Bryn Merrick was a member of Cardiff-based punk band Victimize long before he joined the Damned. He joined The Damned where he survived as bass player from 1983 to ’89. He’d replaced Paul Gray, who had left for UFO. Merrick’s first release with the Damned was the single “Thanks for the Night” b/w “Nasty”. As bassist on the bands most commercial and commercially successful albums ‘Phantasmagoria’ and ‘Anything’ Bryn had arrived in the big time.
Bryn made his TV debut on the set of the Young Ones where the band performed the fantastic single ‘Nasty’ still with the Captain on board but, it would seem not for long before he fell overboard. Bryn played the two dates at Finsbury park under the circus tent for the bands Tenth Anniversary Tea Party celebrations and was then featured on the Old Gray Whistle Test recording in Denmark where the band had a pretty decent feature. The band had never had it so good at that period and after the success of ‘Grimly Fiendish’ and subsequent singles around the album there were high budget videos recorded as well as plenty of sold out shows. The high point of this period had to be the bands cover of ‘Eloise’ which saw them hit the top three in the UK singles chart. The band managed to stay a stable entity for several years thanks in no small part to the inclusion of Jugg and Merrick although stable might be a poor choice of word seeing as the tomfoolery and high jinx would continue a plenty with Merrick complaining of being set alight by Scabies as well as trashing the set of Rock the Dock in Liverpool on a promo performance of Anything ahead of the album release.
They rode the success as they pushed on with the more commercially accessible ‘Anything’ album the band was playing to big crowds every night and with Bryn and Roman occupying the guitar department the band seemed to be doing well but something was indeed rotten in the heart of Denmark and the band imploded after a time of inactivity and sitting around waiting for something to happen which did but this time it was without Jugg and Merrick. who bowed out when the ‘Light At The End Of The Tunnel’ was released at the tail end of the ’80s. It was fun whilst it lasted and Bryn enjoyed the trappings of success and the fast living of Proper tour busses and half decent hotels.
With the return of Captain several years later Bryn only became newsworth in Damned circles due to his health issues and one we hoped he would win.It was during the making of the movie ‘Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead’ it became apparent that both Bryn and Paul were being treated in the same place by the same Doctor. Sadly the last time I saw Bryn was during a questions and answers session when the film had a screening in Cardiff Chapter Arts Centre where both Paul and Bryn were present with the film maker and seemingly in good spirits taking candidly about their time in the band. Sadly Bryn never fully recovered from his diagnosis and on this day in 2015 he lost his battle with the disease.
His time in the Damned will be fondly remembered by many fans and I personally loved following the band around during that period at some pretty amazing shows. Bryn was a character and filled some pretty hefty shoes in The Damned from Captain, Algy and Paul He last played with the band at a show at Cardiff Point where the Damned had 4 bass players on stage at the same time not something you see every day. Captain, Paul, Stu and Bryn it was great to see but I think there were a couple up there who’d had a sherry or two but it was fun to be there for that. Bryn sadly lost his battle on this day in 2015 but not before signing off Facebook with,”Goodbye, Signing out for a while”. Gone But Not Forgotten Rest in peace Bryn Nos Da for now.