Lyceum Ballroom, London, England
Set List of Show:
- "11 O'Clock Tick Tock"
- "I Will Follow"
- "Stories for Boys"
- "An Cat Dubh"
- "Into the Heart"
- "A Day Without Me"
- "The Electric Co."
- "11 O'Clock Tick Tock"
Snippets of Other Songs Performed by U2:
"Send in the Clowns" (Stephen Sondheim) /
U2 is one of four opening acts for Echo & The Bunny Men, at a concert at the Lyceum Ballroom in London, England. The attendance for this show is said to be about 1,500 people. U2 play a short set, including performing “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” twice. The Books are the first band to go on, followed by The Au Pairs, then Delta 5, and finally U2 before the main act, Echo and the Bunnymen.
Tickets were £3,00 and sold through the Lyceum Box Office, London Theatre Bookings, Premier Box Office or Rock On Records. On the poster for the event, and in ads in the New Musical Express, the band are listed as U.2. The show started at 6:30pm. Ticket stubs for the event list only Echo and the Bunny Men, and do not mention U2.
During the show, Bono attempts to engage the crowd but finds it a losing battle. The band gets hardly any applause throughout the evening. At one point during “The Electric Co.” he is struggling with his tight leather pants, and he hides behind The Edge to adjust them. He later jumps onto the PA stack and then later moves into the crowd during the song. A short snippet of “Send in the Clowns” is included with “The Electric Co.”
A review by Chris Salewicz in the New Musical Express are not kind to U2, “…which is more than I can say for U2 who are basically little more than nonsense, or perhaps the new Boomtown Rats — one of the two, and they both amount to the same thing, anyway. This four-piece Irish group are nothing more than a very traditional hard rock outfit with a singer — one Bono by name — who’d love to be Rod Stewart, in imitation of whom he moves much of the time, when he isn’t busy imitating the inevitable Iggy, of course. He also delivers Bob Geldof raps. After “Stories for Boys,” a song of forced poignancy heavily reliant on Hawkwind’s “Silver Machine” bass riff, Bono histrionically bellows: “We’re giving out a lot of flesh and passion up here!” And more in similar vein. Ah, those luvvable, lyrical Oirish kissers of the Blarney Stone. I bet that Bono writes poetry and thinks that Van’s The Man to be sure. U2 really are quite awful, though the young people — particularly th emutant punks — at the pop concert seemed to enjoy their tired old fakery. “
Mike Gardner in the Record Mirror was more favourable. “U2 kicked off with ’11 O’Clock Tick Tock’ and immediately justified the buzz about their work with the shimmering guitar work of The Edge, the pure majestic power conjured up by bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen and the compelling persona of lead singer Bono. For the first time that night a band used air and space in the music and its effect was devastating. The essense of U2 is contained in the sprinkling of harmonics and ringing tones from the intelligently and elegantly manipulated guitar. ‘A Day Without Me’ was superb, despite Bono’s shot voice, and the quality of the other material more than whet the appetite for the forthcoming album.
Robin Denselow of The Guardian related, “I’ve never seen U2 before and I am sure that last night’s performance was not one of their finest. The audience seemed frankly bemused and the band disappointed. But then they were trying something that if not new was certainly very different to any current fad, from electronics to heavy metal. The band’s 20-year-old singer and writer, Bono, describes his intentions as ‘to be beyond categorisation and be both lyrical and exciting.’ At the Lyceum, Bono’s voice was off-form and only in patches did he achieve the power of those singles. From all reports the band can do much better, so perhaps they’ll be in luck at the Marquee tonight.”
Bootleg recordings of this show do exist, including video footage of “The Electric Co.” The Echo & The Bunnymen performance was being filmed for a British punk and new wave movie, Urgh! A Music War which was released in 1982. The crew filming also filmed the opening acts to set up shots for when they would film the headliner. Both Echo & The Bunnymen’s “The Puppet” and the Au Pairs “Come Again” from that night were featured in the film.
Officially Released Tracks