Dave Vanian and the Phantom Chords

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Dave Vanian and the Phantom Chords
Dave Vanian.jpg
David Vanian
Background information
Also known asThe Phantom Chords
David Vanian & the Phantom Chords
GenresGothic rock, gothabilly, psychobilly
Years active1990—c.1999
LabelsPolydor, Big Beat, Camden Town
Associated actsThe Damned, Naz Nomad and the Nightmares
MembersDave Vanian (vocals)
Roman Jugg (guitars)
Brendan Mooney (guitars)
Clyde Dempsey (drums)
Charmaine de Valois (bass)
Steff B. Joseph (bass)
Donagh O'Leary (bass)
Rat Scabies (drums)
Steve Lawrence (bass)
Bryn Merrick (bass)

Dave Vanian and the Phantom Chords (a.k.a. (the) Phantom Chords) were a 1990s British rock band, featuring The Damned's Dave Vanian on vocals. Playing rockabilly and gothic rock, sometimes referred to as gothabilly, they performed a mixture of covers and new material.


Following the 1989 breakup of The Damned, Vanian, guitarist Roman Jugg and bassist Bryn Merrick formed the Phantom Chords with Brendan Mooney (guitar) and Clyde Dempsey (drums). In 1990, the debut single by the band ("Johnny Remember Me", a cover of a Geoff Goddard song) was released on Polydor in Australia and M&G Records in the UK.

However, although an 11-track album (including "Johnny Remember Me") was written, and Polydor planned to release it, this did not happen, and only two one-sided acetates of it exist (although it has since become available through bootlegs). A promotional cassette was available for purchase at some of the venues when the band toured the United States later in 1993.

The Phantom Chords released another single in 1992, "Town Without Pity" (a cover of a 1960s Dimitri Tiomkin/Ned Washington song) on Camden Town Records. Now featuring Donagh O'Leary on bass following the departure of Bryn Merrick In 1995, after touring in Britain and the US, they released a full-length album, David Vanian and the Phantom Chords, on Big Beat Records. At this time they performed "This House Is Haunted" on VH1 UK [1] as well as "Born To Be Wicked" on ITV's It's Bizarre.

The band's line-up was variable. A 1993 Damned reunion (I'm Alright Jack and The Beanstalk) and later resumption of The Damned (with Vanian and Captain Sensible) meant that the Phantom Chords became a side project for Vanian, and they have released nothing since 1995. Roman Jugg left Phantom Chords, saying "I got fed up with relying on someone who was unreliable".[2] However, concerts by Phantom Chords were still taking place in December 1999.[3]




Released as 12" single, 7" and CD.
Featured "Johnny Remember Me" (Goddard) b/w "Ghost Train" and "Relentless"
  • "Town Without Pity" (1992, Camden Town)
Featured "Town Without Pity" b/w "(She's a) Bad Motorcycle"


  • Barry Hutchinson: After The Lights Go Out: A Biography of The Phantom Chords. 2015.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "YouTube". Youtube.com. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Roman Jugg Interview". Web.archive.org. 22 October 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Phantom Chords Gig review". Homepages.nildram.co.uk. Retrieved 5 January 2018.

External links[edit]