The Misfits took to the stage at London’s O2 Islington Academy on the 4th of April. Support was provided by In Evil Hour and Generation Graveyard. True New York punks from the late 70s (hailing from across the Hudson in New Jersey, where the scene was grimy – as opposed to the art house trendy punks from the East Side such as the likes of Television and Blondie), the Misfits have always been something of an acquired taste. Heavily employing a horror gimmick, they have always remained in a niche bracket; like Marmite they are a “love them or hate them” kind of band. Their fans tend to be a bit obsessive; to them they mean everything and are the most important band in the world. To everyone else, they barely even register on the radar or as merely a cartoon act. Being a die-hard horror fanatic and a life-long B-movie connoisseur, I fit firmly in the former group and have always wanted to see them play.

The venue is small and, although it is part of a branded chain, it is one of London’s less well-known music arenas. And this perfectly suits the Misfits’ roots. Although they have attracted a fanatical bunch since the mid-80s, they were never a big band. While they were highly regarded in some circles – they were a cult item – which is part of their enduring charm, this is also why a smaller venue such as this suits their style.

When the band appear they try very hard to be edgy, but are actually very reminiscent of the BDO darts players that you see on the telly at Christmas; truly believing their own podgy hype, draped in 90s WWF wrestlers Legion of Doom’s pantomime clobber. I don’t write these words disparagingly – this is everything I could ever have hoped for and I truly love the show. Jokey as they may be, the Misfits are the real deal in many ways.

They thunder through their set at a blistering pace. They have a new album to flog tonight but no one cares. One tune is not discernible from the next but that is not important – that is not the point of tonight. The Misfits are here to show us that they still have it; and as stated before, to those who love them, this is a very important occasion. Lead singer Gerald Caiafa (looking much akin to the character played by darts player “The Count” Ted Hankey), announces every song, but this makes no difference as nobody can tell them apart but enjoy them all the same.

I feel I should mention the support acts at this point. The love in the room may be for the Misfits but the support is seriously good. In truth they outshine the headliners in every way, In Evil Hour especially. Generation Graveyard are clearly genre specialists and are a sturdy act, their tunes are earnest and rock-steady. They deserve to be bigger. It is In Evil Hour, however, who steals the night for me. Raucous and rampant, their music is visceral and loud. I hope the dedicated Misfits here tonight will take notice of this band, with their blistering pace and guttural, very heavy sound.

In summary the gig was frantic, frenetic and shambolic. But this is totally appropriate for these aging rockers and totally in keeping with their heritage. Their reputation is still intact; they are still a rubbish band with a lot of raw energy and the power to thrill. I am glad I can say I’ve finally seen them and I still love them.











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