The Damned + The Rezillos + TV Smith & The Bored Teenagers + Smalltown Tigers @ Eventim Apollo, London

The Damned
The Damned
Spread the metal:

The Damned + The Rezillos + TV Smith & The bored Teenagers + Smalltown Tigers

@ Eventim Apollo, London

29th October 2022

Review and Photography by Graham Hilling

The Damned
The Damned

It’s early doors this evening at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith in order to fit the 4 bands playing tonight. This means that openers Smalltown Tigers are playing to a pretty sparse crowd (at least at the beginning of their set).

Smalltown Tigers
Smalltown Tigers

This is 3 piece all female band from Italy, playing garage punk – while there is nothing to immediately set the world on fire, they roll through a set of engaging and snappy songs and do a fine job of warming the crowd up.

Smalltown Tigers
Smalltown Tigers
Smalltown Tigers
Smalltown Tigers

Many of the songs are growers and need a few more listens to make an impact on my brain so will need to keep an eye out for a return visit.

Smalltown Tigers
Smalltown Tigers

As is typical for an opening band, their set is short, with them barely playing for 25 minutes, however, they are well received and no doubt make a few new friends. I get the feeling they would be more at home in a smaller venue as they do look a little lost on the substantial stage at the Apollo.

Smalltown Tigers
Smalltown Tigers

Next up is something I’m really looking forward to – TV Smith and the Bored Teenagers. TV Smith and company playing some absolute classic Adverts songs.

TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers
TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers

Starting with “No Time to be 21” see TV Smith throwing himself around the stage with boundless energy. Indeed this is kept up throughout the set, so much so I feel knackered by the end of it!

TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers
TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers

There are no gaps between the songs, everything is executed perfectly and at breakneck speed. The whole performance is a massive trek down memory lane, a precursor for what is to come later.

TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers
TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers

“On Wheels” has everyone singing along, followed by “Bombsite Boy”, another cracking sing-along track. Every track this evening is actually a sing-along fest really, they all have killer choruses and the audience seem to know all of the lyrics (they even start flooding back to my addled brain as well).

TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers
TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers
TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers
TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers

“Gary Gilmores Eyes” just carries this trend on. By the time we get to the end of the set with “One Chord Wonders” what feels like everyone in the audience is singling along – “….the wonders don’t care!!”

TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers
TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers
TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers
TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers

TV Smith has a great voice and sings with passion – this is a top notch performance in my book, playing a set of songs taking us back in time to the late 70’s. Bit of a shame we’re not played anything from the second album (which is also chocked full of great songs) but I completely understand the reasoning behind this as the second album took a very different direction.

TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers
TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers
TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers
TV Smith & the Bored Teenagers

Setlist:

No Time to Be 21
Safety in Numbers
We Who Wait
Newboys
On the Roof
On Wheels
Bombsite Boy
Great British Mistake
Gary Gilmores Eyes
Bored Teenagers
One Chord Wonders

Next up this evening are another classic band from the old school punk period – The Rezillos.

The Rezillos
The Rezillos
The Rezillos
The Rezillos

This is not a band I was particularly familiar with back in the day, but once they start playing songs like “Top of the Pops” and “Flying Saucer Attack”, the memories come flooding back so they must have made an impression in my subconscious!

The Rezillos
The Rezillos
The Rezillos
The Rezillos

Founding members Eugene Reynolds and Faye Fife look pretty happy to be on the stage tonight, Reynolds sporting his trademark quiff and wraparound shades and Fife in a splendid multicoloured dress.

The Rezillos
The Rezillos
The Rezillos
The Rezillos

Their music has more in common with the likes of the B-52s than the sneering UK punk scene from 70’s but (for those of us old enough!) it still takes you on a rather nostalgic journey into the past.

The Rezillos
The Rezillos
The Rezillos
The Rezillos

Fife quips that “Sorry About Tomorrow” is especially for the women in the audience, saying …never say sorry as it is never your fault!

The Rezillos
The Rezillos
The Rezillos
The Rezillos

A lively performance ensues but it is a pretty short set in order to fit the 4 bands in this evening. The set concludes with “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonight” and The Rezillos leave the stage to much applause. The scene is set for the highlight of the evening.

The Rezillos
The Rezillos
The Rezillos
The Rezillos

Setlist:

Destination Venus
Flying Saucer Attack
Do the Mutilation
Sorry About Tomorrow
Top of the Pops
20000 Rezillos Under the Sea?
(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures
Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonight

Closing off the evening and the reason why most of us are here this evening are The Damned, the original lineup, playing classics from the first two albums plus selected other rareties!

The Damned
The Damned
The Damned
The Damned

Scabies takes to the stage first, to much applause, and takes a big bow from behind his kit (which is dressed with cobwebs and sports a bass drum skin looking the original from the 70’s). He is clearly happy to be back performing with his old bandmates.

The Damned
The Damned
The Damned
The Damned

Next on is Sensible, looking, well, quite sensible for him. Then Brian James is helped onto the stage, clearly he is not a well man at the moment. He actually remains rooted to the spot near the back of the stage by the amps for the duration of the set.

The Damned
The Damned
The Damned
The Damned

Last but not least, Vanian bounds onto the stage and we’re off on a trip back in time. Despite James looking poorly, he still manages to knock out the guitar riffs with some style. Vanian and Sensible make up for his lack of movement with a vigorous performance that sees both stomping around the stage. Vanian in particular is very animated, sportng black lipstick and a whitened face.

The Damned
The Damned
The Damned
The Damned

Starting with “I Fall”, it is clear that there is going to be no messing around tonight (which normally typifies most Damned gigs) and that we’re likely to see a set played at breakneck speed without many interruptions.

The Damned
The Damned
The Damned
The Damned

The set bounces between the first two albums and the band sound pretty tight. “Help” sees everyone singing along and then the classic Damned tracks just roll off of the conveyor belt – “Born to Kill”, “Stretcher Case”, “I Fall”. “Feel the Pain” slows things down briefly.

The Damned
The Damned

“Fan Club” is another chance for audience participation with its infectious chorus. Despite much of the crowd belonging to the original punk generation there is still a bit of friendly moshing at the front. Indeed, the whole atmosphere this evening is one of belonging and friendly camaraderie. Great to see.

The Damned
The Damned

Vanian continues to run around the stage, clearly enjoying himself and Sensible, while less vocal than normal, also seems to be having a good time, playing a violin style Epiphone bass (think Paul McCartney style).

The Damned
The Damned

Scabies is also on form, and I’m surprised the jokey chants of “Scabies is a Wanker” are nowhere to be seen – these were a regular item in the past, maybe the audience has matured and is now just pleased to see him behind the kit again.

The Damned
The Damned

Sensible complains about a review in the Telegraph from the gig the night before where words like cacophony, amateurish and chaotic were used; he concludes his tirade by saying clearly they clearly went to the wrong show and the familiar bass line of “Neat Neat Neat” echoes around the venue.

The Damned
The Damned
The Damned
The Damned

“You Know” sees the band joined by Mike Smith on sax, “So Messed Up” finishes up the set in some style. After a brief pause, they’re back on the stage to run through the inevitable “New Rose”. The last two songs are covers, finishing with “The Last Time” by the Stones. Let’s hope this is not prophetic!

The Damned
The Damned

Sensible ends the set by destroying his bass in classic style by smacking it into the stage until the neck breaks off. I’m kind of expecting Scabies to do the same to the kit but this never happens.

The Damned
The Damned

So, a cracking gig with some class acts from the punk era, The Damned never disappoint and there’s no change on that front tonight. I can’t help missing the classic songs from the later period – “Love Song”, “Smash It Up” and “I Just Can’t be Happy” was when I started my love affair with this band but I’ll have to wait for the next live outing for these I think!

The Damned
The Damned

Setlist:

I Feel Alright
You Take My Money
Help!
Born to Kill
Stretcher Case Baby
Feel the Pain
I Fall
Fan Club
Alone
Fish
1 of the 2
Problem Child
Neat Neat Neat
Stab Yor Back
Sick of Being Sick
See Her Tonite
You Know
So Messed Up

Encore:
New Rose
Pills
The Last Time