The continued discussion as to who recorded the first ever punk release has raged for 35 years or so, but there's never been any doubt as far as I'm concerned. "New Rose" by The Damned appeared a few weeks prior to The Sex Pistols classic "Anarchy in the UK", with some even declaring it a better record. It's a close-run thing, although you can't deny the brutal rawness of the unique Johnny Rotten bawling that out of the speakers like a man possessed.
The Damned were musically a less confrontational proposition than the Pistols - their early singles all contained the requisite energy and gob-covered attitude, yet were ahead of their time rather than snotty two-chord layabouts. So it's hardly surprising that, 35 years later, the band have chosen to ignore their lucrative goth period in the '80s (remember "Eloise" and "Grimly Fiendish"? Hmmm).
Instead, they're tackling debut album "Damned Damned Damned" from 1977 and the brave double-album, "The Black Album", which merely hinted at the schlock-horror to come some five years later. The debut features that classic punk anthem, as well as "Neat Neat Neat", "Fan Club" and "Feel The Pain", while the latter of the two, first issued in 1980, was a sprawling double featuring the wonderful "History of the World" single, plus "Wait For The Blackout" and "Lively Arts". Will they have a crack at the 17-minute epic, "Curtain Call"? Its very title begs for a set-closing homage.
Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible et al will be touring the UK, performing both albums back-to-back, starting in Bristol on 9th November, followed by Birmingham, Cambridge, London and more until the last show in Edinburgh on the 20th. We have tickets right now, priced £15.50 to £20.