The Golden Eagle, Birmingham, England

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In most show listings this show is listed as a concert at Demelzas, a bar in Plymouth, England. But we believe that show never happened, and the band chose to play this show in Birmingham instead, even though early tour posters listed the show in Plymouth. Back in 1980 it was common for shows to be canceled or changed without much notice, and that information often was lost over time, as only the initial advertisements for gigs exist.

The original tour scheduling called for U2 to play Dezmelzas in Penzance on September 17, and Totnes at the Civic Hall on September 18, 1980. Press coverage in Totnes confirms that the show on September 18, 1980 never occurred. The venue in Totnes received a telegram from the promotor, Centre Ocean Promotions stating that one of the members of U2 had taken ill with appendicitis. That telegram was received on Monday, September 15. However it is known that U2 played the gig at the Marquee in London on the night of the 15th, and played the show in Plymouth on the 16th. So it appears that if there was thoughts that one of the members of U2 was ill, they were certainly able to perform elsewhere, and had used the excuse to cancel the Totnes show. So why do we believe they also canceled the show in Penzance? Because there is evidence that U2 played another venue that night.

Advertisements for The Golden Eagle, a bar in Birmingham, England, list U2 having played on September 17. The poster was produced in mid-August, so its almost certain that if the band had played Birmingham they knew about it some time in advance, and perhaps it did play into the decision to cancel the show in Totnes. The show at the Golden Eagle is also listed in the Record Mirror, published the week of the show.

While that alone wouldn’t be reason enough to believe that there was a gig in Birmingham, there is further evidence that it happened. Articles in Time Out Birmingham, and the Birmingham Mail publications both mention that U2 had appeared at the Golden Eagle. And we have also spoken to one person who remembers the show at the Golden Eagle and confirmed that U2 did indeed play there, and were not just listed in advertising. Although the date at Demelzas is commonly referenced, we have only seen it listed in an advertisement for the tour, published well in advance of the actual show, and there has been no evidence over the years to support that U2 ever played that show. Until we get proof that something else happened, we are going to consider that the show in Penzance on September 17, and the show in Totnes on September 18 did not happen, and U2 played Birmingham on the 17th instead at The Golden Eagle.

Set list information for this show is not available.

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