The Damned – the greatest surviving British punk band, bar none – are back with their first new album in a decade, still firing on all cylinders, and breaking all the rules. Where their peers either burnt out, or faded away into mediocrity, this most spiritually chaotic of all punk groups have never been away, never surrendered their ideals, always forged onwards.
From 1977’s high-energy entrée ‘Damned Damned Damned’, via the riotous variety of ‘Machine Gun Etiquette’ (1979), to the macabre psychedelia of 1985’s ‘Phantasmagoria’ and beyond, The Damned have never stayed in one place for long. Colourful, anarchic, yet propelled by an indefatigably urgent creative motor, they’ve evolved and expanded their remit with every phase, to become one of the top-flight UK groups of ANY pop era.
Since 2008’s ‘So, Who’s Paranoid?’, they’ve toured constantly, to raise awareness of that amazing body of work, culminating in a memorable career-spanning show at London’s Royal Albert Hall, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of their arrival in the explosive Summer of ’76.
Two years on, they now capitalise on all that road work with ‘Evil Spirits’, an eleventh studio album, which is not only fit to rank high amongst its many illustrious predecessors, but also within the great rock pantheon. As their enviably gifted guitarist, Captain Sensible, points out, “I have some incredible albums at home, by The Kinks, The Who, The Small Faces, and what have you – I want ours to be as good as those.”
Catch them at Stylus on 10 September!