2020 marked the 5th year of AmericanaFest UK, The Americana Music Association UK’s annual festival comprising a conference, artist showcases and awards ceremony, located in multiple venues across Hackney, London, in association with Visit Austin and ACL Live.
With the theme of 2020’s event being ‘Collaboration & Cross-Pollination’, AMA-UK launched the week with a show celebrating the historic musical connection between Texas and the UK forged when The Clash met Texan Joe Ely in London in the late seventies. This meeting of worlds led The Clash increasingly to explore musical forms we would now consider ‘Americana’ (rockabilly, soul, funk, even nascent hip-hop) and incorporate them with their unique London brand of punk.
The event commemorated the 40th anniversary of the release of The Clash’s most celebrated album London Calling and also Joe Ely’s Live Shots recorded live in London with The Clash in attendance.
Proceeds raised from the show will benefit two charitable organisations: The Joe Strummer Foundation, and a charity local to Hackney (TBC) - to honour the community who have hosted AMAUK since 2016 and as a reflection of the social consciousness of the music of both artists.
The live show then took the form of a single set with no breaks. It was a fast-moving rock’n’roll show in a standing venue, with the aim of retaining as much of the excitement and energy of The Clash’s music as possible, whilst giving it a distinctive Americana twist.
A house band along with guest vocalists performed songs from The Clash which spoke in to the cultural meeting of their music with the Americana world using original Clash arrangements but with a Texas/Americana twist.
The house band was made up of former UK Americana Award winners in the instrumentalist category, along with other professional session musicians from the Americana scene. The band was fronted by guest vocalists, from the UK’s contemporary Americana scene and beyond.
AmericanaFest UK is signed up to the PRS Keychange Pledge, ensuring gender balance across all our events by 2022. This balance was reflected in the line-up as much as possible.
Proceeds raised from the show will benefit two charitable organisations: The Joe Strummer Foundatio and a charity local; The Hackney Night Shelter - to honour the community who have hosted AMAUK since 2016 and as a reflection of the social consciousness of the music of both artists.