The Damned - Live @ The Point, Cardiff, UK 16th December 2008

It's not often that I break my "never miss the support band" rule, but somehow events leading up to tonights annual Welsh show from iconic psychedelic goth punkers "The Damned" has me missing not one but, wait for it… three… support bands.

Note to self, be early next time.

Back in Cardiff to promote their first new album in seven years in the shape of the Glitzine approved "So Who's Paranoid", the evening's entertainment was thankfully never simply going to be Best of The Damned. But, before we get on to the music, it's worth mentioning that with brass monkeys queuing outside for the resident brazier the converted church that is "The Point" is more hell like in its temperature once your inside and rumours that "Martin Shaw's" most recent TV creation had been called to investigate, were quickly quashed by the simple realisation that venue heating full on plus a packed pre Christmas crowd improves your bar takings. Ker-ching!!!!

This also adds to the fantastic atmosphere that follows Damned shows around the UK these days, and with a fan club hankering to hear the new stuff for the first time live, how can you fail?

Well you can't can you, and in 2008, failure is certainly a word not in "The Damned" vocabulary, especially when for every "Shallow Diamonds" they unleash a "Machine Gun Etiquette" and for every "Dr Woofenstein" they destroy you with a "New Rose".
The secret (I think) to "The Damned's" continued growth has been their ability to do just what the hell they want to do and create this musical light and shade. And thus rather than pandering to fashion they have written the songs they want to, creating this awe-inspiring tapestry of a musical back catalogue.
So when "Dark Asteroid" is unfurled in all its twisted glory live, and a "Santana-esque" jam ensues, you can be sure that this can only lead into all out mayhem (which it does) and be followed by something altogether different (which it is), in this case a straight 1-2 sucker punch of "Ignite" and "Smash It Up".
An evening with "The Damned" will never be anything other than a special event and tonight sees four bass players from the bands illustrious past (and present) take the stage together for possibly the first (and last) time. Step forward then additional bassists "Bryn Merrick" and "Paul Gray" for a riotous "Neat, Neat, Neat " the likes of which will never be heard again.

Proceedings draw to a very sweaty close with "Captain Sensible" stripping to "Happy Talk" which seemed to have all the ladies, and the transvestite stood next to me frothing at the mouth… Jeez he'll be sticking "Glad It's All Over" in as well at this rate.

Classic Chaos, and Christmas 2009 can't come quick enough… Yeah but only for "The Damned" show that precedes it.

by Johnny H.

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