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The Extremities Of Punk With CAPTAIN SENSIBLE From THE DAMNED

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While many bands proclaim to be the real deal when it comes to punk rock, very few can say so definitively. Punk rock is/has and never will be a style of music that caters to the masses or measures itself on facts and figures. It is more music for the outcasts and disenfranchised who have little in common except for a united love of a brand of music that knows no boundaries.

But mention The Damned to anyone with even a sniff of knowledge about punk, and you will invariably be met with the same respect and admiration for a band who truly started it all.

“He (Sid Vicious) was a streak of piss.”

Captain Sensible

They were officially the first ever punk band to release a single when they put out New Rose five weeks before the Sex Pistols released Anarchy In The U.K. which led to them being the first British punk band to tour the United States.

While undergoing several line-up changes in their 35-plus years as a band, there is one that stands out to many as The Damned’s classic collection of musicians. Vocalist Dave Vanian, guitarist Captain Sensible, drummer Rat Scabies and bass player Paul Gray are the quartet widely regarded as the best unit, releasing the albums Machine Gun Etiquette, The Black Album and Strawberries while the group was together and now, for the first time since 1989, those four will share the stage together when The Damned hit Australia for the final time later this month.

HEAVY managed to secure some rare time with Captain Sensible to run through the tour and career of The Damned, with him starting by revealing how he got his stage name.

“I acquired that name because I was a rabid drunk, actually,” he offered, “and not at all sensible. So I got the name thrust upon me and have not been able to shake it off since. I’m getting old these days, so the drinking’s taken a back seat, but I’ve still got the stupid name (laughs). The good news is over 40 years I’ve learned to play the guitar and the band is sounding quite good at the moment. If you like what The Damned do, we’re doing a fair representation of those records that we made back in the 70s and 80s.”

“It’s a great name, The Damned,” he continued. “I think the Sex Pistols originally wanted it, but we got it first.”

We ask if it was hard getting the gang back together so to speak for this tour.

“No, coz Rat and Paul have been working together on a project with some Americans and me and Dave have been doing The Damned all this time,” he replied. “There was a bit of bad blood, that was the only thing that could have got in the way, really. I mean, it was so long ago, I can’t remember what we used to argue about (laughs). But it was all sorts of shenanigans, including fisticuffs, attacking each other with empty whisky bottles and stuff like that. As you do in punk rock bands, but we buried the hatchet, and we’re getting on okay now. It’s interesting to see what they’ve been doing all these years.”

In the full interview, Captain Sensible talks more about the tour and what to expect, why he thinks this line-up can be considered as classic, what he expects from his crowds live, demanding the Hard-Ons support the tour, his memories of recording them, the early days of The Damned and the musical climate that gave birth to them, beating the Sex Pistols to releasing the first ever punk single, Sid Vicious wanting to join The Damned as vocalist, the relationship between punk bands in the early days, how competitive the scene was, the age-old belief that punk is all about the attitude rather than the music, how punk music has changed over the years, The Damned’s contribution to punk, his top three commandments of punk and more.

Tickets on sale now metropolistouring.com/the-damned-2024

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