So back in October I did a quick little “Music Milestone” for the debut single by The Damned with “New Rose”; it’s an amazing tune and one that had held up over the years. You can review that summary on THIS LINK in case you haven’t seen it yet. I decided to do this because I was all amped up about seeing the band in concert for the very first time. Yeah it happens and you cannot always see everyone. I was just glad that I got the chance – AND I went to both shows so was feeling double special about the experience. All of that leads us to today where the bands official debut album “Damned, Damned, Damned” has reached its own 40th Anniversary. In 1977 I was far too young to be listening to this sort of stuff and I would get into some of what the band was doing during my high school years. The interesting thing about my own exposure was that I would first hear a song called “Jet Boy, Jet Girl” which was a cover by another artist and then slowly make my way into “Machine Gun Etiquette” and then onto this particular debut release. So, I cannot really speak about its overall impact on me other than sharing what I liked about it so here goes nothing. Continue reading “Damned Damned Damned” by The Damned: A Debut @ 4 Decades (1977-2017)→
The Damned were in NYC for two nights celebrating their 40th Anniversary and I am excited to share that we were there for both shows in terms of review and photography. Night #1 was given an in-depth overview by our own Steve Bunche and that narrative can be examined on THIS LINK. Now here is the photo gallery from this particular night.
Artist: The Damned Venue: Gramercy Theatre (New York, NY) Opener: n/a Date: 10/29/2016 Label: English Channel Records
Written By: Steve Bunche
“NEAT, NEAT, NEAT!!! 40 YEARS OF THE DAMNED AT THE GRAMERCY THEATRE”
Where to even start when discussing the Damned?
One of the seminal bands of the early British punk movement, the Damned always stood out from their safety pin-and-Doc Marten’s-sporting contemporaries in a number of ways, such as eschewing the era’s Mohawk and swastika fashion for markedly individual ridiculousness (singer Dave Vanian’s silly-yet-elegant Edwardian vampire chic and Guitarist Captain Sensible’s red beret, sunglasses, nurse’s uniform and occasional complete and utter nudity spring to mind), possessing a sense of humor, shamelessly allowing the beautiful voice of its singer to dominate the proceedings — seriously, Dave Vanian is blessed with one of pop music’s most singular, evocative, and beautiful vocal deliveries — and a flair for actual musicianship that flew in the face of British punk’s famous “any arsehole can pick up a guitar and bang out three chords” attitude.
While the majority of their contemporaries fizzled out like a fart in a thunderstorm, largely due to their cookie-cutter sameness and embarrassing (though well-intentioned) amateurishness, the Damned visibly grew and evolved from album to album, refining their sound from its rough-edged origins of four decades past into the tight, wholly professional and enthralling unit that endures to this day, despite numerous personnel upheavals and the criminally offensive ignoring that they receive from pretty much all but those in the know. Undaunted by such shabby treatment, the Damned have once more returned, this time to mark their forty years of merrily purveying polished mayhem to their loyal followers (and not one of their periodic so-called farewell tours) with an anniversary tour that recently brought them to NYC’s venerable Gramercy venue, a former vintage movie palace that now serves as an unpretentious concert space that’s mercifully free of the plague of hipster types that have infested what remains of the Big Apple’s dwindling old school punk scene. Continue reading The Damned @ Gramercy Theatre (10/29/2016)→
Now since I’ve been doing these “Music Milestones” for several years now, it dawned upon me that every so often the need might arise to do a specific song’s anniversary. This is especially important for those songs that ended up being absolutely iconic and preceded a full body of musical work by several months. The song “New Rose” by The Damned is such a song and it was released forty years ago today on Stiff Records. The band’s full length debut album would be released in the middle of February during the following 1987 year. The song is a fast-paced one with thundering drums by Rat Scabies along with frenetic guitar by Captain Sensible. Singer Dave Vanian leads us into the tune with the words “Is She Really Going Out With Him”. I guess you can consider this a kind of love song but if it’s not that’s fine since the tune kicks some ass and still does forty years later.
Though I didn’t know this until only recently, the song is actually the very first single to be released by a British Punk Rock band and that was a pretty cool fact. It was written by bassist Brian James and produced by Nick Lowe with a B-side of a cover of “Help” originally done by The Beatles. The tune bears very little sonic resemblance to that of the Fab Four. Continue reading “New Rose”; The Damned’s Debut Single Is 40 (1986-2016)→
The Damned are one of the music world’s most interesting Punk acts. At times their material borderlined on Metal and this was an aspect that I found very appealing as a young fan of music. Tonight they would be performing at The Fillmore NY at Irving Plaza and our own El Buncho was on point to see how it was going to turn out. To learn his thoughts about the gig and to enjoy a couple of photos just scroll past the bands logo below
BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO-THE DAMNED, LIVE AT THE FILLMORE, 5/14/2009
The Damned: one of the seminal bands in the original UK punk rock movement, the first to release a single, and one of the longest-lived of their breed. I’ve greatly enjoyed them since first encountering their music in 1985 — I admit being late to the party — and have seen them perform live six times between 1988 and the present, but one thing that needs to be said about the Damned is that when they’re firing on all cylinders there are few bands, live or in the studio, who can touch them for kickass tunes, clever and fun lyrics, exceptional vocals — frontman Dave Vanian has one of the finest sets of pipes in rock history, let alone punk — and the raucous sense of energy that make old school punk such a blast in the first place. However, when they’re mediocre or just plain bad, there are few bands less worth listening to, and in many ways they can be held responsible for taking the whole Goth thing into the mainstream with the frilly-shirt theatrics of their “new romantic” PHANTASMAGORIA album back in 1985. Even as a sworn fan of the group it’s possible to be polarized by their output, and following the results of their most recent album and the live show I saw on Thursday night at Manhattan’s Fillmore, my twenty-four-year love affair with the Damned is finally over. Continue reading The Damned @ Fillmore at Irving Plaza (5/14/2009)→