Sunday, October 23, 2016

'Is she really going out with him?'

And no record looked like it either!
'New Rose' - the first single by The Damned - was released on Stiff Records on October 22nd 1976. I first heard it blaring... no, blasting... no, SCREAMING out of a transistor radio a few days after it's release. It sounding utterly unlike anything that I'd ever heard before. I'm not sure that I've heard anything like it since. It remains one of the greatest records ever made, a sub-three minute blitzkrieg of melody and noise that completely wiped the floor with all that had gone before it. I had no idea if I liked it or not, but I was desperate to hear it again. And when I did, it didn't disappoint. It's one of those very rare recordings that it soars above and beyond the sum of it's parts - although at this point it must be said that the performances of Brian James, Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies are all absolutely remarkable in pretty much every way, and Nick Lowe's still-astonishing production created a soundscape that captured every nuance of the band's blistering attack - to make something that almost stands outside of time. If it were released today it would still sound unique, and that's after 40 years of familiarity. I guess that's art isn't it? Well if it is 'New Rose' is important a piece of art as anything that's ever been created. I think that it is anyway. 

40 years to the day after BUY 6 hit the shops Ruts DC played at Norwich Arts Centre as part of the 'Punk In the East' celebrations. I'd not played or indeed ever been to the venue before but have seen it in gig guides for as long as I can remember - the list of bands and artists that have played there is endless, and it's also well-known as the place where Richey Edwards of The Manic Street Preachers cut '4 Real' into his arm in front of then-NME scribe Steve Lamacq. It's a great - no, make that great - venue, which seems to be well-supported locally as the show was sold out well in advance. This always bodes well for a good gig, and I'm pleased to say that it more than lived up to expectations. Ex - Jim Jones Revue guitar-slinger Rupert Orton joined us for part of the encore, and the whole evening was a pleasure to be part of from start to finish. But don't take my word for it - this review of the evening sums it all up and includes photos and footage from the show. Excellent!

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to play 'Damned Damned Damned'...

No comments: