In this, the fortieth anniversary of all the important punk releases we have acouple of guitarists who rank amongst punk royalty: Captain Sensible of The Damned has played bass, played guitar, played keyboard and played away as the pop star, all this whilst maintaining credibility as a beer drinker and trainspotter. Hopefully JJ Watt of the Main Grains has finished his playing away as he’s due to get married this summer and along with ex Wildheart Danny McCormack and other “rock`n`roll hooligans and sonic assassins” they rip up a fair old racket wherever they go.
When did your relationship with Camden start?
(CS) 1975, Hawkwind and the Pink Fairies at the Roundhouse – what a freak out of a gig. And hippies and anarchists strewn all over the floor, stoned, shagging in dark corners… those were the days.
(JJ) Personally, it started 2 or 3 years ago when I saw the lineup, and thought it looked like an amazing event, different to other festivals, and really cool. I wanted to go but sadly couldn’t.
What’s been your most interesting gig in Camden?
(CS) When we reformed in ’79, Lemmy joining us on bass. We knocked up a quick set of Damned and Motorhead tunes – he played ours immaculately. We fucked up all of his.
(JJ) We played Proud Camden last year, in a really great slot between Ginger Wildheart and The Black Spiders. We were also lucky enough to play the Barfly the night before with Warrior Soul and The Black Bullets, both were brilliant shows, in very cool venues.
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What was your reaction when you knew you would be playing there this year?
(CS) Um, great – I wonder if my Camden drug dealer chum is still there. Or alive even.
(JJ) Delighted to be asked back, it’s such a fun experience, everywhere you turn there is a band playing, and so much new music and people to discover, as well as old friends.
From the initial announcement of bands who are you looking forward to seeing?
(CS) I’d watch them all but will mainly be in the bar.
(JJ) Well, clashes permitting, The Damned for certain, and, some people I know like Hey Hello!, Urban Voodoo Machine, Moses, and pretty interested to check out Aaron Buchannans new band as well.
Have you been to Camden Market, what did you buy?
(JJ) Oh yeah, funnily enough, the weather was beautiful last year so I had to grab some shades haha seriously. Also, a pair of new rocks which are part of my wedding outfit for Feb this year
(CS) I bought a nice pair of rubber trousers there once… they were so hot onstage it was like a tap had been turned on… with all the sweat running down my legs.
Which Camden venue is the best to play at?
(JJ) Well, both Proud and Barfly were great, in different ways. The Underworld has a cool factor, but, I’ve always wanted to play the Electric Ballroom, I saw Gun there last year and it was a great venue.
(CS) Is Dingwalls still there? That was fun back in the day.
Do you know any Camden trivia?
(CS) The Clash’s Paul Simonon and Topper Headon were nicked at a Camden studio for shooting pigeons with an air rifle in 1978.
Why should I as a gig goer make an effort to see you guys at Camden this year?
(CS) Catch us now – before we’re dead.
(JJ) If you are a fan of good, honestrock n roll, and want to have a good time, then we are the soundtrack to that. It’s nice to make people smile and be happy for a while, especially these days. No nonsense, no pretending, just 4 guys, great songs, and a good time.