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28th November, 2007
The Cresset, Peterborough
Reviewed by Cardinal Cox


The Damned CDs

Write Dope on Pnuk part 48

Although the flyer said, "arrive early, wallow in the weirdness" I didn't get to the venue until about twenty to eight. Normally I'd nip into the pub then, because we all know nothing happens for ages. But I could hear what sounded like the support band. Yep, The Psycho Bombs had gone on at 7.30! They played mostly tracks from the album, plus 'Magic Potion' by The Open Mind (featured on a recent 'Mojo' magazine free CD) and 'Seven and Seven is' by Love.

Support for the tour came from Kitten On The Keys, a Californian woman on synth. As well as a few of her own numbers, she covered 'My Girls Pussy' (that I've got a version of sung by artist Robert Crumb), 'Anarchy in the UK (on harpsichord)' and 'I Wanna Be Sedated (on the ukulele). Kitten's act was split up by performances by a couple of burlesque dancers. I preferred the fan dance to the zombie stripper. These intervals also allowed Kitten to have costume changes.

In the following interval I bought one of Kitten's CDs '(It's Not A) Pretty Princess Day)', and when she appeared she was good enough to sign it. We chatted about her work, she nipped back to her dressing room, and gave me a copy of her new colouring book 'Color Me Kitten'. She was a very nice person.

And so The Damned came on. They played old tracks like 'Neat, Neat, Neat', 'New Rose', etc. They played mid-career tracks like 'Eloise'. Plus stuff from the last CD out a couple of years ago now, like 'Absinthe'. One of my acquaintances suggested that they weren't as full on as they used to be. But, look, they've been in the business for over thirty years. They don't look too bad to me. Ok, so Dave Vanian was less Byron and more Bryan Ferry with his pencil moustache. The Captain kept his clothes on (thank you). People down the front were certainly bouncing away.

After the gig, I figured that there was time for one more pint. Now, on the dealers table, Capt. Sensible had been having a mini jumble sale of old records, tee-shirts, hats, etc. I had bought one particularly Great Uncle Bulgaria-style hat. While I'm finishing my pint, I notice that the Capt. has come out to the dealers table, so I nipped over to ask if he'd personalise the hat to me. He recalled that he'd worn this particular item when touring with Punk Floyd. We chatted. I mentioned that I was a poet.

"Oh", said the Captain, I should introduce you to Benjamin Zephaniah".

"That's who it was. I knew I recognised the face. I just couldn't put a name to it."

At which point Mr. Zephaniah appeared and I was introduced. How good did I feel at that point? Just brilliant.


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