The Damned were the first punk band from the UK to release a single — New Rose — which hit the charts in 1976 as the B-side of a speeded up version of The Beatles’ Help! They were also the first to release a studio album, Damned Damned Damned the following year, which stayed in the charts for 10 weeks, and prompted the band to tour the States.
The Damned remain a rare punk survivor, who — with various line-ups — are still gigging today. For fans, tho’, the most iconic line-up is undoubtedly the original, but short-lived Dave Vanian, Brian James, Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies combo.
In June 1988, The Damned reformed that original 1976 line-up for two sell-out shows at the infamous Town and Country Club in London’s Kentish Town.
The first half of the set saw the original formation burn through tracks including New Rose and Neat, Neat, Neat from their first album Damned, Damned, Damned.
The second half of the set saw later members Roman Jugg and Bryn Merrick join the group (less Brian James) for some of their later hits including Love Song and Smash It Up. Brian James then rejoined the rest of the group for a finale of Looking at You and The Last Time. This live concert was recorded on the second night, Monday 13th June 1988 and was originally released on VHS.
It’s taken 36 years but that epic gig is finally available in its entirety with no overdubs or narration on both blu-ray and DVD, as part of a two-disc set from Fabulous Films.
Fabulous Films’ are known for their niche and cult releases, but Final Damnation is an absolute crowd-pleaser. If you weren’t there first time around, this is your chance to see what all the fuss is about. If you were? Well, this is just Neat, Neat, Neat.
Original interview footage with Brian James, Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies, Damned Biographer – Carol Clerk, and Chiswick Records Roger Armstrong.
Bonus CD of the complete live recording.