(Irish 1976 - Present)
This was the first gig I went to - a gangly 14 year old clutching a ticket that says "over 18s only". I put on a jacket that made me look, oh, 15 easily, but they never even gave me a glance at the door. I was in.
I'd not heard of support act 'The Alarm' - a dreary band playing to an indifferent crowd. After an interminable wait, U2 appeared (or at least I thought) and the place erupted like the Brixton riots. I was getting trashed in the mosh pit, mostly facing the wrong way... eventually I realised that I didn't even recognise the song, and they looked and sounded different. Escaping upstairs to the balcony, I eventually figured it out - THIS was The Alarm (already with a mysteriously huge fanbase) and the dreary band before had been the unbilled Zerra 1.
"If this is how the crowd are for The Alarm", I thought, "what on earth are U2 gonna be like?"
Eventually I got my answer. It was indescribable (he said, before trying to describe it). From the balcony, the entire floor below bounced as one from the first note to the last. I remember New Year's Day for the first time, the spotlight on The Edge for his solo. Gloria... I Will Follow... no, it's no good I can't describe it. For a first gig, for a 14 year old, it was complete overload.
Needless to say, it was the best gig I'd ever seen, as time has subsequently proved. Nothing beats the first time, I guess, but even so. I saw U2 again a few months later at the Odeon, 5 minutes walk away, and it was a pale imitation, with its raked seating. The Hammersmith Palais remains holy ground to me, despite all the clear evidence to the contrary.
Footnote 1: The gig was recorded and broadcast by Radio 1 for their In Session series. Radio London used to simulcast Radio 1 in the evenings, so I got a good quality stereo recording (fantastic mix too, really captured it), which I played to death until I left my bag on the train one day losing both Walkman (whatever) and Cassette (nooooo!). A few tracks made their way onto the October Special Edition CD... one day I might get hold of the full hour again, you never know.
Always been proud to have been the person that told Coldplay that U2 liked them. Sorta. [Review by Guy Rowland]
The full set list for this concert was:
-Out Of Control
-I Threw A Brick Through A Window
- A Day Without Me
-An Cat Dubh
-Into The Heart
-Sunday Bloody Sunday
-The Electric Co. / Send In The Clowns
-I Fall Down
-New Year's Day
-I Will Follo
-11 O'Clock Tick Tock / We Wish You A Merry Christmas (snippet)
This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from an AMCOS CD release and includes full album artwork for both Vinyl and CD releases of this bootleg. Note: Golden Stars (Italian bottleg) released this concert on vinyl (with a distinctive red cover) in 1991 as a double LP set and copies of this bootleg have recently fetched $150 +
This concert has also been released under the title of 'Live At Hammersmith 1981 - Bloody London ' with an obvious 'year release' error in its title, and by Mainline Music under the title 'U2 Live Unlicensed'.
02. I Threw A Brick Through A Window
03. A Day Without Me
04. An Cat Dubh
05. Sunday Bloody Sunday
06. I Fall Down *
07. The Electric Co
09. New Year's Day
11. I Will Follow
13. A Celebration (Bonus Track)
* Track 6 is mislabeled "I'm A Believer" on the cover
U2 Live Not Authorised (135Mb) New Link 26/01/2016