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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Sunday 14 January 2018

The Damned: Evil Spirits Unleashed On Bexhill-On-Sea

Over forty years since their initial explosion across the fledgling London punk scene, and some ten years since the release of their last studio recordings, British punk legends The Damned are set to return in 2018 with both new material and - as part of a UK tour - a date on the South Coast.
The Damned (c) John Ingham 1977

Having last released new material in 2008 with their So, Who's Paranoid? album, 2018 will see the unveiling of a hugely-anticipated new album. 

Recorded in New York by famed producer Tony Visconti, whose list of past working-relationships reads like a who"s who of popular music (David Bowie, T-Rex, Morrissey, U2, The Stranglers, Iggy Pop and Thin Lizzy to name but a few!), the band promise a dizzying blend of high-energy punk rock, creative psychedelic pop and classic songwriting.

"Our new Tony Visconti produced album, as with all previous Damned records, very much has its own sound," says Captain Sensible. 

"We're looking forward to having an element of that mixed in with the old faves on this tour."

It was the summer of 1976 when Dave Vanian, Rat Scabies and Captain Sensible recruited guitarist and songwriter Brian James, played their first gig supporting the Sex Pistols at the 100 Club, quickly signed to Stiff Records and began writing the very first chapter of the punk rock history books.
Their debut 7" - New Rose – was written by Brian James and backed by a proto-thrash version of The Beatles" Help. 

It was recorded by Stiff's in-house producer, Nick Lowe and set the punk dream alight at exactly 9.00am when record shops opened for business on 22 October 1976, stealing a march on the Pistols by becoming what is widely acknowledged as the very first punk record ever released.

The band really came into their own with their second single - Neat Neat Neat - which had two cuts on the B-side, Stab Yor Back and Singalongascabies.  

Produced, like New Rose, by Nick Lowe, the vinyl had a message from one band member scratched in the run-out groove: "this is your captain speaking..."  

So what were Captain Sensible's favourite acts on Stiff?  

"I wasn't interested!" he insists. "It was mainly pub rock in the early days, which we despised and sneered at in our young and snotty way…"

After a special 7" - Stretcher Case Baby - cut to give away at gigs celebrating the band's first anniversary, they went back into the studio, this time with Pink Floyd's Nick Mason at the controls. 

Third single Problem Child was written by Brian James with Rat Scabies and featured new recruit Lu Edmonds on guitar.  
By the end of 1977, the Damned were ready to part with Stiff, just as Brian James and Lu Edmonds were ready to part with The Damned.  

Their last single was Don't Cry Wolf, backed with another Nick Mason-produced track, One Way Love.

The Damned now present a limited-edition set comprising of 5 x 7" vinyl singles including the famed first ever punk single, New Rose, and all the other early hits from the impressively chaotic punk quartet. 

All singles have been recreated with their original artwork, including the ultra-rare, previously fan club only Stretcher Case Baby. 

These are all packed in a box, collaged with original press cuttings and a Damned embroidered patch, exclusive to this box-set.

The Damned's 'Evil Spirits Tour' comes to  De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea on Wednesday, 14 Feb 2018. CLICK HERE for more info.

by: Mike Cobley


This year marks a brand new chapter for English alternative rock band, Mallory Knox, as their latest single, Black Holes, is turning heads, with frontman Sam Douglas describing the new music as “terrifying and exciting” and “the most energised Mallory has ever written”. 

Carleen Anderson has been hailed by the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, as 'phenomenal and one of a kind' and now, for Brighton Fesival 20018, she's joining ranks with virtuoso pianist Nikki Yeoh, and Mercury Music Prize-winning rapper Speech Debelle.

Brighton bound Catholic Action are a product of Glasgow's famously fertile music scene but have won fans across the UK thanks to a run of peerless pop tunes.

Roger Daltrey is set to release new solo album, As Long As I Have You, which features Pete Townshend's inimitable guitar on seven tracks as well as guest performances from Mick Talbot on keyboards (Dexys, The Style Council).

RadioReverb, Brighton's not for profit radio station, will be Broadcast Media Partner for Brighton Festival 2018, following last year's partnership.

As part of World Poetry Day, the world's first and only mobile poetic first aid service will be open to everyone at Jubilee Square, Brighton, on Wednesday 21st March 2018, 11am – 4pm. 

Snow Patrol will return later this spring with Wildness, their first album in seven years, which finds the band searching for clarity, connection, and meaning, while staying true to the melodic songwriting prowess that brought them to prominence. 

The sexual health and contraception (SHAC) team in Brighton will be using new visual aids to help overcome female patients' embarrassment and stigma about their bodies after receiving a donation from Brighton artist, Jamie McCartney.

“Sometimes you have to go to the edge of the world in order to come back again,” says Chris Difford on the rollercoaster ride his eventful life in the music business has provided.

Reef, the revitalised west-country quartet, have returned with Revelation, their first studio album since 2000's, Getaway.  
The Damned by Steve Gullick 2018

It's 2018 and the results of The Damned's collaboration with another legend from pop's golden age – Tony Visconti, is about to be unleashed on an unsuspecting public

Described as “the missing link between David Bowie and The Sex Pistols” Doctors of Madness exploded onto the music scene in 1975 with their theatrical, William Burroughs-inspired Sci-fi nightmare, they were misunderstood by many, but those who knew understood the importance of the band's dangerous, uncompromising approach to lyrics, to music and to performance.

In 2015 The Handsome Family became famous for providing the theme tune to Season 1 of HBO's hit TV drama series True Detective, introducing them to a whole new audience and a whole load of new fans. 
Charlie Craggs: Founder of Nail Transphobia

Brighton Dome joins forces with Brighton Women's Centre and Brighton Museum to celebrate International Women's Day 2018. Enjoy stalls, talks, tasters and specially commissioned work reflecting on the issues raised throughout the day.

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