Review: The Damned, Rock City, by Steve Oliver
THE last time The Damned appeared in Nottingham, it was to perform their two albums Damned Damned Damned and The Black Album, and the show was sketchy in parts.
With that in mind, a back to basics 'greatest hits' set from the punk legends showed promise on paper.
Unfortunately, they weren't playing on paper. In a move that may be considered brave or foolish, depending on your outlook, they had invited The Dickies along as support.
The Dickies were worth the admission alone, opening with a thrashed up version of Silent Night, and never losing pace throughout their 40 minute set.
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Unusually for a support band, they came back out for an encore, finishing with their most famous song; the 1979 hit Banana Splits (Tra La La Song) and leaving the audience wanting more.
In comparison, The Damned made a low key start, with the crowd not exactly getting whipped up into frenzy. From my vantage point by the sound desk, the expected sea of pogo-ing heads didn't materialise.
For some reason, the usual energy wasn't there. An enthusiastic cheer greeted the end of each song, but the band were going through the motions.
Coming back for a false encore, the final song Smash It Up, was the only time that they looked as if they meant it.
As much as it pains me to say after being a fan for so long, The Damned left their best fight in the gym tonight, and had nothing left for the ring.