THE DAMNED Interview (4/21/16, The Roxy)
We had the pleasure of attending the Damned’s sold-out concert at the Roxy in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 21st. And oh what a memorable experience it was. From the packed house, guest appearances by other notable musical luminaries and celebrities (including J. Mascis from Dinosaur Jr., Fred Armisen and Morrissey), to the band’s impromptu musical homage to Prince (who passed away earlier that very day), this event was one for the history books. The energy (and body heat) in the room was palpable, with nearly everyone leaving at the end of the night with big smiles and looks of satisfaction on their faces.
Also present were volunteers from the “Love Strength Hope Foundation”, an organization founded by Mike Peters from the Alarm to raise awareness about cancer recovery and bone marrow donations (for an interview we did with Mike about the foundation, click here). Captain and Mike are buddies and have played together with Slim Jim Phantom and Chris Cheney (in a band previously called “Dead Men Walking”) for many years. It was great seeing fans learning about such an important cause near and dear to Captain Sensible’s heart.
Standout songs during the band’s set included “Manic Monday” (written by Prince for muse and LA local, Susanna Hoffs) in which Captain Sensible referenced the recent passing of musical comrades with the quip “Too many fucking brilliant musicians going….unfortunately there’s way too many fucking politicians still around!” to which the crowd cheered (and Morrissey smiled and emphatically clapped, nodding his head approvingly). The band elicited a huge reaction from the crowd with classic tracks such as “Neat, Neat, Neat”, “New Rose,” “Love Song,” and “Eloise.”
Other very quotable moments ensued during the evening including Captain talking about the band’s first concert at the Roxy (“We were thrown out of here in 1978 and ended up in the gutter!”), his denial of his sex symbol status (“No girls for me, I’m fuckin’ geriatric! It’s straight back to the hotel for me for a cup of cocoa!”) as well as he and Dave debating whether their version of “Alone Again/Or” sounded like an ABBA song.
After the show we got to sit down with Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible to talk in depth about the band’s current tour and the 40th anniversary of their having released their first single, their oft-referenced title as a “band of firsts” and how they’ve successfully avoided becoming a punk rock cliché.
If you haven’t seen the Damned perform live, you are really missing out. 40 years on, and they’re definitely still smashin’ it up! If you have the opportunity to see them on their current tour, we highly recommend you don’t miss the chance.
Thanks again to the band, Jamal, Molly and all the good folks at the Roxy for their hospitality.
To stay up on all of the latest Damned updates and tour information, check out www.officialdamned.com.
For information about the Love Hope Strength Foundation, check out www.lovehopestrength.org.
Inner Edge Music