Sunday, May 17, 2009
The Damned - The Stone Pony - 05.15.09
The Damned have come a long way a since being the first UK punk band to get a single and an album to the states (single being "New Rose" and album being Damned Damned Damned). They've been a band for thirty-three years with just one five year break up period that began at the end of the eighties. In 1978 the band lost their founding guitarist, Brian James after only two albums, but it is discussed that losing James allowed for huge experimentation to take place within the band's sound. These changes in sound are progressively and chronologically clear from album to album. The Damned start as a punk band, move into the new wave scene for a minute, get stuck in the goth scene for awhile and then rediscover their mid period with horror rock and rockabilly elements. The most recent concoction seems to be a pleasant mix of all their aforementioned dabblings.
The show at The Stone Pony was quite spectacular. The two most impressive elements of the show were (obviously!) as follows:
1) Dave Vanian sings like an angel. The man may still be getting better and better as a vocalist. I didn't hear a single flaw.
2) Captain Sensible. I hope I have his attitude when I reach age fifty-five. His energy and entertaining banter were enough to resolve my issues with wishing the night could have involved Rat Scabies on drums and Brian James on guitar.
The newer (1996) keyboardist, Monty Oxy Moron was pretty much as in the game as them as well. He was clad in a Hawaiian shirt, patterned with skulls and sported a giant grey fro. His skills on the keyboard were mighty, as was his energy and his ability to fit right in with Dave's and the Captain's stage antics. The bass player and the drummer were the least memorable. They seemed to rock the songs pretty proficiently but just didn't have any interesting characteristics about them otherwise.
Although she is busy with her daughter as well as managing the band, I sort of wished that Patricia Morrison was still on bass as well (I never got to see her in The Gun Club or Sisters of Mercy). Rats!
The Damned played a ton of their hits as well as some newer and more obscure. I do wish they had played "Rabid", "I Just Can't Be Happy Today", and/or "Life Goes On" (imagine a serious Captain on stage singing "Life Goes On"? I'd love to see it). Otherwise I was souped on the entire night and would most definitely check these guys out again.
"This next song is from the eighties. You see at our age, we deal in decades. Green Day can't do that, see..." - Captain Sensible