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Baker's Dozen

The Quest For The Grail: Rat Scabies Favourite Albums
Ben Graham , March 7th, 2018 12:49

The former Damned drummer tells Ben Graham about seeing bands at the Orchid Ballroom in Purley, the appeal of repetition and variety in music, and how The Damned nearly got their own Monkees-style TV show


Slade- Slade Alive
I went to see them play at the Orchid Ballroom in Purley when they were at the height of their chart success. I always loved Noddy Holder's voice, and they weren't super musicians but Don Powell was a really clever drummer. The parts he'd play were always not what you'd expect to be going on with that song. He always found another way of doing it which was always really cool. Jimmy Lea was always such a great bass player as well, and carried the whole thing. I could take or leave Dave Hill's guitar playing, but at the same time the way Dave Hill plays guitar is very punk in a way. It's very minimalist, very Chuck Berry, with lots of Ernie-Ernie Ernie, you know. He's playing the dynamics rather than the notes. And I went to see them at the Orchid Ballroom in Purley and it was one of the best gigs I've ever been to. It was absolutely infectious. As soon as they started playing it was like you're going to have a good time whether you like it or not. I don't care if you think we're unfashionable, you're still going to enjoy it, which was what happened. And that was the tour that they made that album from. It was the same set: I remember them playing 'Born To Be Wild' and all of those tunes. It was one of those moments, and that album sounds the way I remember that gig. I'm sure there are a few overdubs on there somewhere, but I watched them play that show. Dave Hill threw glitter in my eyes. How could I not have a copy?