The Assembly Rooms, Leamington Spa
30th November 2013
As I have stated before, this was a pairing that I never thought it would be my good fortune to witness. It was a joint birthday celebration that brought a coterie of people to Leamington Spa on a Saturday night.
For me, the pressure was on. as since plans were laid down for this gathering several months ago, I have done nothing but crow about how good Ruts DC are and how they were going to give The Damned a run for their money on this tour. Happily, I would say that from the feedback I got from people, post gig my reputation is intact and a few more people have been turned onto/back onto the band.
L-R: Adrian, Paul, Rachel, Bazza, Jacquie, Gunta, Joni & Simon (Owen behind the lens)
The Assembly Rooms is a wonderful venue (visited only once previously when The Stranglers played there), about as big as you can get whilst retaining an intimacy with the action on the stage. As predicted in an earlier post, the Ruts DC set, running as it did to about 40 minutes, comprised the singles from the heyday, but importantly new material from 'Rhythm Collision II'.
Now I know that with every Ruts DC gig that I have commented on, I tend to enthuse that they are getting tighter and tighter, but it is true. I suspect that for these dates in particular there is a strong element of competition between the two bands. It says something about their (Ruts DC) performance that it was only about a third of the way through the set that it dawned on me that they were again, as in Berlin, playing as a four piece, Seamus being absent (from the whole tour as I understand).
The set was precise and was exactly what was needed. 'It Was Cold' was dedicated to The Damned as Captain looked on from the wings. Brilliant stuff!
The Damned for their part were also great on the night. It is refreshing that The Damned feel entirely comfortable to play what the hell they like. Certainly, many of the singles were there, but there's always half a dozen surprises in their set. The band's 'Devil may care!' attitude is exemplified by the fact that there is no representation in the current set from their last album, 'So Who's Paranoid Now?', which far from being a turkey, is one of the finest albums of their career!
Sadly, neither band encroached on each others set . the one one-upmanship now appears to be on a musical footing only, but a great night of great music and great company.
Punk's Prince of Darkness surrenders to the Daleks..... then joins forces!