THE RAINCOATS : Live at Acklam Hall, London - 10th May 1979 (Cassette recording).

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Early Raincoats live recordings are unusually scarce, & this one - which took place beneath the Westway at Ladbroke Grove's shabby Acklam Hall during their very first British tour - is the best I've heard. It was taped shortly before the release of their eponymous debut Rough Trade LP, & both Cabaret Voltaire & Switzerland's Kleenex were also on the bill I believe?

Needless to say, it's a cheerfully shambolic delight - spiritedly cacophonous in places, but concise & cogent in others. And best of all the vivacious Palmolive (aka Paloma Romero) was still clobbering the drums at this point. Fresh from her stint with the original explosive Slits line-up (with whom she co-wrote virtually all of the songs that would appear on Cut), she only remained with The Raincoats for the duration of this tour, jumping ship after a mere 6 months citing a growing dissatisfaction with the music business: "I vividly remember after one of the concerts... watching people leave the venue wasted & with a sadness & heaviness about them, & I thought, I'm helping to make them like that... I didn't want to just go along with something because it was popular or profitable."

Though on their subsequent records (1981's quietly radical Odyshape for example) The Raincoats would very quickly evolve into something far more exploratory & profound, it's still difficult to ignore or deride the impassioned & vehement beauty of fiery live sets like this one. "The Raincoats are so bad tonight", remarked Danny Baker at the time, "that every time a waiter drops a tray we'd all get up & dance" - though that was possibly a backhanded compliment, bearing in mind he'd already eschewed the still-amorphous (post-)punk camarilla by then & was advocating tepid "working class" soul-boy clichés in the NME's weekly singles column instead (big mistake, his loss, c'est la vie).

Set-list: No Side To Fall In / No Looking / Life on the Line / The Void / Lola (Kinks cover) / Adventures Close to Home / Off Duty Trip / You're a Million / Fairytale in the Supermarket / In Love / No Looking (encore).

● NEW LINK! Off duty trip


  1. Dammit. I couldn't get it to play. Ill try again later....I want hear this. The Raincoats were true delight.

  2. Anonymous15.12.14

    6 hours to download? Sorry, but I think something might be wrong ...

    Thanks anyway.

  3. Just tried it myself, it took 3 minutes to DL.

  4. Ahoy Mr. Rooksby. Completely unrelated (although possibly an influence), ut I'be uploaded some new top quality files for Felt's 2nd Janice Long session from 1986. You'll find 'em at the original post from way back.


  5. I must admit that I have mixed feelings about today's R6 DJs cherry-picking the 1980s for "classic" sessions like this - after all, if the BBC had been as preoccupied with it's past in the 1970s as it is now think how many terrific performances would've survived (Scott Walker's entire TV series for instance), rather than having Pebble Mill At One recorded over them to save licence payer's cash, etc?

    On the other hand... it's great to finally hear this in such fine quality, let's hope somebody digs out their 1st "lost" Janice session eventually, eh? Perhaps I should send them a postcard with my requests on? :)

  6. I know Marc Riley and Chris Hawkins take requests, but I've yet to go cap in hand for fear of rejection!

    I have fond memories of Pebble Mill at One - particularly the presenter who persisted in wearing kipper ties and flared flannels well into the 80s.

  7. Amusing to see a squirming Stephen Patrick feigning interest in a "rude video for the mums & dads" in this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhlwuHZyXz0

  8. I remember watching this - as Paul Coia says lots of schoolchildren on holiday. Didn't enter the competition though.

    I found this clip by accident recently - don't recall the show, but seems quite surreal in retrospect.


  9. Nice clip that - I've seen it before but it's always worth another watch, if only for the "Look! It's Sandie Shaw!" bit. ;)

  10. Thanks Rooksby, and cheers also to you, Sterling, for the Felt sessions and that wonderful Smiths clip. Loved it!