I signed up for this gig partly because a bunch of mates were going, partly because this was allegedly The Damned’s farewell gig, partly because Doctor & The Medics were support act, and only partly because I liked The Damned. I’m a massive fan of the later stuff, Phantasmagoria and all the gothy stuff, but this was the original ’77 line up (Vanian, Scabies, James, Sensible), so it was likely to be just the early punk stuff, which I find considerably inferior to The Sex Pistols, The Clash or The Buzzcocks’ early stuff.
Didn’t manage to see God And The Kill Crazy Lesbians From Hell – had never heard of them either, but I thought it might have been another incarnation of Gaye Bikers On Acid. We’ll never know. Didn’t see Doctor And The Medics either, because they fucking cancelled due to illness. Gutted. I thought they were a fantastic band – people only remember them for Spirit In The Sky but they had so much more going for them than that. Not fair.
Anyway, The Damned was as I feared, 90 minutes of noise. The awful sound in Brixton probably didn’t help matters, but they were just all over the place. I could hardly pick out anything – I knew most of the hits from back then, but only New Rose was actually distinguishable, and that may well have been because Dave Vanian said ‘this one’s called New Rose’ – I don’t know. They were entertaining enough – Captain Sensible was absolutely trolleyed and came on for the encore completely naked. The sight of an overweight old punk sporting just a beret and sunglasses spitting at the crowd while waving a ukulele in the air is something not many people can say they’ve seen.
They played another ‘last gig ever’ just over a year later, and I believe they have reformed again at least a couple of times in recent years. Punk never dies. Pah.