Algy Ward
Algy Ward in 1980 | Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images

Algy Ward of Tank, The Saints and The Damned Has Died Aged 63

English punk and rock musician Algy Ward has died. The bassist and singer – who founded heavy metal group Tank and was a former member of both The Saints and The Damned – passed away at a hospital in Kent on Wednesday, 17th May. He was 63 years old.

Ward’s death was confirmed by his former Tank bandmate Mick Tucker. “We formed a formidable songwriting team when I joined Tank in 1983 and recorded some great albums along the way and many shows,” Tucker wrote on Facebook. “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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Ward was born Alasdair Mackie Ward in London in 1959. He first rose to fame as the bassist of Australian punks The Saints, making his first appearance with the band on 1977 single ‘This Perfect Day’. He performed on 1978 albums Eternally Yours and Prehistoric Sounds, before joining English punks The Damned. He featured on their 1979 album Machine Gun Etiquette, but was fired from the band the following year.

In 1980, Ward formed his own band, Tank, taking heavy influence from Motörhead. The band released debut album Filth hounds of Hades, produced by Motörhead guitarist Eddie Clarke.

Throughout their time, Tank were a pioneering band in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement, alongside the likes of Iron Maiden, Angel Witch, Saxon, Witchfinder General, Raven, Diamond Head, Praying Mantis and Venom. Tucker joined the band on guitar in 1983 and was, along with guitarist Cliff Evans, one of the most consistent members of the band other than Ward.

After years of legal and creative disputes, Tank disbanded in 1989. Ward resurrected the band in 1997, before splitting again in 2006. Two years later, Tucker and Evans announced a new version of the band without Ward. In 2013, Ward formed another new version of the band in which he was the sole member.

Further Reading

Nick Cave Pays Tribute To His “Favourite Singer” Chris Bailey Of The Saints

The Saints Frontman And Punk Pioneer Chris Bailey Has Died

The Damned Announce 2023 Australian Tour

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