This is mostly a site dedicated to The Stranglers, but as I said whilst that band have most shelf inches in my CD and record collection, others come a close second. One of those bands is The Damned. In the eye of the London punk storm, but nevertheless considered to be and treated like scene outsiders.
This week marked the culmination of the band's 40th Anniversary celebrations with two shows. The first a 'warm up' at The Roadmenders in Northampton, ahead of the big one at The Royal Albert Hall. Not only that, even the BBC have cloaked up and given over air time to The Damned, with a radio session and a documentary 'New Rose and 40 Years of the Damned' both aired on BBC 6 Music this week. Both of which items I hope to have up on the site in the coming days.
Dave Vanian at The Roadmenders, Northampton
18th May 2016
Not having got my arse in gear to buy tickets for the RAH bash, I was over the moon when the band announced that there would be doing a warm up 48 hours earlier. And thus it was that Gunta and I traveled up to Northampton under lowering skies, through driving rain and then sunshine (an English early summer for certain). Needless to say, the venue was heaving, but we got a decent spot located near the gents and the bar (happy days!). Bands that have being doing the rounds for 40 years don't really need so much rehearsal time, but on this occasion Captain made a point of mentioning the legwork that they had put in to make the forthcoming, rather prestigious, London date stand out. Those hours spent in the rehearsal studio, paid dividends, The Damned played as though their lives depended on it. They turned in a wonderful set and we returned to Hertfordshire happy in the knowledge that whist we would not be joining the celebration in South Kensington, we had played a part and had not missed out.
Captain Sensible at The Roadmenders, Northampton
18th May 2016
About 20 hours later, as I sat on the sofa, after a day at work, and contemplated that I may in fact be too old to be getting back from gigs in the early hours midweek, when out of the blue I was offered two free tickets to said soiree in SW7. Gladly accepted, son Rudi and I, headed down to London late on Friday afternoon. Positioned in the Grand Tier (one of the boxes) we had a fantastic view of the evening's proceedings as the band methodically worked their way through the impressive back catalogue backwards towards 1976.
A ghostly organist calls The Damned back to the stage with the Grand Organ.
Happily they lingered over the classic period of 1979 to 1982! An absolutely fantastic night all round. Rudi even finally got round to buying me a pint for the first time (well 330ml if I am being pedantic) since turning 18 in March. I thought I'd never get one!
Punk rock royalty at The Royal Albert Hall
20th May 2016
A very many thanks to WS for the tickets!
So, over the next few days, I will indulge myself with a mini-Festival of The Damned. Then I promise normal service will be resumed..... but hey, I can't say I know many Stranglers fans that don't like The Damned.
Taking the lead from the band, these posts will also work their way backwards to Year 0.