The Damned at the O2 institute in Birmingham did not disappoint, opening Fiercely with the beloved ‘I feel alright‘ to an incredibly powerful bouncing reaction, lead vocalist Dave Vanian stealing the show as always with powerful energy, stage presence and trademark swagger alongside original band members Scabies, James and the ever-elusive Captain Sensible himself bouncing off each other was truly a sight to see, all dressed to impress in the signature black Goth motif.
Although whispers in the crowd seemed to suggest a slight upset with the price of the tickets, it appeared The Damned played into this jokingly playing ‘You take my money‘ whether this was intentional, or a cheeky coincidence is anyone’s guess.
As the set goes on the atmosphere felt more and more electric, stand out songs such as ‘Feel the Pain,’ ‘Fish‘ and a cheeky cover of the Beatles ‘Help!’ Was absolutely, undoubtedly mind blowing and a clear crowd pleaser, as seen by the audience’s reactions which were seemingly unable to get enough, especially when it came to fan favourite and stand out song of the night ‘Problem Child‘ where Rat Scables stole the show with his fast-paced grungy drumming.
Towards the final four songs in the set are where things took a small dip, Scables had a minor flop during beloved tune ‘You Know’ whereas timing was slightly off during the chorus, which rippled into the rest of the band seemingly throwing off Vanian and Sensibles‘ timing especially in terms of vocals, this was made up for however with a superb saxophone solo towards the end.
Overall, the experience clearly captured the essence of their early 70s Punk era with a large majority of the set focusing on the first two initial albums recapturing that gritty old school punk, the feeling they were known for and what launched them into the mainstream British punk scene, leaving a lasting impression for generations to come.