Michale Graves/SLUTS/Bogans – Chester, Live Rooms – 23 January 2018 Print E-mail
Written by DJ Astrocreep   
Tuesday, 30 January 2018 04:40

After a previous solo tour was cancelled, Michale Graves was finally venturing back on to British soil, 19 years after his last expedition here with The Misfits. For the opening night, he headed up north to Chester, so it seemed an ideal chance to finally catch the man live.

 

First on the bill tonight are North Wales based skatepunk band Bogans. The singer shows his style from the outset, as he gets straight up on to the riser and pinches one man's cheek, before poking the rhythm guitarist in the face. This behaviour continues as he sticks his finger up the bum of the lead guitarist before wiping it over his head, in addition to other, not quite as off-putting behaviour. The band themselves are pretty decent behind him, but the singer is just far too much GG Allin for a lot of the crowd's taste, it seems and there is not a very good reaction to them. It's a pity, as the musicians seem to be worth more than this show. The singer said it best himself, when announcing the track ‘Redacted’, mentioning a guitarist is leaving after this gig, and that he will be removing his from the band photos because he's a twat. Fairly apt.

 

SLUTS Tour Header

 

Northern Irish quintet SLUTS (So Long Until The Séance) are a much better proposition, however. From the offset, there seems to be a lot more drive, purpose and cohesion to their set. The audience gravitates towards the front slowly throughout the set and there is a much better reaction right through the set. Even in the intro, the element of fun and humour is present, as it cuts out to Starship's ‘Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now’, which the lead guitarist starts singing and clapping along to, before getting a not so stern rebuke from vocalist Mike Von D. as it cuts back to the first part.

 

From the corpse paint right down to the music, SLUTS just fit better. The vocalist is frequently on to the riser to get closer to the crowd, the bassist, Friar Buckfast himself, is drinking Buckfast (until he complains that Mike has finished it on him!), as well as having a look of Richmond from the IT Crowd, which adds a touch more of unintended humour to the set. Add in Mike's Wednesday 13-esque vocals and Tommy D.Bauchery's well-written solos and a very good backing band on top, and the crowd are now properly warmed up, just in time for...

 

Michale Graves

 

Michale Graves himself to take to the stage, accompanied by his band. From the off, the pace is relentless as is Michale himself. He seems completely unable to stop moving. If he isn't bouncing slightly, he's jumping high into the air, or moving around the stage and this infectious enthusiasm ports well over to the crowd, who both crowd forward eagerly and react raucously to each song there is a short pause between.

 

A few songs into the set, ‘Crying On Saturday Night’ starts and is immediately greeted by loud cheers and applause. The audience sings loudly along right through the track and it's obvious that there is a lot of affection for him. The band clearly hold a good relationship between themselves too, as several smiles from Ghoulsby and words from Loki are whispered between songs occasionally, showing the positive atmosphere within the band.

 

The set continues at a blistering pace, right up until ‘Scarecrow Man’ finishes the main part of the set. Loki, on guitar, has to jokingly ask a female fan to relax a little, as she demands they continue instead of taking a couple of minutes to explain why they don't go off stage between main set and encores. Michale takes the time to thank everyone for coming and introduces the band. After a few minutes of explaining about his love for the crowd and how they have helped him in the past, they proceed into another Misfits track in ‘Descending Angel’, fitting in another two before the show closer ‘Dig Up Her Bones’ brings the loudest cheer of the night from the enthused audience.

 

Graves has lost none of his vocals over the years and still shows the ability to pick a good set, changing between solo and Misfits songs and getting at least a good reaction to everything. The set seems to have lasted ten minutes, instead of the hour it actually is, such is the blistering pace. At the finish, he even comes straight off stage to stand by the merch table and happily chats with every single fan who waits behind, getting pictures and signing stuff without even the need to buy merch. Catch him if you can!

 

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