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News Report Page 13 of 26
Publication Date:- 2018-31-03
News reports located on this page = 1.

Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein live in Stafford
Photograph and review by Sean Taylor.

THE Redrum Bar, Stafford, is a relatively new live music venue in the Town Centre. Since opening they've played host to a number of bigger rock and metal bands that would usually pass Stafford over in favour of bigger Cities in the Midlands, like Wolverhampton or Birmingham. On Tuesday night, they hosted Doyle, the "solo" band of Misfits legend Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein. It might seem odd to cover a gig so far away from Liverpool, but it's worth noting that there was no Liverpool date on this tour; the nearest gigs being in Manchester and Stafford. Their previous tour, in 2017, also missed Liverpool in favour of Chester. This is a problem I'll talk about more later.

After a few minor difficulties and delays, the night kicked off with local Wolverhampton lads, Enemy of Atlas. As a last minute fill in for Killus who unfortunately had to drop out, they did a fantastic job of opening the night. Despite their young age and less theatrical style than the bands to follow, the crowd got behind them and had a good time.

Next up was the female fronted Ward XVI, from Preston. Gracing the stage in matching black and white zombie circus style outfits reminiscent of Beetlejuice, with a dummy "corpse" laid carefully on a table before the audience, it was apparent that this stage show was going to be somewhat more ambitious. Their on stage "deaths," likely inspired by Alice Cooper, included a gun to the head, a knife to the throat and a chainsaw in the back. It was something to behold, especially from a support band in a smaller venue, and the crowd was really into it, as evidenced by what was dubbed the "circus pit."

The Dead XIII, from Manchester, like Ward XVI, are supporting Doyle on the entire UK tour. However, unlike Ward XVI, they also supported Doyle on their last UK tour last year, so had a better idea of what to expect from the audience. This experience was evident as they ripped through their synth-driven set. Despite the depth of the sound, having a full 5 piece band complemented by a MacBook playing the synth tracks, the set was relatively and reassuringly no-nonsense.

With the anticipation, and number of people in attendance, steadily growing throughout the night it was finally time for Doyle to take the stage. Opening the set with the title track from the debut album:- "Abominator", Alex "Wolfman" Story took the mic to centre stage as Doyle himself ploughed through each riff with the aggression and determination that he's famous for. With time to breathe after the opening barrage of their 1st song, the Wolfman introduced the band and stated their intentions, just in case anyone was still unsure. In his usual off the wall fashion he stated proudly "All right, we're the woo woo boys and we've come to play some rock n roll for your asses. This next song's a love song." Doyle is a monster of a man, and although a man of few words it would take a great deal of confidence and charisma to match Doyle's stage presence; luckily these are things the Wolfman has in spades. Introducing every song as either a:- "love song" or "like a love song," it's obvious that all he wants to do is play his songs and enjoy himself, but the endearing way in which he seems to naturally manage this, and deal with the hecklers is the perfect foil to Doyle's stoicism. The pair are complemented fantastically by the energetic bass of Brandon Strate and the relentless drumming of Wade Murff. Compared to 2017, their set is now bolstered by a 2nd album, and although we lost the fun of the Misfits covers they used to play, what we gained was a more complete and sincere experience that better emphasises that Doyle the band is an entity unique to Doyle's personal legacy with the Misfits. The set ended abruptly with a simple thank you and goodnight from the Wolfman, and a hasty exit by all, but the drummer, who stayed to take a photo of the audience for his instagram. Overall it was a fantastic show, with Doyle offering exactly what you'd expect from him and his band; heavy music played heavily.

After the gig I spoke to a few members of the Dead XIII, who as I mentioned before are from Manchester. I told them that I was based in Liverpool and they said they'd love to play more gigs in Liverpool, but are put off by the apparent lack of mid-size venues, and the regular lack of attendance compared to similar shows in Manchester. For a City with a legacy and pride built upon the local and independent music scene, it is surprising to learn that Liverpool's reputation in nearby Cities reflects this history so poorly, although it does explain why so many touring bands prefer to play Manchester instead.

Whether the extent of the bad reputation is justified or not, the fact is that there is still very much a live music scene in Liverpool that does attract national and international bands, bolstered by local bands and independent venues. Neil, from the Redrum bar in Stafford, is putting on 1 such gig in Maguire's Pizza Bar, in Liverpool, on 12 April 2018. The gig will be headlined by Stafford band, Those Snakes, with as yet unconfirmed support from local Liverpool bands. Look out for photos here in that week's edition.

What are your views about music in Liverpool? Do you agree with the bands views in this report? Also did you go to this gig and are you going to the Liverpool gig, on  12 April 2018. Let us know your views and thoughts via emailing us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

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