Sunday 20 March 2022: The Prince Albert. Event by An Alternative Gathering: Brighton saw Damage UK, Hazard and headliners Screaming Dead assemble for Punk Lunch Picnic 4. What an afternoon – from An Alternative Gathering.
The audience in The Prince Albert created a wonderfully vibrant atmosphere thanks to the recent abandonment of Covid restrictions and of course, due to the fabulous live music we were about to experience! No masks, unless you chose to wear one. The crowd did seem well spread out, giving each other room. It was busy and great to see that mutually shared respect and leaving space for each other. Great crowd!
A 3 course Punk Sunday Lunch! Three top bands DAMAGE UK, HAZARD and SCREAMING DEAD. We made it out intact with words and pics!
Ok dear reader going to get through the lunchtime menu, lets work our way through it. Hungry?
DamageUK was formed by Brian Damage and Paul Flynn (from 1977 Roxy survivors Nuffin’) with Reg Charles (ex-Xtraverts) and Alan Ardwood Davidson to write, perform and record new Punk Rock music.
Brian Damage and Paul Flynn played the legendary Roxy Club in 1977 and appeared in Janet Street Porter’s documentary “1977: The Year of Punk” featuring Nuffin.
Brian Damage on Guitar, lead vocals and shades, Paul Flynn laying it down on the bass, Reg Charles joining in on drums and “new boy” Alan Davidson on lead guitar. This, I think he told me, was his second or third gig because of COVID causing delays!
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Damage UK, you were superb. The crowd loved it, almost as much as the band appeared to be. Brian is a top frontman, full of warmth, charm and humour. Don’t let that fool you, their new stage show and performance definitely retains that excitement and exhilaration of that early classic punk. A great mix and thoroughly entertaining.
That 77 punk drive is there and overlaid with some pulsating guitar playing from both Brian and Alan. The effect of Damage UK is both very appealing and somewhat unique. Some great songs in the set this afternoon.
Palace Of Justice – Total Surveillance – Scorched Earth – Chains Of Austerity
Despite the age quips Damage UK are pretty damn catchy but they have a lot of power in there and still very capable of displaying a certain punk edge. During one of the numbers Brian had to stop for a crowd selfie! Wirehead was the song he was building up for. Brilliant. The guys were rattling through the set at a fair pace, with frequent interruptions from Brian. Stories and banter ensued and we wont mention where cameras have been! Made my eyes water!
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Wirehead – Interesting Void – Modern News – Rosalyn – Cyber War – Chaos of The Clampdown
A most interesting set, perfectly delivered. Interesting to hear a Pretty Things cover with Rosalyn, this one has been covered by many from The Rezillos to Bowie. Its sounded great as the guitars and sounds made this very much their own version.
Their set is also very catchy and full of some strong, searing guitar parts, thumping bass and some great drum fills, Brian and the band provided some fine vocal work. They threw everything at us making sure those classic early punk power-chording riffs and incisive or fun lyrics of their songs were received by the large audience.
I’m So Bored With The USA was the set closer. A great clash cover. We were treated to a couple of clash covers during the afternoon. That was a splendid version guys, you had us all bopping along to that one. Its a refreshing set and a joy to finally see Brian doing his thing back in Brighton. I can’t help but like them. Well played Damage UK – enjoyed that!
You can keep up to date with Damage UK as they are on Facebook.
The Middle course of the afternoons musical feast was Hazard. I think they have recently trimmed down to a three piece?
Conor – vocals, guitar, leather jacket and punked up leopard skin print T
Chris James – bass, vocals, leather jacket, shades and a cool Black Veil Brides strap
Sam Tyrrel – drums
Hazard should carry a health warning! They deliver a blisteringly loud punk thrash attack, matched by great lyrics and tunes. Let me tell you, these guys know how to really shred, and their material is astonishing.
Sorry Ain’t Enough – Phonejacker – Get Outta My Head – Bad Habits – Yesterday
Hazard threw us straight in to the deep end. This wasn’t just three of musicians playing a gig though on a Sunday afternoon. This was a genuine performance like I’ve not seen in ages. This band oozed with an untappable level of raw energy and passion. Great to chat with the guys after their set.
Terminal Boredom – Safe European Home – Lost In England
I had to speak to Sam on the tubs at the back, his performance on the kit was astonishingly good and pulled the band in tight. The band were all excellent. Some damn fine fret work on guitars and bass. At times, breathtaking, but always loud!
Human Citizen Of The World – Freedom Fighters -two great angst punk fuelled bangers to close the set. Damn these guys are good, real good.
Conor hammered his guitar within an inch of its life, a string snapped. A quick guitar change made sure the set continued with a magnificent custom Epiphone in place. The set hit us at a trailblazing speed! Citizen Of The World is a belting tune with an almost stadium filling chant tucked in.
Terminal Boredom – Safe European Home – Lost In England
A Clash cover was in there Safe European Home and yes these guys had enough rope to melt that one. Smashed it! It was quite clear I think that they have some of that early Clash fire in their bellies and this was proved in their cover. Owned it!
I have to say that after Hazard had put in such a level of spirited vivacity into a 40 minute performance, I was surprised they were still standing at the end of it!
Hazard are on the WWW – at www.hazardofficial.com
And on Facebook! Give them a like and don’t miss them if they play near you!
And for desserts: A sweet and coffee, maybe washed down with a Tequila or two…
Headliners: Screaming Dead.
Screaming Dead are a punk rock band from Cheltenham formed in 1980, who have often been characterised as “horror punk”. They released several singles and EPs with indie chart success, before splitting up in 1985. They reformed in 1997; disbanded again in 1999; and reformed in 2014. The band built up a strong local following, which spread farther afield with gigs and press coverage in America and Mexico.
The band reformed in 2014 with a line up of:
(Dom) Sam on vocal duties,
Baz on bass thunder stick
Mazzy buzzing riff maker on guitar
Hugh at the back pounding out that rhythm.
These guys were about to let loose with a frenetic supercharged performance. There was no going back! No more lazing on a Sunday afternoon if Screaming Dead are in town. The songs? Well they are loud, powerful, and creative. Through it all Maz fires up some great guitar work and manages to produce the most extraordinary guitar sounds. Baz put down some super bass lines (Sorry Baz – took a few pics!) and then the power from the back from Hugh. Together tying a tight noose around that sound. We were gonna be drenched in the flames of Dante’s inferno this afternoon, the licks from the guitar and bass wrapping their sound around us, dragging us deeper. Did I see a sulphurous lightning bolt? It was that atmospheric! Actually it was probably an electric spark from the cable as Sam attempted to re connect the lead to the mic in the near pitch dark stage area!
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This Is the End Of The World – Valley Of The Dead – Lilith – Damned Generation and God Of Love…
These songs came at us thick and fast. Not much on stage chat from these guys! Sam daubed in white face paint, almost in a Joker/The Crow style took hold of everyone in the room. A great front man and consummate professional. He spoke with the crowd, he stroked members of the crowd and then with his black gloved hand would pound the air as he powered it up. It was all very rock and roll with a dash of shock rock in the mix.
Love Song – Necroaria – Night Creatures – Angel of Death
Screaming Dead planted a solid cover of the Damneds Love Song. Damn that was a great cover, and this was eagerly lapped up by the crowd. The sound was tack sharp this afternoon. Again sadly the Albert bathed the stage in a single red colour wash. Sam had pulled out the lead from his mic a couple of times, the lighting was so poor he couldn’t replace the lead! A quick jump over to share Bazs mic. Come on Prince Albert – you can do way better than that.
Resurrection – Pretty Mess – Waiting For You – 20th Century Vampire
Clearly these guys had pulled in some fans, one guy I spoke to had come over from Greece and couldn’t believe his luck when he saw Screaming Dead were playing live in Brighton! Some crowd members clearly knew the material. I know of only one of their songs and it was a cover…
Paint It Black…
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This was not going to be a stand back and nod my head, tap my foot type gig. I could feel it in my bones earlier in the proceedings. And, as Paint It Black fired up, I was proved to be 100% correct. Fab job on that.The floor in the Prince Albert was actually bouncing! The band released it many full moons ago – it appeared in the UK charts and Indie charts at the time.
To a person, everyone I spoke to after the show was overflowing with superlatives to describe what they had just seen, a fact borne out by the queue of people waiting to buy merch after the gig.
I’m also happy to say, that not only are they one of the most entertaining live acts I’ve seen in quite a while, they all seem genuinely warm and nice guys. Sam appeared to be bowled over by the outpouring of appreciation from gig goers as we chatted. So we saw Lilith being escorted off the premises by Security as we all stepped back out into the sunshine. What a Sunday!
You can unearth Screaming Dead on Facebook.
A good punk gig atmosphere, and sound, is like, well dear reader you really do need to be there. But every band gave it their all this afternoon. They were all headliners! There was real passion in every band for the music they perform and adore. I am going to leave it there, but whether you like Punk Rock or you don’t, I can highly recommend giving one of these “Punk Rock Picnics” a try. Even if you are not one for standing in front of the stage or standing next to a speaker, you could still walk away having had a brilliant afternoon.
This really was a golden ticket event!
A Huuuge shout out to Andy C and An Alternative Gathering
This event was the fourth Punk Sunday Lunch, and was organised by An Alternative Gathering. I will not miss the 5th lunchtime outing 8 May 2022! Cant wait.
“I can highly recommend giving one of these “Punk Rock Picnics” a try. Even if you are not one for standing in front of the stage or standing next to a speaker, you could still walk away having had a brilliant afternoon” – Ian Bourn – Scene Sussex.
Words: Ian Bourn. Photos: Ian Bourn.
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All original pictures / video – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2021.
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