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Professor And The Madmen DM

Professor And The Madman

Disintegrate Me

Fullertone Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Southern California’s Professor And The Madman are ready for the curtain to rise on the group’s world debut. Inspired by Universal horror movies, the literature of Edgar Allan Poe, and the chaos of the world around them, the four veteran musicians who comprise Professor And The Madman are co-frontmen and songwriters Alfie Agnew (Adolescents, DI) and Sean Elliott (DI, Mind Over Four), who are joined by the legendary rhythm section of drummer Rat Scabies (The Damned, The Mutants) and bassist Paul Gray (The Damned, Eddie And The Hot Rods). The group’s new album, Disintegrate Me will be released on vinyl, CD and digital formats by FullerTone Records on February 23, 2018.

Paul Gray‘s unmistakable bass style marks the introduction to Nightmare, a track that contains all the vintage punk fury you could ask for, but from this point the album heads off into a distinctly different direction. Tracks such as Space Walrus, Demented Love Song, Electroconvulsive Therapy and The Mirror are more akin to The Beatles at the height of their psychedelic high than the band’s the followed a decade later. The psychedelic and post punk influence are complimented with the sprightly sixties influenced pop of Wishes, Useless and Faces, but it’s not all a trip back to the sixties, as Machines reminds you exactly where the band’s origins lie.

If you were expecting something that reflects the quartet’s punk pedigree you might be in for a shock, as much of the album is more akin to the likes of The Beatles, The Who and XTC with it’s light touches of pyschedelia, in fact the only recognisable element is from some of The Damned‘s more experimental moments, but don’t take this as a criticism as it isn’t one, this just isn’t the album you might be expecting. If you’re a fan of The Damned‘s more psychedelic offerings, Rat Scabies recent work with The Mutants or you just like your punk rock to be unpredictable, then this is an album worth investigating, I doubt all of it will be anyone’s tastes but I can guarantee you won’t leave empty handed.

Professor And The Madman‘s website can be found here

Professor And The Madman To Release Debut Album

Professor And The Madmen LA TourProfessor And The Madman are building up to the release of their debut LP, Disintegrate Me, that will be unleashed on vinyl, CD and download on February 23rd via FullerTone Records. The band’s line up for their upcoming live shows includes co-frontmen Alfie Agnew (Adolescents, D.I.) & Sean Elliott (D.I., Mind Over Four) who are backed by veterans of the OC punk scene in the shape of bassist Frank Agnew (Social Distortion, Adolescents, T.S.O.L.), guitarist Mark Tolbert & drummer Nick Scalzo. The recording line up for Disintegrate Me is a totally different beast, Alfie & Sean are backed on the album by the legendary rhythm section from The Damned of Rat Scabies & Paul Gray.  

You can stream the track Nightmare here and pre-order Disintegrate Me here

You can view Professor And The Madman‘s LA tour dates below Read More…

SLF Confirm Dublin Show Ahead of ‘Putting The Fast In Belfast’

SLF Dublin 18Stiff Little Fingers have announced they will be playing an extra date at the Dublin Academy with The Defects on the 24th August 2018 ahead of Putting The Fast In Belfast 2, that takes place in Custom House Square, Belfast on Saturday August 25th 2018 where the band will be playing with their very special guests The Damned, Buzzcocks, The Defects and Terri Hooley.

Tickets can be purchased for Dublin here and Putting The Fast In Belfast here

Stiff Little Fingers website can be found here

The Damned Announced As Support For The Hollywood Vampires

Hollywood Vampires 18 TourJohnny Depp has announced a UK tour with his supergroup The Hollywood Vampires, that is fronted by Alice Cooper and features Aerosmith‘s Joe Perry on guitar, who will be taking in dates in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. The band will make their live UK debut in June with support from  The Darkness and punk legends The Damned, with predictions for several surprise appearances from Depp’s other rock star friends. 

You can pre-order The Damned‘s new album, Evil Spirits, here

You can view The Hollywood Vampires UK tour dates below Read More…

The Damned Evil Spirits Tour 2018 Dec 18

The Damned / Slim Jim Phantom

Academy, Leeds, UK

30th January 2018
By

Rating: 5/5

 
 

 

 

The Damned‘s musical journey has seen the quintet intent on moving forward, exploring sights and sounds way beyond their brash wide eyed beginnings in 1976, and now they’re back to do it all over again over forty years after they burst onto the UK punk scene, and a decade since their last album, So Who’s Paranoid? The current Evil Spirits UK tour precedes the release their new album of the same name and see’s the band armed with new material, and it also marks the welcome return of their legendary bass player Paul Gray. The playlist that precedes the start of the show tips it’s hat to tonight’s support act, Slim Jim Phantom of the recently reformed rockabilly trio The Stray Cats, and The Damned‘s roots with a mix of rock n roll, psyche and sixties garage.

 
The Leeds Academy slowly fills up prior to Slim Jim Phantom, who is also a member of Dead Men Walking and The Jack Tars with The Damned‘s Captain Sensible, who delivers a stripped down set of rockabilly that encompasses The Stray Cats and the roots of rock ‘n roll. He kicks off his set with The Stray Cats classic Rumble In Brighton, that’s retitled Rumble In Leeds for tonight’s show. The energised delivery of rock ‘n roll captures the spirit of the original era without being an anachronism, a rabble rousing C’mon Everybody, that sits somewhere between the Sex Pistols version and the Eddie Cochran original, gets a good reaction and starts to defrost the crowd in what is a decidedly chilly Leeds Academy.
 

 

Slim Jim Phantom occupies his iconic standing drumming position and tonight he is accompanied by two members borrowed from the current line up of The Pretenders, James Walbourne on guitar and Nick Wilkinson slapping the double bass, the trio hammer through a crowd pleasing set that includes Runaway Boys, The Stray Cats first single, that gets a more than welcome airing along with Rock This Town. The Stray Cats material appears alongside a well chosen set of rock ‘n roll classics that are delivered with an intensity and attitude that befits the material, and means that the Evil Spirits tour has opened with a masterclass in rock ‘n roll and rockabilly that for me is impossible to fault, and it marks a more than impressive start to tonight’s show.

 

Prior to The Damned‘s appearance the soundtrack moves on a decade or two and starts to include some vintage punk rock along with the 60s garage and proto punk that inevitably acts as a prelude to The Damned taking the stage. The lights eventually drop and the ominous intro music kicks in to indicate that one of punks mainstays are are ready to hit the stage. and when they do it’s straight back to 1977 with So Messed Up from their debut album, from here we’re into the opening trio from The Black Album, Wait For the Blackout, Lively Arts and Silly Kids Games, which with the return of Paul Gray, whose bass style was as much a signature of that album as anything else, sound better than ever, and with three quarters of what is arguably The Damned‘s best line up the Evil Spirits tour is already looking like something very special.

 

Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow, the lead single from their forthcoming album, is delivered meaning that this is the first tour in a decade to feature new material and for me it’s all the better for it, The Black Album continues to be heavily featured with the inclusion of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, which sends shivers down my spine due to the addition of the Paul Gray‘s Rickenbacker bass line. With the exception of a smattering of songs from the the new album The Damned veer across their first decade, whilst the emphasis is on the albums from Paul Gray’s first stint with The Damned, they also tap into their classic punk era and successful MCA years without batting an eyelid.

 

The new material in the shape of Devil In Disguise and the forthcoming album’s title track gives us the first glimpse of what to expect from the new full length and confirms that Evil Spirits will be as unpredictable as you’d expect from The Damned, for me the new songs sound like they nestle into the band’s back catalogue somewhere between Strawberries and Give Daddy The Knife Cindy, the album they recorded as Naz Nomad And The Nightmares in the mid eighties. The new material is well received by the crowd that is packed into the Leeds Academy, and has upped the anticipation for the new album, somewhat unexpectedly the number that sparks crowd surfing in Leeds tonight isn’t punk classics such as New Rose or Smash It Up, but their eighties hit, Eloise.

 

Dave Vanian continues to defy the years, as he swoops, glides and spins across the stage like a creature of the night half his age, Captain Sensible remains one of the clown princes of punk, and he’s clearly loving the decades of tender abuse he has received from The Damned faithful. Relative newcomers Pinch and Monty Oxymoron are now an established a part of The Damned, and with Paul Gray‘s return to the fold you have a line up that’s as strong as any they’ve fielded over the years. Tonight has skirted away from the greatest hits packages of recent tours, the addition of new material, the resurgence of interest due the inclusion of Neat Neat Neat in the Babydriver soundtrack and the fact that they are once more filling larger venues indicates that there’s still life in The Damned. 

 

Evil Spirits can be pre-ordered here

The Damned‘s website can be found here
 
Slim Jim Phantom‘s website can be found here
 
Photography by Steve White and you can visit his Flickr site here,
 
You can click on any of Steve’s photos to view a slide show of the images
 
The Evil Spirits tour runs until the 17th February and the remaining tour dates can be viewed here
 

Stiff Little Fingers Will Be ‘Putting The Fast In Belfast’ In August

Belfast 2Stiff Little Fingers have announced they will be playing Putting the Fast in Belfast 2 on Saturday August 25th 2018, the band will be playing with their very special guests The Damned, Buzzcocks, The Defects and Terri Hooley. The concert will take place in Custom House Square, Belfast and tickets will be available from Tickemaster Outlets starting this Friday, the 2nd February. Last year’s inaugural Putting The Fast In Belfast event was completely sold out, so purchasing tickets is recommended.

Stiff Little Fingers website can be found here

The Damned Announce Pre-Orders For ‘Evil Spirits’ Album

Damned Evil Spirits LPThe Damned‘s musical journey has seen the quintet intent on moving forward, courageously exploring sights and sounds way beyond their brash wide-eyed beginnings, and now they’re back to do it all over again. The Damned return with a new album, Evil Spirits, that will be released on April 13th via Search And Destroy Records and Spinefarm Records and is now available for pre-order. 

Evil Spirits can be pre-ordered here

The Damned‘s UK tour dates can be viewed below

Read More…

Professor And The Madman Stream ‘Nightmare’ From New LP

Professor And The Madmen DMSouthern California’s Professor And The Madman are ready for the curtain to rise on the group’s world debut. Inspired by Universal horror movies, the literature of Edgar Allan Poe, and the chaos of the world around them, the four veteran musicians who comprise Professor And The Madman are Alfie Agnew (Adolescents, D.I.) and Sean Elliott (D.I., Mind Over Four), alongside the legendary rhythm section drummer Rat Scabies (The Damned, The Mutants) and bassist Paul Gray (The Damned, Eddie & The Hot Rods). The group’s new album, Disintegrate Me, is set to be released on vinyl, CD and digital formats by FullerTone Records on February 23, 2018.

You can stream the track Nightmare here and pre-order Disintegrate Me here

The Damned Commence ‘Evil Spirits’ UK Tour

Damned Evil Spirits LPThe Damned‘s musical journey has seen the quintet intent on moving forward, courageously exploring sights and sounds way beyond their brash wide-eyed beginnings, and now they’re back to do it all over again. The Damned return with a new album, Evil Spirits, that will be released on April 13th on Search And Destroy Records and Spinefarm Records, it’s release is preceded by the new single, Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow, and the Evil Spirits UK tour that starts today, January 26th.

Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow can be streamed and purchased here
 
The Evil Spirits UK tour dates can be viewed below

Read More…

The Damned Release ‘Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow’ Video

Damned Evil Spirits LPThe Damned’s long awaited new album, Evil Spirits, and will be released worldwide on the 13th April 2018 via Search & Destroy Records and Spinefarm Records, ahead of the release the band have unveiled the stunning video for the first single from the Evil Spirits album, Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow, that can also be streamed and purchased here

Evil Spirits can still be pre-ordered via Pledge Music here

The video for the new single, and The Damned‘s UK tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…

The Damned Announce Release Date For ‘Evil Spirits’ Album

Damned Evil Spirits LPThe Damned’s long awaited new album will be titled Evil Spirits and will be released worldwide on the 13th April 2018 via Search & Destroy Records and Spinefarm Records, ahead of the release the band have unveiled the first track from the new album, Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow, that can now be streamed and purchased here.

Evil Spirits can still be pre-ordered via Pledge Music here

The Damned‘s 2018 ‘Evil Spirits‘ UK tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

Professor And The Madman Release ‘Space Walrus’ Video

Professor And The Madmen DMInspired by David Bowie‘s Space Oddity, Space Walrus finds Professor And The Madman in a space race while their rocketship fights to survive radioactive debris. The video features co-frontmen Alfie Agnew (The Adolescents, DI) and Sean Elliott (DI, Mind Over Four) representing Team USA, while Rat Scabies (The Damned, The Mutants) flies the Union Jack and Paul Gray (The Damned, Eddie And The Hot Rods) represents the sun. Professor And The Madman‘s new album, Disintegrate Me, will be released on February 23rd via FullerTone Records.

Disintegrate Me can be pre-ordered on all formats here

The video for Space Walrus can be viewed below Read More…

The Damned Confirm Additional Date For 2018 ‘Evil Spirits’ Tour

The Damned Evil Spirits Tour 2018 Dec 18Punk legends The Damned are set to return in 2018 with both new material and an extensive UK tour. The Evil Spirits tour kick-starts 2018 on January 26th and now includes an extra date at London Koko on the 16th February. Main support on the tour comes from fabled Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom, whilst at Koko American ‘operatic-punk’ performer Kristeen Young will open the show. The Damned last released new material in 2008 with their So, Who’s Paranoid? album, 2018 will see the unveiling of a hugely anticipated new album, the band have signed a new deal with Search & Destroy Records and Spinefarm Records and are set to stun the music world once again with their dizzying blend of high-energy punk rock, creative psychedelic pop and classic song-writing.

The Damned‘s 2018 ‘Evil Spirits‘ tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

Professor And The Madman To Release ‘Disintegrate Me’ LP

Professor And The Madmen dec 17Southern California’s Professor And The Madman are ready for the curtain to rise on the group’s world debut. Inspired by Universal horror movies, the literature of Edgar Allan Poe, and the chaos of the world around them, the four veteran musicians who comprise Professor And The Madman are Alfie Agnew (Adolescents, D.I.) and Sean Elliott (D.I., Mind Over Four), alongside the legendary rhythm section drummer Rat Scabies (The Damned, The Mutants) and bassist Paul Gray (The Damned, Eddie & The Hot Rods). The group’s new album, Disintegrate Me, is set to be released on vinyl, CD and digital formats by FullerTone Records on February 23, 2018.    

Professor And The Madman‘s website can be found here

BBC Radio 6 Music To Broadcast Christmas Punk Party

BBC Radio 6On Friday 8 December, Steve Lamacq returns to the legendary Maida Vale studios for the annual BBC Radio 6 Music Christmas party, and this year they’re painting the holiday season Punk! The Damned will be performing live ahead of their huge tour in 2018 and will be joined by fellow punk pioneers Ruts DC, who’ll be providing a second blistering live performance. Brix Smith, ex-member of The Fall, will be behind the decks spinning some classic punk tunes in between sets and football legend Stuart Pearce will be there to talk about his devotion to punk. There are a limited number of pairs of tickets available for this event that will be distributed by random draw, you can register for tickets at any time until 7pm on Tuesday 28 November.

Full details of the BBC Radio 6 Music Christmas party can be found here

The Damned To Release Limited Edition Stiff Singles Vinyl Boxset

Damned Stiff BoxsetThe Damned have announced they will be releasing a limited edition boxset comprising their first five vinyl singles, including the famed first ever punk single, New Rose, and all the other early hits from the impressively chaotic punk quartet. All singles have been recreated with their original artwork, including the ultra-rare single, Stretcher Case Baby. These are all packed in a superb box, collaged with original press cuttings from back in the day with a unique embroidered patch that is exclusive to this boxset.

You can pre-order the limited edition box set via Pledge Music here

The Damned Announce Paul Gray To Return For New Album

Damned Evil Spirits Tour 18The Damned have announced that Tony Visconti is set to produce their forthcoming LP, which they’ll start working on in October along with engineer Kevin Kline in New York. They have also announced the bittersweet news that bassist Stu West will be departing the band, but they have announced that former bassist Paul Gray will return to reunite with the band once again, having played on their classic LP’s The Black Album and Strawberries.

You can still pledge for The Damned‘s new album here

The Damned‘s 2018 tour dates and a statement on Stu West‘s departure can be viewed below Read More…

The Damned Announce ‘Evil Spirits’ 2018 UK Tour

Damned Evil Spirits Tour 18Punk legends The Damned have announced a UK tour in support of their forthcoming new album, their first in a decade, always the most entertaining of the original punk bands The Damned have gained a reputation as a band who always deliver an accomplished live set. The Damned continue to wave the flag for originality, stick two fingers up to mediocrity and celebrate a DIY punk ethos in the face of plastic entertainment and scripted reality.

You can still sign up to the Pledge Music campaign for The Damned‘s new album here

Tickets for the Evil Spirits Tour can be purchased here and the tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

Camden Rocks Festival Confirm Line Up And Stage Times

Camden Rocks May 17The Camden Rocks Festival have revealed full line up details for the June 3rd all day event, and announced a special Kraken Sounds Stage to be held in the Camden Market Amphitheatre, featuring acoustic performances and open to all, free of charge. Progressively expanding with each year, 2017 asserts Camden Rocks Festival as the biggest and best value multi-venue all-day music event of the UK festival calendar. Camden Rocks 2017 makes a massive statement for independent UK festivals. This year’s headliners include Feeder, The Coral, The Damned, Milburn, The Rifles, Reverend and The Makers, Carl Barat & The Jackals, Pulled Apart By Horses and many more, alongside some of the country’s finest up and coming new acts. The festival will take place across 25 of Camden Town’s legendary music venues and features 250 bands and artists.

Details of the full line up and stage times can be viewed below Read More…

The Damned To Release ‘Smashing It Up’ Book Via Pledge Music

Damned Smashing It UpThe Damned were one of the originators of British punk rock along with The Clash and The Sex Pistols, in 1976, they were a three pronged attack on the self satisfied rock elite and the inspiration to a new generation of music fans. Putting The Damned in context for the first time, Smashing It Up is the history of this important band and their original members, it’s also packed with their encounters with Marc Bolan, America, members of Pink Floyd, and their always strained relationship with the music business. Smashing It Up draws on interviews by the author with the original band members, as well as its associates and eye witnesses to their chaotic journey, and it contains previously unseen pictures from their original drummer, Rat Scabies.

You can order Smashing It Up via Pledge Music here

Feeder To Headline Camden Rocks Festival 2017

Camden Rocks Feeder Mar 17The Camden Rocks Festival 2017 has announced Feeder as the headliners of this year’s festival, alongside another thirty bands today confirmed to join the line-up on June 3rd across 25 venues through Camden Town. The impressive line up already includes such punk luminaries as The Damned, The Ruts DC, The Professionals, Love Zombies, Louise Distras, Hands Off Gretel and the Anti Nowhere League

Tickets for the Camden Rocks Festival 2017 can be purchased here

The full list of bands for the Camden Rocks Festival 2017 can be viewed below Read More…

Andy J Gallagher Boy Racer

Andy J. Gallagher

Boy Racer / I Don't Wanna Be Like You

JAC64 Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Following in the wake of the first single, Sheena’s Big Night Out, from the eagerly anticipated album, Ego, Andy J. Gallagher  has now released another double a-side single featuring the tracks Boy Racer and I Don’t Wanna Be Like You, the single has been released on JAC64 Records today, the 20th March 2017. Ego will be Andy J. Gallagher‘s sophomore album, it follows on from 2009’s Helicopter, Dolphin, Submarine, an album that is now available as a free download via Andy J. Gallagher‘s website.

Boy Racer occupies the a-side, it’s a track that channels the spirit of The Libertines with a spirited chunk of power pop fuelled indie rock, and it marks a damn fine start to the single, however for me the star of the show is the flip side. I Don’t Wanna Be Like You is a darker composition, that whilst still carrying Andy J. Gallagher‘s pop sensibility, has an element of menace and discord that possesses more of a punk rock spirit than the a-side, or the previous single.

Once more Andy J. Gallagher has teamed up with former member of The Damned and The Phantom Chords, and more recently solo artist, Roman Jugg, and their partnership is one that seems to almost effortlessly produce a heady mix of punk and power pop that maintains a sparkling pop sensibility. For me Boy Racer, and especially it’s flip side I Don’t Wanna Be Like You, is a step forward from the first impressive single, Sheena’s Big Night Out, from his forthcoming album, and it’s a one that makes Ego an even more eagerly anticipated release.

Helicopter, Dolphin, Submarine can be downloaded for free here

Boy Racer is available on limited edition CD here

Camden Rocks Festival Announces Latest Additions To Line Up

Camden Rocks Mar 17Today Camden Rocks Festival confirmed Merseyside’s indie rock legends, The Coral, Sheffield’s Reverend and The Makers will join the 2017 festival line up. Also topping the line-up this year are The Damned, who will play a very special set list exclusively for the Camden Rocks Festival. Having also recently announced The Rifles, Milburn, Carl Barat And The Jackals, Orange Goblin, Ruts DC, The King Blues & many more, this year sees Camden Rocks Festival pushing boundaries further still, set to host 250 bands and artists across 25 of Camden Town’s revered music venues on June 3rd 2017.

Tickets for the Camden Rocks Festival can be purchased here

The Full Line up of bands and venues for the festival can be found below Read More…

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The Damned Release Deluxe Reissue Of Classic Debut Album

Damned Damned DamnedThe Damned were the first British punk band to release a single, swiftly followed by the release of the first British punk album, their classic debut Damned Damned Damned, on 18th February 1977. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the bands dramatic breakthrough, a very special Art Of The Album deluxe edition has been released 40 years after its original issue. Featuring fully re-mastered audio & new sleevenotes within both the CD and LP formats that recall the story of the bands conception and the albums creation.                               

The deluxe reissue of Damned Damned Damned can be ordered on CD here and LP here

The Damned‘s official website can be found here

The Damned To Release 40th Anniversary Edition Of Debut Album

Damned Damned DamnedThe Damned have announced a Pledge Music campaign for the 40th Anniversary re-issue of their legendary debut album, Damned Damned Damned, on both CD and LP, available both signed and unsigned on each format. The album features fully re-mastered audio & new sleevenotes within both the CD & LP formats recalling the story of the band’s conception and the album’s creation. Comprehensively researched and written by legendary punk writer John Ingham, these new sleevenotes cover the story of the album & the period in which it was written & recorded, the key players in its creation, the craft and instrumentation, the impact upon release and its legacy 40 years later.

You can pre-order the 40th Anniversary reissue of Damned Damned Damned here

Camden Rocks Confirms The Damned And The Ruts DC For 2017

camden-rcoks-2017Following a sold out fifth year in June 2016, Camden Rocks Festival has today announced the first names for the 2017 line-up. Punk legends The Damned, stoner rock giants Orange Goblin, and The Ruts DC are the first to be revealed from the bill.

Set to host over 250 bands and artists across 25 of Camden Town’s revered venues this June 3rd 2017, Camden Rocks are also proud to announce that legendary Camden venue KOKO will join the 2017 festival.

Tickets for the Camden Rocks Festival are now available for £35 (subject to booking fees) here Read More…

The Damned Announce Pledge Campaign For New Live Album

damned-margateWatch out, because punk legends The Damned are coming to Margate Winter Gardens on Friday 9th December where they will perform their debut album, Damned Damned Damned, in its entirety, followed by a career spanning retrospective.

The whole concert is being recorded by the Live Here Now team for release as The 40th Anniversary Live In Margate on double CD, triple coloured vinyl LP and download formats, all physical formats will include a free postcard from The Damned.

The Pledge Music campaign for The 40th Anniversary Live In Margate can be found here

andy-j-gallagher-sheena

Andy J. Gallagher

Sheena's Big Night Out

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Remember the AA side single? back in the day there were singles that didn’t feature a remix or a live track on the reverse side, just two equally matched studio tracks, either of which could front the release. This has largely been a dying format, but Andy J. Gallagher is here to remind you of just how good they could be. Sheena’s Big Night Out and it’s double a side, Because We Are, are the first shots across the bows from his forthcoming new album, Ego. This single, and the forthcoming album, is produced by long time collaborator, and former guitarist of The Damned and The Phantom Chords, Roman Jugg.

The A side, Sheena’s Big Night Out, is a slice of the catchy new wave inspired power pop, and a damn fine one it is at that, however, it’s on the chorus it comes into it’s own, a perfect sing along bouncy number that grabs you before it comes to an abrupt halt. The AA side, Because We Are, starts with an off key vocal into taken straight from The Beatles song book before it breaks into a fast paced indie number, Because We Are would happily sit alongside anything from the Arctic Monkeys first album, and it’s as lyrically and musically sharp as anything by that band.

Andy J Gallagher‘s material always wears it’s influences on it’s sleeve, you can hear Buzzcocks in the guitar lines, alongside the aforementioned influences, lyrically the single displays Andy J. Gallagher‘s biting social commentary which features his trademark sardonic lyrical touch. To complete the package you can hear Roman Jugg‘s influence seeping through into the track, he’s done a perfect job of mixing the two tracks that make up Sheena’s Big Night Out, there’s a delicious rough edge to the single that suits the material perfectly. The combination of these elements form a strong single that whets your appetite for his forthcoming album nicely.

The limited edition CD of Sheena’s Big Night Out can be ordered here

the-damned-40th-anniversary-tour

The Damned / Penetration

Academy, Leeds, UK

17th November 2016
By

Rating: 5/5

 
 

 

 

It’s been a long time since I ventured over the Pennines to see a band in Leeds, but the double bill of The Damned and Penetration at the Academy is something that’s worth making the journey for, especially when you consider that both of these bands were amongst my personal highlights from the Rebellion Festival earlier this year. 2016 is the fortieth anniversary of punk rock, fittingly both of tonight’s bands were formed in punk’s year zero and have come together for a few dates on this tour, the support seems to be constantly changing across The Damned‘s sprawling fortieth anniversary tour but for me Penetration are the pick of the bunch.

The crowd for tonight’s show at the Leeds Academy is one that’s as varied as The Damned‘s back catalogue, it seems to cover everything from young converts in their teens up to those in advancing years who have been amongst the faithful since the early days, rockers sporting pristine quiff’s mingle with punks and goths, all of whom have one unifying reason to be here, to see two of the last bands standing from the first wave of punk. The music that precedes the appearance of Penetration is an odd choice, some authentic growled blues from straight outta the delta, which seems somewhat at odds with the bands playing tonight

Penetration arrive on the stage with no fanfare, they saunter onstage, plug in, and after a brief tune up they launch into Just Drifting, they sound even better than they did when I saw them earlier this year at the Rebellion Festival, in particular Pauline Murray‘s unique and striking vocal style sounds better than ever. Aguila, Betrayed! and Beat Goes On build on the promising start, the tracks all feature soaring choruses and build up the intensity of the set nicely. It’s a tribute to the strength of the material on their 2015 comeback album, Resolution, that so far their set hasn’t featured a single track from either of their classic Moving Targets or Coming Up For Air albums.

Of course you couldn’t have a 40th anniversary of punk tour without Penetration revisiting their glory days, Pauline Murray announces that they’re now going to play the “old stuff” and what this signifies is a run through some of the bands best know material, the Buzzcocks classic Nostalgia is faithfully delivered, which is a song that Manchester’s finest often neglect from their set list and is one that Penetration have made their own, this is followed by Come Into The Open and, what is largely regarded as their classic single, Don’t Dictate. This perfect three minutes from the dawn of punk is their best known track, and it’s defiant refrain seems to defrost the Leeds crowd.

Penetration close their set with another of their best loved singles, Danger Signs, tonight their set was markedly split between their new material and that which is drawn from their original early albums. Their comeback album was such a strong return to form that I’d bet that if you were unfamiliar with the band I doubt you’d have been unable to tell where the join between the two elements of the set were. I’d have quite happily paid to see Penetration on their own, and they deservedly received a genuinely warm reception from The Damned‘s faithful, and their set marked a perfect start to an evening that is celebrating punk hitting it’s 40th anniversary

As good as Penetration were let’s make no mistake why the majority of people are here tonight, The Damned were the first of the punk bands to do just about everything, first to release a single and album, tour the USA, split up and reform, and it seems ironic that the band who did everything first are now the last men standing. Prior to The Damned taking the stage the prog rock strains of Emerson, Lake and Palmer‘s Fanfare For The Common Man belt’s out of the PA for a few minutes, the reason for this becomes clear as Captain Sensible takes to the stage and bellows “turn that shit off” and promptly goes into a lengthy diatribe against the self indulgent rock bands of the 1970’s, and in particular against Phil Collins.

Tonight’s show opens with their second single, Neat Neat Neat, and The Damned are kicking things off tonight’s with a faithful run through of the majority of tracks from their debut album, Damned Damned Damned. As much as the well known tracks and singles from the album sound as good as the day they were recorded, including the very first punk single, New Rose, it’s the lesser known and often neglected tracks that are the highlight for me. Songs such as Born To Kill, Feel The Pain, Fish and So Messed Up all get a welcome and rare outing, although Stab Your Back is sadly neglected, and it’s hearing these tracks that makes the run though of this classic album so welcome.

The Damned‘s keyboard player, Monty Oxymoron, has little to do during the opening full throttle run through of their debut album, instead he contents himself with acting out the songs and bouncing around behind his keyboards. The Damned have never had a unified or co-ordinated image, as many of their peers did, and tonight is no exception, you have the dual lunacy of the aforementioned keyboardist and Captain Sensible, the restrained cool of bassist Stu West, the Vegas chic of drummer Pinch and tonight Dave Vanian is exuding preacher cool. The run through of the opening set ends with a truly bezerk rendition of The Stooges proto punk classic I Feel Alright.

The Damned don’t leave the stage as many band’s do in shows of this type, Dave Vanian announces that they’re now going to be “peeling back the pages of the diary” and they launch into Street Of Dreams from 1985’s Phantasmagoria, from this point on we’re in for a somewhat haphazard retrospective run through their extensive back catalogue. Nasty, the song that introduced me to the band when they appeared on the anarachic sitcom The Young Ones, gets a welcome airing as does Amen, from the much underrated 2001 album Grave Disorder, this marks the end of the later material as we head back into a riotous sprint of some of their best loved material.

After some entertaining exchanges about now infamous celebrities of the 1970’s they launch into a frantic rendition of the lead track from 1981’s Friday 13th EP, Disco Man, which is followed by their sole top ten single, 1986’s Eloise. They dip into 1982’s Strawberries album with a raucous Ignite which is complimented by two of the more introspective tracks from that release, Under The Floor Again and Life Goes On, the latter of which won a vote amongst the audience as to which track featuring Captain Sensible on vocals should be played. I’m just grateful we didn’t end up with his 1982 novelty hit, Happy Talk, which he happily admits he did for the money “I was a toilet cleaner from Croyden, what do you expect me to do if someone offers me forty grand”

You get the impression The Damned are enjoying themselves immensely tonight, this, and the fact there’s finally a new album in the pipeline, indicates they are entering into something of a renaissance. Their psychedelic punk masterpiece, 1980’s The Black Album, is only briefly touched upon with Wait For The Blackout before we hit the material from the legendary Machine Gun Etiquette album, Love Song, Anti Pope, I Just Can’t Be Happy Today, which was dedicated to the people of the USA in light of recent events, the superb Plan 9 Channel 7 and finally, and inevitably, Smash It Up signals the end of the set and sets the mosh pit alight.

They return for a further encore, although we don’t get the expected delivery of the majestic Curtain Call, that has been the encore for the majority of the shows this year, and was written on the set list. Instead we get their unique rendition of Jefferson Airplane‘s White Rabbit, a one off single from 1980. The set list has now gone out of the window and we get rousing versions of Melody Lee and Noise Noise Noise, both from Machine Gun Etiquette, to finally close what has been a triumphant set that has spanned four decades in a little over two hours, the venue’s curfew was ignored and it seems that The Damned are well and truly back in business.

Tonight was a fine retrospective of the bands career, a few of their albums were overlooked, 1977’s Music For Pleasure, 1986’s Anything, 1995’s Not Of This Earth and 2008’s So, Who’s Paranoid, but the quality of material on display from their classic albums more than makes up for the absences, the only thing missing was some new material, but with a new album in the pipeline it would appear that The Damned have no intention of going quietly into the night just yet, on the basis of tonight’s show you really should try and catch this flashback from one of the most creative and consistent bands born of punk’s first wave.

The Damned‘s tour dates for the UK, Spain and the USA can be found here

You can pre-order The Damned’s new album via Pledge Music here

Penetration‘s Facebook page can be found here

Photography by Steve White and you visit his Flickr site here

you can click on any of Steve White’s photos to view a slide show of the images

Andy J. Gallagher Makes Debut LP Available As A Free Download

andy-j-gallagher-sheenaAndy J. Gallagher‘s forthcoming single, Sheena’s Big Night Out, and it’s double a side Because We Are, is the first taste of what’s to come from his eagerly anticipated sophomore album, Ego. He has resumed his collaboration with former guitarist of The Damned and The Phantom Chords, Roman Jugg, who plays guitar on a few tracks, as well as producing and mixing the album. To celebrate the release of the new album and single Andy J. Gallagher has made his debut full length, Helicopter Dolphin Submarine, available as a free download.

The limited edition CD of Sheena’s Big Night Out can be ordered here

Helicopter Dolphin Submarine can be downloaded for free here

The Damned Announce 40th Anniversary UK Tour

damned-tour-2016Punk legends The Damned have announced a huge UK tour taking in more than twenty towns and cities across the UK, and have revealed they are currently working on a brand new album for 2017. Celebrated as the most entertaining of the original punk bands, The Damned were the very first British band to release a punk single, New Rose, the first to release an album, Damned Damned Damned, and also the first to tour America. From the very first moment they started playing live in tiny punk clubs in 1976, The Damned quickly gained a reputation as a band who would always deliver an accomplished live set. The Damned continue to wave the flag for originality, stick two fingers up to mediocrity and celebrate a DIY punk ethos in the face of plastic entertainment and scripted reality.

Details of The Damned‘s forthcoming tour and the new album can be viewed below Read More…