The Damned

Black Cat | 10/20/18

By Jay Oakley


The Damned are back in the States on the Evil Spirits tour and the tour made a stop in Washington D.C.. Coming on the heals of last years successful U.S. tour celebrating their 40th Anniversary, The Damned continue to show why they are the gold standard for rock and roll ass-kicking.

The short tour just started and finishes off in early November with tour support from Radkey and The Darts. But tonight was all about The Damned!

Opening with “Nasty” and following with “Born To Kill,” “Democracy?” brought us to “Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow.” off the new record. The crowd was in it to win it and very loud. Black Cat is a small, intimate venue but has a lengthy, rectangle design and it was packed.

Following “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” came “Wait For The Blackout,” “Lively Arts” and “Silly Kids Games.” Another taste of the new record came with “Devil In Disguise” and then following “Stranger On The Town” and “The History Of The World (Part 1)” we were treated to a very cool Paul Ryan cover of “Eloise.”

“We’re So Nice” was the last song played off Evil Spirits and started towards the end of the main set. “Love Song,” “1 Of The 2” and “New Rose” set it up for “Neat Neat Neat” to bring the set to a close. However, the crowd was roaring so an encore was very much in order. The encore consisted of “Curtain Call” and “Ignite.”

It was an amazing night and a killer show and as the crowd was filing of of the venue the lights dimmed and everyone stopped dead in their tracks. Most bands play just their set, many treat the fans to an encore but not The Damned! A double encore is the only way to do it and as they took the stage they invited out, tour support band, The Darts and tore the place down with “Smash It Up.”

I’ve seen The Damned a few times and it always blew my mind at not only the performance that a band of their longevity puts on but also the passion of their fans. Don’t get me wrong, the key to any band’s success and relevancy is a combination of the quality of their music and the loyalty of their fans and The Damned have that perfect combination of moxy, talent, support and attitude.

Front man Dave Vanian and guitarist Captain Sensible are the conductors of this train that lost its brakes a long time ago. In a time where many bands of caliber are disappearing, The Damned are showing that the rock and roll world starts and ends with them.