The Forum, Hatfield, UK
Set List of Show:
- "A Day Without Me"
- "I Will Follow"
Snippets of Other Songs Performed by U2:
U2 make their first appearance on television outside of Ireland, on the Children’s television show White Light on Thames TV. The performance aired on October 6.
During that time they also made their first appearance on television outside of Ireland. This wasn’t the more commonly referred to appearance at Get It Together which aired on ITV on November 9, 1980. This is an appearance that likely aired almost a month earlier on Thames TV. Recently our friends at U2Valencia posted a video that caught our eye. It featured a young U2 performing on the show White Light with very little other information. Interested in a performance we did not know about, we did some digging on when and where this appearance took place.
But this was an appearance on White Light, a childrens program on Thames Television, co-hosted by DJ Gary Crowley and decathlon champion, Daley Thompson. The show itself ran for a 10 episode run between September 8 and November 10, 1980, as well as one earlier run, and a Christmas special that aired in December 1981. The show is a 25 minute program, and features one musical act per episode, usually performing 2-3 songs. The rest of the episodes would feature young people under twenty discussing their views on news topics. The show aired at 5:30pm on Monday afternoons, and was filmed the Thursday before it would air. The show was often used as a way to get on television for young bands, and the Fall 1980 series featured acts such as Madness, Spandau Ballet, The Meteors, and Athletico Spizz.
When did U2 appear? We have confirmation that the program aired in October, which means it would have been one of four shows aired that month. It was not the October 27 broadcast, as that slot was filled by The Meteors. Likewise it wouldn’t have been the broadcast on October 20, as U2 were performing in Europe and would not have been in the UK to record. The broadcast on October 13 would have been filmed on October 9, and U2 were in Manchester for a show that day. Could they have filmed it before leaving for Manchester? No, because we have confirmation that U2 were in Manchester the day before their show. U2 attended a show by The Passions in Manchester on October 8 at the Manchester Rafters Club. That means if the U2 program did air in October, it was most likely the first broadcast of the month, October 6, 1980, which would have been filmed on October 2. U2 did perform in Leeds on October 2, but as the shows were taped early in the day, it is possible U2 recorded and then went to Leeds for their show. U2’s show before the Leeds show was in Brighton on September 30, so they likely had a day off in London on their way North for the next round of shows. If anyone can confirm the date we would love to hear from you.
The performance was filmed at the theatre known as the Forum in Hetfield just North of London. A small studio audience was present for the performance, and the band did at least two tracks, “A Day Without Me” and “I Will Follow.” “A Day Without Me” had been released as a single to promote the album before its release, coming out on August 18. “I Will Follow” would be the second single from the album, released on October 24, 1980. Although some bands would do three songs, it is unknown if U2 did anything beyond these two.
Officially Released Tracks