5 minutes with...Captain Sensible of The Damned

The Damned have paved the way for punk rock in the UK since the '70s. We talk to founding member, true punk hero and adopted Brightonian Captain Sensible, ahead of the band's 40th anniversary performance at Brighton Dome.

I knew I wanted to be a performer when… I saw T Rex play the Fairfield Halls, Croydon. I was having no luck whatsoever with the ladies and yet this bloke had them throwing themselves at him. I started saving for a guitar that week.

My first public performance took place at… Beulah Heights community festival with early Johnny Moped lineup. We masked our musical ineptitude by claiming we were playing free form jazz.

The first gig I went to was… Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Titch... somewhere in Streatham when I was 10 and had nagged my mum to take me.

The first album I ever bought was… the Rolling Stones psychedelic masterpiece 'Their Satanic Majesties Request' - what a way to start a record collection.

My favourite part of touring is… getting up in the morning and purchasing a day travel pass then riding the towns local bus, rail and (if they have them) tram network. I've been doing that for 40 years now so probably more public transport knowledge than some local councils I could mention.

My favourite song to perform live is… Neat Neat Neat - its just a great riff to jam around.

The last song I listened to was… Eleanor by the Turtles. 60s pop still sounds fresh to me.

The proudest moment of my career to date was when… my Dad attended his first Damned show and said that, apart from all the swearing he'd quite enjoyed it.

If I wasn’t performing, I’d probably be… that's the whole point. I have no other discernible talents. There was no plan 'b', it was twang a guitar or bust.

People would be surprised to learn that… I was the singer of the TV's Big Break theme tune - composed by head Womble Mike Batt and recorded in Abbey Road with a live band. Shame the programme is off the telly, I used to enjoy the repeat fees.

The best thing about living in Brighton is… you can be yourself without worrying what everyone else thinks. The is the last refuge for those who don't fit in anywhere else.

The Damned are at Brighton Dome on 24 November.

This interview appears in the third issue of Brighton Dome feat.

feat. is a free music & culture magazine featuring exclusive content, interviews, and photos of some of the contemporary artists that we’re so proud to have gracing the stages of Brighton Dome’s iconic venues.