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Whippet Out – The Misfits + Goldblade + Dirt Box Disco, Glasgow ABC

Misfits620Call yourself a rock band? You ain’t shit without the stamp of approval from Howlin’ Whippet. How did this trio fare? 

I have to admit, the phenomenon of The Misfits kinda passed me by. I knew them from the huge amount of t-shirts that one sees around rather than for their music. That skull logo is iconic and seems to represents a whole slew of disaffected youth who love the band. But, come on, most youth are disaffected. That’s what they do. So are they any good?

As far as kitschy, camp horror-rock goes, I always believed that The Cramps did it before and way better. No matter, having dug out the albums for a quick refresher course, I made my way to the venue just in time for Manc-lads Dirt Box Disco. First impressions, I have to say, were not promising.

A five-piece band with any number of silly hats, daft outfits and face paint careening around the stage had me grimacing almost immediately. Hold that result. Despite the Viz Comic band-name and the clowning around, DBD are a band with some really good songs. That’s right; they’ve got material that other groups would kill for. Ok, some of the lyrical material is puerile; they’re fond of a chorus with “fuck” in it; but damn it, the songs are catchy, hook-laden and driven with a fizz-pop energy that would put groups half their age to shame. Their material is all heavy, buzzsaw guitars, thundering drums and don’t-give-a-monkeys joi de vivre. Finishing with ‘Let’s Get Wasted’ (the chorus of which goes –“C’mon, c’mon, let’s get fucking wasted”) got the fairly sparse, early doors crowd on their side and I think they made some new friends tonight.

Their new album is out soon and I recommend you check them out.

With little fuss, Goldblade take the stage. Playing as a truncated four-piece line-up tonight does not diminish their power. Pete Byrchmore’s guitar is set to stun and I barely notice the absence of other missing guitarist young Andy.

In something of a Goldblade hold-the-front-page moment, John Robb’s shirt remains in place till the fourth song; no matter, by then he’s in amongst the front rows doing the mob-orator thing and encouraging Misfits fans to join in songs they’ve clearly never heard before. Songs from new album The Terror Of Modern Life slide into the set and are a slightly darker presence amongst the better known material. ‘Someone Stole My Brain has a Dead Kennedy’s feel to its seething riffage. The

‘Shamen Are Coming’ sees Byrchmore mining a Dick Dale surf guitar feel. All promising stuff for the album’s release this month.

There’s a fairly poor crowd given the legendary status of The Misfits; as expected they attract a huge range of ages to their shows.

Taking the stage to a blazing, thunderstorm light show, they’re clearly a very professional outfit. Unbelievably, the drummer is atop a Spinal Tapesque Stonehenge drum riser. I don’t think it was meant to be ironic. Jerry Only has a mic stand with a skeleton on it. The band are dressed in kabuki make-up, hugely-spiked jackets and those boots with the bones on that you see advertised in the back pages of Kerrang. I don’t know about the rest of the crowd, but I wasn’t that scared.

The material is all sub-hardcore thrash with Only’s metal-tinged growl decorating lyrics about ghouls and blood and all that tosh. I have to say, the crowd were lapping it up but I thought they stank to high heaven. I’m aware that there’s a certain set of their audience who have “issues” with the current line-up but not being au fait with too much of their history, I couldn’t comment.

Suffice to say, they sucked worse than a toothless crack whore. I gave it seven songs and then left them to it. I’m sure if I was fourteen, self-harmed and hated my parents they would be the dog’s bollocks. For me, nah. Heard it all before and better.



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