The Damned Live Live Live in London 2002: Tiki Nightmare DVD Review (MVD Visual) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Damned Live Live Live in London 2002: Tiki Nightmare DVD Review (MVD Visual)

A new live release from The Damned is always a welcome thing as, while the band has already released many live albums, The Damned’s constantly rotating lineup (the only constant has been singer Dave Vanian) along with their willingness to regularly reinterpret their songs means that every one of these live albums sounds different. The Damned Live Live Live in London 2002: Tiki Nightmare captures the band at Shepherds Bush Empire on July 12, 2002. This show is the final night of The Damned’s UK tour, where the band was touring behind their 2001 album Grave Disorder.

Not having seen The Damned since their 1991 reunion tour where (at least at the Atlanta show) they seemed very drunk and shambled through their set in just about an hour, I was pleasantly surprised at how tight this lineup sounds. The Grave Disorder lineup of the band was Dave Vanian (Vocals), Captain Sensible (Guitar), Patricia Morrison (Bass), Monty Oxy Moron ( Keyboards) and Andy “Pinch” Pinching (Drums). The nineteen track set list spans the Damned’s back catalogue and includes five numbers from Grave Disorder (“Amen”, “Democracy”, “Song.Com”, “Would You Be So Hot” and “She”), the expected punk chestnuts (“Smash It Up”, “New Rose”, “Neat Neat Neat”), little heard numbers like “Under the Floor Again” and two numbers from the band’s 80’s albums (“Eloise”, “Street of Dreams”) which were recorded while the Captain was out of the band. The Captain even slides in a quick version of “Happy Talk” when the band goes offstage before the encore and he is joined by a pair of “tiki dancers” and Dave does a brief vocal cameo.

Both the playing of the band and their stage presence show how the band has matured over the years. Captain Sensible’s guitar work is top-notch, leading the band through an extended version of “Amen” and using a beer can as a slide on “Ignite”. Dave Vanian and bassist/wife Patricia Morrison are the epitome of cool. Vanian glides and dances his way across the stage - all in black, with slicked back hair, wrap-around sunglasses and gloves - looking like a punk version of Elvis (when he was cool – not fat Elvis) and Morrison looks like a goth pin-up girl. While Captain Sensible clowns around on-stage, the role of ‘comic relief’ seems to have been handed off to keyboardist Monty, who was part of Sensible’s Punk Floyd solo band. “Pinch” is a capable drummer but more of his personality comes out in the bonus feature interview than behind the skins (…and I continue to hope for Rat’s return to the band).

The show is filmed with multiple on-stage cameras so the viewer really has a “you were there” experience as you see the ‘big budget’ shots of the whole band and, from there, the cameras will cut away to close-ups of one of the band members and/or the audience.

There are about 40 minutes of bonus features which are predominately interviews with the individual members of the Damned. Captain Sensible’s interview runs the longest and he sounds remarkably coherent (this isn’t to say that the Captain isn’t off-kilter but I was expecting a raving loony) when talking about The Damned’s place in music, his solo career and more. The other two interesting interviews are Dave Vanian, who is never shown on the screen but rather he talks behind what appears to be found footage of World War I / World War II military bands, and “Pinch”, who sounds like a bit of a nutter. The bonus features wrap up with some very brief (too brief in my opinion) home-movie footage from The Damned’s 2002 Warped Tour appearances.

Set List:
Street of Dreams
Plan 9 Channel 7
Wait for the Blackout
I Just Can’t Be Happy Today
Would You Be So Hot
Disco Man
Under the Floor Again
Neat Neat Neat
Happy Talk
New Rose
Smash It Up
Feel Alright
Love Song

Official Damned