During Covid-induced lockdown, baking banana bread and sourdough were the skills du jour, but when things opened up and life returned to some semblance of normal, some were having to resharpen other skills.

“After the two years of lockdown, well, I have to tell you that, when you get to a certain age, you tend to forget all the song lyrics and the riffs and I had to relearn the entire Damned set all over again,” says the band’s charismatic, beret-wearing guitarist, Captain Sensible.

A co-founder of the famous band, Captain Sensible, full name is Raymond Burns, has been, along with the line-up of lead vocalist David Vanian, Monty Oxymoron, Paul Gray and William Glanville-Taylor, touring Europe and the UK and last week they appeared at Glastonbury.

Lancashire Telegraph: Captain Sensible and fellow members of The Damned

The band, who charted with hits such as Smash It Up, Love Song and Eloise, are often celebrated as the first British punk act to release a single, after issuing their debut New Rose on the Stiff Records label in October 1976.

In 2014, Captain Sensible told WBUR-FM he adopted the name in the light of the irony of having been a “debauched maniac”.

Their debut album Damned Damned Damned was released in 1977 and their new album Darkadelic, released at the end of April, follows on from A Night of a Thousand Vampires, released last year.

“Actually, the only gaps that we’ve had in a 45-year career was the two years of Covid because we’ve actually been a touring band for all those years,” the 69-year-old says.

“Amazingly, I think you’re supposed to, as a punk group, make one album, full of mania and brimstone and fire and all the rest of it and then explode and split up or, as did poor old Sid Vicious (from the Sex Pistols), you know, kick the bucket, and then everyone calls you a legend.

Read also: Spirit of Rebellion still burns bright for UK Sub's Charlie Harper

“But The Damned didn’t do it that way. We went on this musical adventure.

“So from punk rock, we’ve kind of meandered through all sorts of genres and been instrumental in starting goth music and I had a rap hit, amazingly unlikely as it sounds, in 1982, with a song called Wot, which was number one in loads of countries all over Europe. So it’s been a funny old career.”

The band, which has seen line-up changes and reunions, had a run of minor hits in the Seventies.

And with a new line-up – which did not feature Sensible – they had further success in the mid 1980s, charting with songs such as Grimly Fiendish and adopting a gothic look to match Vanian’s vampiric image.

Over the years the band included Jon Moss – before he formed Culture Club – and, for a brief period when they were known as The Doomed, Motorhead’s Lemmy played bass.

They also released a spin-off album of garage psychedelia covers under the name Naz Nomad & The Nightmares.

The five-piece played most of the album on their recent tour, with Sensible having re-joined the line-up in 1986.

Released earlier this year, Darkadelic is the band’s 12th album and only their fourth this century.

The album title pays tribute to their enduring influence as a pioneering goth band and interest in psychedelia, with 12 tracks packed full of melodies and insistent hooks.

It also takes inspiration from two early 1980s albums – Strawberries (1982) and Phantasmagoria (1985) – when The Damned were trying to broaden their punk sound.

Darkadelic was recorded in Acton, west London, with the location prompting a story from Captain Sensible about him and Sid Vicious, who died in February 1979.

“I spent the night in the cells; Sid, being a better runner, managed to scarper,” Sensible recalls.

Read also: Another Girl, Another Planet .. another festival for The Only Ones

The Damned are, he says, still in touch with Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.

“We do his radio show when we go to Los Angeles. Good luck to them. I mean, good luck to anyone from ‘77 who lived through those crazy years and is still alive.

“Because, you know, we lived the rock and roll lifestyle. And it’s only now, (in) my advanced age that I realise how lucky I am to have survived that, because every stupid thing that was possible, we did.

“It was bloody good fun. I wish I could go back and relive it all actually, and do all the stupid stuff again… I used to work for British Rail and it’s a lot more fun than that.”

The band, who in 2012 were rewarded for their outstanding contribution to music at the Classic Rock Roll Of Honour awards, have remained at the forefront of the punk genre, something Sensible attributes to their loyal fans and hard work.

“Without them, we wouldn’t be here now. And for some reason or other they seem to still like us,” he says.

“I mean, in some respects, it’s a reaction against the plastic kind of over-produced nonsense that they call pop music these days.

“But I would say that, wouldn’t I?

Lancashire Telegraph:  The Damned (left to right) Captain Sensible, Brian James, Dave Vanian and Rat Scabies.

“The second reason why we’re still jumping around on stages like lunatics is unlike our contemporaries, the Sex Pistols, we didn’t utter a four-letter word on daytime TV.

“So it wasn’t us who were kind of… projected into mega stardom and become billionaires, we have to work for a living like everyone else in Britain. So that’s the second reason.

“And the third reason is, it’s bloody good fun standing up there in front of a loud amplifier. I think everyone should try it.”

The Sex Pistols’ appearance on Bill Grundy’s Thames Today programme in 1976 is still talked-about after a four-letter outburst on teatime television.

But for Sensible, it has, been a “marvellous experience”, he says, reflecting on it all – the music, touring and more.

“If I kick the bucket tomorrow, I’ve really enjoyed every minute of this wacky old life.

“But I might have chosen a better name than Captain Sensible… I should be an admiral at least!”

The Damned’s new album Darkadelic is out now on earMUSIC. The band are among the headliners at this year’s Rebellion Festival in Blackpool which runs from August 3-6. Details from www.rebellionfestivals.com