The Damned Brisbane (Brisbane, QLD)

23 August 2019 at The Triffid

Destroy All Lines once again pulls out the big guns & takes me back to my Swampy Punk Rock roots in blessing our shores with some of the Godfathers of Punk with The Damned.

A sold out crowd at The Triffid is a definite to say no matter how old these bodies become the building blocks of music will always ring true to the core of fans.

Beginning the evening’s entertainment were Würst Nürse from Melbourne. Humbly thankful for the privilege of supporting some of their mentors & for the 5 piece band of Victorian Punk Rock Goddesses you could tell this was a dream come true. It took everyone back to the “girly voiced” punk rock that most associate a female band to be. With classic riff lines, 3 vocalists & 3 guitars what more can you want. Well The Damned actually – but preceding some of the biggest shoes in the genre can be daunting. Georgia, Anna, Steph, Morgan & Abbie rocked their way through their set of medical & health professional related songs – telling our Government to go & get F’d for their lack of care for the ones that care for us in “Dedication Doesn’t Pay the Rent”& to finish with “Hot Doctor” with lyrics containing “beef injections” & to “lose their registration” over said Hot Doctors – it made me crack a smile. They have a niche’ & it’s theirs – nice work Ladies.

It was sardine like with the bodies crammed into the sold out hanger that is The Triffid, for the pièce de résistance. For me personally it is the second time I have witnessed London icons, The Damned. As Lemmy would say “they are the only REAL Punk band” & for me I have to agree. This is REAL Punk. (For those that are playing at home – that is quite a few rotations around the sun).  To the point when I saw The Damned the last time approx 20 years ago it was when Dave Vanians wife & all time Gothic High Priestess herself Patricia Morrison (The Sisters of Mercy) was playing bass guitar. The Damned have been on track since 1976 & this time the current line-up consisted of original member Dave Vanian (vox), close to original but never cheap Captain Sensible (guitar), Monty Oxy Moron (keys), replacing the dear departed Rat Scabies is Pinch (skins) & Paul Gray (bass). Playing through the entirety of the 1979 classic Machine Gun Etiquette which blasts off with Love Song. Listening & laughing to The Captain singing I Just Cant be Happy Today, then further on into a MC5 cover of Looking at You. Completing the album in its beauty to make the crowd pogo & have a writhing pit to everyone’s fav Smash it Up – I couldn’t help but feel enlivened after a hectic day. Hearing the banter between the band members you can tell they have been mates for decades – you don’t get that between fly by nighters & it was a delight to behold. Captain Sensible finding solace that he wasn’t the oldest in the room at 65 though he could rock it out like when he was a baby faced punk – albeit he is STILL wiping snot up his own arm! 

After completing the 33 minute album – they launched into a personal fav in Eloise, then toddled off to do the obligatory encore – after which they did a cover of Jefferson Airplanes White Rabbit – a very HEAVY version of it indeed – you Metal kids would be proud. But remember without Punk Rock there would be no Metal. Remember the roots & tonight blasted that into those that may have forgotten or were never there to see it all evolve. Completing the evening with Jet Boy, Jet Girl – what can I say. Age is all perception – Art & Music are timeless. Get out there – support your musicians – enjoy one of the only things that has no time nor space. We may not live forever but music does. This old Swampy is going to bed! GOODNIGHT! And as the Captain said “CHEERS BIG EARS! “


Line-up: The Damned, Wurst Nurse

Reviewer: Tina Summers
Photocredits: Nine Lives Media