London Barfly – Club Kerrang with The Damned

I have a vague memory of seeing The Damned at The Lyceum Ballroom in London, supported by a whole host of punk bands, back in the early eighties. I was young, drunk and totally blown away. I can remember thinking that one day, I would be in a band and we would play with The Damned. Then last year, when Stimulator were doing one of their transit van tours, we did a show in Cornwall with them. We were all so excited that even our managers drove for eight hours from London to come to the gig!! And then tonight, we got to do it all over again in London. This was Stimulator’s first show for a couple of months because we have been sorting out record company stuff, so everyone was hyped up, not only to be doing a London gig, but to be doing it with one of the best original Punk bands.

Our trusty crew were picking up the van and the gear, so all we had to do was to get to the venue on time. And surprise, surprise………everyone was already there when Terry and me arrived! Things were looking good. All the stuff was set up and we did a short but perfect soundcheck. Everything sounded great, and we were done. Loads of hanging about followed as usual, and I sat outside and watched the small venue fill up gradually. We learnt later on that the show was sold out completely and people were being turned away at the door. Fucking brilliant!! Except when we walked on stage, the place was full of spikey, leather jacketed, very drunk punk rockers. I wondered how our brand of noise would go down with these die-hard 1977 punks. I heard someone shout “Fuck Off”!! Great. That answered my questions.

We played pretty well, and reports afterwards seemed to say that the sound was one of the best we’ve had. And as the set went on, more and more cheers started going up, until at the end, we finished playing “Rush”  and everyone was clapping and whistling and cheering. It felt great to have played well and had it appreciated by people, and everyone left the stage hot, sweaty and very happy. Captain Sensible from The Damned watched the last four numbers and came up to our merch table after the set, wanting to buy a single. This guy is a punk rock legend. And he was telling me how he thought we were great!!! AAAARRRRGGGH! I gave him a copy of “Strike No. 1” and off he went to get himself ready. This job is bizzare.

The Damned were their usual brilliant self, playing over an hour of all the classics – everything you wanted to hear and all played brilliantly. This was definately a great way to return to playing live for us, and we all left The Barfly gagging for the next lot of shows. We don’t know when they will be, as rumour has it that we might be off to the other side of the pond soon, as well as finally putting the finishing touches to the mixes of our album, but it will not be too soon for any of us. PUNK FUCKING ROCK!!