Danzig Save Us From Breed 77
Danzig, Breed 77 @ The Kentish Town Forum, London, May 14, 2005
by: Jackie Smit

"Just in case you sneaky little bastards thought you'd be able to sneak one by us." - Anonymous burly security guard


You have to wonder what the deal is behind this evening's almost militant photography ban, particularly when you're ordered to empty your pockets after a frisking by the security that lasts just a tad too long for comfort. Perhaps old man Glen Danzig really does believe the myth that having your picture taken could steal your soul. Or perhaps Breed 77's manager has made an enlightened judgement call and decided that punters showing off photographs of a half-empty Forum greeting his clients might damage the group's reputation as an up-and-coming draw.

Still, let's be honest here: up-and-coming they may be, but that certainly doesn't say much, and for my money they'd be a bad idea on any bill; not least of all opening for Danzig. But considering the reputation that the Evil Elvis has gained for drawing crowds who make every effort to hassle the support acts, the response to Breed 77 tonight is quite baffling. There is not much in the way of cheering, but not a single boo or thrown bottle either, no matter how one-dimensional or montonous Breed 77's post-nu-metal tripe gets. I suppose to be fair, one has to admit that the band do play their hearts out; they're just not my bag, baby, and it's highly unlikely after tonight's performance that they ever will be.

Maybe it's the significance of this evening's show that accounts for the audience's indifference to the opening entertainment. After all, this may well be (if you believe the rumours) one of the very last occasions that Glen Danzig will set foot on UK, or indeed any other soil. And where the last time he strutted his stuff on a London stage, the ensuing performance turned out to be rather slack, the enigmatic former Misfit is on top form from the get-go this evening, as his band tear into "SkinCarver" like they're playing the most important show of their careers. Watching the likes of Tommy Victor, Johnny Kelly and Jerry Montano rip it up, you have to say that it's a shame that Glen would decide to hang up his touring boots now. This may sound somewhat controversial in the face of the zeal with which some regard the classic Christ-Biscuits-Von line-up, but with older tracks like "It's Coming Down", "How the Gods Kill", "Twist of Cain" and "Her Black Wings" positively bristling with renewed fire and vitality during the course of this evening's set, it's hard to argue. Hell, the boys even do a good job of making a pretty mediocre track in "Until You Call on the Dark" sound halfway respectable.

It's the surprise airings of "Going Down to Die" and "Dirty Black Summer" that make tonight as memorable as it is, though. That, and the band's decision to satiate the Misfits fans with a scorching rendition of "Skulls". And whether you agree with everything that the man has said and done over the course of the last two decades or not, the fact that the aforementioned tune still sounds so fresh and vibrant after all these years speaks volumes for the enduring legacy that will remain long after Glen Danzig has booked himself into a retirement village.

(article submitted 23/5/2005)

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