Gig review – The Damned – The Featherz – The Vanguards – O2 Islington and On A Train 20-12-15.

Gig Review(s) – The Damned/The Featherz – O2 Islington and The Vanguards – On A Train – 20-12-15


After a brief sojourn in India with SiB, Kali and Arl, Zob and Bowie, Dibdab and EiTC, we moved on toward the bright open spaces of Angel, where we were joined by Lefty.

And onward, here tonight as we were, for a seasonal do – courtesy of our old Muckers and Croydon’s finest – The Damned.

Arriving at the venue for this evening’s celebrations, the fab O2 in Islington, we were hastily ushered inside past the waiting crowd – due to the fact that two of our number held in their possession the sacred device of queue jumping.

Inside we set up camp at the bar by the side of the stage where soon our numbers were swelled by Mr and Mrs Bloggs, Domestos, Pidge and Streatham Mick among others.


Just then our attention was drawn by an irresistible siren call, in the shape of the excellent support act – The Featherz. Like a breath of fresh air from the 1970’s this Punky Glam trio delivered a well-crafted blend of original material (punctuated by two well-chosen covers) with attitude and style.


Guitarist/Vocalist Danie has the air of A Lass Insane about her appearance and performance wise, demonstrating some impressive chops on the guitar while simultaneously delivering a very strong vocal line (with hint or two of the late great Poly Styrene about her voice). Bassist/Vocalist Alice compliments Danie perfectly with solid playing/singing/harmonies coupled with her almost acrobatic stage presence – dropping back into a most impressive back arch mid-song while wielding/playing a bass guitar and not skipping a beat. These two front Women complement each other perfectly sparking off each other whilst anchored by the solid beats of drummer Dazzle.


When was the last time you had sex? No I’m not asking you… That’s a title from their original material that sticks in one’s mind for some strange reason, along with two strong covers in the shape of 20th Century Boy and Don’t Dictate! Catch them live soon!


…before we knew what was going on – it was – Croydon Calling…

The Damned….


After some initial tech problems with the guitar…


The sound was crystal clear in the O2 tonight a decent sized venue for getting up close and personal while affording a good view from all angles. The clarity really can’t be underplayed – as every element was audible – particularly the keyboards, bass and bv/harmonies, which often times can get lost/overwhelmed in some of the more cavernous venues (such as the Roundhouse for example) etc Etc EiTC…


The capacity crowd were right behind the band from the off – Moshing/Pogoing, Head-banging, Howling/Singing along and hanging on every note.

Dave’s performance was electric tonight, he had the whole stage covered, looking dapper in his 3-piece (and subsequent shedding of layers) while his green up-light ensured some spooky atmosphere, especially when coupled with the fiery/hellish – yellow/orange/red stage-lighting. His voice was silky smooth throughout and he engaged and teased audience and band members alike. Awesome!


The Captain’s years spent on the South Coast are really beginning to show – bedecked as he was tonight in a Sailors uniform. He shrugged off the tech/tuning problems with his kit, righted his vessel, delivered some stonking guitar work and crooned like a good ‘un. Like Dave he was darting all over the place from one side of the stage to the other and also baiting the crowd for good measure in his own peculiar way.


Monty appeared focussed on his work tonight and provided top notch melodic musing throughout, as well as coming centre stage and moshing madly at one point. Stu’s bass work was faultless and along with Pinch’s drums provided the perfect foundation for a Damned good shindig!


The set was superb tonight! (Although with this bands back catalogue how can it fail to be?) Kicking off with an awesome Wait For The Blackout they then swerved into a fab Fan Club before popping into the wonderful History of The World. Grimly fiendish next replete with Kazoo Trumpet solo from DV (wasn’t this later in the set on Alone Again Or??? etc Etc EiTC…), brilliant! The perma-awesome Stranger on The Town was introduced by Captain with a bit of history about not being welcome at hotels and the like in the early days.


Then it was a trio from MGE in the shape of Love Song, Second Time Around and Just Can’t Be Happy Today. Dave paid homage to his favourite horror actor Vincent Price as he introduced a spine tingling 13th Floor. Then the pace was upped again for the excellent Ignite. No loss of momentum as they delivered a mighty Eloise (always a real treasure live).


A mention for 60’s garage bands specifically Arthur Lee and Love as they struck up into Alone Again Or. A shout to Eddie Cochran’s influence came from the Captain as he introduced the eternal highlight of Neat Neat Neat, at the end of which Dave disappeared off stage. Dave’s exit saw Santa’s arrival just in time for the seasonal favourite – There Ain’t No Sanity Clause, which rounded out the main set nicely.


Encore time and EiTC is one happy bunny as they do the business with the charming Under The Floor Again. Then it is Dave’s audience participation time as he gets one willing chap from the audience to utter the immortal introduction to New Rose ‘Is she really going out with him?


Keeping up the pace with Nasty before throwing in their ‘other’ Christmas song…


The Turkey song sees them joined onstage by a chap known as Turkey (the inspiration for the song). The legendary Charlie Harper joins in holding up a poster of Monty’s artwork of a Turkey. They are then joined by the lovely Gaye Advert who was holding up Monty’s Rhino poster, in time for the second verse. Brilliantly surreal!


Before we knew it, it was time to Smash It Up and then, it was… Over…

Or was it…

Well no it wasn’t, as the Captain continued in the party spirit with an acapella rendition of Happy Talk concluding in a scatological scoobie doobie kind of way.

Then it was over…

Or was it…

Outside at the Merch Stall we encountered the delightful Greet and then rubbed shoulders with The Captain himself, who along with Pidge, used all his will power to not talk about footie and instead chatted about Groundhogs, guitars and stuff. Perfect!


…Or was it?


Croydon Calling 2.0.

As we wound or way home Dibdab and me found ourselves riding that midnight train…

Well okay, it was actually the 11.47 to Caterham but close enough! We boarded carriage number four where we were drawn as a moth to the flame by some damn fine bluegrass picking. There we found ourselves taking a prime spot next to Jack Baker and Chris Lord (Mandolin and Banjo respectively) Croydon’s finest Bluegrass band – The Vanguards.


We were with them just three short stops but they treated us to Old Ebenezer Scrooge, Pike County Breakdown and Flint Hill Special. Brilliant! Must catch the full band soon!

Over… (Really!)

Words: EiTC

Photos: EiTC and Dibdab

Bonus Damned:

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Bonus Featherz:

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Bonus Vanguards:

Bonus Crowd:

bro CharlKarl cro cro1 cro2 cro3 cro4 dibelv  kali

Bonus Pre and Post Gig:

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rhino pidge pidcap elvcap

7 thoughts on “Gig review – The Damned – The Featherz – The Vanguards – O2 Islington and On A Train 20-12-15.”

  1. Loved the review of the Featherz’ slot. One small niggle – their drummer is called Dazzle, not Daniel. There *was* in fact a Daniel in the band for a couple of months during this autumn past – but he was a second guitarist, not the drummer.

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