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Saturday 13 February 2010

Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros 'Yalla Yalla'

Joe Strummer's years in the wilderness ended in the late 90s with this track and the album that followed it (Art, Rock and the X Ray Style, awful Damien Hirst cover). After splitting the rump version of The Clash in 1985 Joe drifted around, releasing bits and bobs, but mostly suggesting he'd lost his fire. Eventually he hooked up with Richard Norris (of The Grid), who co-wrote and produced this track. The album this came off had some good songs on it, and put Joe back on the road. His new band, kids and session men, were well drilled and could do Clash songs justice. He followed it up with Global A Go Go, which was much better, and then Streetcore, finished and released after he died.

I saw Joe with The Mescaleros three times, twice at Manchester Academy, on fire both nights, and once at Nynex, a bit lost in a quarter full arena going on at 7.45. The first time at the Academy the band were showered with beer from the opening chord of the first song, Safe European Home. For the encore a visibly emotional Joe re-appeared with a small child on his shoulders, and finished off with Bank Robber, prowling the lip of the stage with a mic stand swinging around his head and then this- Yalla Yalla.

Yalla Yalla.mp3

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