Remembering the moment Joe Strummer joined The Pogues for a rousing rendition of ‘London Calling’, 1988
We’re looking back at the iconic moment Joe Strummer joined The Pogues on stage for a quite incredible performance of The Clash anthem, ‘London Calling’ at a beer-rendered evening in 1988.
The Town & Country club in London (now known as Kentish Town Forum) on a raucous St. Patrick’s Day was set to host one of the rowdiest nights in its illustrious history when The Pogues came to town with some impressive feature artists.
The performance was special not only because it features a Joe Strummer-led Pogues version of The Clash’s ‘London Calling’. But the gig also featured Kirsty MacColl giving a wonderful rendition of ‘Fairytale of New York’. An experience only to be topped by the entrance of The Specials’ Lynval Golding and all the fun and fury of Irish jig Ska, with a special Pogues cover of ‘A Message To You (Rudi)’.
Before The Specials arrive though it was time for Joe to take to the mic and perform one of the most iconic songs ever written, The Clash’s 1979 hit ‘London Calling’. The crowd naturally reacts with a combination of beer-throwing and heavy pogo-ing as they undulate like one mutating bacteria. A must-see experience.
The connection was clearly strong with the band as following the MacGowan’s continued affliction of alcohol abuse, with The Pogues at their most lucrative, he was forced to step aside as the band’s lead singer. As a longtime fan of the band, Joe Strummer stepped up to the mic to help the tour.
It must’ve been a difficult position for Strummer as he was a big fan of MacGowan, with whom he had spent many a punk evening in the embryonic moments of that incendiary scene. The leader of The Clash even described MacGowan as “one of the finest writers of the century.” He always said that people “just have no idea of how great he is.”
Watch below as Joe Strummer joins The Pogues for a rousing rendition of ‘London Calling’