It’s another night down at the Asylum… The Asylum 2 in Birmingham to be precise! Following a recent tour we have covered of a fellow Misfits member (Michale Graves), tonight was about the vegan beast – Doyle.
To start us off on this dead-themed night were recent Bloodstock New Blood stage players, Ward XVI. Full of stage antics and quirky melody, they warmed the crowd with the simple pleasantries of ripping the guts out of a stuffed man and parading a bloody knife around the stage, all whilst presenting their mix of circus jigs, punk and metal. This band have bag loads of energy (and intestines) and are able to execute tight, ripping guitar solos exceedingly well. Fast drums and severed baby doll heads put smiles all around the Asylum and they will only get better and more gruesome as the tour continues. Look out for their organ filled backing tracks and the black and white attire, they’re hard to miss!
The Dead XIII stomped through a fast paced and aggressive set. An absolute tonne of style cut through the crowd with killer songs like “XIII”. I had previously seen them at Beermageddon and was suitably impressed. Tonight, however, they were a different machine altogether. The vocals were consistent and every member rocked a unique but unified image giving their stage time a fantastic, horrifying atmosphere. Although there were intermittent bursts of electronic, almost techno backing tracks, the guitars were hit heavy and their tones more so. The Dead XIII were having an infectiously great time on stage and the crowd struggled to look away from such a solid performance. It is easy to see why they were asked to come back after supporting the headliner on last year’s tour.
Making his way to the stage through a tightly packed crowd and sporting Lamb of God merchandise, Doyle was about to showcase horror punk at its finest. With his iconic greased back, ‘devilocked’ hair riding down to his monstrously sized body he ploughed through song after song, beating the living crap out of his guitars. Guitars being plural as they needed to be swapped over after each track, before taking another hell of a beating.
His band was fronted by Alex “The Wolfman” Story who provided his services on both of the albums giving a flawless performance, staggering around, jumping on the barrier and swinging his hips with a manic glint in his eyes. With water literally pouring off him he would advise the crowd between each song that “this one is like a love song and you can dance to it if you want to.” And dance to it they did.
The crowd were treated to a dark and dirty side of Americana with screeching guitar and rock and roll vocals all wrapped up and plastered in Doyle branding. It was cool, slick and foul. The contrapuntal nature of the lyrics to the upbeat, bluesy beat of songs like “We Belong Dead” was brilliant. Alex Story is in his own right a showman and helped the band become a unit rather than Doyle Von Frankenstein’s backing group. The drums were huge, the bass was tight and the famous monster, Doyle, was on top form.
This was the first of 13 dates in the UK and after this ghoulish and frightful (in the best of ways) performance, anyone even slightly tempted by the dark side of rock absolutely needs to witness the beast that is Doyle.
Photos by Watchmaker Studios