Saturday 21 July 2018

Gig Review: DOYLE at The Underground, Stoke-on-Trent (UK) 16/07/2018

Doyle Summer 2018 Tour Poster

When I heard that legendary Misfits guitarist Doyle was playing a show just up the road from where I live, there was absolutely no way I could miss this!

Wasted Life at The Underground
Wasted Life

First up were local Punks Wasted Life. I felt a little sorry to see them play infront of such a small crowd at what should have been a relatively high-profile gig for them, especially as they were really good. They sounded a lot like Sick Of It All to my ears which is no bad thing. They may not be the most original band in the world, but they were tight and sounded very professional. I'm glad I made the effort to turn up early to catch them play.

Off The Cross at The Underground
Off The Cross
The second band of the evening was Belgium's Off The Cross. They were a very heavy, brutal Metal band with screamed vocals and crushing, filthy riffs. Imagine a mix between The Haunted and mid-90's era Entombed, well that's what they sounded like to me anyway. They played most of their set to a very small audience, but the numbers started to increase during their last couple of songs. It was a shame, as this tour is clearly a big deal for them. In fairness, I don't listen to this kind of music that often, but the band was a well polished machine, and definitely at the top of their game.

Doyle at The Underground

The last time I saw Doyle play was when he joined Danzig on stage in Wolverhampton a few years ago to rip through some Misfits songs. Having really enjoyed both of Doyle's solo albums (read my review of Doyle II here), I was very excited to see his band live.

Tonight was a strange one. Stoke-on-Trent can often be a tough place for any band to pull a crowd, especially on a Monday night. Considering how popular an artist Doyle is, I'd have thought that there would have been a much better turnout than the one we had. In fairness, the band didn't seem phased by this at all and blasted through a set with the pure Punk energy and passion that I was hoping to experience.

Doyle at The Underground

Opening with Abominator, the Horror-Punk-Thrash assault on the senses was relentless, with the only breaks being lead singer Alex Story saying "This next song is kinda a love song. You can dance to it if you want" between pretty much every song. I highly rate Alex as a front-man and vocalist. I really like his other band, Cancerslug, and I think he's the perfect fit for Doyle's music. He can switch between dark melodies and raw aggression with ease, just like Danzig. Alex has that unhinged crazyness about him that I think is sorely missing from the scene at the moment. This band definitely captures the old-school Punk vibe and comes across as the real deal.

Doyle at The Underground

The set featured the bulk of material from both of Doyle's albums. There was no encore. There were no Misfits covers to please fans who hadn't bothered to check out his solo stuff, but came to the show anyway. They turned up, tore through their set like a raging bull, then left.

I always think it's dangerous when a band takes the focus off what they're doing now musically to please 'passing fans' and nostalgia seekers. Anyone who wasn't here to see Doyle and his band play Doyle songs may have been disapponted, but that's their problem. Tonight was a ferocious display of Rock n' Roll, and I feel fortunate to have seen the band in a small local venue. Monday nights don't come better than this!

Doyle at The Underground


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