The Saints & The Damned's Algy Ward Passes Away, Age 63

24 May 2023 | 1:52 pm | Mary Varvaris

Algy Ward passed away at a hospital in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, after fighting recurring health issues.

Photo of Algy Ward

Photo of Algy Ward (Source: Twitter)

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English bassist Alasdair Mackie "Algy" Ward for The Saints, The Damned and founder of Tank, a band that pioneered the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, passed away on the 17th of May, but the news only broke this week. No official cause of death has been revealed.

As Consequence and Louder report, Ward passed away at a hospital in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, after fighting recurring health issues. Tank guitarist Mick van Tuckerberg confirmed the news on social media yesterday, writing on Facebook:

“Just heard the sad news my old band mate passed away in hospital last Wednesday may 17th.

“We formed a formidable songwriting team when I joined tank in 1983 and recorded some great albums along the way and many shows with tank and the Nicky Moore band who I joined in 1990 with algy .

“Over the last couple of years we had to carry on without him but hoped one day we could get him back onstage with us.

“A glass will be raised tonight in your honour ....”

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Before forming Tank, Ward broke into the punk and rock scenes by joining Aussie punk outfit The Saints, playing on the hits This Perfect Day and Know Your Product, as well as their 1978 album Eternally Yours

Ward joined The Damned after The Saints disbanded in 1979 and played bass on the band’s critically acclaimed third album Machine Gun Etiquette. Alongside brothers Peter Brabbs (guitar) and Mark Brabbs (drums), Ward formed Tank in 1980.

The group’s 1982 debut album, Filth Hounds Of Hades, is regarded as a classic of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal genre and even had Motörhead guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke producing the record.

In 2017, The Saints received a mural in honour of their 1977 debut album, (I’m) Stranded, on which Ward played bass on a few tracks. The 40th-anniversary mural exists in Brisbane.

Announced by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the official launch of BIGSOUND in Fortitude Valley, the mural — and an accompanying live music and recording event —received $61,930 in funding as part of the government's efforts to foster "a diverse and vibrant arts sector", the Premier said.

Palaszczuk noted, "Many of the 150-plus musical acts converging on Brisbane for BIGSOUND would acknowledge the huge influence of The Saints, for not only helping change the face of rock music worldwide in the 1970s but for showing that a Queensland band could have a big impact on the world stage, paving the way for many of the great Queensland musical acts to follow."

The Damned guitarist Raymond Ian Burns, or “Captain Sensible,” wrote about Ward on Twitter, “We were shocked to hear of dear old Algys passing last night.. the guy was simply immense as a player and a personality. In The Damned terms Machine Gun Etiquette is his legacy.. that thunderous bass sound was never bettered. RIP.”