The Damned 80s gigs

The Damned’s line-up changes several times in the late 70s and early 80s, with a few different people filling the guitar spot. I lost track of the different permutations, and I also remember seeing the band billed as The Doomed at a Rock Garden gig at one point. My mate Norm reminded me that we went to see Damned spin-off band Rat Scabies White Cats in 1978 at Whitley Bay Rex Hotel. The White Cats were short lived and Rat soon returned to The Damned fold. The Damned played Newcastle Mayfair a few times in the early 80s, and always attracted a big crowd. By then they had a lot of strong singles, and the set was much longer than in the early days. A live album exists of their Mayfair gig from 1982; I gig which I probably attended, and shows the setlist as being: Ignite; Disco Man; Generals; I Just Can’t Be Happy Today; Stranger on the Town; Wait for the Blackout; Bad Time for Bonzo; Curtain Call; Dozen Girls; Limit Club; Melody Lee; Fuse; Love Song; Sensible’s a Wanker; Smash It Up; Looking at You; New Rose; Happy Talk; Noise Noise Noise; Hippy Hippy Shake; Citadel. Favourites for me at that time were Smash It Up and Love Song. I also loved their version of Eloise, which is one of my all time favourite songs. I loved the Barry Ryan original, and remember going out and buying the single. I saw The Damned at Newcastle City Hall in 1986, around the time of Eloise, and was still impressed by them. By that time, however, Sensible had left the band, and only Vanian and Rat remained from the original line-up. I think that was the last time that I saw the band in concert. I keep meaning to go and see them again, and would really like to do so, particularly as the latest line-up features Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible. They are playing in Newcastle in December, but I’m pretty sure that I will be working in Ireland that day, so will miss them again. Must put that right sometime soon. I have some great memories of Damned gigs, and always had fun when I saw them.

DAMNED 2021The Mayfair was a great venue and I remember some crazy nights with The Damned there. Jimmy Burns has kindly sent me an image of a poster from those heady days. Many thanks, Jimmy (a.k.a. Punk Hoarder). I’m pretty sure I will have been at that concert. I have seen The Damned since then, featuring Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible from the original band and they were as crazy as ever. I have tickets for their reunion concert next year at Manchester Apollo and I am really looking forward to it. Maybe happy days can be here again.

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