds, Jethro Tull & 10 years After, all played there.
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.

The Dolly Mixtures

The Dolly Mixtures, 80s seminal girl indie popsters, who effortlessly combined girlie dresses and Doc Marten boots then played incredibly catchy 60s influenced pop.
Dolly Mixture were formed in 1978, the three members Debsey Wykes (Vocals/Bass), Rachel Bor (Guitar,Vocals), and Hester Smith (Drums) sharing a love for both The Shangri-Las and The Undertones eventually supporting The Undertones on a few select gigs. John Peel loved them and subsequently featured them heavily on his show; this led to them being signed to major label Chrysalis, before being snapped up by Paul Weller who put out the bands single, the debut release for his own Respond label.
The girls did achieve Top 40 success, however this was as the backing vocalists for Captain Sensible’ 1882 No 1 novelty hit “Happy Talk” which led to numerous TV appearances. Despite this obvious support the band never quite broke through, and split in 1984.

02-12-1979 Nashville Room, Earls Court

Attendance, 25
Main Act: Back To Zero
Admission, £1.00

Advert from NME Set; unknown

Dave Fanning “U2 were first on & the number of people in the crowd was probably not even in double figures. It had the atmosphere of a non league football match, an impression that was reinforced by the solitary dog skulking around by the mixing desk. Despite this, they played like their lives depended on it, with Edge in particular producing some amazing new noises from his guitar & by the set’s end, McGuinness was beaming with relief. There was no encore – the audience was a bunch of pretend Mods with no interest in U2 whatsoever – so we all piled back to somebody’s nearby flat with a bunch six packs”. Brian Kotz of Back to Zero
U2 support Back to Zero, the original headliners Fashion drop out about a week before the concert.The Nashville room holds about 150 people.U2 will return to The Nashville Room during the 11 O’Clock Tick Tock tour, on 30-05-1980, this time Fashion will support them.The Nashville Room is within the Nashville pub. Back in the 70’s, The Nashville was the home to UK country music scene. The pub is still standing in London, but is now called Famous 3 Kings.

Back To Zero were forerunners of the British mod-revival movement. Formed in 1978, they lasted just a short while with various line-up changes and only have this one single to carry their legacy. But what a terrific pair of songs they left in their wake.

The record was produced by Chris Parry, who also did outstanding work with the Purple Hearts, on his own Fiction Records label. Fiction, which is now owned by Universal, is best known for boosting the career of the Cure. Back To Zero was one of the earliest singles released on the label.

During their heyday, Back To Zero played regularly with Secret Affair, The Chords, Purple Hearts and other great mod bands of the time until they vanished in 1980. “Your Side Of Heaven” was comped on a terrific mod revival collection called Unsung Heroes, released on Unicorn records in 1988.

03-12-1979 101 Club, Clapham

Attendance, unknown
Main Act: The Beat
Admission, £1.50

Advert from Time Out Set; unknown

The Beat are: Dave Wakeling (vocals, guitar), Ranking Roger (vocals), Andy Cox (guitar), David Steele (bass), Everett Morton (drums), and Saxa (saxophone).U2 are billed as U.2’s on the advertising for this concert.This is the only time U2 will play at The 101 Club. As you can see from the advert U2 played the 101 Club, not the 100 Club on this date.

This is the 1 & only time U2 will share the bill with The Beat. At this time The Beat were on the Two Tone label, “Ska” music was starting to have an impact on the UK charts, with bands such as “The Beat”, “Specials” & “Bad Manners”. U2’s “Two Tone” stage banner lead English fans to think they were another of the “Ska” bands. 

04-12-1979 Hope & Anchor, Islington

Attendance, 9
Support, None
Admission, £0.75p

Advert from Time Out

Set; unknown

Again U2 are incorrectly billed as “The U2’s”.

Pete Holidai About 10,000 people claim to have been one of the nine (9) that attended U2’s first London gig. Philip Chevron and I DID attend, we went along to offer moral support to the young lads from Dublin. I don’t remember much about it, but we went back to the flat they were staying in afterwards (they had to sleep on the floor if I remember correctly).

The concert takes place in the basement of the pub, all the equipment has to be lowered down the beer shoot into the basement. The room holds about 300 people. Only 9 paying member of the public attend, the rest of the audience are from the music press or record companies. 

U2 return to The Hope & Anchor on 22-05-1980, for the first UK date of their 11 O’clock Tick Tock Tour. These are the only two dates U2 play at this famous London pub venue.

05-12-1979 Rock Garden, Covent Garden

Attendance, Unknown
Main Act: The Dolly Mixtures
Admission, £1.50

Set; includes, Twlight, Boy/Girl, Shadows & Tall Trees

Melody Maker bills U2 as “V2”, V2 are a British punk band.

The Rock Garden is a restaurant at ground level, with concerts being held in the basement. The concert hall holds about 1,000. Later the restaurant and basement split into two venues, The restaurant staying as “The Rock Garden” & the basement becoming “The Garden Club”.

This is the second and final time U2 support the Dolly Mixtures, the first being at the Moonlight Club 01-12-1979. The Dolly Mixtures are a 3 piece all girl band, Rachel Bor (vocal & guitar), Debsey Wykes (bass & vocal), Hester Smith (drums & vocal).

U2: Rock Garden, London Record Mirror, By Alf Martin
How often do you get the feeling? (Not that, you fools.) I mean, how many times have you been to see a band for the first time and you know that they have it.
A few weeks ago, we took the bold step of putting Irish group U2 on our front cover. We’d heard their “Out of Control” single, released on CBS Ireland, and took the chance. It was no chance, they’re worth it. Just wait and see. As the Rock Garden is at the back of our office a couple of the lads popped in to thank us. They were surprised how small some of the London venues are. They hadn’t seen the Rock Garden yet.
Later, at the gig, it didn’t matter if they played to a smaller crowd than they were used to. U2 gave everything they had and more. Their strength is Bono (Paul Hewson), lead vocalist and focal point of the group. But he’s not all of it. Guitar, bass, and drums are all part of it, as well as songs that will have you agreeing with every bit of praise I may give. “Twilight,” “Shadows and Tall Trees,” Boy/Girl,” and “Boy Meets Man” will not only make you stand bolt upright and listen but have you dancing your socks inside out.
Bono had heard about our blasé London audiences but he and the rest of U2 changed that tonight. Their confidence, energy, and damn good music got to is all. Even to their manager who bought a couple bottles of champagne for everyone backstage to celebrate. Even the girl behind the bar at the Rock Garden was surprised. She’d worked there two years and had never sold a bottle.
Three days later I went to the Electric Ballroom to see them again. A bigger crowd but now U2 had even more confidence and won even more fans. I’ll be hearing and seeing them again. Unless you keep your eyes and ears closed, so will you. And I bet you get the feeling I’m feeling now.
© Record Mirror. All Rights Reserved.

07 & 08-12-1979 Electric Ballroom, Camden

Attendance, unknown
Main Act; Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Talking Heads
Admission, £3.00

Supplied by Jason Smith & Daniel Hazard

Set; includes, Concentration Cramp, Speed Of Life, Shadows & Tall trees, Stories For Boys, The Dream Is Over, Inside out, In Your Hands, Twlight, Boy/Girl.

The set starts with Concentration Cramp & ends with Boy/Girl.

As U2 are added to the line up at the last minute, they are not on any of the adverts for this concert. OMD are also a late replacement for the Human League, who drop out for technical reasons.

This is the first of two shows U2 play the Electric Ballroom, the second was 08-12-1979. This is the first of 8 shows U2 will support the “Talking Heads” in 1979, 1980 & 1982, 4 in London, 2 in Belgium, 1 in Holland & 1 France.

The Electric Ballroom holds approx 600.

A week in the smoke and already a measure of recognition – a scattered cheer goes up as U2 take to the stage. The response to their first number is a lot more positive, “Concentration” stes a lot of pulses racing and feet tapping. No pause for applause before “Speed Of Life”, Bono exulting in the scope afforded by the big stage, Edge striking the occasional guitar hero pose.
“Shadows And Tall Trees” is already a favourite even before it’s played, while “Stories For Boys” sees the band straining at the leash, clicking into top gear. “The Dream Is Over” is already an integral part of the set despite being only a recent addition. It starts with Adam playing a melodic bass line against metallic chordingfrom Dave before Larry buildss and rolls the drums to lift the song into flight.
Then there’s “Inside Out”, “In Your Hand” and “Twlight – When A Boys Meets A Man”. While the band have been building their musical power, and the front half of the hall is with them all the way, there are still those who are unwilling to respond. But Bono unstands, he reasons with them, he and his pals entertain them, and while it may not be “cool” to clap for a support band in London, he gets them to do just that. Thus encouraged, most of the crowd respond even more warmly and when U2 leave the stage after “Boy/Girl”, the reception is nothing short of tumultuous.
But despite a great batch of songs, fine musicianship and truly electric live performance, U2’s hinesty and unpredicability may be what eventually take them all the way.
Like when Bono, at the Moonlight Club the previous weekend, went to take off his sweater, he handed the mike to the nearest “punter”, to hold for him. The guy’s bewilderment changed to amazement, to laughter, as Bono returned to stagefront and thanked him for his help. he didn’t stop dancing for the rest of the set. Rock singers don’t do that kind of thing. But who achives anything worthwhile by following a bunch of rules?
Hot Press review by Rass Fitz

10-12-1979 Moonlight Club, West Hampstead

Attendance, unknown
Support, Medium Medium
Admission, unknown

Advert from Time Out

Set; unknown

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.

U2 are again listed as U2’s in the British press, Medium Medium will also support U2 in July ’80 and several times on the 1st leg of the Boy tour.

11-12-1979 Bridge House, Canning Town

Attendance, 18
Support; Idiot Dancers
Admission, £0.50p

The Bridge House Pub

Set; unknown

Melody Maker bills U2 as “UR”.

Terry Murphy the landlord & owner of the Bridge House records at the time confirms that there were 18 paying customers along with a few non paying regulars.

U2 will only play this venue once & also only share the bill with Idiot Dancers once.

Idiot Dancers are; Tatty (drums), Dave McCarthy (vocal & guitar), Mike Horsham (bass & vocal).

The Bridge House pub is no longer there it was demolished years ago, the pylon that looks like it is coming out of the roof was used as part of the logo as this is the only reference to were the pub once stood.

12-12-1979 Brunel University, Uxbridge

Attendance, Unknown
Admission, £1.00

Advert from “Sounds” magazine

Set; unknown

U2 are again billed on the posters for this show as “U2’s”.

Wendy Wu the lead singer of the Photo’s has throat problems so this show was cancelled. U2 play “The Venue” in Victoria later in the month as a replacement show.

U2 will get to support the Photo’s later on 13/07/1980 at London’s famous Marquee Club during the 11 O’clock Tick Tock tour. This would be U2’s first gig at this famous London venue, they would go on to headline the Marquee 6 times during their 1980 “Boy” tour.

The Photo’s are; Wendy Wu (vocals), Steve Eagles (guitar & vocals), Dave Sparrow (bass), Olly Harrison (drums).

The Photos were originally a punk band named Satan’s Rats that formed in Evesham, Worcestershire in 1977, with the first stable line-up of Paul Rencher (vocals), Steve Eagles (guitar/vocals), Roy Wilkes (bass guitar), and Olly Harrison (drums). They released three singles as Satans Rats before Wilkes left, to be replaced by Dave Sparrow; and then Rencher left, after which the others deciding to expand the group with the addition of a female singer; They unsuccessfully tried to get Big in Japan’s Jayne Casey to join, but convinced Wendy Wu (born Wendy Cruise, 29 November 1959), the former manager of pub rock band City Youth to join in 1979. The Photos signed to CBS Records but moved on to Epic Records after one single. They released a self-titled album (Epic, 1980) and number of singles. These included “I’m So Attractive” and “Barbarellas” (concerning the closure of a Birmingham nightclub).
The album was successful, reaching number 4 in the UK Albums Chart, and Wu’s picture was briefly a regular item in the music press. Initial copies of the vinyl release of the album came with a bonus album, The Blackmail Tapes, the additional tracks also included on the cassette release, and the album was supported by the group performing numerous concerts around the UK.

14-12-1979 Dingwalls, Camden

Attendance, unknown
Main Act, Local Operator
Admission, unknown Image from “Time Out”

Set; unknown

This is the only advert I have found for this U2 gig, it shows “Local Operator” as the headline act, not “Straight 8”.
If you have any information on Local Operator, please get in touch.

This is the one and only time U2 will play this London venue.

JDMotion I was at both the U2 and Cure gigs and the general feeling was that The Cure were interesting but that U2 were dated and, with their mullet haircuts, doomed to obscurity.
Local Operator also had a residency at the Hope & Anchor in Islington where another band I was involved with, Self Control, supported them. Suggsy from Madness was always in the crowd as he was a big fan. He was always trying to interest us all in his band Madness who were just starting to play in the pubs around Camden. I think I was the only one of us who went along to see them. Realised straight away that they were going to be huge. Local Operator were signed to the Virgin record label and released two singles, Pressure Zone/The Untouchables, Law & Order/All Wer’re Gonna Get and one album. Local Operator was a punk/powerpop band from Copenhagen Denmark that frequently played ska-influenced music. They recorded 2 singles in 1979 and one LP in 1980 before breaking up. Bandleader Joe Broadbery later formed Jo Broadbery and the Standouts and recorded 1 more LP before he died in 1987.
People in the know may correct me here by saying that Jo Broadbery and the Standouts recorded 2 albums but Local Operator’s only LP is the exact same record as The Standout’s. Different band name, different cover art, same titles, same order, same exact recordings. The only difference is the song on the Local Operator LP is “Put You in a Exile” while on the other version it is “Put You in Exile” The “a” didn’t sound right anyway. For whatever reason the Local Operator back cover has fictitious band members listed.

15-12-1979 Windsor Castle, Paddington

Attendance, unknown
Support, unknown
Admission, £0.50p


Advert from Melody Maker

Set; unknown

This was due to be U2’s last concert on their short London tour, but a date is added at “The Venue” in Victoria on the 18th to replace the cancelled concert with “The Photo’s” at Burnel University. This is the one & only time U2 will play this London pub venue.

This historic London pub venue is due to be demolished later in 2011.

Do you have any information as to who the support band were, please get in touch.

18-12-1979 The Venue, Victoria

Attendance, unknown
Main Act, Doll By Doll
Admission, £3.00 Set; unknown

Review taken from “In Dublin” Magazine Blondie, who sales wise were the most successful band in Britain in 1979, were seen checking out U2 at the latter’s recent London Venue gig. When Sounds caught them they called lead singer Bono’s latter-day Walt Disney wizard, conjuring up a magical mixture of style and pretty noise. Record Mirror put it thus; U2 are doing things within their chosen format – lyrically, idealistically, visually – that should be apparent to anyone with a sense of imagination, or alternately, a disillusionment with general bloated rock state of affairs; the blind and deaf are, of course, excused.

Again U2 are billed as “U.2.” in the UK music press. This show is a replacement concert for cancelled show with “The Photo’s” at Brunel University. U2 only play “The Venue” once, they will support “Doll by Doll” again once more at the “Rock on the Tyne” festival at Gateshead Stadium 29-08-1981.

U2 return to Ireland after this show, were they play three more gigs, one before Christmas at the Dandelion Market & two after Christmas, at Howth & Cork.

U2 return to Dublin and play 3 gigs in late December, these are not part of the U2-3 London Tour.

23-12-1979 Dandelion Market, Dublin

Attendance, approx 400
Support The Threat, Virgin Prunes
Admission, £1.00


Advert from Hot Press

Set; includes Emperors New Clothes, Out Of Control, Boy/Girl, Stories For Boys

This concert was billed as “Christmas Spectacular”, U2’s first concert in Dublin after their return home from a disappointing London club tour. They had hoped to sign to a English record company while in London. However their popularity in Dublin is on the up and up as reflected in this concert, the price of a ticket and the number of people attending this show has doubled, compared to the shows U2 played at this venue before leaving for London.

This was the last of the now legendary Dandelion Market gigs, U2 would play this venue 8 times in 1979. The Threat were a well know Punk band in Dublin at the time.

The Threat are; Maurice Foley (guitar & vocals), Deirdre Creed (bass & vocals), Stano (synth), Longer (drums). Deirdre was formerly in the all girl group “The Boy Scoutz”.

The Edge & The Reasons


Just For Kicks shop display

Around this time an Irish only 12 track album is released “Just For Kicks”, it features 12 “Punk/New Wave” unsigned Irish bands includeding a demo version of U2’s “Stories For Boys”.

This is a historic moment in U2’s career as not only is there demo version of “Stories For Boys” it also includes the The Edge playing guitar on the “Teen Commandments” track “Somethings Better Than Nothing”.

This is the first time a member of U2 has been recorded playing with another band. This track was recorded in the summer of ’79 at Dublin’s Windmill Studio.

The track was originally recorded by Ireland’s first super group, “The Reasons“, comprising off; Phil Byrne Vocals (Revolver), The Edge Guitar (U2), Kevin Helly Bass (Revolver), Dave Moloney Drums (The Vipers), Pete Holidai Guitar (Radiators From Space), Billy Morley Guitar (Revolver), Gaby Smith (Keyboards).

The Edge also played guitar on “My Baby Left Me” another “Reasons” track.

Contrary to popular belief Edge DID NOT play bass on these recordings, I have spoken to Kevin Helly, Phil Byrne & Dave Moloney all 3 confirm that he played lead guitar not bass.

The Reasons were a studio only band, the band that played “live”, were the “Teen Commandments”, a whittled down version comprising of Phil Byrne, Dave Moloney, Eammon Kelly and occasionally Pete Holidai.

26-12-1979 Howth Community Centre, Dublin

Attendance, unknown
Support The Fast Skirts, Sounds Unreel
Admission unknown


Advert from Hot Press

Set; unknown

The Fast Skirts are; Joey Cashman (vocal & sax), Paul Aungier (guitar), Sarge O’Hara (keyboards), Ray Harford (bass), Kevin Leake (drums). Joey and Sarge would go on to join D.C. Nien

Sounds Unreel are; Conor Kelly (vocal), Conor O’Farrell (guitar), Declan O’Sullivan AKA Chiefy (keyboards), John McGlue (bass), Paul Byrne (drums).

29-12-1979 Downtown Kampus, University College, Cork Attendance, unknown
Support for Protex
Admission, unknown

Protex with members of the Boy Scoutz, picture by Patrick Brocklebank

Set; unknown

Protex are; Aidan Murtagh (vocal & guitar), David McMaster (vocal & guitar), Paul Maxwell (vocal & bass), Owen McFadden (drums).

Protex were a punk band from Belfast, Northern Ireland who supported the Boomtown Rats on their 1980 UK tour & went on to tour in the United States. They would release 1 LP and 4 singles.

This is U2’s last show of 1979.

Concerts at the Downtown Kampus are put on by the student union at University College Cork. The original couple of gigs at the Kampus were held in the college canteen, but this venue proved to be too small, so it was moved to the Arcadia Ballroom. The ballroom was a well known showband venue for many years. These concerts were organised by Elvera Butler, founder of Reekus Records in Ireland.