|The Damned – Gloucester, Spiegeltent – 30th November 2009|
|Written by David Whistance|
|Wednesday, 02 December 2009 18:20|
What better way to spend a cold Monday night in November than in a Twentieth Century, Burlesque, Belgian Ballroom in the centre of Gloucester watching The Damned?... Well how about, watching two sets by The Damned!
Yes, as we are informed early in the set due to there being no support band tonight us lucky 350 fans are to be treated with two sets by the band.
As they stroll casually onto the stage and tear into the crowning glory from the 'Phantasmagoria' album, 'Street Of Dreams' you realise this is going to be a special night. Dave Vanian looking particularly splendid in his sparkling Las Vegas style shirt, a million miles away from the David Niven, World War Two spiv from their 2008 tour.
'Dr Jekyll' quickly follows, along with 'Generals' and '13th Floor Vendetta', we are then treated to tales of drunkenness and debauchery at the BBC studios whilst filming The Young Ones which leads into the sublime 'Nasty'. 'Under The Floor Again' and 'Curtain Call' prove that the first set is steered more towards the atmospheric, gothic numbers of old, before tearing into 'Wait For The Blackout' sending the front rows into a mass frenzy that will continue throughout the second set.
Every time the band play 'Eloise' you can guarantee a few gratuitous groans will be heard from a few, but as soon as those familiar opening chords are heard on Monty's keyboard the crowd forget their prejudices and go wild singing along to their guilty pleasure.
The psychedelic splendour that is 'Dark Asteroid' from their latest album 'So Who's Paranoid' ends the first half in great style, giving Captain Sensible the floor to show off his guitar skills; he may have started his career in The Damned as a four stringer but has since gone on to prove that he is perhaps one of the most underrated guitarists in rock.
After a twenty minute interval those infamous words are spoken, "Is she really going out with him' and the band tear into the first British punk single that is 'New Rose', not giving the crowd time to draw breath as they dive head first into 'Anti Pope' and 'Neat, Neat, Neat' - apparently Lemmy got up and played on this number the night before in Wolverhampton.... only ten times louder!
Their tribute to the Legendary Arthur Lee follows in the guise of 'Alone,Again,Or' before transporting us back in time to 'History Of The World.' New songs 'Under The Wheels', 'Perfect Sunday' and 'Nation Fit For Heroes' are aired in suitable fashion, before going right back to the beginning again with the Brian James penned classic 'Fan Club.'
The night sadly draws to an end with a raucous 'Love Song' followed by 'Smash It Up' when Captain urges the crowd not to take the song literally and smash up the wonderful, venue that is the Spiegeltent. Leaving Captain alone on stage to sing 'Happy Talk', bizarrely Dave Vanian and Pinch approach from stage left carrying a carpet, in which they quickly roll the Captain up in, sparing us all from his number one hit.
Not only has this been a fine way to end 2009 for The Damned, but overall the whole evening had a personal, informal feel to it.
And a special mention must go out to whoever engineered the sound for the evening, never have the band sounded so fresh, particularly Dave Vanian's vocals, like the great man himself said "after 33 years, The Damned are ready to become professional".
After tonight's gig, I have definitely concluded that every band should play in the Spiegeltent at least once in their career.