The Damned performing their Evil Spirits Tour at Rock City Nottingham on Sunday 4th February 2018.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

The Damned, ranked number three amongst Britain’s punk bands, after The Sex Pistols and The Clash, were the prime movers on the London scene in 1976 as they released the UK’s first punk single, New Rose and its first album, Damned Damned Damned.

Now touring to promote their first album in ten years, Evil Spirits, a crowded Rock City last night saw these gothic punk pioneers give a performance that belies their years.

Opening with a dazzling succession of vintage hits like Wait For The Blackout, Lively Arts and Silly Kids Games, they followed up with new song Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow before fans favourite Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde ignited the crowd.

The fact that they seem to have lost none of their enthusiasm is in some ways remarkable but perhaps not surprising given the personalities that make up this most enduring of acts. The vampiric Vanian commanded the stage with grace and charm and throughout the night his theatrics were countered by his ludicrously outlandish band mate Captain Sensible. And it was the much loved talented guitarist who really held court with the captivated crowd.

Dressed in his trademark beret and shades, the Captain put his guitar through a range of sonic acrobatics on the likes of Anti-Pope, Under The Floor Again, So Messed Up and Shadow Of Love. The dramatic Eloise remains the bands biggest hit and was a crowd pleaser and for their iconic Smash It Up, an audience member celebrating his thousandth show was invited up onto the stage.

Rounding off with a blistering Ignite, Dozen Girls and Neat Neat Neat before two encores which included Seagulls and Jet Boy, Jet Girl, The Damned gave a performance characterised by a freshness that was genuinely impressive and which made for an electric atmosphere inside Rock City.