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AAA Music | 12 August 2020

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Damage @ Jazz Cafè

| On 29, Jul 2012

London, 21st July

Damage in the 90’s there was a R&B act called Damage and they took the chart by storm with hit after hit with even the likes of Biggie Smalls (AKA Notorious B.I.G) writing songs for the five piece. Over the years after the band disbanded they started writing songs for other acts and these songs were even bigger but the two albums they released during their time together produced four top ten singles and a barrage of chart entries. Now the singers decided it was time for a reunion and five have become four and tonight is their first proper gig for over a decade. The venue is very nice and classy, heaving with people who want to see them in action. To everyone’s surprise a familiar face walks out to introduce the band, no other than Keith Lemon (AKA Avid Merrin) of Bo Selector fame. He is the guy famous for driving Craig David out of the UK. The comedian has always been keen on soulful music and jokes about being in a band with Jade Jones one of the Damage singers but sadly it didn’t work. He is really funny and makes a good introduction to the evening and it is sad when he has to go. They open the shows with the harmonies of ‘Love II Love’ which was their second single from their debut album. At first you don’t realise where the singing is coming from and then you see them walking around the balcony of the venue and then down the stairs singing the melodies as they move along. Damage have had a lot of memorable songs and it’s a bit sad half way through when they waste time singing other peoples songs that are played by the DJ in the venue, especially when they don’t play certain songs from their back catalogue and their great cover version of the Earth, Wind and Fire 1979 hit ‘After the love has Gone’ which is one of the best cover versions I have ever heard.
Damage do really pull out all the stops tonight with special guests including ‘Emma Bunton, Alessia Dixon and Kelly Le Rock’ who enhance the bands sound. They don’t need the help though because the band are back to the form they were in when they decided to call it a day. The only thing is in a few places they don’t seem to have the confidence that they should have backing of on some of the higher vocals. I think they need slightly more practice and when Jade forgets the lyrics to mega cover hit ‘Wonderful Tonight’ you feel maybe they should have really spent more time before playing, it is even more embarrassing because everyone in the audience seem to know every word. It’s a nice show and they have a full live band behind them that seem very talented especially the drummer, the keyboard player does run a little through some old cliché chords but it does not damper the tempo of the performance which is high impact the whole way through. The best moment is the Michael Jackson Esq. Hit ‘Forever’ and the interaction with the special guests. Emma Bunton looks like a sex kitten and is in fine form for the Spice Girls Reunion and the other girls get down as dirty as Christina Aguilera and that’s the ones on stage and the ones in the crowd. This was probably the hottest gig of the weekend and you had to be there to see it.

Damage – Setlist
Love II Love
Good Folks
Sure Enough
Love Guaranteed
So what if I
You’re so Fly
Wonderful Tonight
Still be loving You
I don’t Know
Ghetto Romance


Daniel Cairns