The Damned/UK Subs - Cardiff, Millenium Music Hall - 17th May 2010 Print E-mail
Written by Dom Daley   
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 05:30

1adamnedposterA new venue for me for tonight's clash of the titans, a dust up featuring two of punk's heavyweights and habitual tourers, and pretty decent it is too. 

 

The venue soon fills up with people of all ages for a punk rock Monday nighter. First up are Charlie Harper's mighty UK Subs who again feature original bass player Paul Slack. There is no time wasted as The Damned, being the top blokes they are, let the Subs play a full set and not a shortened down support slot. It was nice to once again get blown away by the ferocious power that this four piece deliver. Drummer Jamie Oliver (yes, it is his real name) is an absolute sledgehammer power house that holds the Subs together for Jet to wield round that very nice Les Paul Jr. Song after song after song of sonically bruising monsters are belted out for the appreciative punters in attendance.

 

We get all the classics 'C.I.D.', 'Stranglehold', 'Warhead', 'Limo Life', 'Tomorrow's Girl' to name a few. It's a master class in punk rock and Harper defies the ticking of the biological clock as he bounces round the stage like a child. The last time I clapped eyes on Mr Harper was when he joined Michael Monroe on stage in London to belt out 'Endangered Species' - Sadly no Monroe tonight but 'Endangered Species' gets belted out all the same. A set with nothing less than 100% passion from a man who embodies punk rock and all it should stand for. Great lyrics and great music. Forever on tour and a great warm up for The Damned, tonight is going to be one of those special nights. 'Born A Rocker Die A Rocker' - absofuckinlutely.

 

Onto tonight's headliners, The Damned.  With a canon of music reaching as far back as the mid 70's and with Sensible and Vanian sounding as good now as they did when 'New Rose' was first unleashed on the general public. Tonight we are treated to a set that included songs from most releases and a punk rock history lesson for the next 90 minutes. Having seen many incarnations of the band and seen them play dozens of venues from circus tents in Finsbury to fields in Brockwell, from small clubs to large clubs, one thing you always get from Vanian and company is a set crammed full of surprises as well as the obvious 'must play' songs. 

 

Sure we had 'Smash It Up', 'New Rose', 'Neat Neat Neat' and chart botherer 'Eloise' but tonight we also had the majestic 'Limit Club', 'Disco Man' and some more recent songs like 'Neverland' and '.Com' from 'Grave Disorder' as well as a few off 'So Who's Paranoid'. Sensible was once again on form and offered the crowd a choice for the encore - it was either 'Happy Talk' or 'Smash It Up' but, instead of indulging us with his solo hit, he broke into a jammed version of 'Wot' which went down a treat before finally cracking open 'Smash It Up'.  Personal highlight of the night was a version of the all too rare track ' Thanks For The Night' and a killer version of 'Bad Time For Bonzo'. 

 

No matter how many times I've seen both the UK Subs and The Damned I'll still go back for more, a superb Monday night's entertainment from two bands who should receive more recognition for their efforts than they do. It was always the Pistols this and the Clash that but The Damned were in there first and are still standing loud and proud. I love the Damned and wait for them to announce the pre-Christmas set of dates.....who knows they might be on the Motorhead tour which, again, would be very nice.