Marquee Club, London, England

Set List of Show:

Additional Music

Snippets of Other Songs Performed by U2:

Show Details:

U2 play their first of four Monday night shows at the Marquee Club in London, England, located at that time at 90 Wardour Street. Admission for the show is £1.25. The show is advertised in NME magazine, and U2 is listed as “U2”. U2 are listed as having a support act, and Jerry Floyd, resident DJ for The Marquee at the time is also listed as performing ahead of U2’s performance.

The full set list of U2’s performance at this show is unknown. It is known that the band did play “I Will Follow”, “Into the Heart”, “Shadows and Tall Trees,” and “A Day Without Me” at this performance.

A review in Melody Maker by Ian Pye reads,

“Walking in the footsteps of their literacy forefathers Dublin’s new romantics are slowly but surely building an ambience of expectancy and urgent furore rivalled only by the kind of buzz that goes round their fair city when it’s last orders on Saturday night.

U2 control a vivid conceptions of how their music should sound, coupled with a remarkable sense of destiny. It’s this innate development of a collectively inspired direction, driven by a charismatic passion, that has imbued their music with such a fearsome coherence.

In the man they call Bono, they have a singer of great range and power. Fortunately he never indulges this talent, editing his contributions expertly, so when not singing, he stalks the stage pushing on the band and imploring the audience to go up with them.

There’s something of the animal magnetism once associated with Iggy Pop, though Bono looks more like Robin Williams of ‘Mork and Mindy’ than the peanut butter fiend. Much of their live presence relies on his visual dynamism yet he never becomes a separate entity strutting like so many other prima-donnas in front of the rest. Always there remains an invisible but unbreakable bond between the four.

By fusing traditional elements of driving, urban-rock with the Edge’s plaintive, mercurial guitar they achieve a strikingly original approach on equally impressive songs such as “I Will Follow” and “Into the Heart”, both to be included on the forthcoming album produced by Steve Lillywhite. On “Shadows ‘n’ Tall Trees” they delve into an emotional minefield with dexterity and vision, while a “Day Without Me” shows they are capable of incorporating a clever sense of pathos as well as demonstrating a worthy sense of humour.

Beyond all the analysis what hits home most is their extraordinary vitality. Naïve enthusiasm may be passé in some quarters but when it’s channeled into music as expansive as this it could crack a heart of granite. If they can survive the kiss of death given to any new band hailed “the future of rock ‘n’ roll, U2 should establish themselves as one of the best things to come out of Ireland since James Joyce and Guinness.”

In 2015, U2 released Another Time, Another Place, a recording from The Marquee Club, and Bono is recorded doing a spoken remembrance of the club. He remembers the four show residency in September 1980: “Anyway, the Marquee Club on Wardour Street was to be the site of a residency for U2. U2 would play every Monday for four weeks. The first Monday was half-full. The second Monday was nearly full. The third Monday they had to turn people away and the fourth Monday there were queues around the block, across the road, and Wardour Street looked like an A-bomb had landed on it. That’s a Jam reference if you care. Um, of course we thought this was the Irish invasion. It’s incredible what a few hundred people believing in you does for you self-confidence.” The recording on that fan club release was taken from the September 29 show at the Marquee, the last of the four appearances in U2’s residency. The Marquee had been established for years when it moved to the Wardour Street location in 1964. The club operated there until 1988. The club was at ground level in a busy Soho area famed for the night life and close to other clubs. The clubs capacity was around 1,000 people, although a well known performance by Jimi Hendrix saw 1,400 attend a show at the club. Based on Bono’s comments above, it is likely that the first show in the Marquee saw less than 500 people attend, with an increase with each subsequent Monday night. One person in attendance that evening at the Marquee estimated that the room was about one-third full, and that most were standing back, with a small amount of people up at the stage, and the majority hanging back at a distance.

Jack Barrie, the manager of The Marquee at the time would later remember U2’s run of shows in an interview with Q Magazine: “By the time they came back in September they knew they were in a stronger position. They came to Nigel Hutchings, who was the Marquee’s booking manager, with the idea that they should have a regular Monday night residency. This used to happen often in the ’60s with bands on the way up, but it had stopped, so U2 would be seen to be the first band to get a Marquee residency in many years. Across those four weeks, you could see the build-up in interest as the buzz went around.” Neil Storey, press officer with Island Records added, “The first two nights at the Marquee didn’t sell out, but the second two did and by then they were the hottest new act in Britain, the band everybody had to see.”

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