The Metro, Sydney
The Damned came to The Metro in Sydney. What can I say… It was heaps of fun, the place was rammed full, they played pretty much all the hits and most of Machine Gun Etiquette. I had spent the afternoon listening to the oldies and they had all the best stuff included. That old Proustian rush kicked in right away with Melody Lee as the opener, weaving through New Rose, Neat Neat Neat, Waiting For The Blackout, History of The World pt 1, Looking At You, Disco Man, Billy Bad Breaks, Stranger On The Town, Love Song, Noise Noise Noise, Anti-Pope (among others) and Smash It Up for an encore, it was great stuff.
The crowd was about 80-90% in the 50+ age group, and 70-80% male, with lots of ill-advised singlet/wife-beater tee shirts and a couple of magnificent mohawks.
The dipsticks doing flash photography from near the mixing desk only got blinding flashback from the bald spots in front. There was even a bit of an OAP mosh pit going on in front of the Captain, although it seemed to be limited to pushing each other from side to side. Unfortunately there were more falling-down-drunk ass-hats stumbling around where I was.
It made me think..
On the down side, with only The Captain and Vanian from the old days, it did seem a bit like a tribute band with the stars guest-fronting some no-names. Maybe I’ve been out of the loop on these guys for too long. The drummer was excellent and the bass player good, but the keyboard guy had a few technical shortcomings and at times just couldn’t replicate the original songs which was a bit disappointing.
Also, letting a bunch of audience bozos on stage to dance and gurn (presumably the people who paid extra for the meet and greet, since they were backstage already) as the gig was peaking was incredibly annoying and a really bad idea.
On the way home I listened to Etiquette again, and apart from everything now sounding like there are socks covering my ears (didn’t use ear plugs) I was struck for the first time by how young they sound on the album, compared to the grown men on stage, it was actually quite startling hearing the gig and the album back to back.