review archive

The Damned - Ipswich Gaumont July 2nd 1985

Home from school on Linda’s bus. Saw ‘Emmerdale Farm’, had curry spring roll and chips. Got changed and set off for Ipswich. Arrived outside the Gaumont to discover oceans of punks! Went in at 7:30 and saw the first support band The Fuzztones. They were okay.

Had another support band ‘Doctor and the Medics’ who are quite well known (to a select few). (NB. This was before D & the Ms lost all cred. by having a kiddie-pleasing No.1 with ‘Spirit In The Sky’, at the time they were quite the thing amongst goth/psyche types and Alice in Wonderland club regulars).T’was their last night on the Damned tour so both support groups and Roman Jugg (guitarist in the Damned and owner of cheesy grin throughout concert) came on together and did a good ad lib unrehearsed. (??)

Next the soundcheck and then about 9:15 The Damned were on. Masses of dry ice and green lights with slow music heralded their arrival, but we couldn’t see them. Suddenly there was life in the music. The smoke cleared and they were there! They played about 12 songs including ‘Grimly Fiendish’ (much grooving), ‘Wait for the Blackout’ (more grooving and singing) and ‘Smash It Up’ (everyone freaks out!). Then they were gone, so we all slow hand-clapped and shouted ‘til they reappeared and did 4 encores. Rat Scabies (drummer) came on first and started a beat. Then Bryn Merrick (bass). Then R. Jugg. Then Dave Vanian. T’was brill. They left and we cheered them back for two more songs. Left half deaf but ultra happy!
The Cult - 22nd November 1985 Ipswich Gaumont

Went to see The Cult! They were Berrilliant! The best concert I’ve been to. Us three were right near the front There were loads of fab lights and backdrops, including an Indian face backdrop that swung round into The Cult logo. Played all the songs from ‘Love’ (started with the title track – tres exciting) except ‘Black Angel’. There was also a Death Cult song, and ‘Spiritwalker, ‘Dreamtime’ and ‘Horse Nation’ off the ‘Dreamtime’ album. I got a programme (£3!!) and an ‘unofficial’ poster for a squid, it’s huuuge.

Billy Duffy’s guitar went all out of tune or something after the first song and Ian Astbury and Jamie Stewart were standing there looking a bit sheepish, so I.A. said, ‘This is the first time we’ve been to Ipswich so we thought we’d do something a bit different’, and J.S. said, ‘Yes a slight technical hitch.’ I.A. also introduced their wally drummer, about whom the audience weren’t over enthusiastic! Billy Duffy kept pulling angry faces and pointing furiously at someone in the wings, too. We three did loads of freaky dancing, good fun.

There were only two encores, ‘Horse Nation’ and ‘The Phoenix’. The latter had loads of flames rising up the backdrop (a lighting effect obviously, not a real conflagration), which looked amazing. Ian Astbury threw his tambourine into the crowd and everyone went wild scrabbling for it like mad dogs. He also left his top onstage and at the end, some boy got up and swiped it, but a bouncer rugby tackled him and got it back. Got home about 11:45, had to stop en route for Chinese chips and coke.
[top of page]