David Vanian and His Phantom Chords
David Vanian: Innovative, legendary, mysterious, songwriter, crooner, co-founder of The Damned, founder of The Phantom Chords, back in America, back to perform.
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Best known as the lead vocalist of The Damned, the British seminal punk band he co-founded in 1976, David Vanian has become a musical icon during the past 25 years. With The Phantom Chords, David Vanian leads a band that allows him to unleash his alter ego. Vanian channels the spirits of legends like producer Joe Meek and country's tragic sweetheart Patsy Cline into a truly unforgettable experience that verges on psychobilly but stays true to American roots music. With a veneer of highly cultured irony, Vanian's affection and respect for what lurks in the shadows of music history shine forth for all to see.
The Phantom Chord's recorded material is difficult to find; even their inimitable version of John Leyton's spectral classic Johnny Remember Me has become highly collectable. No other band is more perfectly suited to this poignant tale of a lover's plea from beyond the grave, and no other singer besides David Vanian could make such melodramatic romance his own. It seems fitting that most copies of this single have passed over to the other side.
The 1995 release Big Beat Presents David Vanian and the Phantom Chords (recorded using all-valve technology, naturally) is less obscure than the Phantom Chords earlier recordings. Among its gems are Johnny Guitar, (a tune redolent of the gunpowder used by Joan Crawford in the eponymous film), Tonight We Ride (which captures the wildness of the mythic West) and This House Is Haunted (a reverie of echoing loss). The Phantom Chords' music takes its listeners on an adventure, beginning in the Old West and ending up on Route 66. Vanian puts it all on the table: love, loss, desperation and, finally, redemption.
Could that be the sound of horses' hooves driving the Devil's herd across a moonlit sky? Judge for yourself. Take this rare opportunity to experience David Vanian and his Phantom Chords live.
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