MANCHESTER - SANKEY'S SOAP 12th DECEMBER 1997

By Andrew

Well this was the last date on The Damned's December tour,and I almost missed it,thanks to the famous British Motorway roadworks folks !! Anyone travelling up the M6 yesterday will know what i mean.By the time I actually got to Manchester and found the place ,they had already started, playing Plan 9 Channel 7,which had finished when i actually got inside.They started early,8 o'clock.Apparently they kick everyone out when they finish and the venue turns into a nightclub.Charming eh? Kick all the punks out and let all the ravers in !! I couldnt beleive i was leaving a Damned gig at only 10.30 ! Mind you,they do that at the Marquee Club in London too.

The venue itself wasn't that good,and it was quite small,with a small raised bit at either side of the stage.The stage looked to be a real makeshift one,and was made up of a bunch of wooden boxes,which made it only about 2 feet high,giving a crappy view of the band.Also there were about 8 support posts dotted around,making more obstructions,which reminded me of being at a crap football ground.And most of the other fans seemed to be taller than me.Are they taller up North or what?

Anyway,as the gig went on it was obvious that the set list was identical to the others on this tour,same sons,same order,and the same banter with the crowd between the songs.you know,Happy Talk,Big Break theme,lend me a fiver,that kind of stuff.

Although the place itself weren't too clever,the sound wasn't bad,and Garrie was whacking those drums like a madman,giving a really thumping bass sound that slammed into your chest nice and hard.(Especially if you were stood in front of one of the speaker stacks.!)

As i said before the set list was the same as the other gigs,so you can look at the other recent reviews on this site for the set list.

They finished the first set,and 10 minutes later Monty and Garrie came back on to get the encore started.Monty realised someone had pinched his set list - "Who nicked my fucking set list" he said.He got really pissed off and said he wasnt going to continue unless he got the set list back,which Garrie also confirmed "No set list - no gig,simple as that "

The reason being that Monty's set list has keyboard settings written on it next to each song,so he can program the keyboard.Without the list he couldn't do it.After yet more appeals by Garrie,a fan got up on the mike and pleaded with whoever took it to give it back.The other set lists went missing too,and they were returned,but not Monty's,so he didn't continue the gig.After about another 10 minutes of calling the set list thief a wanker,the rest of them carried on without Monty and did the rest of the songs.I spoke to Monty after the gig and he was still pissed off,and after all their gear got nicked in Birminham,and when someone went backstage and nicked all their spirits the other day,he came to the conclusion that the world is full of theiving bastards,and he's probably right.!

Still,not a bad gig,even though i missed the start,and i spent 3 times longer travelling to and from the gig than i actually spent at the gig,but then... !


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