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THE DAMNED
The Cresset, Bretton Centre, Peterborough
Wednesday, 2nd August, 2006

Reviewed by Cardinal Cox

The Damned CDs


Write Dope on Pnuk part 15 

I first saw The Damned sometime in the early Eighties, when the support act was The Anti-Nowhere League. The Damned were (arguably) the first British punk band to release a single, to release an album, to split up and to reform. Tonight's gig, though, was a bit special as they now have two local(ish) members. On drums for a while now has been Pinch, ex of Grantham's English Dogs and now a resident of California. When Patricia Morrison left to concentrate on her's and Dave Vanian's baby, Stuart West, who had been in a late incarnation of The English Dogs (and before that Monks Of Science), was invited to try out.

But back to the night. Local lads Yello Snow opened with a half-dozen numbers including 'YMCA'. Where the singer proved to be dyslexic when it came to the movements. Mind you, halfway through another song he took out his mobile 'phone to read a text. Probably from someone in the audience. Or the mum on the merchandise coffee table. Next up were The Ruined (who have recently released a split CD with Destructors666) doing horror-punk songs about zombies in a Misfits-style. They deserve to reach wider audiences.

I had earlier bumped into the bass player from the band I'd been in at school and we discussed that for these local bands this had to be the gig of their careers so far. Playing with a band who'd been around for thirty years. We then realised that when we were going, if we'd wanted to support an act that had been going for thirty years, it would have had to have been George Formby or someone, as rock 'n' roll wasn't that old when we were lads.

Next up were Devilish Presley who do a swampy Cramps sort of rockabilly. Just two of them (they use a drum machine or somesuch) but pretty good. I had a bit of a chat with them afterwards. A couple of albums are available - 'Disgraceland' and 'Mephisto'.

Ah, but to the main guys. Dave looks more Bono (sans hat) than Byron these days, but the Captain still wore his red beret. And he kept his trousers on, a first in my recollection. The hits came fast, 'Love Song' and 'Just Can't Be Happy Today'. Before long it was 'New Rose', but not before Capt. had harangued us about how they'd been a real band unlike McLaren's boy band The Sex Pistols. Sure, I remember The Damned doing 'Anarchy In The UK' at gigs years ago. 'Little Miss Disaster', 'Neat Neat Neat', 'Eloise' and 'Melody Lee'. 'Ignite', 'Absinthe' and 'Smash It Up'. And the encores of 'History Of The World' and 'Jet Boy, Jet Girl' (while I was shouting: "Samplan Pour Moi").

A great night, I got myself around several pints, the band were great, I babbled away to people I hardly knew, the band wre great...oh, and the band were great. Hope they'll return next tour.

 

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