The Damned Newcastle Academy 8th December 2013

The Damned Newcastle Academy 8th December 2013
ThedamnedblackalbumLast night I continued in my attempts to relive my lost youth by going to see punk goth legends The Damned at Newcastle Academy. I last saw The Damned in concert in the late 80s, and I have been meaning to catch up with them for the last few years, but for one reason or another, I haven’t managed to do so. I was a big fan of this band back in the day. There was a sense of chaos, fun and theatre to a Damned gig; they were always quite different to the rest of the punk bands of the time. Their music blends rock’n’roll, punk, goth and psychedelia, and you can always be sure that Captian Sensible will be crazy and outrageous, which guarantees a fun night out for all. The line up of The Damned has changed many times over the years; the two remaining members are the Captain on guitar and vocalist Dave Vanium.
I arrived just in time to catch the end of support act The Ruts DC, who closed their set with the old favourite “In a Rut”. The Ruts are old mates of the Damned from the punk era; I particularly remember a manic Ruts gig at Durham Dunelm House where the Damned joined them on stage to much mayhem both onstage and off. The Damned came on stage around 9.10pm, Dave Vanium looking as cool as ever in his black Dracula / undertaker garb; this guy was goth before goth. First song was the eerie and dark Sanctum Sanctum. The set consisted of songs drawn from across their 10 albums, focusing mainly on that classic 70s and 80s period. The last few songs were pure classic punk nostalgia: Love Song; Second Time Around; I Just Can’t Be Happy Today; New Rose (“Is she really going out with him”) and closer Neat Neat Neat; they took me right back, and sounded just as good at they did when I first heard them. Their cover of “Eloise” was good to hear, as always. Its one of my favourite songs from the 60s; full of drama, passion and pathos. The Damned must have similar musical tastes to my own, they have covered quite a few songs which I consider to be classics; I am thinking of “Eloise”, Love’s “Alone Again Or” and Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”. The Captain seemed to be in a jolly mood, if a little reserved, he did explain that they had all been suffering from colds. I resisted the temptation of buying a Captain Kit, complete with red beret and round sunglasses, and a bargain at £10, with a signed (and quite obscene) Christmas card thrown in. I figured I probably wouldn’t suit the beret :). Great to see the old ones are still out there doing in, and doing so in style and with panache. Great stuff.
Setlist: Sanctum Sanctorum; Don’t Cry Wolf; Wait for the Blackout; Lively Arts; Silly Kids Games; History of the World; Ignite; Generals; Stranger on the Town; Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde; Plan 9 Channel 7; Eloise; Love Song; Second Time Around; I Just Can’t Be Happy Today; New Rose; Neat Neat Neat. Encore: To my shame I left at this point as I had promised to collect Laura (Apologies to Dave and the Captain). I bet they played Smash It Up and one or two others.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mitch on December 9, 2013 at 10:25 am

    I was there. I thought they were great.
    The Damned’s encores were Jet Boy Jet Girl, Anti-Pope and Smash It Up.

    I have seen The Damned quite a few times including the T.Rex and Dead Boys shows at Newcastle City Hall which you have mentioned previously. One of the best concerts was a couple of years ago at Newcastle Academy when their main set included their entire debut LP followed by the whole of The Black Album – both played in album running order.

    Ruts DC were great as well – I have never seen The Academy hall so full for a support band. I first saw The Ruts in a London pub (The Pegasus) back in 1979 with Malcolm Owen – Owen was a fantastic front man who sadly died of a heroin overdose in July 1980. Also original guitarist Paul Fox died in 2007.

    Original Ruts bassist John ‘Segs’ Jennings and drummer David Ruffy still play with Ruts DC.

    Ruts DC set list was –
    Mighty Soldier, Backbiter, It Was Cold, Smiling Culture/Sus, One Step, No Time To Kill, Love In Vain/Police And Thieves, Staring At The Rude Boys, Jah War, West One (Shine On Me), Babylons Burning, Society, In A Rut.


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