C. J. Walsh
The Damned, Paradise, Boston 2009
The latest incarnation of the Damned kicked off their US tour in Boston. Few bands can shift from Punk (Stretcher Case Baby) or Prog (Curtain Call) to Psych (Alone Again Or) and Pop (Eloise), and retain any degree of cohesion. With the old swagger Croydon’s finest pummel their classics – Love Song, Neat Neat Neat, Wait For The Blackout. Nearly all of Machine Gun Etiquette was aired out with Captain Sensible more than willing to drench the proceedings in feedback.
As always Vanian is a breed apart; still fit and trim, he remains one of the most underappreciated rock singers. And no one showered him with cocktails or phlegm. Over the course of the evening he tried manfully to wrest control of the show but Sensible wouldn’t have it. Wearing trademark shades, a red beret and leopard-skin pants he attacks the keyboard player, harasses Pinch off the skins for a drum solo and rants about everything from swine flu to Rat Scabies scouring France for the Holy Grail.
All this and three songs from their latest and best for ages, So Who’s Paranoid?
Not the Captain’s birthday party but pretty damn close.
Published in Record Collector Magazine