I arrived at the Wulfrun just in time to see the end of Wild Youth’s set. If you aren’t aware of these guys, they are 4 teenagers from the West Midlands with possibly the most ridiculous hair you’ve ever seen on teenage boys. With a style that’s a cross between The New York Dolls and Towers of London, they are an extremely distinctive group. To be honest their music isn’t my cup of tea, but by the rapturous applause and whooping they seem to have made an impression on the small crowd here tonight, and I felt bad that I’d missed them and couldn’t give a more detailed opinion on their obviously popular set.
Next up were Voodoo Johnson. Also a local band, it was nice to see Duff (or his management) had roped in some unsigned local support to kick off the night. Voodoo Johnson have an ever increasing profile at the moment and from what I’ve seen, are constantly on tour or promoting themselves in one way or another. Kev Bayliss is a great front man, with an increasing number of high profile fans, with recent radio plays from Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden), and Alex Zane, they could be ones to watch out for in the future. They played a well rehearsed set, including songs such as the infectious ‘Nowhere Inbetween’ and ‘Dirty Angel’ its clear Voodoo Johnson are made up of very talented musicians and songwriters all chasing the same dream of a recording contract. The team of supporters that had turned up to see them were far from disappointed, and they certainly walked away with a few more fans to add to their ever growing alliance.
The Loyalties were the next band of the night. Hailing from London with both English and American members, they are an extremely entertaining band, and definitely deserved a place on tour with Duff. More punk than rock, they brought an interesting change from the first 2 bands of the evening, and with their witty banter and lively songs, got the crowd moving around and geared up for the headliners. Especially popular was the song dedicated to banning the smoking ban, which went down extremely well with the nicotine-starved crowd, as now once you’re in the Wulfrun, you can’t pop out for a fag!
Finally it was Duff McKagan‘s turn to grace the stage. Unfortunately, the Wulfrun had only sold around 150 tickets for the night, a much smaller crowd than Duff was used to playing to in his past band Guns n Roses. He took to the stage in square black-rimmed spectacles and a black and white cheesecloth emo scarf, and to be honest looked a little like Garth from Waynes World. He was met with a rapturous reception from the small crowd, which seemed to dwindle as there were a few microphone malfunctions and we couldn’t really hear him singing. The first half of the set was all Duff’s songs including ‘Then Now’ and ‘Wrap My Arms’. The second half was, oddly, mainly covers, including Iggy Pops ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ and, even stranger, a stage invasion by what seemed to be an intoxicated Spike from The Quireboys coming on to help Duff sing ‘Dust and Bones’. The set ended with another cover, this time The Misfits’ classic song ‘Attitude’, and I couldn’t help but feel the consensus of the crowd was one of disappointment more than anything else.
Review & Photos – Lucy Pryor