The Damned – Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton – 23rd November 2004

Supported by: 4ft fingers

This was a lesson in ageing. Gracelessly, as befits the punk ethic. The majority of the audience fell into two camps: aging punks looking worse than their leather jackets and younger pretty goths, with a smattering of indeterminate others.

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The Damned actually formed a very long time ago and when a well preserved, lycra-topped David Vanian asked the audience “what were you doing in 1976?” it cannot have just been my companion who responded “watching playschool…” Whilst the much publicised Patricia Morrison from the Sisters was nowhere to be seen, there was plenty of energy and near 25 years down the line they are good at what they do; Captain Sensible (surprisingly good) on guitar and Vanian with his unmistakably dramatic, resonant vocals holding centre stage whilst the captain indulged in rude banter with the hardcore fans in the mosh pit. Because this was a punk gig. There were plenty of old fast tracks such as “New Rose” and “Ignite” and very few of the later, sweeping, organ-heavy tracks that might be found for example on the hugely successful “Phantasmagoria” album. They did play “Eloise” and they were having fun, and I cannot profess to know much of their catalogue since the early nineties; but this was damned punk rather than damned goth and I, for one, along with a certain proportion of the audience I’ll warrant, was slightly disappointed.


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