The Misfits @ O2 Academy Islington

1st February 2012
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs

Long long before Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters, The Misfits had their Fiends, and they continue to walk among us . Tonight though, they are gathering to pay tribute to that original bunch of American psychos.


First to try their luck with these mischief-makers are Those Furious Flames, a hard rock band hailing from Switzerland. With half the band looking like they were kitted out at Modern Western, they are perhaps an ill fitting choice for such a crowd, and indeed although they get some heads a nodding it’s clear the crowd’s attention is elsewhere.

For those music industry haters who believe bands are needlessly cosseted need to take a look at JuiceheaD , who as well as tuning up and running the merch stand, find time to squeeze in playing a set – fuck the entourage it would seem. You have to admire a band that are clearly in it for pleasure, rather than pounds. At times the songs sound like Rancid’s hand-me-downs, but it’s hard to fault JuiceheaD in keeping alive the American Punk flame.

In the case of horror Punk though, this is a fire The Misfits started and perhaps no one expected it to burn as long as it has. As Jerry Only, the only remaining original member, points out he first came to London in 1978 at the age of 17, yet more than 30 years on he’s still finding new material in B movie monsters.

This is one of his few conversational bursts though – this is a night given over to the loud rumble of evil, and possibly a worldwide achievement for the greatest use of ‘whoa’ in song. Although there have been more prolific bands than The Misfits, the set isn’t lacking in classic hits to choose from including ‘Skulls’, ‘Scream’, ‘Dig Up Her Bones’, ‘Mommy Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight’, ‘We Bite’ and a good smattering from new release The Devil’s Rain. Sidestepping the Danzig/Graves best-vocalist issue, Jerry delivers lyrics with the confidence of a man who was here from the start.

From their notable absence earlier on it’s not hard to guess the trio making up tonight’s encore – ‘Descending Angel’, ‘Saturday Night’ and ‘Die, Die My Darling’, The Misfits’ signature song, are as enthusiastically met as expected. Although for some face paint is perhaps best left to kids, as Jerry jumps off stage to meet his crowd, there’s no doubt that Misfits are still famous monsters in these parts.