Nashville Rooms, London, England
Set List of Show:
Snippets of Other Songs Performed by U2:
The second show booked for U2 in London is also as an opening act. Although advertisements show that U2 were due to open for Fashion at this second stop on the tour, Fashion drops out of the show at the last minute. The venue books Back to Zero to take the slot now open since Fashion have dropped out. The venue allow U2 to continue as the opening act.
The show is advertised in NME and other publications and admission to the show was listed at £1.00. In the NME gig guide U2 is listed as U2’s, but in the ad placed by The Nashville Room they are listed as U2. In Time Out the band are listed as U-2.
The Nashville Room is located at the corner of Cromwell Road and North End Row in the Kensington area of London. The venue was operated by Fuller’s Brewery and was born as a location to see Country music acts from the United States, but those had fallen out of favour, and the pub was now focusing on punk acts. These days the pub is still standing, now known as the Famous Three Kings.
Dave Fanning, a long time supporter of U2 in the radio business in Ireland had caught this show at The Nashville Room. He told Hot Press, “I do remember their second gig in London, at a place called The Nashville Rooms. They were third on the bill, with Secret Affair as the headliners. This is going to sound ridiculous, but the most incredible thing happened: the venue’s soundman had his dog with him, so it was literally a man and his dog watching the show. Paul McGuinness was never more happy to see myself and some friends walk in the door!” Fanning spoke about the atmosphere that night, “U2 were first on and the number of people in the crowd was probably not even in double figures. It had the atmosphere of a non league football match, an impression that was reinforced by the solitary dog skulking around by the mixing desk. Despite this, they played like their lives depended on it, with Edge in particular producing some amazing new noises from his guitar and by the sets end, McGuinness was beaming with relief. There was no encore – the audience was a bunch of pretend Mods with no interest in U2 whatsoever – so we all piled back to somebody’s nearby flat with a bunch six packs.”
“I remember the gig at the Nashville,” says Paul Slattery in Uncut. Slattery is a photographer who had been working with the band during the tour. “They were supporting Secret Affair or someone, and when U2 came on there was fucking nobody in there. Just a load of mods propping up the bar. They played to 20 people, I suppose.”
Sam Burnett of Back to Zero confirms that it was them that took one of the slots from Fashion that night. “We had been hauled in at the last minute after the main band cancels. Life was pretty exciting. We had been riding on a wave, the Mod movement being in full swing.” Burnett remembers showing up and meeting U2 and judging the band because they didn’t look like a mod band, and they weren’t. There was also a disagreement between the two bands over the drum kits. Larry Mullen wants to use his own drum kit opening the show, but Back To Zero doesn’t want to have to deal with putting their kit together between acts, and instead tries to convince him to just use their kit.
It appears that U2 went on stage first, to an almost empty venue, followed by Back to Zero, and then the show was headlined by Secret Affair.
- 2020-08-21 December 1979: U2 Take On London (Original Story)
Officially Released Tracks