Posts Tagged ‘Brian James’

The Damned are reforming their original, classic line-up of vocalist Dave Vanian, guitarist Brian James, bassist Captain Sensible and drummer Rat Scabies for four UK shows next year.

The legendary British punk quartet, who released their debut single “New Rose” almost exactly 44 years ago on October 22nd, 1976, will play four headline dates in London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester in July 2021. The tour will celebrate The Damned’s 45th anniversary, and the setlist will draw upon the quartet’s first two albums, Damned Damned Damned and Music For Pleasure, which was produced by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.

Tickets for the tour go on sale on Friday, October 23rd.

The band’s eleventh studio album, the Tony Visconti-produced Evil Spirits, was released in April 2018.

Director Wes Orshoski followed up his great Lemmy documentary with this funny, bittersweet, all-access look at iconic punk group The Damned, from their origins through the current line up of the band featuring Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible. Shot over a three-year period, “Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead” is, like The Damned themselves, supremely entertaining, with mountains of archival footage and new interviews with estranged members Brian James and Rat Scabies, plus Lemmy, Chrissie Hynde, Chris Stein and Clem Burke of Blondie, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd (who produced their second album, Music for Pleasure), Mick Jones of The Clash, Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses, DJ/filmmaker/musician Don Letts, Buzzcocks’ Steve Diggle, Dead Kennedys’ founder Jello Biafra, Fred Armisen, Melvins’ Buzz Osborne, Ian MacKaye and many more. The real star of the film is Sensible whose charm and sense of humour hasn’t dulled over the last 40 years.

Official trailer for the film THE DAMNED: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead, the authorized documentary of the punk pioneers. Directed/produced by Wes Orshoski (co-director/producer of “LEMMY”), the film features all four original members of the Damned (Captain Sensible, Dave Vanian, Brian James and Rat Scabies), Shot around the world over the past four years, the film makes its debut at SXSW in March 2015. The third prong in the holy trinity of UK punk, with the Sex Pistols and the Clash, The Damned were the first U.K. punks to release a single (“New Rose”) and album (“Damned Damned Damned”), and the first to tour the U.S. Having logged hits in the punk, new wave and goth eras, they are one of the only surviving bands from punk’s first wave.


BMG Records proudly present this limited edition set comprising of 5 x 7″ vinyl singles including the famed first ever punk single New Rose and all the other early hits from the impressively chaotic punk quartet. All singles have been recreated with their original artwork, including the ultra-rare, previously fan club only Stretcher Case Baby. These are all packed in a superb box, collaged with original press cuttings from back in the day. Also included is a Damned embroidered patch, exclusive to this boxset.

It was the summer of 1976 when Dave Vanian, Rat Scabies and Captain Sensible recruited guitarist and songwriter Brian James, they played their first gig supporting the Sex Pistols at the 100 Club and quickly signed to Stiff Records and began writing the very first chapter of the punk rock history books. Their debut 7” – New Rose – was written by Brian James and backed by a proto-thrash version of The Beatles’ Help. It was recorded by Stiff’s in-house producer, Nick Lowe and set the punk dream alight at exactly 9.00am when record shops opened for business on 22nd October 1976, stealing a march on the Pistols by becoming what is widely acknowledged as the very first punk record ever released.

The band really came into their own with their second single – Neat Neat Neat – which had two cuts on the B-side, Stab Yor Back and Singalongascabies. Produced, like New Rose, by Nick Lowe, the vinyl had a message from one band member scratched in the run-out groove: “this is your captain speaking…” So what were Captain Sensible’s favourite acts on Stiff, one journalist asked him in 2007? “I wasn’t interested!” he insists. “It was mainly pub rock in the early days, which we despised and sneered at in our young and snotty way…” After a special 7” – Stretcher Case Baby – cut to give away at gigs celebrating the band’s first anniversary, they went back into the studio, this time with Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason at the controls. Third single Problem Child was written by Brian James with Rat Scabies and featured new recruit Lu Edmonds on guitar.

An incendiary two minutes of the band in their prime, it failed to crack the UK top 40 but did make number 27 in NME’s alternative singles chart. By the end of 1977, the Damned were ready to part with Stiff, just as Brian James and Lu Edmonds were ready to part with The Damned. Their last single was Don’t Cry Wolf, backed with another Nick Mason-produced track, One Way Love.