Booking gigs is tricky. What support bands go well with your main act? On The Damned’s recent US tour they had newer bands like The Darts (The US version) in support. For their UK jaunt, they have a 1970s contemporary punk band in Johnny Moped as support. Whilst touring is expensive, it seems a little remiss not to have local support for each gig additionally. As Brighton is blessed with a vibrant punk scene there’s a lot of bands that a twenty minute set in front of a large, predominantly local audience would have been a real boon. Cockwomble, Gulls, Young Francis, Rotten Foxes and Glitter Piss to name but a few. You should check them out anyway!
In fairness to Johnny Moped, they made a loud punk noise for thirty minutes. Cranking out songs which have a shared DNA somewhere between the Sex Pistols and the Professionals. The audience started to fill during their set but most if not all punters were here to see the headliners.
The Damned with their first top ten album recently achieved is currently riding a wave of critical and commercial acclaim. With a line up which roughly equates to their mid-1980s line-up their setlist reflected this with nods to the recent album and the early punk classics. Playing a 90-minute set they were in the rudest of health. Dave Vanian’s voice was strong and clear, The Captain’s banter was still as irreverent as ever, Monty Oxymoron played the fool (and keys) and Pinch and Paul Gray were a tight rhythm section.
The class of 76ish is here to stay (for a bit longer at least).