A recent post on Facebook outed me as a fan of The Damned! I hadn't seen this particular photograph before and it prompted me to post this low key gig.
I'd seen The Damned with Captain Sensible on their two reunion tours in '88 and '89 but those who went will recall that with Brian James on stage, the set was very much orientated in favour of the 'Damned Damned Damned' album before the then current line up back filled the set with more recent material.
At The Square in Harlow in February 1996, Captain Sensible was once again a permanent fixture to the right of Dave Vanian in this, a warm-up gig for the 'Smash It Up' punk all-dayer in Birmingham. In this line up, Sensible had guitar duties and none other than Paul Gray handled bass. The significance of this line up was that with the exception of the 1977 singles 'Neat Neat Neat' and 'New Rose' the set centred around the 'Machine Gun Etiquette', 'The Black Album' and 'Strawberries' albums... The Damned's Unholy Trinity! Add to this the fact that The Square has a 250 capacity and you can understand that this gig was Manna from heaven to me. And all for a fiver!
I recall that Dave Vanian was uncharacteristically under dressed, if indeed anyone can be considered to be under dressed in shiny leather trousers. For this occasion he was sporting a red sweatshirt from The Damned's 'Final Gig' at the Rainbow 1978.... worth a few quid?
Dave Vanian dressed down at The Square
8th February 1996
Sensible in full flow
The one and only Paul Gray
Garrie Dreadful makes an escape attempt
The gig was a great success, unlike the main event in Birmingham a few days later when, if memory serves, The Damned's set was prematurely ended when some moron launched a missile that took out Paul Gray.
02. Love Song
03. Dozen Girls
05. Plan 9 Channel 7
06. I Just Can’t Be Happy Today
07. Disco Man
08. Life Goes On
01. Neat Neat Neat
02. Curtain Call
03. Melody Lee
04. Looking At You
05. Noise Noise Noise
06. Smash It Up
07. New Rose
08. Dozen Girls