I first saw The Damned performing Nasty on an episode of the Young Ones back in 1984. To me they were a revelation. Dave Vanian’s charismatic vocals and presence were like electricity to a young man and I was hooked. I was a little young to immerse in the whole Goth thing at that stage but I still appreciated their music – a mixture of moody Goth pop with a rock backbone.
Even though their lineup changed after the Young Ones episode with Captain Sensible leaving the band after playing a final concert and being replaced by Roman Jugg who had previously been a part-time keyboard player for the band, The Damned soon after realised their greatest commercial and chart success with a cover of the 1968 Barry Ryan hit ‘Eloise‘. The song was a sensation and peaked at #3 on the UK charts in 1986.
For me, even though it is not a The Damned original Eloise is the song with which the band is most strongly associated and having received ‘The Damned‘ treatment Eloise does not fail to impress. It is an absolute ripper.
The Damned have enjoyed incredible longevity and are basically the band who defined the Goth/Pop genre. Since 1976 the band has seen many lineup changes and still continues to tour. Most recently they have supported Motorhead ont he UK leg of their world tour. 35 years on The Damned are still delivering their moody blend of Pop and Rock.
The Damned have been Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible, Stu West, Monty Oxy Moron, Pinch, Brian James, Rat Scabies, Lu Edmunds, Algy Ward, Paul Gray, Roman Jugg, Bryn Merrick, Kris Dollimore, Alan Lee Shaw, Moose Harris, Patricia Morrison, Jon Moss and Lemmy.
As much as they would detest the term The Damned are seriously cool and their rendition of Eloise is similarly seriously cool.