Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros
St Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn - NYC
Apr 1-6 2002
sponsored by
WWWhatsup Online Pinstand
with thanks to Clear Channel and St Anns
plus special mention to Manchester Kev.

'but remember - to kick it over'

The week the israeli tanks roll into palestine strummer and posse stroll into Brooklyn. Like The Clash at Bonds 20 years ago, and B.A.D. at Irving 12 years ago, it's a multinight affair. Five concerts with a day off in the middle. The venue is a very spiffy warehouse just off the water under the Brooklyn & Manhattan bridges. Great views. Busy, I hadn't thought about attending. When DJ Scratchy called me up in the Monday to say I was on the list it caught me by surprise. So I got in late with the band already well under way. I was able to get the camera out and shoot a good few songs from the crowd before, in the middle of the last song, a St Ann's security guy grabbed it. Fortunately he was old school, knew the pinstand, and so i got it back with tape intact shortly after. Later I talked to Joe, teased him about one of his songs being for sale in Starbucks. "I nixed it." he said - sending a dark look at a hellcat honcho. But what can you expect, with a title like 'Global A Gogo'. Heh. Joe readily agrees to me shooting for punkcast and to help cut the red tape. The next night, after an agonizing wait of the first song or two i get a pass and am allowed in the pit to shoot.. There the only obstacles to truly great vid are two resentful bouncers that i danced with awkwardly for the next 4 nights. The way the shows ran was - Monday - well jetlagged but nevertheless, with Mick Jones looking on, a keen show with a good deal of passion. Tuesday was a bit more experimental, the band worked out on beefing up the songs. Day off Wednesday, and the weather took a cool turn. Thursday was super relaxed and nobody panicked though Martin Slattery's cab got lost and caused a late start. So relaxed that Joe actually reclined on the floor during Armagideon Time. (clip below) In Bankrobber he did a funny scat about Martin's lost cab. Friday was a hot show. Smooth and strong.. So that's my first choice as a source of clips. 'Tony Adams' has a remarkable finale. 'Moses' is a new song. Saturday - the band were all hopped up and ready to go, and played fast and hard. While i got some good shots on Sat, I didn't really get any song better than Friday, altho I am yet to review the tape.. so I could be wrong Joe gave the ok to webcast and did a fine job of announcing it at the end of the show.

7/17/03 As you may know, scratchy came over to NYC from the uk and we did some STRUMMER + SCRATCHY screening w/DJ efforts at some NYC drinking holes at the start of May. The flyer is here. Unwittingly we had picked the same week as the Tribeca Film Fest which did give us some competition but all in all it went well, especially at the last one at Groovejet which has a monster sound system, and where Bob Gruen came down to look. This was when I showed the Friday night, which is just so remarkably good, band, sound, and even my shooting, that it's pretty hard to beat. I was able to thank Bob for all visual inspiration he has provided over the years, something I was very conscious of when I was shooting Joe. On the other screenings, for me it was a good opportunity to review the Thurs and Sat night shows. These both have good moments, notably the 'Armagideon' below, and wacky added encore of 'Bankrobber' on the Thursday, and the whole encore from Sat, starting with a wicked version of 'Lose That Skin'. At the end of Sat. (after the plug for punkcast) Joe talked about how much he appreciated the crowd coming, saying "We're just trying to build an audience here.." - and this was something that was evident at St Ann's, where the crowds were young, that Joe really was on a fresh mission, to represent the world's roots musics to a new generation.. I guess this is why he made the effort to bring along Scratchy to dj the Mescaleros shows, and The Clash's shows back in the day, too, because Scratchy is a natural roots DJ. From rockabilly to rock to dub to african and more, he puts it together in a way that defies boundaries and gives you a warm hopeful feeling inside. As with Joe. And that was the thing that made these screenings worthwhile, that they were as much about the music as the man.. cos there's still an audience to build, work to be done. So I'd like to thank Scratchy for coming over to do the screenings. I've given him a copy of the Fri. show to take back to the UK, so maybe you will get to see the same full-on package there at some point.

capture captain: joly
date posted 4/8/02 - updated 7/17/03

Bob Gruen's photos

Tami's strummernews.com

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