In 1977, legendary punk pioneers The Damned were denied a chance to perform at the Royal Albert Hall, deemed ‘not suitable group for appearance here’ by the Hall’s management. 39 years later, we lifted the ban for a special performance marking the band’s 40th anniversary.

Look below for exclusive photos from this extraordinary night:

The Damned © Christie Goodwin
Dave Vanian, The Damned © Christie Goodwin
The Damned © Christie Goodwin

In suitably dark and dramatic style, Dave Vanian opened the evening from high up beneath the Hall’s organ wearing a mask and black cape, with a track from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Phantom of the Opera’, before launching into the set.

The Damned © Christie Goodwin
Dave Vanian, The Damned © Christie Goodwin
The Damned © Christie Goodwin

Notorious for their anarchic live shows, fast-paced music and biting lyrics, The Damned are true pioneers of the punk genre – the first punk band from the UK to release a single, New Rose, in 1976, an album, Damned Damned Damned, in 1977, and the first to tour the US. Their success undoubtedly paved the way for British punk, and later goth rock.

Dave Vanian, The Damned © Christie Goodwin

The Damned © Christie Goodwin

The band’s excitement at making their long awaited debut, and the audience’s elation, made for an electric three-hour show, which included their classic tracks performed in reverse chronological order, ending with New Rose.

The Damned © Christie Goodwin
The Damned © Christie Goodwin
Dave Vanian, The Damned © Christie Goodwin
The Damned © Christie Goodwin

All photos © Christie Goodwin