The Damned scoop classic rock award

This Is Lancashire: Lemmy, later famous with Motorhead, played with The Damned for a time Lemmy, later famous with Motorhead, played with The Damned for a time

Unsung punk act The Damned have been rewarded for their outstanding contribution to music, 36 years after making their recording debut.

The band, who charted with hits such as Smash It Up, Love Song and Eloise, were honoured at the Classic Rock Roll Of Honour.

They 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.

Other acts to collect honorary titles at the event included Texan rock trio ZZ Top who took the Living Legend Award, while late Deep Purple keyboard player Jon Lord was took the Tommy Vance Inspiration Award.

The Damned's long serving frontman Dave Vanian and beret-wearing guitarist Captain Sensible - who had his own brief chart-topping solo career - collected the band's Outstanding Contribution prize at the Roundhouse in Camden, north London.

The band, which has endured repeated 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.

Other recipients at the awards - fully known as The Orange Amplification Classic Rock Roll Of Honour - included Roz Music guitarist Phil Manzanera who collected the Maestro Award.

Canadian rock trio Rush were double winners at the event, taking the band of the year prize and the best album award for Clockwork Angels. Keyboard player Lord was honoured five months after his death at the age of 71 after fighting pancreatic cancer.

Pink Floyd's lavishly packaged "immersion" editions of back catalogue albums won the reissue of the year prize, and the DVD award went to The Story Of Wish You Were Here, looking at the making of the group's hit album.

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