Friday, November 27, 2009

Funky Friday - The Damned United and Tamla Motöwn

I don't know how I ended up deleting this post for an entire afternoon but I did. Anyway -back now

I won't get on my when-will-The-Damned-get-the-respect-they're-due soapbox yet (although I've been meaning to since I started this blog). But instead, would ask that you put any prejudice, previous dislikes or received wisdom along the lines of 'Class Clowns of Punk' to one side and lend an impartial ear to a few tunes.

If you've only time for one track today, make it Stranger On The Town, a song I literally obsessed over after moving from my childhood town to somewhere I knew nobody. It's simpatico but celebratory tone hit the target at the time, and had me manhandling who-knows-how-many college mates into the nearest record shop to buy the accompanying album Strawberries (a work of depth, genius and yours for a fiver). So, then...

Stranger On The Town - which, sees The Damned going The Doors meet Motown backed by Stax style horns (and you must check out the hammond freakout at starting at 4:50).

Nobody But Me - The Damned in disguise as Naz Nomad and the Nightmares (there's a thread waiting to happen: Secret Bands) as part of the eighties psych-revival.

And Finally a 1966 appearance from Lemmy (on guitar not bass) with his first band The Rocking Vicars and a Shel Tamy produced B-side

The Damned - Stranger On The Town

Naz Nomad and the Nightmares - Nobody But Me

The Rocking Vicars - I Don't Need Your Kind

Motör town - the classic 'head line up covering Holland-Dozier-Holland

PS - in case you're wondering what all the hi-deaf and decibels are about on a Friday! - It's inspired by seeing Motorhead, The Damned and Girlschool live in Southend on Tuesday..


Mondo said...

And like the six million dollar man. I can rebuild the comments..

Mondo said...

From Five Centres
Don't the Damned get the respect they deserve? I've always seen them highly praised and always mentioned as punk pioneers. I think there's a lot of respect out there.

But you're the big fan so you can tell me differently. If something had to go against them I'd say it was Captain Sensible's beret.

Mondo said...

From Lil I’m with you Mondo, just love “Stranger on the town” can’t understand why The Damned, are so underrated either? - I think they’re brilliant!

Mondo said...

Well, they get a few mentions and nods for being one the original three
punk bands FC. Although typically it's part of some programme or
article on punk/Pistols/Clash.

The Sex Pistols and The Clash have literally, tons of books, DVDs,
magazine covers and features documenting them and mythologising the
work, similar coverage of The Damned is almost non-existant.

You'll rarely see The Damned on any classic albums list. Bizarre as
their first LP was really, the only punk album available during 1977
(the Pistols NMTB wasn't released until October).

Phew - I can feel a post coming on...

PS You're right though, it's possibly the 'court jester' imagery that
limits more weighty revisionism. Ironic as captain is one of the
greatest punk players, riff-writers and a genuinely great guitarist.
I've been playing for almost 30 years now, and can't get close to what
he does.

Watch your inbox Lil, I'll mail some more nuggets shortly..

Mondo said...

From Mrs Mondo
Being as I was one of those people you manhandled (in the nicest sense, of course)into lobbing out a fiver on Strawberries (and then getting into trouble with me mum over it)I guess I should give S on the T a blast now.

Would love to have heard a rendition of it when the Damned supported Motorhead this week (great gig - my ears are fine now) Aaah - Captain *sigh* he hasn't lost his magic!

Piley said...

Mondo - we've spoken at length over the years on this one. I sometimes think it is this 'jokey' image they have that may be why they are not as respected. People sometimes (wrongly) think they are not serious about it all, and just having a laugh "not a proper band" etc etc. Sometimes the lyrics are funny too, and again think it alienates people.

You are spot on tho... not a single book has been written about them (bar that picture book, mini biog that came out arounf Grimley Fiendish). No 'in depth' book, which they are long over due. Like you say, look how many pistols books there have been, they were barely around for 2 years!! Always glossed over on any Punk documentary too.

For me? well they are my all time fave band. I love everything about em, the diversity of their sound over the years, the live shows, and of course - the quality of DV's vocals.


Martin said...

Saw the Damned for the first time this week at the Motorhead gig. Have to say i was impressed, even if the keyboard player looked like he may have had an extra expresso or ten before he came on. Wasn't too sure what to expect from them but I thought they came across very well. Although I was mainly there to see Motorhead I really enjoyed all 3 bands.

Mondo said...

I thought they were about to blast into Stranger at the Cliffs gig, but turned out be Elouise ~oh well!

Bang on P. They just get better and better Vanian's vox, Sensible's solos ~ and the songs. They are better than ever!

Check out the last two albums Martin (and Machine Gun Etiquette) guarantee you'll be hooked

Gabbi said...

I love the way you start your post with a call for putting prejudice and dislikes aside! :) Also very much liked the Motör town covering Holland-Dozier-Holland song... thank you for the shares Mondo. Always the best music!

PS. Downloading the newest Podcast now... !!

Simon said...

Naz Nomad & The Nightmares? I had that album on a tape from a mate back at the time, with people like The Tall Boys on the other side. I never knew it was the Damned. Damn!

Astrid said...

It has always really annoyed me the The Damned have this (don't know where it came from) perception as a 'gimmick band'. The Damned were there before anyone, played the hardest and had the best songs. I never really got the whole goth thing - I was more into their early stuff. I went to the 30yr anniversary gig at the 100 Club a couple of years back which was GREAT although I missed The Scabies - and Monty Oxymoron's keyboard moments were a little woooaaahh at times. The Captain is a massive Soft Machine fan and at certain points I think it shows with his slightly prog-odyssey rambles into riffdom - but in a good way though. I think they are disgracefully under-rated but are very pleased that they are still out there and that the demand for them is there. Tonight I am off to Hammersmith Odeon (I refuse to call it the Apollo!) to see Motorhead, The Damned and Girlschool. I have been excited as a child knowing Christmas has finally arrived. Cue the terminal deafness and pro-Damned rant over and out.

rockmother said...

Ooh what happened? I should be rockmother! Eeek!

Furtheron said...

Nothing like a bit of classic 'head is there...

lil said...

Thought I’d entered
"The Twilight Zone” for a while yesterday when everything disappeared!?
Thanks Mondo the links are FAB…
(See what you mean about Captain S, he’s fantastic! – Love their new stuff too..)

Coop said...

Top post Mondo, as I was saying to you at the gig, The Damned were the first band I saw in 79/80 when they toured Machine Gun Etiquette. Shame they only got 45 minutes Tuesday night. Bring on the New York Dolls next week

Mondo said...

Thanks Gabbi ~ if The Damned are new too you I'd recommend starting with Strawberries or the new one So, Who's Paranoid which is packed with pop, punk and psych..

I had The Naz album on purple vinyl Simon. I'll mail you a link about it in a mo'

You've nailed it Romo "disgracefully under-rated" that's absolutely it. And if you read almost any book on Punk history: Johnn Robb's, Andy Blade's, Leg's McNeills or Mark Perry's sniffing Glue volumes it's always The Damned that are referenced as the best, most fast and furious band on the scene. You'll love it Saturday, but guarantee you'll leave wishing there had been more of The Damned..

Whoops, hadn't thought of that F~Ron ;)

Glad it's rocking your boots Lil,I'll sort out copies of bits and bobs for when you and Mrs M, have a hook up

I saw them July 81 at 'The Damned Are 5 anniversary' gig Coops. I'm sure you'll agree that they're as good, if not better, now..(and there's none of the rotten spitting either)

rockmother said...

Yes - I know I will! Am a big Captain fan although have to keep that quiet when Mr Scabies around!!

Mondo said...

I forgot you're chums with Ratty did you know Roman Jugg is a Southender nowdays?

Keith said...

Hey there. I'm back from my blogging vacation. I hope you had a great week and weekend. I enjoyed myself this Thanksgiving holiday. I did miss your blog. Take care. Have a fantastic week ahead. Cheers!

Istvanski said...

I hear the sound is good at the Cliff's - even for Motorhead!

Mondo said...

Thanks Keith, hope you filled your boots over the break

Sound's not bad there Isv, but Motorhead were so L.O.U.D, you lost any quality with their slightly muddy rumble

marmiteboy said...

I remember us both being slightly obsessed with Strawberries when it came out Mondo and I'd agree that 'Stranger...' is one of The Damned's finest moments.

It is one of those songs that just makes me smile when I here it and it sounds as fresh now as it did way back when.

'Strawberries' is still on of my favourite albums of all time and is a constant on my iPod.

Mondo said...

It still sounds great now, but at the time, Strawberries was such an unexpected and exciting album it was addictive.