Well, we’re almost there folks its Sunday on our preview and by now there will be sore heads, aching limbs, sunburn, and ringing ears and aching jaws from having such a good time and laughter that’s usually how Sunday pans out but not necessarily in that order. By now you will have got the hang of how to best navigate your way through the Winter Garden and how best to avoid the heat and there will be some who are only now getting into the swing of things and only just warming up.  We’ve already opened a book as to what state our friends Trigger Mcpoopshute will be in before they hit the introducing stage.  I just hope Blackpool has enough Special Vat on tap because they will find it and the Karaoke bar.  Anyway, I digress.

On with the show.  first up will no doubt be a very early start for many as Hands Off Gretel hit the Empress Stage between 12:50pm – 1:30 pm. With their recent album and live shows, they’ve had plenty of praise around these parts and it’ll be great to catch them on such a big stage and big room compared to the tight confines of Clwb Ifor Bach. But wait, get your time warp daps on because there are more clashes than outside a Swansea v Cardiff derby.  1.55 also sees our mates the wonderful Kopek Millionaires return to the festival in the Opera House and hang on those Welsh herberts Trigger McPoopshute are also kicking up a shitstorm over on the introducing stage at 1.15 and if you shout loud enough I’m sure they’ll play ‘Sheep’ and my favourite ‘Skidmarks & Spencer’.

It’s just not fair because Pizzatramp will be causing offense and singing songs about Goths at 2 pm over at Club Casbah or whinging about having their fuckin’ backs being fucked and calling Bono names but I can guarantee they will be entertaining and totally crushing the room.  Next up for me will be those filthy garage punk noise bringers Rotten Foxes again on the introducing stage where double denim hot pants will no doubt be the order of the day and songs about Danny Dyer will be belted out for the gathered masses. Around the same time, The Svetlanas will also be delivering the noise over in The Ballroom and they went down very well last year. You could stay put and chill because up next is the pop punk of Teenage Bottlerockets in the Empress. Or no doubt like many will head over to Club Casbah for your annual fix of Dirtbox Disco at 5.10 pm. If you haven’t had enough Hands Off Gretel frontwoman Lauren Tate will be putting on an Acoustic performance in Almost Acoustic but I’d imagine you’d have to get there early as it will be busy.

It’s still very early evening and hopefully, you should be just warming up by about now and pacing yourself.  You’ll hopefully have just taken in a bunch of new bands on your radar and awaiting some more established bands who will be along later.  There are a dozen bands playing the Introducing Stage on Sunday many of whom I’ll admit to not having heard but will always dip in because its stages like this where the future headliners might come from and who knows, your new favourite band.  Isn’t that the beating heart of what Rebellion Festival is all about?  You can stay in one venue all day long and come across a whole gambit of bands some you’ll love some you’ll know the name of but have never heard them and others will blow you away and all indoors under the same roof alongside friendly staff who make it such a special place to watch alternative music night after night after night. Anyway, I digress.

The Witchdoktors play their garage punk rock n roll just before Foreign Legion kicks in with their Oi! infused street punk.  Weaving around the stages takes some skills that you should no doubt be a Jedi master at by this point so negotiating Conflict, DOA and then King Kurt will be a piece of piss right?  Yeah right.  and if you’re still in one piece The Motherchuffin’ Dwarves are taking the Casbah stage home tonight and will no doubt devastate what’s left of the audience.  I see they’re down for a 55-minute set so it looks like they’re playing twice then kids 😉

Anyway back in the Empress the final curtain call sees CJ Ramone knock out a whole bunch of classics from 7 pm and lets face it he’s never let us down and his new solo album is a bit tasty as well so in fairness throw your laminated stage finder timetable out the window buy yourself a Dark Fruit and just follow your ears and you’ll be taken to a stage that will put a big smile on your face.  The Professionals follow CJ then The Skids follow the Professionals but its top trumps time for me because the Damned close the festival that is as long as The Dwarves haven’t raised the Winter Gardens to the ground from the Casbah at the same chuffing time!  it’ll be a flip of the coin no doubt or we will have to split review duties and by witching hour it will all be over – done and dusted.  Back to our hotels and B&B’s with our pathetic bruised and beaten carcasses dissecting our weekend – our long lost weekend down the musical wormhole that is Rebellion festival.  If you’re still in with a chance of going but can’t decide to take it from us you won’t regret it – not for a second (well that might be a lie – your legs might be saying otherwise)  There is no other festival quite like it in the UK and we love being a part of it year after year.  I’m packed and ready to rock n roll now where did I leave my kiss me quick hat?

Roll Up Roll Up tickets available Here

If you were to cross members of Nekromantix, The Brains, Stellar Corpses, and Rezurex! You’d get a batty mix of Psychobilly punk rock and roll so it’s a bit of luck that just that has waled into the ether and dropped onto RPM HQ. With special guest slots form the likes of Jyrki 69 of The 69 Eyes and Danny B. Harvey! It’s fair to say I was sitting up waiting for the air to be filled with the sound of some pretty heady rock and roll. It’s fair to say I wasn’t disappointed.

As I scan the cover I notice a few surprises in the choice of covers ranging from The Damned and some pretty famouse pop tunes given a good seeing to. With fifteen original tracks and five psychobilly-infused covers including their renditions of Danzig (“Mother”), the king of surf Dick Dale (“Misirlou”), The Damned (“Love Song”), Gloria Jones (“Tainted Love”), Portugal. The Man (“Feel It Still”), and Panic! At The Disco “Say Amen” (Saturday Night). To be fair ‘Tainted Love’ has previously been given the Psychobilly treatment from Living End and this is a very similar version. also doing Danzig isn’t too much of a stretch either seeing as both vocals are very similar.  The one that really intrigued me was them taking on the mighty Damned and ‘Love Song’ and to be fair it’s such a monumental tune its never going to touch the original but as far as interpretations go this is decent.  Great crunchy guitar with the drums rolling through like a steam train and whilst they remain fairly faithful its a great attempt and Damned fan needn’t look away. As far as ‘Mother’ goes this is cool as I’m not a huge Danzig fan and I guess it would have been too easy to pick a Misfits tune so this is good and once it breaks open I love it.

 

As for the original tunes I love the groove they get into on ‘Graveyard Girl’ and the guest vocalist work of Jyrki is suitably Gothic and dark How cool would it be if he took a bit of this direction back to 69 Eyes? to be fair twenty tracks is a lot of music to work your way through and whilst the heart is always Rockabilly there is enough variety here and with the inclusion of the covers breaks up the record.  Saying that it could have been two albums six months apart but hey what do I know?

If you want a bunch of songs to pick through to try before you buy then look no further than ’50s inspired ‘She Wolf’ or the melodic ‘We Own The Night’ which is like one of the best songs the Misfits never got hold of. ‘Getaway Car’ is poptastic from the acoustic guitars it’s like a modern ‘Leader Of The Pack’ and could easily sell huge in the American alternative market and crossover. ‘The Man’ follows suit I love the dripping reverb on that guitar lick an interesting cover, to say the least.

Fans of the other bands these guys are in will be interested in checking this out as will rockabilly rebels and fans of quality Rock and Roll out looking for a whole lot of music for your money and excellent tunes they are too.  Pick it up!

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Author: Dom Daley

One of the albums of the year gets a re-press on Blood Red vinyl for those who missed out on the initial press.  RPM  reviewed it Here and we urge you not to sit on your hands a second time as this will sell out as the first run did.  Go Go Go!
Alvin says, “For all you vinyl junkies that missed out on obtaining my solo album ‘Your Disobedient Servant’ on 12 inch vinyl earlier this year due the initial 300 being sold out in short order, Time & Matter Records have manufactured a new batch of 300, this time on blood-red vinyl and minus the accompanying CD and download code. This release will, therefore, be sold at the lesser price of £17 (the first pressing was priced at £22) and can be ordered from this Here”

It features twelve songs written by yours truly and an array of very talented guest musicians that reads like this: Brian James – The Damned / Lords Of The New Church; Leigh Heggarty – Ruts DC; Mick Rossi – Slaughter & The Dogs; James Stevenson – Generation X / Chelsea / The Cult / The Alarm; Barry ‘Barrington’ Francis – The Saints; Timo Kaltio – Johnny Thunders band/Hanoi Rocks / Cheap ‘N’ Nasty; Mel Wesson – Keyboard player & Ambient music designer – TV Smith’s Explorers/The Verve ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ / U.K. Subs ‘Diminished Responsibility’ LP / Films Mission Impossible 2, Batman Begins, Hannibal etc; Steve Crittall – The Godfathers; Jamie Oliver – U.K. Subs.

“I would advise interested parties to get their orders in sharp to avoid what occurred last time, which was a lot of people missing out due to the speed that the original batch sold at. In fact it was due to so many people voicing their disappointment at not being able to get a vinyl copy in time that persuaded T & M Records to go with this colour-altered second run. For those of you that are not so disposed to a bit of vinyl, there is also a CD version of the album available from the same link. Ta! A x”

Happy Birthday Brian James the guy who kickstarted punk in London –  Hell he Invented UK Punk for God’s sake even The Captain says as much. Brian was the force behind The Damned who were the first to do this first to do that – The FIRST! remember that.

It didn’t end there for Brian Who when he left The Damned (the band he started) he went on to play for Iggy Pop then put together his own supergroup – The Lords Of The New Church. Before heading out under his own name.

Born in In Hammersmith in 1955.  Brian Robertson as he was christened first came to prominence when he picked up the guitar alongside fellow punk icons Mick Jones (the Clash) and Brady (Hollywood Brats) under the banner SS London, he then formed The Damned and the rest, as they say, is history.  I don’t think Brian or The Damned ever got the props they truly deserved and history has ushered The Pistols and The Clash to the top of the pile yet it was The Damned led by Brian that reached all the firsts and has remained punk to the core until this day where he still writes and occasionally plays.

 

If you don’t know Brians style then you’ve not really heard real punk rock from the first chords of ‘New Rose’ to his unique style on ‘Grand Cru’ or ‘The Guitar That Dripped Blood’ Brian has always done things on his own terms and stayed true to himself.  He has an impeccable CV and a list of albums he’s played on that can go toe to toe with any of his peers no question about it.

Buy Brian James: Here

Brian switched from his Les Paul to the Telecaster and that drag as seen on the Lords footage is what sets the great from the good.

Ten years after Brian James popped into the world Ray and Dave Davies as The Kinks were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Tired Of Waiting For You’, the group’s second UK No.1. According to Ray Davies, the music for ‘Tired of Waiting for You’ was written on the train to the recording studio and the words were written at a coffee shop during a break in the session. So let that be a lesson pop pickers last minute changes can work.

On a sadder note on this day in 1995 Replacements guitarist, Bob Stinson passed away. Stinson was found in his apartment in Uptown Minneapolis. Bob was only 35. He founded The Replacements with Chris Mars and His Brother Tommy and later roped in Westerberg. He lasted up until the sessions for ‘Pleased To Meet Me’ before leaving due to creative differences Now this stacks up more than for his drug or alcohol use C’mon this was the Replacements.

The band headed down a more commercial route after Bob left but he hadn’t finished with music quite yet as he Went on to form Model Prisoner with Sonny Vincent, Static Taxi who recorded two albums.  In a rather amusing anecdote, Vincent remembered a time when former Dead Boy Cheetah Chrome relocated to Minneapolis to play in shotgun rationale “quite insane for a while… You have to imagine a band consisting of both Bob Stinson and Cheetah Chrome playing and working together.. then add to that I was no angel and you start to get a glimpse of the mercurial energy and intense chaos that we lived in, it didn’t last long but it was like living in a constant lightning storm and the sound was the same, tight and concentrated but always exploding over the edge”. Stinson didn’t die of a drug overdose but the frequent drug use caused his overall health to diminish, resulting in organ failure. So if you get the chance put on one of those early Mats records or Model Prisoner and toast a life most certainly lived. Rest In Peace Bob Stinson.

Buy Bob Stinson Here

Along with the recent announcement that Trigger McPoopschute will  be making their festival debut, The Damned have also been added to this summers bill along with a whole list of other great bands really strengthening these years line up after the early announcement of Cock Sparrer then The Stranglers

For all the latest updates and additions to the bill like the facebook page Here or their website Here

 

Also announced today was the inclusion of The legends that are The Dwarves and also from the USA Descendents.  We’re sure you’ll agree that this years festival is really beginning to take shape now.  for tickets Here

Plenty of Easter eggs for RPM

It seemed normal service had resumed and the UK was no longer under thread or code red because of the weather and the armed forces were asked to stand down from the impending doom that was heading our way if the week-long snow caused the country to slide into the Atlantic. April would see the customary Record Store Day madness that had clogged up pressing plants and caused delays right across the board as the majors jumped the queue with their plethora of reissues and one direction picture discs ready for the record buying public readily camping out on high streets across America and the UK hoping to get their hand on the Bowie seven inch that would only set them back £20 but hey if we didn’t buy into this it wouldn’t happen. 

 

I digress. April was to be the month The Damned would finally get around to unleashing their new long player on the public after something like a decade since their last long player but this time they’ve gone all out to impress with Tony Visconti taking care of the production and in my humble opinion making it more about him and his knob twiddling duties than The Damned and as a result, an album that promised so much, in reality, delivered so little and won’t feature as anyone’s album of the year even though its not without merit as there are good songs on board but where is Paul Grays signature sound thumping its way through the songs? Did I not mention Gray was back in the fold? Oh sorry, how rude of me.  yup Paul Gray was back in the fold and ‘Evil Spirits’ expectations hit the roof. It is certainly one of those albums you so desperately wanted to love but couldn’t quite convince yourself it was up there with some of their back catalogue but hey ho onwards and upwards and any Damned record however bad is still better than most other bands good albums. Fact. And the live dates were as expected – superb.

As far as other records to come out in April well, there’s always the ever-reliable Wonk Unit and this time out they’re unleashing ‘Terror’ upon us all. Once again it was recorded at the Brook and producer Andy Brook brought the best out of Alex and all who sail or should that be ride on the back of this thoroughbred stallion. it featured some classic Wonk none more so than this festive banger ‘Christmas In A Crackhouse’ but remember this is April.  Nice one Alex.

other worthy mentions have to go to the bonkers Cavemen who wanted to ‘Nuke Earth’ whilst Sarah Shook & The Disarmers impressed Ben with the album ‘Years’

On the 7″ front there were a few notable entries with the top of the pile being The DeRellas with the fantastic ‘High Rise Supersize’ seeing the recording debut of their new frontman and excellent fit Joey DeRella former frontman of the excellent Breakdowns.also on the singles front The Hip Priests released an excellent split with Demons and young upstarts The Kenneths put out a really excellent single in the shape of ‘Favourite Ex’ from the E.P ‘EX’ and hopefully 2019 will see RPM hear more from this most excellent of noise makers.

Onto the live front and a few notable entries would have to be when the country went RSD nuts – south Wales upstarts and ne’re do wells otherwise answering to the name Deathtraps played at what was a marathon of live shows all over Newport which began with Mike Peters of The Alarm playing the towns best venue the rather splendid Le Pub on the Friday night. It then spread to other venues throughout the day keeping live independent music alive and well in this corner of the world.

 

Also on tour in April was the splendid reformation of Thee Hypnotics who impressed Ben so much he went out and picked up a copy of their box set and Dom and Johnny also parted with some folding money for copies of their documentary when they rolled through Newport south Wales to play Le Pub (once Again). April was really hotting up as some mighty fine new bands rolled into town as part of tours to promote their new records two notable bands were Cabbage who were promoting the excellent ‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ and Trampolene who also played Clwb Ifor Bach and both shows were sellouts and both ended in hot sweaty messes just like the best club gigs should.

The only death to report in April would be that of Jesus Christ but that for another website and not here. Keep it RPM as we roll into May…

In a week that was overshadowed and pretty much dominated by one thing and that was the sad and sudden passing of the incredible talent that was Pete Shelley.  It seems everyone throughout social media had a picture and/or a nice touching story about meeting or working with Pete who passed away at the age of 63 at home in Estonia of a suspected Heart Attack.

It was warming to see that even the BBC found it fitting to round off the day’s news with the reporting of his passing. It seemed that only when passing many people realise what an impact someone has on pop culture.  Sure Pete was never a style icon but man could he write a bittersweet song he spoke to the lovestruck teen who wasn’t part of the cool club and outsiders everywhere were affected as well as many up and coming musicians who fitted the remit of his songs  bands who later took his influence and turned it into something all together bigger.  BAnds such as Nirvana who took Buzzcocks on tour to audiences they could only dream of pulling which gave them a new lease of life.  Bands such as Green Day wouldn’t, in turn, have made the music they did if it wasn’t for Pete and his tunes – in fact, he wrote dozens of them quite literally he was the undisputed king of punk rock 45’s enjoying numerous forays into the top 40 as well as the soundtrack to many a film and tv advert looking for a catchy, snappy immediate tune Shelly had em by the bucketload.

As recently as this past summer Buzzcocks were easily one of the standout bands from the Rebellion festival weekend where they understood that having seventy minutes to play it was a case of 1-2-3-4 hit after hit which they usually delivered at ear-splitting volumes. Taken way to early Pete’s passing is monumental and a real loss to fans globally and our thoughts go out to his bandmates, crew and family at what must be a very difficult time. Rest In Peace Pete Shelley.

As for happier things over the last seven days, RPM brought you reviews from Poland in the shape of the excellent Jack Saint, Scotlands Heavy Drapes and to round the week off the brand new EP from UK Subs. The big-ticket items on the live front would have to be a bunch of shows we covered by The Damned, The Alarm & Ryan Hamilton, as well as a cracker Ben witnessed by the Virginmarys and we started it all off last weekend when Nashville Pussy played Cardiff.

 

Keep it RPM and stay sick!

 

God bless Rudi Protrudi and God bless The Fuzztones and all who have sailed the turbulent Rock and Roll seas aboard this curious vessel.

Early 90’s ‘Tones sees Rudi with a new crew on board yet they obviously kept their trademark organ swirl and shimmering guitar aplenty and those B movie vocals dripping with echo. This the band’s 3rd album hasn’t been in print and available for some time so it’s always a joy when a label like Easy Action steps up and gives people a second chance to get their mitts on a copy with the added bonus of a 7″ single to boot.

The covers of some of the most influential psychedelic bands like  LOVE and THE DOORS are here alongside original Rudi Protrudi tracks such as the live favorites ‘Romilar D’ (named after some cough medicine a theme here maybe considering the band also dabbled with snake oil), ‘Rise’ and ‘Skeleton Farm’.  Jordan Tarlow, (Lead Guitar) John “Speediejohn” Carlucci, (Bass) Jason Savall, (Vox Organ) & “Mad” Mike Czekaj did a fantastic job of just slotting right in with Rudi’s Fuzztones sound and vibe and the transition from East to West coast was seamless for Rudi.

The band gained a decent fanbase here in the UK as a result of the tour they did supporting The Damned during their most commercially successful ‘Phantasmagoria’ period,  Which was where I first got reeled in by The Fuzztones at a show in Cardiff on that tour. The band were “cool as” and their messed up Rock and Roll was mysterious and the real deal for this young scribe and a fantastic introduction to the B movie, horror psychedelic Rock and Roll that Rudi has stayed true to all his career and the genre they labelled psych garage or whatever retro nametag they hang the likes of the Fuzztones off of these days.

Possibly the bands most commercial record ‘Braindrops’ was a stab at the mainstream whilst kinda keeping it real. The possible including of the three covers was a cry for attention from Rudi using the Love and The Doors as well as the ever-catchy ‘The People In Me’ Music Machine cover might be a stretch on reflection but considering its not a ten track album Rudi might have got away with it besides he’s only ever danced to his own tune (figuratively of course) and ‘Braindrops’ which has now been expanded to a bumper seventeen tracks when you include the three that feature on the 7″ single, this is certainly a splatter reissue you simply must-own.

Be mindful that there are only 700 of these so don’t snooze. I did chuckle when I read that Rudi is alleged to have called this record the bands Sgt Pepper! so I’ll have some of whatever he’s on (not that I’m a massive fan of The Beatles) but whichever way you look at this album you should check it out. If you’re new to The Fuzztones then remember this – The Fuzztones don’t do bad records never have and never will so what are you waiting for?  2018 hasn’t really been a bad year for reissues and this is most certainly at the top of the pile.  Go get it, folks, before they’re all gone.

 

Buy Braindrops Here

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Author: Dom Daley

Cards on the table, full disclosure but The Damned were the second of my three life-changing first was The Beatles and the third was The Hellacopters. Growing up in Croydon during the 70’s and 80’s you couldn’t really avoid bumping into Captain Sensible either down The Dog & Bull or walking through the demilitarised zone in the Whitgift Centre. The same can be said for Johnny Moped, during their Big Band phase I was one of their Roadies, with original Moped drummer, Dave Berk, coming to my Wedding. So yes, you can call me a fan. At this point, you are probably thinking “If you’re such a fan how you can be impartial when it comes to reviewing them?” Fair point, but hard-core fans can be the most critical of a band that they love and over the years spent a small fortune on. Between the end of The Damned’s “Not of this Earth/I’m Alright Jack and the Beanstalk” and the “Grave Disorder” line-up, admitting to still being a fan was fraught with derision and plausible deniability and with the best intentions at heart; technology nixed The Mopeds “The Search for Xerxes” album.

But there I was travelling down from East Croydon, both The Damned’s and Moped’s former unofficial spiritual home, to Brighton their new one, for the first date of the “Evil Spirits” Pre Christmas Tour.

The Brighton Dome is like a scaled down Royal Albert Hall, also scaled down were the prices at the Bar, which pleased my wallet. Now for those of you Tom Cats that don’t know anything about Johnny Moped he would be the first to tell you he is 80% disabled. There is a Spectrum dedicated solely to Johnny, Chrissie Hynde was sacked from the band, twice, Dee Dee Ramone loved them and Michael Stripe cited them as influential, I kid you not.  At the appointed time of 8’o clock Johnny Moped, the band, wondered on stage with guitarist Rock ‘n’ Roll Robot asking where their esteemed leader was, before Johnny Moped, the man, appeared from the wings like some papal figure. With a quick “One, two, cut yer hair” the band were off with “Incendiary Device” which led into another “Cycledelic” classic “Panic Button” that features probably the greatest line of all time “Picking off my acne ‘cause I haven’t had a meal”. The band didn’t rest on past glories with a healthy dose of material culled from 2016’s “A Real Cool Baby” album fitting in perfectly. Talking of culling; “Save The Baby Seals” from the “Xerxes” album made a welcome appearance. For “Darling Let’s Have Another Baby” brief keyboard playing member Francesca joined Johnny on vocals to replicate the Kirsty McCall and Billy Bragg version of it. Unlike Francesca, Kirsty had not discovered both the Moped’s and Damned’s alcohol quota for the whole tour and drunk the lot. Over a very short period of time. On an empty stomach. This was not lost on Johnny as he dedicated the next track “Catatonic” to her. Johnny Moped are very much a Marmite/Brussel Sprout band. You either get them and get them big time or you wonder what the heck just happened. With the band finishing with the Roxy Album classic “Hard Lovin’ Man” I think the partisan Damned crowd got them big time.

For a 9 year period, The Damned were happy to rest on their laurels, to gig and tour without a new product to promote, knowing that their fans, like me, were all to easily appeased, happy to hear live material that was mainly recorded during the chaos years of 1976 – 1986. All that changed with the Fan Funded album “Evil Spirits”, which raised enough money to be recorded in NYC with Tony Visconti on production duties. Cited as being what “Phantasmagoria” would’ve sounded like had Captain not left and with “Black Album”/”Strawberries” era bassist Paul Gray returning it was a win, win situation. An album fans bought and an album fans wanted to hear played live. However, it was “Born to Kill” from the band’s debut album that kicked things off with the somewhat apt “Democracy?”, from the band’s 2001 album “Grave Disorder” following on. “Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow” was the first of 4 songs taken from “Evil Spirits”, but nothing from “Music for Pleasure”, not even “Stretcher Case”, nothing from “Phantasmagoria”, “Anything”, “I’m Alright Jack” (as if, but please) or even “So, Who’s Paranoid?”. Early fans might’ve bulked at “Grimily Fiendish” and “Eloise” but these tracks introduced a whole swath of new fans to the Damned and their back catalogue, in the same manner as “Love Song” enticed fans of the NWOBHM back in 1979, so their omission was puzzling. (“Alone Again Or” from “Anything” was added to later dates).  Much has been made over recent years over the maturity of David Vanian’s vocals, but the surprise for me were Captain’s vocals on “Silly Kids Games”; like Vanian’s they have become much more measured, warming and fuller sounding. I only wish that the demo lyrics of “Balls to Monkhouse, fuck off Forsyth, piss off  Parsons” would be reinstated and I’m sure, talking of original lyrics, during “Smash it Up” Dave sang “I don’t wanna end up like Rudolf Hess” but I could be wrong. Original Damned guitarist Brian James lives in Brighton, with Captain, just before playing the James penned tune “One of the Two” asking if he was in the audience and if he was “to get up on stage where he belongs” Sadly he wasn’t. The Damned 2018 come across much more professional, I, thankfully, can’t remember the last-time I saw Captain strip off, even if for “There Ain’t No Sanity Clause” the whole band sported Father Christmas hats procured from the local Pound shop. Travelling back to East Croydon Train Station the next day I spotted around the Haywards Heath area some fantastically wealthy looking houses that backed onto a lake with their own wood. Slap bang in the middle of this private arboretum, with no noticeable access, was a 1970’s caravan that looked like it was missing its Robin Reliant. The caravan, with its burst corners, looked like some invisible giant foot had exerted just enough pressure to “pop” it rendering it this way. For some strange reason, this totally summed up The Damned and Johnny Moped the previous day.

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Pictures by kind permission from Jamie Macmillan Photos

Author : Armitage Smith

 

 

Ladies And Gentlemen How Do?…On this very date in 1979 one of the finest punk rock records hit the shops.  Sure there was no Brian James genius to steer the band and it was now down to Sensible, Scabies, Vanian and the new bloke Ward to move to the next level and take the band on a more adventurous journey that’s for sure.

They still had the genius and mainstay tunes on the album that have been in the bands set ever since and it would seem strange not to see the band play and hear that killer Algy Ward grunt on ‘Love Song’ or the set closer and conductor of pandemonium over the years ‘Smash It Up’.

Its had the Anniversary treatment more times than the queen and had its fair share of reissues but one thing they’ve never done is fuck about with its exceptional sonic boom.  It might have been the Damned mark two dipping their collective toes into the songwriting pool and doing it exceptionally well and paving the way for the far more diverse ‘Black Album’ but it has never had the respect it should on a wide musical scale.  For me, you can keep your Pistols and your Clash (as much as I love both bands)  because my go to punk band from the class of the 70’s has always and will always be the Damned.  Never mentioned in the same breath as the other two but they were the first to this and first to that and first to the other and the only band that possibly could have come up with this record.  It might not have the might of the debut album but it’s not far behind that’s for sure.

 

What other groups could have called on the services of Lemmy, Strummer, Headon and Simonon to do backing vocals? Finally what better excuse to show how splended the band were than showing this TOTP footage of them performing ‘Love Song’  – Happy Birthday MGE the finest 39 in all the land.

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