… Damned, been to a psychedelic rock show!

It has been a while that i have been to a Rock Show. And it’s been a while that i have been to the Grünspan (a place that i normally connect with Rock Shows only). Reason was lure by those who saw The Damned rather recently and where actually full of praise.

I saw them the last time early to mid 80s in the Markthalle and i think it was a show that had playback in it (at least that is my vague recollection). Never bothered about them after and Another Great Record From The Damned (1981) is the last Damned record in my collection.

But as always, sometimes it is good to challenge choices and habits, hence i choose to take them on. At the Grünspan.

Kick off was with the locals from The Jaded, who had to setup their gear in front of the Damned gear, in best Rock Show tradition. In contrast to that tradition they had a near perfect sound, maybe nowadays they guys on the mixing desks are more professional (and less influenced by the main band).

Known faces on stage and a very crisp set. Actually they grooved rather fast through their set and where done way ahead of the allowed time, so two encores where added citing some of their references.

The Jaded (Grünspan, Hamburg, 07.03.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

They claim they play Rock ‘n’Roll which i guess technically is true, i think they play a nice mid-tempo with loads of references to the sound of the UK towards the end of the 70 and early 80s, call it Punk Rock, New Wave or else. Their biggest asset sure is the native Englishman on vocals, it gives the whole thing a great glue, the needed banter and fits the sound perfect.

I never saw them before, i think i would not run away from them next time they take the stage.

After a quick turnaround it was time for The Damned, this year with Dave, The Captain, Paul Gray on Bass, Monty on Organ/Synthesizer and Will Taylor on Drums. All but the drummer came as stage personas, whereby the stage personas of Dave and The Captain sure being known icons. Monty sported a nice Skull nightgown (i’d say dressed for the occasion!).

The Damned (Grünspan, Hamburg, 07.03.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

They started of slow and with stuff years outside of the initial Punk Years. That said, the sound was near perfect and all of them are absolutely gifted musicians. And that made the whole thingy more pleasant.

For my ears though it was too much of both that Gothic and Psychedelic style that actually is way off my liking though sometime with great melodies, nice choruses and surprisingly well glued song structures. Albeit, way to the right of the 02:20 mark of a proper pop song. Yes, sometimes lengthy for my ears.

The Damned (Grünspan, Hamburg, 07.03.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

Towards the end they did throw some of the old stuff in, sometimes super fast, sometimes as a nice deconstruction of an old hit. They played for i guess almost 2 hours, something that i did not expect, so cudos for that.

Within that and towards the end another Rock Show moment did happen, Paul had problems with his Bass and was trying to get first attention and sure then resolution of the Guitar Roadie that was stationed next to The Captain.

Paul Gray vs. Guitar Roadie, 3rd Round (Grünspan, Hamburg, 07.03.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

And from there it went sour, downhill and – for us at the front on the stage side where Paul was – rather funny (for an observer). I guess Paul pointed out he wanted the replacement Bass waiting for action on the side, the Roadie seem to have deducted that the problem was the sling on Pauls current Bass and worked on taking the sling off the replacement Bass.

More than once Paul point out that he needed the new Bass rather, but that fell on death ears. At the end it ended in a song break with Paul basically going on strike and Dave and The Captain taking the piss out of him for not being able to master his gear and the sling.

Although Paul had sun glasses on you could see that he was angry, furious and about to kill the Roadie. It took a disastrous amount of time (at least for a professional rock show) to get resolved.

Bets where taken if the Roadie survives the tour, some assumed he would be lifted home immediately. Lets hope he survived.

Did i like the show? Not too much. Did i enjoy the show? Yes i did somehow but more as an outside observer. Will i volunteer to see The Damned again? I guess not. Did i enjoy the company around me? Yes i did, plenty out of the Punk Rock Hamburg community where around.

The only odd item was the aftermath, as i had to fly out to Amsterdamned on the red eye flight at 06:00 in the morning, facing a long work day. But it was not too cumbersome as i choose to stay sober and did not sip on beer nor booze. Lucky me!

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