Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros

In the mid-to-late 1990s, Strummer gathered top-flight musicians into a backing band he called The Mescaleros. Strummer and the band signed with Mercury Records, and issued their first album in 1999, which was co-written with Antony Genn, called Rock Art and the X-ray style. A tour of England, Europe, and North America soon followed; sets included several Clash fan favourites. In 2001 the band signed with Californian punk label Hellcat Records and released their second album, Global A Go-Go. The album was supported with a 21-date tour of North America, Britain and Ireland. Once again, these concerts featured Clash material ("London's Burning", "Rudie Can't Fail", "White Man In Hammersmith Palais"), as well as covers of reggae and ska hits ("The Harder They Come", "A Message To You, Rudy") and the band regularly closed the show by playing The Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Pop". He also covered Redemption Song originally by Bob Marley. In the same year, somewhat out of character, Strummer and the Mescaleros performed the song Minstrel Boy for the movie Black Hawk Down, a haunting and emotive Celtic tune that is played during the evacuation of PFC Blackburn during the Battle of Mogadishu and also during the end credits. On 15 November 2002, Strummer and The Mescaleros played a benefit show for striking fire fighters in London, at the Acton Town Hall. Mick Jones was in the crowd, and joined the band on stage during the Clash's "Bankrobber." An encore followed with Jones playing guitar and singing on "White Riot" and "London's Burning". This performance marked the first time since 1983 that Strummer and Jones had performed together on stage. Jones later remarked that it was totally unplanned and that he felt compelled to join Strummer on stage.

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