THE DAMNED Rejoined By Original Drummer RAT SCABIES

November 17, 2023

According to Vive Le Rock, original THE DAMNED drummer Rat Scabies has officially rejoined the band.

The 68-year-old musician, whose real name is Christopher Millar, last performed with THE DAMNED in 2022 after departing the band in 1996.

Rat tells Vive Le Rock: "Well, it came about after the reunion shows in October/November 2022. We all had a good time doing them, and then they did the last album, 'Darkadelic', and toured it, and now it's time to do something else. We're still upright and breathing and capable to do it, so seems right time. A lot of punters seem to want to see this lineup, so it's time to do it. We will probably do the best of 'The Black Album' and 'Strawberries' album and chuck in a few other classics. It's another challenge for me doing those songs."

He continued: "I think we're playing Japan and Australia in the New Year, then some festival shows in summer, and then a proper U.K. tour end of 2024. [We are] talking about [doing] three nights at the Roundhouse too, which we have a lot of history with playing there way back with THE TROGGS and MOTÖRHEAD and THE ADVERTS.

"Paul's [Gray, bass] playing great — [I] just did the PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN album thing with him — as is Captain [Sensible, guitar] and Dave's [Vanian, vocals] singing great too, so it's going to be really good to be back."

According to Vive Le Rock, Rat even hinted that recording new material is not out of the question.

This past August, Scabies reflected on the band's 2022 reunion tour in an interview with Vintage Rock Pod, saying: "I think if there hadn't been money on the table, it would never have happened. But once we kind of started… There was always a thing in THE DAMNED that each individual thought they were the best one in the group. And that actually kind of was still there. Nobody wanted to let the side down, is probably a better way of putting it. Once it became obvious that everybody was gonna go for it, everybody was quite determined to make it work, and I think everybody wanted it to be good. And kind of the band took over again. The money became less important and the fact that everybody got on and we all kind of kissed and made up and were actually having a really good time playing the songs. The whole thing became a much greater experience than I thought it was going to be."

Asked if he thought there was a chance of another reunion of THE DAMNED's original lineup happening in the not-too-distant future, Rat told Vintage Rock Pod: "It's not completely done, because it went well. If we'd have all had a miserable time, then I'd say no for sure. But the funny thing was, really, at the end, after the last show, we all chatted at different times and we all agreed that we had a great time doing it and it was fun and if the chance came up and it was the right opportunity, then maybe we should do it again. Whether that'll happen or not — it hasn't happened so far, so it's sort of an optimistic thing, I suppose. It was nice that all those burning bridges in the background had finally [been mended]."

As for whether he had been in contact with the other fellow original members of THE DAMNED since the completion of the reunion tour, Rat told Vintage Rock Pod: "To a degree. The guys have been real busy 'cause they have a new album out and, obviously, they wanna promote it and tour and do everything like that. So they've been out on the road quite a lot so I haven't really been in touch with them directly, but management and tour management and people, [we're] just sort of staying in touch."

Circling back to the possibility of another THE DAMNED reunion, Scabies said: "Who knows? Who knows?"

THE DAMNED's original lineup played its first show together in more than 30 years in October 2022 in London, England. Joining Scabies for the 21-song set were Vanian, Sensible and Brian James.

The English rockers first announced their reunion tour in 2020, with dates slated for the following year. However, the shows were later postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and moved to late 2022.

THE DAMNED's reunion set included songs from the band's two 1977 albums, "Damned Damned Damned" and "Music For Pleasure", as well as covers of THE STOOGES' "1970", THE BEATLES' "Help!", Bo Diddley's "Pills" and THE ROLLING STONES' "The Last Time".

The original lineup played further U.K. shows in November 2022 in Glasgow and Birmingham. After that, THE DAMNED resumed recording and touring with its current lineup of Vanian, Sensible, Gray, longtime keyboardist Monty Oxymoron and drummer Will Taylor.

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