1970s era punk reborn
in the form of The Damned
By Stuart Clements
Daily Cougar Staff
The Engine Room turned into a time machine
and warped back to the 1970s for a concert consisting of some old-school
The Damned, a group that originated in
1976, performed for a rather exclusive cult audience Thursday.
The Engine Room was a cozy venue, yet very
comfortable. The crowd was small and most people had more metal through
of their body than a sack of nails in
a hardware store.
White face paint with black lipstick was
not uncommon for the guys.
The Damned was introduced by two rather
colorful groups. The first group, named The Briefs, was an old-school punk-style
sounded a lot like the Sex Pistols.
The Briefs opened with some heavy drum
riffs and bouncy melodies that got the crowd on its feet and excited. The
band members were
casually dressed in retro-clad suits with
ruffles and sunglasses.
Sunglasses in a pitch black room -- must
be a '70s thing.
Its music was short-lived, but fun, and
the band exited to make room for the next act, The Toilet Boys.
As exciting and high-energy as The Briefs
was, it seemed tame compared to the metal-smashing music that came from
Boys. These guys were weird.
The curtain was drawn on The Toilet Boys
and the three guitarists appeared with no shirts and only a thinly clad
pair of black pants on
The lead singer was a beautiful blonde
who came out in a cute little S&M number and thigh-high stockings.
All was well, but over time I noticed quite
a bulge in the lead singer's metal-studded bikini bottom. This was very
Nevertheless, the David Lee Roth look-alike
and the rest of The Toilet Boys put on a very entertaining show that incorporated
head-banging power chords and limited
pyrotechnics, including fireballs blown into the audience. And the lead
guitarist wrapped up the
set with his guitar on fire.
The Damned took the stage with the curtain
closed and played a piano ballad with the lead singer doing a little lyric
poetry in the
background. He finished and introduced
The Damned front man looked like a cheesy-yet-tasteful
rendition of Elvis Presley mixed with Bono from U2. The pianist's hair
had a bad
case of Art Garfunkel, the female bassist
looked exactly like Elvira and a wrinkled guitarist led the melody with
gusto. He looked a lot
like Keith Richards.
The band played songs from its new album,
and also some old classics that all the 45-year-old audience members knew
and sang along
The crowd was glowing, but that was because
The Damned's cult following consisted of bald men.
The show finished as strongly as it began
and wasn't ever boring or drawn out.
Overall, the three-act show was well-rehearsed
and entertaining -- these geriatrics pulled it off. They were very enjoyable
to watch and