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Tuesday 20 November 2018

Review: The Damned @ Brighton Dome Concert Hall

To get many a gig-goer off their backside and to shell out a fair wad of cash on a damp, cold, Monday November evening, then you've got to have one hell of a reputation married with a pretty sure likelihood that you can still cut the rock 'n' roll mustard.
(c) Dave Cobley

It's been forty years since Captain Sensible and his crew (though at the time it was Brian James who steered the pirate ship) unleashed the very first punk song onto an unsuspecting youth.

New Rose, by The Damned, was fast, loud, fun and proud. Long winded and stadium bound it wasn't. 

There was a new gang in town, and the soon to follow album Damned Damned Damned acted as a manifesto to the disillusioned, downtrodden and downright individualistic. 

The writing on the wall now read 'anyone can put together a band and get their voices heard'. And so began the four decade-plus journey that brought Captain Sensible, Dave Vanian, Monty Oxymoron, Pinch and Paul Gray to the Brighton Dome Concert Hall. 

New Rose The Damned Live @ The Brighton Dome 

With a backdrop mirroring the cover of their most recent album, this year's Evil Spirits, the band took to the stage and opened with a quick fire duo of Born To Kill (Damned Damned Damned) and Democracy (Grave Disorder).

But early sound issues were no-more come a powerful rendition of new album single, Standing On the Edge of Tomorrow.

There then followed a four song suite from 1980s The Black Album, Wait for the Blackout, Lively Arts, Silly Kids Games and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, before returning to Evil Spirits with a play through of Devil in Disguise - written by drummer Pinch, as The Captain was keen to point out. 

Stranger On The Town - The Damned Live @ Brighton Dome

Singalong Strawberries highlight Stranger On The Town lead into The History of the World (Part 1) (The Black Album) and a blistering version of Evil Spirits highlight, I Don't Care.

By this point in the set the band were on fire. The downside was The Captain's sartorial mishap of ditching his trademark beret for an almost Slash-esque head-to-toe outfit. 

He claimed he'd only adopted the famous red beret 'as a direct result of that most unfortunate side of punk: the tendency to spit at bands'. 

Love Song, New Rose, and Neat Neat Neat were among a ballistic five song main set finale, before they returned for a truncated Curtain Call (The Black Album) and Ignite (Strawberries).

The final encore was lead by the band decked out in Poundshop Christmas hats for a rare rendition of the their 1980 tongue-in-cheek seasonal wheeze, There Ain't No Sanity Clause.

Night closer Smash It Up brought the proverbial roof down. The band are on fire, riding another career high, and this was only the first night of their latest UK-wide jaunt. Catch them while you can.

The Damned are on tour until Sunday 2nd December 2018. For dates and tickets CLICK HERE.

by: Mike Cobley




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