When lists of the greatest guitarists of all time are compiled, there is always one name that seems to be missing from them. Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein. He may not have classical training or be the household name that some axemen are, but in the same breath that doesn’t warrant him being overlooked. His style is unorthodox. The wielding of his muscle bound arm slamming the strings with such ferocity, Brain May he is not, but up there as an icon he certainly is.
It seems the summer heatwave has skipped Stoke On Trent, the rain pours in the dilapidated centre of the city as fans queue patiently to see this icon of The Misfits on his solo tour, his second visit to the UK this year.
Local band Wasted Life open the evening, with a punk rock attitude and hardcore leanings. A battering of short sharp angst driven songs prevail through early evening mist. High on energy it’s wonderful to watch them rip through their back catalogue as well as tunes from their latest offering, World War Zero.
Next, Off The Cross mix things up with a wonderful sound that is hard to define. Certainly I could not fit it into one box. Part black metal, part death metal with and underlying hint of aggression that could fit in any number of heavy metals sub-genres. Dark and dirty guitars accompany the gritty vocal warblings of the Belgian outfit. I find myself asking why this band haven’t crossed my path before and hoping they do so again soon.
But the main event is undoubtedly the legendary Misfits guitarist, Doyle. Younger brother of Jerry Only he’s always taken a back seat to Jerry and indeed Glenn Danzig in the superstar stakes. But if anything that has kept him grounded. On his solo tour he takes to the stage with a huge grin across his face. He is loving life and loving his moment in the sun.
As the intro plays it is the Wolfman, Alex Story, centre stage who impresses with a unique throaty vocal style and a whirlwind Tazmanian devil stage presence. Doyle is a prominent figure on stage his 6ft plus frame towering over the fans like a giant.
Abominator and Beast Like Me resonates round the room, less horror punk and more horror metal, Doyle getting the chance to show off his technical ability more so than in his main outfit. Powerful riffs supported by the strong vocal lead, rough and ready but straight to the point provide the full impact of this band.
Doyle avoids the easy option of throwing in Misfits covers. This show is all about him and his solo effort and the quality shines through. Unique material like Cemeterysexxx and Hope Hell Is Warm resonate around the small sweaty room, a very different setting from when the Revival last crossed paths with Doyle on the Original Misfits reunion tour.
The undead guitar god shows us tonight he has it all, the technical skills and song writing ability to hold his own in a post Misfits world. He can stand tall as the ultimate entertainer, guitar wielding legend.