From Jimi Hendrix to The Who: The Damned’s Rat Scabies picks his favourite albums
Christopher Millar, more commonly known by his stage name of Rat Scabies, is the iconic drummer for English punk rock band the Damned. Here we dig into his record collection and find out the albums that shaped him.
Scabies, a founding member of the Damned, formed the group alongside vocalist Dave Vanian, guitarist Brian James and bassist Captain Sensible. The punk legends are credited by many as being one of the first major goth rock bands throughout their turbulent rock and roll journey and have always gathered fans wherever they took their live show.
After multiple breakups and comebacks, The Damned released a total of 11 studio albums with their first, Damned Damned Damned, which arrived in 1977 cementing the foundations for the group who recorded and released their last effort, Evil Spirits, in 2018.
“I have this philosophy that if an album’s any good it’ll still be around in five years, and it’ll still sound as good in five years as it does today, so I tend to ignore things that are having a lot of fuss made about them,” Rat Scabies told The Quietus when preempting his list of favourite records.
When categorising a series of his most cherished albums, Scabies referenced the likes of Flipron, Talk Talk, Brian Eno, Cream and more. “There are very few bands that I have more than two or three records by, and with Eno in particular I think everything that Brian Eno does best is on this record,” Scabies said discussing Here Come The Warm Jets.
“I’ve tried to listen to other Eno records but I still get more from this one than from any of the others. There’s just something about it. It’s got this wonderful ramshackle element to it, but at the same time it’s really experimental, and everything he does best is there.”
Scabies also picks Portishead classic Dummy and the phenomenal live album from The Who, 1970’s Live At Leeds. As well as choices of Cream and Brian Eno you can see that although Scabies may have been a part of one of punk’s forefathers but he still was happy to get lost in some prog rock.
When discussing Jimi Hendrix, Scabies added: “It was such a turning point, this album. I remember putting it on the Dansette and ‘Purple Haze’ coming on, and those opening notes, and going bloody hell I want this. When you hear something that really works for you it’s almost not a conscious decision.”
“It’s a chemical reaction that your ears and your soul have. I heard it and it was like being grabbed on the inside and told you’re going to go with this. You like this, whether you want to or not. I’ve pretty much always had a copy of this album, and I don’t think it does everything that Jimi Hendrix does best, but it does a lot of it.”
Below you can find a full playlist of Rat Scabies’ favourite albums of all time.
Rat Scabies’ favourite favourite albums:
Fancy Blues And Rustique Novelties by Flipron.
Spirit Of Eden by Talk Talk.
Here Come The Warm Jets by Brian Eno.
Caravanserai by Santana.
Slade Alive by Slade.
Innervisions by Stevie Wonder.
Best Of by Cream.
Dummy by Portishead.
Live At Leeds by The Who.
A Rainbow In Curved Air by Terry Riley.
Drum Spectacular by Kenny Clare & Ronnie Stephenson.