ALBUM REVIEW: The Damned - Fiendish Shadows

The Damned - Fiendish Shadows (Westworld Recordings/4Worlds Media)
The Damned - Fiendish Shadows (Westworld Recordings/4Worlds Media)

This is a reissue of a live album which was recorded either at Santa Monica Civic in December 1986, or Woolwich Coronet a month earlier, depending on where you take your information from – the CD booklet doesn’t say.

It was recorded at a time when The Damned - the first punk band to release a single, the first to release an album, the first to split up, and the first to reform - were going through their gothic phase, and had lost original guitarist Captain Sensible, who was pursuing a successful solo career.

A third of the tracklisting is therefore culled from their most successful album, 1985's Phantasmagoria, including its trio of Top 40 singles, Grimly Fiendish, The Shadow Of Love and Is It A Dream?

It also includes some Damned classics which remain popular staples of their live sets to this day - Wait For The Blackout, Smash It Up, Love Song and, the song which started it all, New Rose.

Most interestingly, it also includes a couple of covers, I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night, popularised by the Electric Prunes/13th Floor Elevators, and Iggy Pop's Lust For Life.

Originally released on CD by the Cleopatra label in 1997, and later reissued on vinyl only, it's now available again on both formats, and is a decent record of where Dave Vanian and co were at a decade into their existence. 6/10. GW