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I Just Can’t Be Happy Today Part 2

April 19, 2007

Part 2:

Now I’m writing this on another train going back the other way to work. I got home and stuffed my face with a cold veggie pie, mash and gravy – I didn’t use cutlery – just fingers and lots of slurping – I must have looked both desperate and disgusting but it was very neccessary. The gig was actually far more low key than I was expecting – I thought it would be rammed seeing as it was sold out but there was lots of room. I overheard what must have been a road or tour manager walk past fuming saying how disappointed he was gesturing at how the rabble at the front were only three deep. That’s probably because those that were pogoing and generally lurching into each other were running out of breath and clutching their sides with stitches after four songs – apart from two die-hard whippet-like Mohican’s who carried on bare-chested to the bitter end. The collective age of the audience was 10,750 and I reckon the average age was 43 or so. Funny. After 2 pints of Star in a nice warm plastic glass and I think during a rousing chorus of ‘I Just Can’t Be Happy Today’ or it could have been ‘Smash It Up’ I had a ‘we really need a riot’ moment. What happened to everyone standing up against the government and not taking their ridiculous policies anymore? Everyone has become so passive and accepting.

So the band were very tight – there were a few moments which went into prog/Pink Floyd freeform mode – it was ok but I could feel we were all there for the energy and the noise and not for the forays into improvisation despite the fact the band have always done that. It got louder as it went on but at first (unless I have gone deaf over the years from too much gig-going) it seemed half as loud as it should have been. Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian were in perfect vintage sync and finally seemed to get into it. Sensible looked timeless in his trademark white rimmed sunglasses, red beret and red/black stripey mohair jumper. Dave Vanian looked like a small, sharp glossy black crow with his 50’s quiff and old-style mic. Monty’s keyboards were a bit of a shambles and should have practised more I reckon. It was a long set and once they got going you didn’t want them to stop. It was lovely to meet up with Mr Istvanski a fellow blogger/reader and lover of The Damned. Currently sporting 3 pints of lager on an empty stomach delayed hangover and playing my personally signed live recorded cd of the evening which was recorded by Live Here Now. A little piece of history. Thank god for ticket touts – and my all time favourite venue the 100 Club!

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25 Comments
  1. junk mail made from proper trees, permalink

    Do they do chocolate flavour?

  2. dr spam, phd permalink

    I’m sure they do kid, I’m sure they do…

  3. rockmother permalink

    Wow – spam performance art via the mode of blogging

  4. Circular Left Under Windscreen Wiper permalink

    It’s a tough world out there.

  5. Spam Photon permalink

    Don’t you bloody start!

  6. rockmother permalink

    Right – that’s it – scrunch scrunch scrunch – you’ve all been recycled.

  7. tony permalink

    Was Rat Scabies on Drums? Me &amp; My Son Chris <a href=’http://zimnoch.smugmug.com/gallery/1415668#67128316′ rel=’nofollow’>Met him</a> this time last year in London.

  8. Spam Headley permalink

    "Was Rat Scabies on Drums?" You make this stuff up don’t you.

  9. Spam Headley Jnr. permalink

    Dad!! He means Christopher Miller from The Damned! You are like so embarassing.

  10. tony permalink

    No Son (<i>sighs patiently</i>)<a href=’http://www.hhmi.org/research/investigators/miller_bio.html’ rel=’nofollow’>Christopher Miller, Ph.D. </a> is the one who is interested in the basic mechanisms by which ion channel and other membrane transport proteins work. Because these proteins are directly responsible for the ability of nerve cells to generate electrical signals, they lie at the molecular foundations of the nervous system. A major part of his current research is aimed at the structure and function of chloride channels.Just as well, ‘cos he was a shit drummer.<br/>(<i>pats head</i>) One day it will all become clear.:)

  11. rockmother permalink

    Ooh keep your hair on all of you – no – Rat Scabies wasn’t on drums (which I was a little disappointed about seeing as there were rumours going around that he might make a star return!). He is still pursuing the holy grail and has co-written a book about it. Aside from that – I don’t think Rat and Captain Sensible ever quite sorted out their differences. I could be wrong. Cue Istvanski as he has seen them play more times than me!

  12. tony permalink

    yea he gave a talk on the holy grail~ thang when i saw him.Very interesting &amp; witty bloke.

  13. rockmother permalink

    Just to make things completely clear:<br/><br/>Rat Scabies (Drummer) was a founder member of The Damned along with Vanian, James and Sensible.<br/>In 1995, disagreements about the release of the album Not of This Earth caused a fallout between Scabies and Vanian, and Scabies left the band. This had the effect of reuniting Vanian and Sensible, who had left The Damned even earlier in 1985, to sue Scabies and form a new line-up of The Damned without him. Scabies remains excluded from The Damned to this day. Scabies is the central character of the 2005 book Rat Scabies And The Holy Grail, written by former music journalist Christopher Dawes – nothing to do with Christopher Miller.

  14. So Vanian was Sensible and Scabies was Damned….am I close?

  15. rockmother permalink

    Dickley – something like that yes.

  16. Istvanski permalink

    I wasn’t aware that Vanian left in ’85 because I saw Vanian and Rat together as The Damned in ’87, shortly followed by the reunion gigs in ’88 and onwards through to the early nineties when Paul Gray joined Sensible, Scabies &amp; Vanian on the "We Really Must Be Going Now" tours.<br/><br/>As for Tony suggesting that Rat is a shit drummer, I trust that was a comment made in jest. <br/><br/>A few people have said that Rat over plays his drums, but to actually see him in action (Re: with short lived combo The Germans @ The Cartoon in Croydon being a prime example) is a marvellous sight to behold. His familiar style is what’s missing from the current Damned line up.

  17. rockmother permalink

    Ister – I completely agree. If anything was missing from last week’s gig it was Rat Scabies. He is a great, instinctive drummer.

  18. Istvanski permalink

    Oh, hang on…you meant Sensible left in ’85.<br/>Sorry, my mistake – you are absolutely correct.<br/><br/>The album "Not of this Earth / I’m Alright Jack &amp; The Beanstalk" is disputed as being an official Damned album by Vanian. The songs are of sub-standard quality (mostly written by Allen Lee Shaw and Scabies) but the drumming on it is superb.

  19. rockmother permalink

    Yes – weren’t there 2 Damned bands going at one point? Vanian’s version and Sensible’s version? Previously I meant I agree about Scabies being a good as opposed to a shit drummer. Scabies was always an integral part of the Damned’s particular sound. God – hark at us – Damned Spod-geeks Appreciation Society. Perhaps I’ll try and get onto Mastermind with specialist subject: The Damned.

  20. rockmother permalink

    PS: I’ve blown the speakers in the car due to playing the live gig cd too loud! Ha ha.

  21. Istvanski permalink

    Good grief – but hey! What a way for those speakers to go.

  22. rockmother permalink

    Ister – They were as old as the car – 93 – so I expect they’d just had enough – went out in style.

  23. Stupid Boy permalink

    My haircut went out in style once… oh hang on, no, that’s went out OF style.

  24. Captain Mannering permalink

    You stupid boy.

  25. Anonymous permalink

    the damned are the best

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