Thursday, March 31, 2016

Coachella '16 news: The Damned

One of the acts playing Coachella Festival 1&2 in April is The Damned. They have a new DVD on the way...
After an acclaimed run at cinemas worldwide, THE DAMNED: Don't You Wish That We Were Dead, is coming to home video on May 20. 
The film was directed/produced by Wes Orshoski, and is the first fully authorized documentary on punk pioneers The Damned. 
Filmed over three years and premiered at SXSW 2015, THE DAMNED: Don't You Wish That We Were Dead tells the story of the third prong in the holy trinity of U.K. punk.
In advance of both the Sex Pistols and the Clash, The Damned was the first U.K. punk band to release a single (1976's immortal "New Rose"), the first to release an album ('77's frenetic Damned Damned Damned), and the first to tour America (planting their flag at CBGB in April 1977). The Damned are the only band from London's 1976 punk explosion still touring the world today.

Besides Damned founders Captain Sensible, Dave Vanian, Rat Scabies and Brian James, the film includes appearances by such one-time bandmates as The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, Mick Jones (The Clash) and Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, as well as such rock and/or punk luminaries as Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Steve Diggle (Buzzcocks), JJ Burnel (The Stranglers), Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode), Billy Idol, Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat/Fugazi), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks/OFF!), Dexter Holland (The Offspring), Jack Grisham (T.S.O.L.), and more.

Named after a lyric in the title track of the Damned's 1979 album, Machine Gun Etiquette, the film charts the band's unique history, bitter infighting and legendary bad behavior (drummer Scabies is blamed for creating punk's "gobbing," or spitting, phenomenon).
It takes viewers into the toilets once scrubbed by Captain Sensible and viewers follow the Damned on their world-wide 35th anniversary tour in 2011 -- with estranged band founders Scabies and James seen on screen answering that trek with a snarling celebration of their own.
In a bizarre twist of fate, other former members find themselves being treated for the same form of cancer by the same doctor in the same Welsh cancer ward; elsewhere, the band's founding members are seen grappling with their legacy, and the fallout from missed and/or bungled business decisions that have kept them painfully working class for most of the past four decades.

The bonus features find Captain Sensible taking viewers on a tour of Croydon, the south London town that gave rise to the Damned, and he busks on the streets of Hollywood with actor/musician/comedian Fred Armisen, a huge Damned fan. Elsewhere, the full story of the band's involvement and eventual ousting from the Sex Pistols' fabled Anarchy in the U.K. tour of 1976 is told in detail for the first time. 

The Damned is also credited with helping to ignite the punk scene in America. In 1977, the Damned were the first of the U.K. punks to play in both New York (CBGBs) and Los Angeles (Starwood).

A West Coast tour of the US starts in California and includes two appearances at Coachella (April 16 & 23), San Francisco (April 14, Great American Music Hall); Solana Beach (April 19, Belly Up); Pomona (April 20, The Glass House); and Hollywood (April 21, The Roxy).

The band officially kicks off its 40th anniversary tour on May 20 with a sold-out gig at The Royal Albert Hall in London.

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