CONCERT REVIEW : The Damned, O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022

The Damned, O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022

THE DAMNED TURN BACK THE YEARS FOR TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE

When anyone asks about Punk music, they would initially think along the lines of The Sex Pistols, The Clash and perhaps The Buzzcocks, however only real music buffs would know the actual pioneers of Punk in the UK were The Damned.  They may have been support to The Pistols in the very early days but they were first on the singles market with New Rose in 1976.  To mark that, and just for the fun of it, that original line up is back on the road for a short tour. 

TV Smith – O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022

Photographs by Stephen Wilson
Photographs by Stephen Wilson

Theres a feast of music on this tour, and the Glasgow leg sees 3 support bands.  First up The Smalltown Tigers, followed by TV Smith once of The Adverts and Penetration, another band from the early days of punk rock.  They all did their bit in warming the crowd, and getting them primed for the evening ahead.  Great to hear the old Adverts track Gary Gilmour’s Eyes live again.

Penetration – O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022

Photographs by Stephen Wilson
Photographs by Stephen Wilson

The original line up of The Damned from 1976 sees Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian rejoined on stage for the first time in a few decades by Brian James and Rat Scabies, tonight setlist would mainly cover the era they worked on together, the debut album Damned Damned Damned and follow up Music For Pleasure.  This line-up disbanded after the second record, however The Damned would return in 1979 with new members.

The lights go down and we get the theme tune to Doctor Who as the intro music.  As the band take to the stage, the roars of approval are deafening.  Launching into a cover of The Stooges track 1970, the atmosphere is electric as they run thru the tracks from those 2 albums from yesteryear.  A 100-mph version of The Beatles classic Help! from the B side of debut singe New Rose, Stretcher Case Baby, Feel The Pain and Fan Club, the packed Glasgow crowd were lapping it up, and the big smiles from the Captain on stage echoed this.

  • The Damned, O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022
  • The Damned, O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022
  • The Damned, O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022
  • The Damned, O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022
  • The Damned, O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022
  • The Damned, O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022
  • The Damned, O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022
  • The Damned, O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022
  • The Damned, O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022
  • The Damned, O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022
  • The Damned, O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022
  • The Damned, O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022
  • The Damned, O2 Academy Glasgow 4th November 2022

The front row of fans, old and new, young and old were having a ball.  Alone, Problem Child and second single Neat Neat Neat raised the roof, and the pogo’ers down the front turned into a mass of bodies, pints, arms and legs up the air, the bouncers earning their wages for helping the crowd surfers to safety, albeit for a short time before they got into position to do it again!  A tsunami of bodies jump in perfect time to the music, See Her Tonight, You Know and So Messed Up close the main proceedings.

The band return for a two song encore with the brilliant New Rose, a frantic version of Bo Diddley’s Pills and, having already done The Beatles at the start of the gig, a cover of The Rolling Stones’ very apt hit The Last Time could very well be the perfect song to end on, which sees Rat setting fire to his kit and the Captain trashing his bass, ably assisted by Dave Vanian. The band take their bows and exit stage right, while the hot and sweaty crowd pile out the main door to the left.

The Damned were a big deal in the forefront of punk music in the UK in the 70s, and it was great to see those originals back making the same noise, noise, noise they were famous for.  They still sound great, have the same energy on stage despite the years running away from them (and most of the crowd too), and its great to see the old music live once more.  It could well be the end of an era, but wasn’t it neat, neat, neat to say we were there to see them off?

Review & Photographs by Stephen Wilson

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