Not the Captain's Birthday Party?

by: The Damned

No, it wasn't really Captain Sensible's birthday when the Damned played the November 27, 1977, show at London's Roundhouse from which this eight-song EP was drawn (hence its availability in slightly longer form as Not the Captain's Birthday Party?). But despite the recent departure of original drummer Rat Scabies (Jon Moss is behind the kit here, several years before he would lose all punk credibility by joining Culture Club), the Damned are in fine form here -- big, loud, a bit sloppy, and always over the top, just the way fans love them most. Concentrating on songs from Damned Damned Damned and Music for Pleasure, The Captain's Birthday Party is too short (and how come "I Fell" has been left off this version?), but otherwise documents the on-stage outrage of the early Damned quite nicely, thank you, and the recording and mix capture the details just fine, right down to the occasional bursts of feedback. Not quite essential, but a real kick for folks who dug this band in their scrappy early days, though the occasional interjections of second guitarist Lu Edmonds suggest where the Damned would be headed in a few years. ~ Mark Deming

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