10th DECEMBER 1997
REVIEW BY HAMISH SIMPSON
Let me start by saying that I didn't want to be here! I had planned to go to the Edinburgh gig the night before but it sold out at the last minute. Dundee was an emergency gig. And, since I've started I'll get the last few negatives off my chest before starting on the obligatory brown-nosing.
Fat Sam's is a night club and never has been a great venue. The stage is too small and uneven. (The Capt. kept falling over and kicking his legs in the air and that can't have been deliberate!!)
The crowd was small, less than 200 I'd say, although they were very enthusiastic, even attempting (and once succeeding) to get some stage diving going.
The last gripe (and the biggest). Who the hell hired Patricia Morrison! I usually consider it big headed to go to a gig and say "I could have played better", but in this case it would have been well justified. She doesn't play like a natural musician, and her style often marred an otherwise perfect set, especially the verse riff in "Blackout" which needs the droning D string to work.
Anyway, to the good bits. Monty came on first in a frilly white shirt and red crushed velvet flares, and launched into the Intro, followed by the good Capt. in his beret, glasses and an embroidered Kaftan thing. Needless to say the crowd went wild at the first sight of the Capt. Then Mr Dreadful appears with the mesh shirt from the Guildford backstage photo, and Patricia wearing all black (surprise??).
The set was very similar to the others I've seen. Straight into Plan 9 and on comes Dave in a black jacket and strides, shades, leopard print shirt and quiffed up hairdo. He looked real cool as he leapt around, but I couldn't shake the impression of a cross between Marc Almond and a disco dancing ferret!
End of first song and into the now traditional chant of "Sensible's a wanker". Nice bit of banter from the Cap, slagging of a guys accent who had called him a cunt. "What's a "cant"? Is that better or worse than a cunt?". "Worse", yell the crowd. "You bald headed bastard", replies the Capt. Bit of slagging around "Happy Talking" and certain snooker related songs and we're off again, this time with Dozen Girls.
The rest of the set just thundered by, Sensible lying on his back with his legs in the air, Monty leaping about like a.. a.. well, like a Moron, Dave dancing all over the place, Garrie thumping away, and Patricia trying to look cool and smiling at the Captain all the time?!?!?! (Something going on there?)
Capt. gave Garrie a hard time for shaving his nipples at one point, while Dave made a noise like an electric razor. Garrie and Monty really threw themselves into the spirit of things, giving as good as they got most of the time.
The Capt. shows everyone his set list where it has "Happy" written on it and says "So what do you think that means then?". Cries of "Happy Talk" brought about an impromptu few lines from the Capt. with the crowd on backing.
Shadow of Love was pretty good with the Captain's loud guitar, and even Eloise went down a storm. I think they could have even gotten away with Grimely Fiendish but I'm glad they didn't put it to the test.
Noise, Noise, Noise and Melody Lee were the high point for me, and it was off into the mosh for a good old pogo. Then Looking At You, Eloise and off.
I think we were lucky to get the encores. The number off people made it difficult to sustain the chant for "more", but we managed it. (The set list showed that Ignite and I Feel Alright would have been ours for a little more effort but it wasn't to be.)
When Garrie came back on for his drum solo and the encores he explained that the Capt was off changing his "shitty" pants, and that they couldn't smash anything up as it was all hired. (Where the hell did they find someone prepared to take a risk like that with their gear?) The drum solo seemed like an attempt to prove that Scabies was replaceable. It was pretty good! Then on comes Monty for a chaotic keyboard solo.
That over, the rest of the band filed back on, with the Capt. looking lovely as ever in his school pinafore, hat, blouse and tie. (At least he kept his tackle concealed this time!)
Three encores, probably THE three main Damned songs, and goodnight. Definitely worth the money. I just hope the good Captain sticks around long enough for another tour (and album?).
The Set List
PLAN 9 CHANNEL 7
NEAT NEAT NEAT
WAIT FOR THE BLACKOUT
I JUST CANT BE HAPPY TODAY
SHADOW OF LOVE
NOISE NOISE NOISE
LOOKING AT YOU
GARRIE DRUM SOLO/MONTY KEYBOARD SOLO
SMASH IT UP
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