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Doyle @ Glasgow,Audio

Doyle @ Audio, Glasgow

Misfits monster Doyle hits the Uk for his first ever solo tour over here so as you can imagine there was a huge amount of interest and some really annoying fans.

Before we got to the legend himself we had Manchester based band The Dead X111 and boy did they put in a storming set. I have caught this band live a few times in this city and they never fail to provide anything less than a top class show.

The boys are doing the full UK tour so if you get the chance do not miss them. The room was already packed for the opening of their set which came about with the shortest band switch over I have ever seen. Doyle must have had the marching orders out earlier(and lets face it who is going to argue with him?).

The band kicked off with “Frostbite” and the horror show began. The songs are dirty, scuzzy, right from the gutter and it suited this crowd well. They have a Misfits vibe with the theatrical content and blood splatter of Rob Zombie. They can work a stage, even if they have no space due to the large stage set from Doyle. As they kicked of their songs the bands heads were banging and talcum powder was pouring in clouds from their hair.

Front man Kurt Blackshard cuts a dark figure behind the mic and to give you an idea of how this man works the audience I have to take you back some way in his history. Imagine if you can a hospital room, brightly lit. on a bed is a woman with sweat running down her brow and fear on her face. This is Kurt’s mother as she brings little Kurt into this world. As he crawls from the birth canal bathed in blood he does not cry, he does whimper, no, he he hits the outside world to the words of “ Let me hear you fucking scream” (Which I am sure his mother duly assisted with).

The band flew threw their far too short eight set song but they managed to cram it full of cracking numbers that has you singing along and wanting to rip someones head off. The crowd took to them instantly and with numbers like “Bloodlines”, Catacombs” and the incredible “X111” this is no wonder. A brilliant band with some excellent songs, they are a must see band if you have not already.

As soon as The Dead X111 finish the front of stage gets even fuller, the anticipation is building as we all know we are about to witness something never before seen in this city. The lights dimmed, drummer Brandon Pertzborn took to his stool and blasted straight into some beats. Guitar and bass started to pour from the PA but there was still no band as they were stage left awaiting a big reception, one that they got in abundance and then the band filed out with Doyle himself last on, his huge hulking figure, laid bare to the waste and that familiar white face and long front forelock…we were now going to be beaten to a pulp.

The front three band members could all have passed for Hollywood actors as you had onstage Frankenstein himself, Logan(AKA Wolverine) and Angry Anderson( In Mad Max, beyond Thunderdome), the talent was out and we were all in awe.

They blasted into opener “Abominator” and the crowd were in full voice. As I was also taking photos tonight I managed to get up close and personal to Doyle and that is a bit scary. You can understand where the monster tagline came from. I am no small man but seeing him before me reminded me of when I first stood next to wrestling legend The Undertaker. I just felt inferior. Even at 6 feet 2 I had to crane my neck to see him and his physique was mind blowing….just like Doyle himself.

As you watch this man who has twisted punk, metal, hardcore, death and horror into one screaming nightmare of musical brutality stroll around that stage hammering the living death out of his instrument it makes you actually feel sorry for an inanimate object…there was a song called as my guitar gently weeps, nope, not for Doyle as this should be as my guitar screams into submission. Boy do they take some abuse.

The set tonight is as you can imagine predominantly made up of Doyle solo songs which according to vocalist Alex Story are pretty much all love songs(somebody check his back garden for corpses!). But for the few hardcore idiot Misfits fans this is not good enough (I mean c’mon guys, read the posters, check your ticket, what were you expecting). But no, they decide it is better to hurl abuse and shout for Misfit tracks during every break between songs. They were soon shot down by Alex who stated “This is our gig and we will play what the fuck we want, if you do not like it leave”. This was also shoved down their throat by the fans around them who informed them in a not so polite manner to” be quiet now old chap, let the gentlemen play please as we are particularly enjoying this feast of music”.

The set was fast, sweaty and filled with anger with songs like “Devil lock”, “Mark Of The Beast” and “Blood Feast” and everyone was deep into the vibe straight from the off. It was 12 songs in before we heard our first Misfits track in “Green Hell” and as to be expected some shit went down. The other Misfit tracks came hard and fast after that with “Last Caress”, “Skulls” and an amazing version of “Die, Die My Darling”. Story tied this one down a treat and for me this moment took the show to a whole new level.

The show was wrapped up with “Hope That Hell Is Warm” and Doyle ran through the crowd and into the night like Frankenstein being chased by pitchfork wielding locals. This will go down in my books as a classic one to remember gig, for me something different and something I thought I would never see so the bucket list is another band down and if you are swithering whether to go to any of the remaining UK or European shows let me tell you now…DO NOT MISS THIS!!

Images and Review Ritchie Birnie


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_MG_7676 (1)Doyle (Ex Misfits) 

The Venue.

I have been to the O2 before, or at least I thought I had. What I didn’t realise is that there are 2 venues within the building. We initially joined the wrong queue standing amongst ‘normal’ people in a variety of Saturday night out attire. Now bear in mind this is Newcastle in winter and the YouTube sketch of Vic and Bob in the Antarctic has never rung more true. Guys in this short sleeved shirts and cropped trousers, girls in miniskirts, mini dresses, high heels and tops that didn’t leave too much to the imagination, therefore I have deduced that there is no seasonal clothing in Newcastle just Sunday – Monday and weekend clothes so every Friday and Saturday is classed as summer. I started to question if we were at the right place. I rechecked my pass and my son his ticket and times / dates etc. when a security guy came along the queue asking if we were all there for some ‘Saturday Showcase’ or something. Looking a bit perplexed we said ‘No’ we are here to see Doyle’. Fortunately he only told us we were in the wrong queue and not that it had been cancelled and to go around the corner. The 2nd queue was much smaller with around 10-15 people so the sell-out I was expecting was looking unlikely but ironically I felt more at home amongst my denim clad head-bangers, punks, goths and my kind ‘normal’ people. A couple of lads who probably weren’t even born when the Misfits were out were dressed as Doyle including the full spike, I put that down to good parenting.

When we got inside we were directed upstairs to a much smaller room than the main arena which only held around 300 – 350 people maximum and looking at the minimal lighting rig I started to thank the stars I had recently bought an new fast lens.

The 2 support bands, Defcon-1 a local North East band and Dead X111 a band from the midlands had finished and left and the room now was pretty full, my guess around 250 people. I entered into the smallest pit area I have ever seen. The usual barriers are pushed right up to the stage so in order to walk along to get different angles was a no go. Where you stood, or in this case sat ‘side-saddle’ style was where you stayed. Fortunately there was only the O2 house photographer and I in the pit and I knew Doyle predominantly stands stage left so I let the house photographer in 1st.

The usual whistling started and enter the band, I pretty much knew what they would open with as this was their debut album it had to be the title track ‘Abominator’ the initial roar and opening chords proved my initial lighting fears as becoming true, there was no ‘light show’ to speak of just the house lighting which wasn’t the brightest and as Doyle stands to the left, this are of the stage was also the darkest. Oh well I thought, crank up the ISO and get on with it.

Abominator rolled straight into Headhunter and learn to Bleed, 3 tracks off their new album which set the tone nicely this was going to be a very loud, hot and heavy night, Abominator is a hell of an opening track a mix of Iron Maidens early riffs from their ‘Killers’ days and Black Sabbaths bassy drawls.

I can honestly say that over the years and the hundreds of gigs I have been to I have never seen anyone play a guitar with so much venom and speed as Doyle the strings must be made of Titanium and his fingertips made of concrete. That said the drummer is no slouch either can he hit those skins fast and hard. Half expecting a complete change of instruments it didn’t come as a surprise when Doyle passed his bespoke guitar to the road crew for a new one. Sometimes this is done for the song type but I had a feeling this was because he had broken a string or some fault or other.

Obviously there were numerous Misfits fans here so it was always going to be a mix of old and new so they continued with Queen Wasp, Where Eagles dare and Devilock , songs that were all introduced as ‘Love songs, dance along and sing along’ songs by lead singer Alex Story and the crowd duly played along. Even though the venue was small the crowd areless than a metre for the stage a Mosh pit was formed and the fans eagerly participated.

Valley of the Souls, followed by Mark of the Beast which is another track from Abominator that has one of the best into’s ever and I just know someone will have it as their ringtone soon, it is up there with the opening chords of ‘Sweet Child of Mine, Paranoid etc. and into Drawing down the Sun continued the tone. By now Doyle had changed his guitar a couple more times. These guitars are not your average Fender, Gibson style off the shelf guitars. If you watch Doyle’s YouTube videos he explains in 1 interview that has his own workshop and custom builds his own stuff to his own design. Looking through my post gig photographs, these units are real heavy duty axes held together by some bloody strong bolts so built for some real punishment.

Cemetery Sexx off the new album is a peach of a song in true death metal style of carrying out a little bit of intimate romance in a graveyard, I am sure we have all been there!!! This leads into a really fast and heavy drum solo, even at 1/250th second shutter speed which is fast enough to freeze helicopter rotor blades his hands were still blurred.

Back to the Misfits with Green Hell, Blood Feast and Last Caress songs that in all honesty I am not familiar with but Doyle don’t seem to have changed direction in their style.

Bloodstains’ followed by what is my favourite track from Abominator ‘Dreaming Dead Girls’ this song slowed the pace down a bit but when you have sing a long opening lyrics like ‘What turns me on the most is a girl without a pulse’ really get the crowd singing and if those words are not descriptive enough, the following verse opens with ‘The quickest way to her heart is to cut through her fucking chest’, this is real romantic stuff now, swiftly into Land of the Dead which also has got one hell of an intro, imagine a Drag car creeping towards the start line, gently on the gas, then Red; Amber; Green and then opening full throttle, this is that kind of song.

Closing the set with a couple more Misfit tracks in the shape of Skulls and Die Die Die my Darling and finally the final track from Abominator with Hope Hell is Warm.

This was a pure rush of blood set, fast, heavy, loud, full of energy. As the venue is small I managed to speak briefly with Alex Story as he waited to get in the small 4 man lift, he told me that they only brought 4 guitars with them for the tour and Doyle had broken 3 of them in that set. I thought he had gone through about 6 or 7. I think today will be a day in a joiners shop repairing them or hastily making new ones.All in all an excellent gig, well recommended and if you are reading this and you not sure whether to go, just go it’s well worth it.

Full set list: Abominator. 2 Headhunter. 3. Learn to Bleed. 4 Queen wasp. 5. Where eagles dare. 6. Devilock. 7. Valley of the Souls. 8. Mark of the beast. 9. Drawing down the sun. 10. Cemetery Sexx. 11. Drum Solo. 12. Green Hell. 13. Blood Feast. 14. Last Caress. 15. Blood stains. 16. Dreaming Dead Girls. 17. Land of the Dead. 18. Skulls. 19. Die Die Die. 20. Hope Hell is Warm.

Tour In Newcastle

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The Crauford Arms

It’s not often I’m late for a gig, and the bar man tells me, “The first act are on stage in two minutes!” Yeikes! I spend five sorting out my kit so my two minutes becomes more seven. I can hear the first act on stage as I make my way in. I then smack myself across the head with my camera body for being LATE!

On stage, a band who go by the super name of of “The Acid Ballet;” a local four piece lead by Angus Peachey on vocals, brother Isaac plays drums, Jordan Martin and Lucy Allison on guitars… and an impressionist dancer who I might have bumped into on once or twice. Great to see none the less!

Now, if ever there was a band I’ve seen recently who I might put as a headline act, these guys would be it (in my own, fantasy festival!). Angus is the sort of performer who is very reminiscent of the late, great David Bowie. Youíll see that charisma come right across in the images shot on the night; a theatrical performer who I could tell has a lot of stage experience. I was gutted to had missed the opening, I can only imagine what it may have been like. With Matt doing impressionist dance, it can only have been good.

Bands like ìThe Acid Ballet,î will definitely go a long way, and itís always great to see bands of this ilk (and such as Haema who I photographed in Northampton a few weeks ago), in their infancy as theyíre the type of band you want to be able to say, ìI saw them back in í17,î when they played The Crauford Arms.

I spoke during the interval after their performance with Angus who tells me that The MK based band are upping sticks and heading down to ìThe Big City,î to excite the London music scene somewhat. London is in for a real treat!

The set list for their performance this evening included ìBride Antibody,î ìHusk,î ìNevaeh,î ìSleeper Cell,î and a great rendition of Bauhausís ìBela Lugosi’s Dead.î Thereís a digital EP available via the bandís Facebook page!

Johnny and The Mental Breakdown were next up. This band are refreshinglyÖ punk with some of the tracks a fusion between punk and 12-bar chords, with the intro to ìPoundlandî reminding me of “The Undertones, ì”Teenage Kicks.” Indeed, this set took me back to my teenage years, when my friends used to go to ìThe Wednesday Club,î in Streatham during Punk’s infancyÖwhere weíd bring records and take turns playing on the record playerÖ an with my mate Gary fearful of me becoming a fully-fledged punk! Nothing has really taken me back there until listening to this band which I had to take time out and shake the hand of Jon Ellams (lead vocals and guitar).

Another local band, with Andy Hughes on bass, Jack Isaac playing guitar/vocals and Scott Bickers on drums, the band played a set which went down a storm with the crowd. The track, ìJohnny,î for some reason reminded me of ìThe Jam,î a bit of a step change from the other tracks performed on the night which started with ìASBO!î and included ìOh Yeah and ìPsycho.î These guys play music which is close to any self-respecting rockerís heart, so Iíve definitely enjoyed hearing them which is definitely a good thing… So are the crowd too! Loved the track “Johnny,” reminded me of something close to The Jam.

Their album in an ìup to the establishment features some twenty four or so tracks, and worth a listen though, definitely not for children. Itís good, honest music.

I had misread the running order and hadnít realised there were four bands on this evening, not three. Having played Birmingham, Chester, Glasgow, Newcastle and London TBC, The Dead XIII took to the stage for the penultimate night of their week-long tour. You canít say they donít know hard work. The MK five piece have been out promoting their album ìCatacombs,î and showed no signs of fatigue as they went about thrilling the crows with a set full of deep grungy bass, they held the crowd with their stage presence really well and did what they could, cramped into such a small area. Five or six tracks performed; look forward to seeing these guys in festival territory. The band from Manchester are Kurt Blackshard on lead vocals, Guitar/ Vocals/, Symon Strange on synth, Ste Mahoney plays lead guitar, Paul Ryan on bass and Spike Owen on the drums, had the venue rocking to their set which included ìCatacombs,î ìCanít Escape,î and ìStage Fright.î Their obviously seasoned professionals; the crowd obviously knew them, theyíd almost certainly played The Crauford Arms in the past, but were also still exceptionally great to seeÖ the very epos of what a rock band should be on stage.

It was about a quarter to ten, when the artist we know as ìDoyle,î but officially known as Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, walked out onto the stage, with fellow musicians Alex Story of Cancerslug, Brandon Strate playing bass, and Brandon Pertzborn on the drums. The sheer size of Doyle takes the crowd quite by surprise, standing at a towering 6í2î heís by far the tallest person on stage. Sporting his customary make-up and ribbed black leather jeans, Pertzborn takes to the drums while Strate, Story and Doyle stand with their backs to the crowd. A hush adorns the intimate, but fairly well packed out Crauford Arms before the band who are sporting The UK leg of the ìAbdominate World Tour, simultaneously turn and burst into, ìAbdominatorî The crowd understandably go pretty wild, whilst Doyle takes a commanding position to the right of stage.

Itís a great set with Doyle doing his best to be there for the cameras whilst also playing to the adorning crowd and playing a few coversÖ ìQueen Wasp,î ìDevilock,î ìGreen Hellî and ìBloodfeast,î formerly performed by The Misfits, as well as a great drum solo by Pertzborn giving the crowd just enough time to find themselves againÖa unique interlude before launching into tracks like, ìDreamingdeadgirls,î ìHope That Hell is Warm,î and a few more Misfits cover which included ìDie, Die My Darling.î

Comically, Story announces four tracks saying, ìThe next song youíre gonna hear, is a love song, but you can dance if you want to.î A great way of breaking it up with onlookers faces reading, ìThatís whatícha said last time!î

They looked great; sounded great and were warmly received by the crowd which was quite sizeable; smiling contented faces, pleased that the big man, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein,î had come and played, in their town.

The tour moves on via London, to The Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Spain, France and not forgetting Switzerland.

The Crauford Arms

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