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  THE DAMNED w/ Eddie Ten Pole  
  Machester Academy 2  
  Manchester, UK  
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  
Photographs by:
  Indoor Miner  
Performance Rating:
Sound Quality:
Overall Rating:

"It’s Eddie Ten Pole, not Ten Pole Tudor who’s playing," said the bloke standing next to us at the merchandise stall. "I saw him last week, and it’s just him and his guitar. Don’t bother unless you like folk music and fucking about," he added with a hint of a smile. So with that ringing endorsement, we entered to see the mad-eyed Tudor strumming and strutting away as he sang thoughtful and insightful songs with the titles like He’s Got A Moustache. Comments and comparisons flew around. A bad version of John Otway was one that my mate came up with, but ultimately Tudor resembled a child’s entertainer singing Lonnie Donegan songs at a 1970s Butlins Holiday Camp. Still when he sang Who Killed Bambi he really got the crowd going, even if, as the same mate rightly pointed out, "it was crap thirty years ago." However Tudor then ended his set with The Swords Of A Thousand Men, which had the whole crowd singing along to the sublimely daft "ooh-ra-ooh-ra-ooh-ra-ey" bit. And so after a set that would be described as ridiculous, he left the stage to rapturous applause. Showbiz, eh!!

Then it was time for The Damned, a band I've seen about a dozen times since I first caught them supporting T.Rex way back in 1977. Now I wouldn’t class this as one of the best gigs I've seen them perform by any means – the Damned gigs I saw between 1979-81 are some of the finest I've ever been to and the good Captain was rather quiet tonight by his standards – but, as ever, it was an enjoyable evening. They opened strongly with Wait For The Blackout, Disco Man, and an I Just Can’t Be Happy Today that was definitely a highlight of the night. Perfect Sunday from their last So Who’s Paranoid album followed, and was a reminder of what a great riff Sensible plays on this one. The set sagged a little in the middle for me, particularly when they played Neverland, Gun Fury and Eloise, but a Love Song or a New Rose was never far away, and there was an excellent take on The Limit Club. There were also a couple of other numbers from that classic '77 debut LP in Fish and Neat Neat Neat, with the latter drawn out in the middle in a way that had been typical of their set the last time I saw them a few years ago in the small Welsh town of Llangollen. In many ways, this sums up what The Damned are about these days, in that they have taken the psychedelia of early Pink Floyd and married it to thrashiness of the punk movement with which they are associated.

There was also a lengthy encore that opened with a spiffing Stretcher Case followed by a messy but fun Fan Club, a Seeds number (Satisfy You), the almost forgotten 45 Thanks For The Night, and the Captain messing with some bluesy guitar riffs to accompany brief renditions of Wot and Jet Boy Jet Girl. We’d earlier been trying to guess what the encore would be and the bookies favourite was undoubtedly Smash It Up and sure enough the band ended with Parts 1 and 2 of it. Who would have thought it back in the days of punk - thirty odd years later and they’re still going? And all these years later there are definitely far worse ways to spend a Saturday night!

We then spilt out onto a busy Manchester street just as the audience were leaving the Leftfield gig (another I would have liked to have seen) next door. It was all a bit mad, and not just because there was a masked woman with a megaphone gingerly crossing a busy road on stilts. An inebriated Leftfield fan approached our group of four blokes in our forties to tell us we looked like "an old Pink Floyd" until my bearded mate took exception at this slur and got called "Ringo" for his troubles. It was all in good spirits, but when the Leftfield fan bid us farewell with the words "See you, Pink Floyd," it somehow seemed strangely fitting.

The Damned Set List:

Disco Man
Just can't be Happy
Perfect Sunday
Thrill Kill
Love Song
Gun Fury
Limit Club
New Rose
Bad Time For Bonzo
Shadow Of Love
Neat Neat Neat
Stretcher Case
Fan Club
Satisfy you (Seeds)
Thanks For The Night
Smash It Up

Related Links:

The Damned:
Eddie Ten Pole:


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