My review of The Damned Wasted Gig at The Astoria on 12th December 2004.
Written By: Drinking About My Baby.

This was going to be one mad gig - going to see my fave band, The Damned, for the first time since the early '90s & meeting up with many of The Official Damned Message Boarders for the first time.

Neal & I set off from our flat late morning, after much flapping from me about what to wear, what to bring with & my hair, etc.

We finally reached our destination (after getting a tad lost), The Columbia Hotel, where we & many other Member Boarders stayed for the night. Booking into the hotel was fun, introducing ourselves as Drinking About My Baby & Spotty Neal!

We went straight to our room where I changed for the gig & did more flapping & hair preening. When I was finally ready, we headed for the Hotel bar & we met our first Damned Message Board peeps - Mills & InfiltraTress. We had a few drinks & then a few more & a few more after that!

We spent so long there, that we eventually met up with many more MBers including Damned Fairy, Sister Of Passion & Laughing Policeman, White Rabbit SKGs, Damned Mistress, Night Girl, Curtain Call, Lottie & Anyanka Vengeance. (so sorry if I have forgotten anyone).

Anyways, after a few more drinks, Neal & I got a taxi with a few other MBers to the venue - The Astoria. There were loads of punks milling around outside & we went in & got our yellow wristbands. We met a few more Mbers once inside.

After a while, we decided to go for something to eat with Mills & InfiltraTress, Curtain Call, Lottie, Anyanka Vengeance, White Rabbit SKGs, Damned Mistress, Sister of Passion, & Laughing Policeman. (again, sorry if I have forgotten anybody). Lets just say we got a few odd stares on the streets whilst finding somewhere to eat - some restaurants even refused us entry! In the end, we found Garfunkles & we all poured into there, much to the amusement of the other diners, who thought we were all in fancy dress! We all ordered our food & had a good old chat.

We went back to the Astoria, which was pumping with loud music & had a few drinks at the bar & met even more MBers including Al Fiendish, Gina Snowdoll & Tamsin The Tottenham Totty. After a while, Neal & I headed upstairs where we met Miche & Andy too.

Whilst waiting for The Damned to come on, we listened to Hazel O'Connor sing her set & then Neal had a good old mosh to Sham 69 - when he came back, he looked like he was about to collapse due to the heat, etc. down in the mosh pit !

Finally, The damned came on. It was the first time I had seen Pinch, Monty & Stu play as The Damned & blooming brilliant they were too!

Dave Vanian looked as suave as ever & his voice was on top form as usual, Captain Sensible looked great & did all the usual banter, Stu was great on Bass & Pinch was equally great on the drums. The first time I saw Monty I had to laugh, what with his frantic jumping around beside his keyboard, what a showman!

The set was brilliant & included all the old favourites, a few from their Grave Disorder Album & Jet Boy, Jet Girl that I had never heard before live - SteveWinsc did a sterling job on backing vocals too. The audience certainly loved the set & the atmosphere was brilliant.

The set went something like this: (Not necessarily in this order)

Love Song,
Machine Gun Etiquette,
New Rose,
I Just Can't Be Happy Today,
History of the World,
I Fall,
Disco Man,
Looking At You,
Would You Be So Hot,
Magic Potion,
Melody Lee,
Neat Neat Neat.

The encore was:

Jet Boy - Jet Girl;
Curtain Call,
Noise, Noise, Noise & finally .
Smash It Up.

After the gig was over, most of the MBers walked to The Intrepid Fox pub in Soho, where Pinch was throwing an Xmas Piss Up with the funds he had received for selling a drum kit to the highest bidder earlier in December, bless him.

All the MBers had been issued with stickers to wear, by Miche, to ensure no straggling free loaders got in & an almighty piss up ensued! I felt a bit over awed, what with so many people I had not met before, but many MBers made an effort to say hello to Neal & I. I even got to try the legendary Silvo (plum brandy) that Lil' Cricket had bought with her - evil stuff indeedy!

Captain, Pinch, Monty & Stu were there too, mingling with everybody & having loads of pictures taken. It was a great highlight to a brilliant night.

At about 2am, Neal & I caught a taxi with Damned Fairy, Scott & Estate of Mr Claypole back to the Columbia Hotel (a sorry goes to Pinch for nicking your cab!), where we were told there would be an all night bar, but the night staff were having none of it & wouldn't open up the bar - the spoil sports, eh !, so Neal & I went to bed.

The morning after, we heard all the shenanigans that the other MBers had got up to (lets just say it was hangovers all round!) over a cooked breakfast, where we shared a table with Under The Floor & his wife.

To Neal's delight, the bar opened & the more hardened drinkers started drinking again in the morning - hair of the dog & all that, whilst I chatted to Captains' brother & niece, Antipop Jen.

We eventually left the hotel sometime in the afternoon & headed for home. It felt like such a come down to be home after such a brilliant night.

*!* Click here to see pictures of the MBers, the morning after *!*