The Damned, Koko Camden – live review
February 16th, 2018
The Damned finished their UK Evil Spirits tour in London with a gig that fans are guaranteed to remember for a long time, with words by Sophie Sparham and photos by Svenja Block.
It’s a cold night in Camden and outside Koko goths and punks, young and old are gathering to see The Damned.
For those who haven’t been to a Damned gig, the show is a unique experience. The Damned are one of the those bands that defy genre boundaries, labels and the usual tropes that come with playing rock and roll. The combination of Dave Vanian’s gothic vocal mixed with Captain Sensible’s punk ‘could care less’ attitude and the tight playing of the band is what makes for an excellent night.
However, what really make a Damned gig is the audience. The band’s super fan, Jonno, stands at the merch station adjusting his red beret. “This is over my 1000th gig he says. “74 and still a punk rocker.” He’s doing well.
The energy that comes off fans, both old and young is indescribable. As The Damned take to the stage and kick into ‘Waiting for the Black’ the crowd erupt; singing, dancing, throwing their arms around one another. No matter what show you attend, the sense of community amongst fans is always there. In fact, there’s so much love amongst Damned fans, that Koko had to be added as an extra tour date just to accommodate them.
The Damned play a range of fan favourites including ‘Lively Arts’ ‘New Rose’, ‘Love Song’ and of course ‘Eloise’, mixed with some great gothic numbers. The band really seemed to be enjoying themselves tonight. Captain Sensible cracks jokes whilst Vanian’s tailcoat wafts about the stage as he sings.
They also air tracks from the new album, ‘Evil Spirits’. Both ‘Devil in Disguise’ and ‘Evil Spirits’ go down a treat amongst fans. With catchy riffs and choruses, making the anticipation for the new album grow.
The Damned finish their set with not just one, but two encores; combing the well-loved ‘Smash it Up’ with covers such as ‘Jet Boy Jet Girl’. As they leave the stage, fans emerge into the cold night’s air, as though they’ve just left a family reunion.
And in a way they have.