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The Damned - Fibbers, York 03.08.2016

Now, I was born in 1988, so I never got to experience the UK punk scene in all its dirty glory. But, tonight in Fibbers, York I have time travelled. Its now 1979, the debauched crowd of goths and punks are going crazy and The Damned are smashing it up on stage.

I’ll be honest though. When I first heard I was reviewing this show tonight I was slightly worried. Not because of The Damned themselves but because of their notoriety for occasionally picking, well let’s be honest, pretty naff support bands. Luckily, Dohnut (formally known as Eating Disorder) didn’t fit that mould and I was pleasantly surprised. Looking like a cross between Adam and the Ants and Power Rangers baddies (and I mean that in the coolest possible way), the steam Punk Abba storm the stage with their unique blend of Darkwave, Punk, and Pop. Hell, they even through in a bit of rapping!

I love a band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously, and complete with Dohnut branded tea towels they fire through their set engaging the growing crowd brilliantly. Claiming to be the second most famous band from Bentham, they rave through songs such as “We Are Dohnut” and “Wierdo I Love You” and set the tone brilliantly for what’s to come.

Up next is a band that needs no introduction. Punk/Goth legends The Damned. With a relentless touring schedule that like Fibbers said themselves “would make most young bands wet their designer jean” these guys don’t just show up and play, they show up and seemingly effortlessly put on one hell of a show and tonight is no exception. Tearing through a huge setlist of timeless sing-alongs, the audience lap up every second and the slightly aging crowd look like they are back in their youth. Intermittent stage technical issues don’t stop The Damned running riot, if anything it almost adds to the feel of a 70's punk show and the ever charismatic and wacky Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian are in their element.

The Damned are just one of those bands that do what they do brilliantly and never seem to age and tonight is perfect. They have cemented there place in Punk and Goth history and are truly living legends. The closing words from the Captain himself sums it all up; “Not bad for a bunch of pensioners, ey?...Not us, you lot!”

Words and Photographs by Benjamin Gladstone of Benjamin E. Gladstone Photography

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