The Last Night London Burned -

A Film by Gregg McDonald and Alan Miles.

“The Last Night London Burned” – An account of Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros (featuring Mick Jones) FBU benefit concert at Acton Town Hall, 13th November 2002.

Directed and Produced By Gregg McDonald and Alan Miles.

Obtuse Productions 2003.

Running time: 26mins.

“The Last Night London Burned” began as a posthumous tribute book to Joe Strummer by George Binette, consisting of written testaments and photographs of Strummer’s last London gig at Acton Town Hall. Taking place five weeks before his death in December 2002, the Acton gig took on epic proportions far beyond the humble 700 capacity hall, as that night Mick Jones had taken to the stage with Joe for the first time in nearly 20 years.

      This generous and politically motivated concert has become recognised as a poignant and poetic coda to the conscientious edge of the real punk rock movement. Having been assigned the task of videographing the British Fire Brigades Union’s industrial action for better pay and working conditions, directors Gregg McDonald and serving fire fighter Alan Miles, the London Region FBU’s video unit, were in a great place at the right time to capture the historic events. 

 This serendipity combined with a passionate love and admiration for the subject, and the era that he forged and spearheaded, has resulted in a film that is sensitive, accomplished and a gem to be cherished by Combat Rockers far and wide.

 Premiered at this year’s Glastonbury festival to riotous acclaim, with Billy Bragg and Don Letts describing it as “historic” and “important” respectively, the film has not yet been broadcast.

 Obtuse productions are now in pre-production for a longer, more comprehensive biographical film “From Ankara to Acton”, which they aim to broadcast on the 22nd of December, the first anniversary of Strummer’s passing.

Contact for futher details :


November 2003

Dear Friend –

We are very pleased to invite you to a special central London screening of the film The Last Night London Burned, a unique visual record of the last ever London concert by Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros, at Acton Town Hall on the 15th of November Last Year.

 The gig, which was a benefit for the London region of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), has gained nigh legendary status as it marked the onstage reunion of The Clash’s songwriting partnership of Strummer and Mick Jones after nearly 20 years. Tragically, of course, it would prove their last appearance together as Joe died just five weeks later.

 The 30-minute film is an extended and re-edited version of the video that received a rapturous reception in the Left Field tent at this summer’s Glastonbury festival. Taking its title from the book, published in February this year, The Last Night London Burned provides memorable footage from last November’s concert, which took place against the background of the FBU’s first national strike in 25 years.

 In addition to documenting performances of Clash classics such as “Bankrobber” “White Riot” and “London’s Burning”, the film goes behind the scenes of an unforgettable gig. It features interviews with Mick Jones and Topper Headon, as well as writer and comedian Mark Steel, Billy Bragg and FBU general secretary Andy Gilchrist. There is also a brief backstage moment with Joe himself. We believe that the film is a poignant and fitting tribute to one of the most important popular artists of the last half-century, and shows why, two decades on, The Clash still matter.

 The screening will take place at the historic 100 Club in Oxford Street, London W1 from 1.00 pm on Thursday 20 November. We very much hope that you’ll be able to join us that afternoon.

 Yours sincerely –

Gregg McDonald and Alan Miles (Producer/Directors)

Proper Gander Films. 

To confirm or otherwise contact Gregg at :

Or call  Gregg on 07786 870005

or Alan on 07793 358032.

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