(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais (3:59)

Cover of The Clash

From The Clash and 52 other releases

“(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais” is a song and single by The Clash, self produced and first released as a 7” single, backed with similarly themed track “The Prisoner”, in June 1978.

The song was later added to the American version of the band’s debut album The Clash sandwiched between the single version of “White Riot” and “London’s Burning”.

Inspiration and composition

The song showed considerable musical and lyrical maturity for the band at the time and is stylistically more in line with their version of Junior Murvin’s “Police & Thieves” as the powerful guitar intro of “(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais” descends into a slower ska rhythm, and was disorienting to a lot of the fans who had grown used to their earlier work. “We were a big fat riff group,” author Joe Strummer noted in The Clash’s film Westway to the World. “We weren’t supposed to do something like that.”

“(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais” starts by recounting an all-night reggae “showcase” night at the Hammersmith Palais in Shepherd’s Bush, London that was attended by Joe Strummer, Don Letts and roadie Rodent and was headlined by Dillinger, Leroy Smart and Delroy Wilson. Strummer was disappointed and disillusioned that these performances had been more “pop” and “lightweight” similar to Ken Boothe’s brand of reggae with Four Tops-like dance routines, and that the acts had been “performances” rather than the roots rock rebellion that he had been hoping for.

Tags

Everyone’s tags

More tags

Play with Spotify

Albums featuring this track (53)

Similar Tracks

  Track   Duration Listeners
The Clash - Complete Control 3:13 223,673
The Clash - Clash City Rockers 3:47 177,265
Ramones - Beat on the Brat 2:32 325,709
Sex Pistols - Holidays in the Sun 3:20 261,803
The Damned - New Rose 2:26 129,471
Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop 2:14 638,505

Listening Trend

204,279listeners all time
864,181scrobbles all time
Recent listeners trend:

Explore more

Shoutbox

Leave a comment. Log in to Last.fm or sign up.

Top Listeners