The Depressions – Messing With Your Heart

15th March 2023 · 1970s, 1978, Music, Punk

I was never too sure about The Depressions. Unconvincing in both look and sound, they were described cruelly but accurately by the NME as being one of the last bands to jump on the punk bandwagon – “just as the wheels were coming off.”

They used to be a Mod band called Tonge, playing Who/Small Faces covers in Brighton before converting to the new wave.

They cut and dyed their hair blond like The Police, adopted silly “punk” nicknames like Crowbar, ‘Ammer, and Rico The Knife, and the drummer began wearing an eye patch.

They even got arrested for spray-painting the new band name on walls, earning punk points with their £150 fines, and made a handful of singles and an unremarkable album.

This slow-burning effort – Messing With Your Heart – is the only remotely memorable one, with a nice line in controlled aggression. Sadly, it would be the highlight of their career.

They earned poor reviews for their lacklustre debut album and went on tour with The Vibrators, where tragedy struck when a fan was killed during a fight at a gig in Preston.

Front man Frank Smith (aka ‘Ammer) then left the band and they responded by going back to their previous rockier look and sound, changing their name to The DPs.

Equally unsuccessful in their new guise, finally they broke up in early 1979 – just at the start of a Mod revival that might just have revived their fortunes.