Wednesday, 11 August 2010
The Damned United...
What better way to start the day than with a raucous blast of absurdist punk perfection? (Especially if your ears are completely blocked up with hardened earwax, as mine have been for the past three days and you can't hear a ruddy thing...) Many people who saw all three bands - well, Istvanski and my old uncle Gweekington - tell me the Damned were the best of the original holy trinity of English punk - the aforementioned unit, The Sex Pistols and The Clash. I was a bit late on the scene for the intitial punk explosion - arriving late for a UK Subs lunchtime gig at the Greyhound, Fulham Palace Road was about as close as I got to the action. Indeed, by the time this single came out, it was pretty much all over - the ground-opening-up-beneath-your-feet excitement of the initial euphoric anarchy having given way to an off-the-peg attitude as saleable as the latest dangling disco belt; much as Smash it up's farfisa driven chaos fades out in a glorious epiphany of prog pomposity.
The b-side, Burglar
romps along menacingly enough on a catchy nee-nar, nee-nar police siren riff; a paean to the joys of wandering off the 'straight and narrow' - because 'it's a bit too bleedin' straight and a bit too narrow for my liking...'
as for the label,
well, they don't come much better, do they? This has 'no nonsense' written all over it and serves as a reminder that the gulf between the punk and the pub rockers was never all that great; weren't the 101ers on the same label? Anyway, I can just picture Chiswick High Street as it was then, with it's rock 'n' roll revivalist record shops and boarded up shop fronts on the long trudge up to Hammersmith Odeon.
Those were the days...
Smash it up: