Before this show I did a bit of Motorhead revision, listening to Overkill, Ace of Spaces,and the amazingly underrated self titled début album*. yet I didn't get round to hearing any Dammed. in truth the only live footage I'd ever seen of theirs was from 1977, the band I saw in 2014 have mellowed out (slightly).
Captain Sensible wore a white dinner jacket emblazoned with graffiti swear words and the legend OAP: Old Age Punk. As it turns out Captain Sensible is an amazing guitarist, playing the
guitar behind his back and with his teeth and ripping out solos with
ease. While Dave Vainian went for a much more subdued gothic look and is still a great singer an d commanding presence. Joined on stage with them were a competent drummer and bassist and an absolute nutter of a keyboardist, a guy named Monty Oxymoron, dressed in a skull patterned jumpsuit, leaping about while playing his organ.
The Dammed posed the question themselves of whether keyboards belong in punk rock, but left us to decide on that one (personally I think they do). The problem with the show is that I felt it took a while for the band to connect with such a large room, I hadn't heard of any of the earlier songs and I felt they lacked the energy that I was expecting, yet at the end they pulled out Eloise, New Rose, Neat Neat Neat, and Smash it up, in quick sucesssion. I loved hearing their rendition of New Rose, it was packed full of the punk rock energy I was expecting, while I found the first half the set hard to connect with, the second was loads of fun. They also revealed that Lemmy saved their career by filling in on bass for two gigs once a member left, saying that 'He's a grumpy old bastard but we love him. I'm not a long term fan of the Damned, so I don't have much to compare and contrast the show with. Overall there's not much to say apart from that it's great seeing one of the true original punk bands still on this good a form.
* It's one of the rawest rock n roll albums of all time, the production is completely shitty yet that kind of makes it better, very few albums since have matched it for it's dirty scuzzy noise.