Decided to have a couple of beers in Stockport first and meet up with a couple of work chums for a chat and meet  Trev the Damned nut (literally).  2 beers turned into 4 and then it was off for the train.  It remarkably arrived on time which got us in Macclesfield too early so we were forced to go into a pub near the train station for a beer.  1 beer magically turned into four as me and Trev waited for Bernie (not a damned nut).  During the drinking we played pool with a gypsy we had got talking to.  Bernie arrived and a few more games ensued with Trev taking photos to capture the scene forever.  Silly git.  Great guy that tinker but too hammered to play pool effectively.

Talking of hammered.  With 8 pints under the belt in less than 4 hours I felt a bit unsteady myself, but the Damned gig beckoned so one must persevere.  Its a hard life.

I'd never been to this venue before but the name had already given me reservations.  Cuban Nights sounded like one of those cheap knocking shops for the shirt and tie brigade and not a predictable punk arena.  Never mind.  Upon arrival I was unimpressed by the set up and with Captain Sensible shouting over some kind of megaphone outside I felt that this may be the farcical extravagance I suspected.  A few more beers inside and handing out some flyers and the first act was on.  Basically too busy chatting and drinking I completely missed the load of shit it sounded like, with the quick glimpses I gave backing up this theory.

Eventually the Damned arrived - but maybe 12 pints too late for me.  The room was heaving by this time with a good buzz building.  A couple of trips to the bogs before the first song was underway and it was into the fray.  I had a quick ping to the first number but some git was being over aggressive with everyone and got my back up.  I stood on the periphery of the ensuing melee' and informed one of the bouncers that 'there's a bit of a twat in there tonight whose going to get his head punched in'.  Nice blokes them bouncers and too good to fall out with.  Guys like this deserve a quiet night and I didn't want anyone thinking I was the instigator of any aggro, so I think I did the best thing telling these guys what the score was.  Its such a pity that one bonehead can piss off so many genuine people but its always the case.  Anyway he must have got wind of the situation because apparently the troublesome chap went to the bogs and disappeared through a window. Shame really.  He could have just said sorry.

The rest of the gig was pretty dull with the Damned off form and my niggled mind not up for it anymore.  Basically too much beer and a dickhead ruined it for me so I'll finish up.  The Damned are now a parody of their former selves and are over priced for what they give.  A cabaret act with no street relations this is not what punks about.  £14 for 1 band with 1 warm up act which was crap, is not value for money.   I know people adore this group (my mate Trev is living testimony of this) but within the punk scene there is a growing dislike for bands that take the piss.  Having a laugh is fine but not at the expense of your own kind.  A shit end to one that promised so much.

The highlight of the evening for me was seeing Trev's beret stolen by the Captain to be replaced by a Father Christmas hat.  Trev thought he would never see that beloved cap of his again and his face was a picture.  By the way - he said the Damned were brilliant.  Like I said - silly git!


Review by Fungalpunk/OMD - (11 December 2002)