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The Damned, The Bellrays

Fri., May 19, 8pm

Mohawk

912 Red River, 512/666-0877

www.mohawkaustin.com

“As a teenager with little education to boast of, I had a life of drudgery ahead of me at best,” offers former toilet-cleaner Ray Burns, aka guitarist Captain Sensible, of first UK punk shock troops the Damned. “Or a vagabond of some sort. I was already known to the law. I was dossing in a Brighton squat, surrounded by junkies and ne’er-do-wells. “Then punk rock showed up and saved me.” The Damned beat all their peers – Sex Pistols, Clash, Buzzcocks, etc. – to every significant career high: They were England’s first punks to release a single (November 1976 classic “New Rose”), full-length album (the freshly remastered Damned Damned Damned), tour the U.S., break up, then re-form. Machine Gun Etiquette (’79) and Strawberries (’82) found the Damned flashing an adventurous musicality most of their peers never embraced. “Considering what we were up against – stadium bands like ELP, Yes, Genesis – I didn’t expect punk to last long, or even be that popular in the first place,” he laughs. “We all had daft stage names back then, and some didn’t get any better as you enter your senior years. How about Johnny Moped? Or even better, Youth!” – Tim Stegall

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The Damned
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