Ah, The Damned: a band that has managed to stay fresh and vital through subtle sonic reinvention for four decades now — wow! Punk Rock pioneers whose strong pop sensibilities and solid musicianship have allowed them to transcend the trends, they are making their debut appearance as the Video Clip of The Week with their new single, the anthemic “Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow” — and what an honor that is. Visually, “Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow” is a Bladerunner-esque adventure that’s their most ambitious video to date. Vocalist and charismatic frontman Dave Vanian, who also directed the clip, has this to say about the song’s message:
“This is a cry for [us] to recognize our humanity, before it’s too late. There is a strong influence of (songwriter/ producer) Joe Meek here: “Telstar” was a glorious song about the opportunities of the future. I’d like to think that ‘“Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow” reflects a similar sentiment.”
Vanian adds: “The exploration and colonization of other worlds is something we will face in the not so distant future. My fervent hope is that we do not take our fears and prejudices with us and repeat the mistakes we have made on our home planet.”
“Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow” can be found on The Damned’s first new album in a decade, Evil Spirits, due out via Search And Destroy / Spinefarm Records on April 13th, 2018. Evil Spirits was produced by the legendary Tony Visconti and recored in just nine days — punk rock! Enjoy!
Coming of age in the late 1970s, I was in the right place at the right time to enjoy the character-shaping birth of British Punk Rock, as well as having a ground zero experience of the Southern California Punk Rock movement, which was equally legendary. It was a great time to be a teenage music lover! It was also a blessing that driving up to LA to see a punk band was not always necessary, because Orange County had its own live music venue that booked both US and UK-based acts; a dive-y little joint, hidden away in an industrial neighborhood of Costa Mesa, which was called The Cuckoo’s Nest. It was at The Cuckoo’s Nest in 1979 that I first saw The Damned live, on tour in support of what is arguably still their best and most popular album, Machine Gun Etiquette. Lyrics from that album’s eponymous track now lend themselves to the title of a fantastic documentary on The Damned, Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead, which has just become available on home video. I am overjoyed to report that this film is a must-see for all Damned fans, old-school punks, rock music historians and anyone who was a punk back when the guys in Sum 41 were still toddlers.
One year after it first debuted at SXSW 2015, director Wes Orshoski’s long-awaited documentary on British Punk Rock legends The Damned is finally coming out on DVD May 20th, 2016, and all I can say is it’s about fucking time. I can’t wait to own it, and I will be writing a full review for you once it is in my hot little hands! In the meantime, please enjoy my amazing and hilarious interview with Captain Sensible from August 2001 at This Link, and watch the trailer below!
Captain Sensible (Born Raymond Burns), sometimes bassist, sometimes lead guitarist for original British Punk Rockers The Damned, was born on this day, April 23rd, in 1955. Favorite Captain Sensible solo single: “There are More Snakes than Ladders.” Please enjoy my hilarious interview with The Captain from 2001 at This Link.
On This Date, November 7th in 1979: The Damned released their amazing third album, Machine Gun Etiquette, which included the singles “Love Song,” “I Just Can’t Be Happy Today” and “Smash It Up (Part II).”Machine Gun Etiquette was the London band’s first album without founding guitarist Brian James. Captain Sensible moved from bass to guitar and Algy Ward (ex-The Saints) joined TheDamned as their new bassist. I actually saw The Damned on this tour in 1979, at the infamous Cuckoo’s Nest in Costa Mesa, California, and hung out with Damned drummer Rat Scabies for most of the evening. Machine Gun Etiquette refuses to sound dated even thirty years after its release, and is still one of my favorite albums, ever. Punk Rock! Read my fantastic interview with Captain Sensible from 2001 at This Link.