The Damned, who are generally accepted as the first UK punk band to release a record and the first to tour the U.S., are still going strong and just celebrated their 40th anniversary and played two retrospective shows at NYC's Gramercy Theater over Halloween Weekend (October 29 & 30). Each night, across two sets, the band -- which still features vampiric vocalist Dave Vanian and guitarist Captain Sensible -- worked their way backwards, more or less, through their entire catalogue, delivering most of their best-loved songs along the way. Vanian's voice is still in top form, bringing that gothy sense of drama that songs like "Generals," "Dr Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde" and "History of the World" really need, and Captain Sensible, looking nowhere near his 62 years, provided the riffs and comic relief. Rocket from the Crypt's Jason Crane joined the band on trumpet at various points throughout the evening, like on their cover of Love's "Alone Again Or."

As you might imagine, the show really kicked into gear with the second set that began around 1980's The Black Album, and wrapping up with stormer "New Rose." They came back out, appropriately, with their epic "Curtain Call." Fantastic show and Gramercy was a nice, pretty intimate, place to see it. Setlist from Sunday's show (which was pretty close to Saturday's from my recollection) and videos from both nights are below and pictures from Saturday are in the gallery above. Captain Sensible also DJ'd at Beauty Bar after the Saturday show...anyone go to that?

The Damned will be back in 2017 playing Brooklyn’s Warsaw on May 5 and Asbury Park, NJ’s Stone Pony on May 6. Tickets for both shows are still available.

The Damned @ Gramercy Theater 10/30/2016
Nature's Dark Passion
Thrill Kill
Alone Again Or (Love cover)
Sanctum Sanctorum
Street of Dreams
Grimly Fiendish
Shadow of Love
Eloise (Paul Ryan cover)
Stranger On The Town
Under the Floor Again

Set 2:
Life Goes On
Disco Man
The Limit Club
Wait For The Blackout
Twisted Nerve
The History of the World (Part 1)
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
Love Song
Second Time Around
I Just Can't Be Happy Today
Plan 9 Channel 7
Smash It Up (Part 1 & 2)
Fan Club
Feel the Pain
Neat Neat Neat
See Her Tonite
1 of the 2
New Rose

Curtain Call


photos by Keith Marlowe

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