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Music: The Damned Open House Festival, Swimming Tapes and Lloyd Cole

The Damned Open House Festival Marine Court Hotel, Bangor Tomorrow, 7.30pm

By Patric Baird

Forever known as the original punk band The Damned is accredited with releasing the UK's first punk single, New Rose which hit the lower reaches of the charts in October 1976, predating the Sex Pistol's first single, Anarchy in the UK, by just over a month.

While Johnny Rotten & co enjoyed considerably more notoriety and commercial success, The Damned's career has continued, more-or-less unbroken, for 40 years and their musical output has been varied, encompassing punk, new wave, post-punk and gothic rock. Their stage show, fronted by founder members Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible, is always an enjoyable affair - fans can expect to hear all the old hits as well as a few more recent songs, although their last album was released in 2008. For details, visit

Swimming Tapes The Goat's Toe, Main Street, Bangor Sunday, 8pm

Although this recently-formed lo-fi indie/pop quintet is London-based, Swimming Tapes numbers three native Bangorians amongst its ranks - namely Paddy Conn and Louis Price, formerly of Kowalski, as well as their pal Robbie Reid. They already have a single, Souvenirs, behind them which made The Sunday Times' hottest tracks list, and featured heavily on Phil Taggart's Radio One playlist. They play their debut homecoming live show in the company of Bangor electropop band, In An Instant, as part of the current Open House Festival. For details, visit

Lloyd Cole

Empire Music Hall, Belfast

Monday, August 29, 8pm

Despite a long and varied career in the music business, it's probably inevitable that Lloyd Cole will be primarily associated for his mid-Eighties debut album, Rattlesnakes. Spawning Top 30 singles including Perfect Skin, Brand New Friend and, his biggest hit, Lost Weekend, Cole, along with his band The Commotions, fitted easily into an 'indie' niche occupied by the likes of The Smiths and The Cure. Subsequent albums performed even better, but in 1989 Cole decided to leave his band behind and now has 11 solo albums to his credit. Despite a one-off reunion with The Commotions in 2004, marking the 20th anniversary of Rattlesnakes' release, Cole revealed his bitterness at being unable to repeat his original success. Subsequently, Cole enjoyed something of a renaissance following the success of his 2013 album Standards, and last year he released 1D, an album of instrumental compositions on a modular synthesiser.

Visit thebelfastempire com for details.

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