It was like Halloween in Manchester for this second time this year when German Horror Punk band The Other played at Tiger Lounge, a small basement venue on Cooper Street, near Manchester Town Hall and conveniently close to one of Manchester’s Wetherspoons pubs The Waterhouse. Although The Other have been going for thirteen years now, after starting out as a Misfits cover band in 2002, they only came onto my radar a month ago when I reviewed their sixth album Fear Itself see here. With support from Al B. Damned and Lupen Tooth there was a veritable assortment of freaks and ghouls in the lounge tonight! Wih it’s velvet drapes and pictures it really was like a band playing in your lounge!
Lupen Tooth were the opening band to take to the small stage, luckily a three piece as the stage really was a little cramped! Interestingly (or not) they reminded me a little of The Cramps as it happens anyway! Music-wise. not in appearance, they all had black and white made up faces and t-shirts to match. When I See People Bleed reminded me of The Buzzcocks. Pray for Daylight a brutal, fast one. Tommy then advised us that they write a lot of songs about dead girls, and the next three songs were called The Necrophilia Trilogy, starting with an introduction which mentioned serial killers, again I was reminded of The Buzzcocks and also of The Dead Beats. The next one they apparently wrote for valentines, I Wish I’d Never Dug You Up. This one was like a gothic, punked up Singing The Blues by Guy Mitchell.
Tommy said they had a book people could write in, they didn’t have to buy anything. I would have written something but I forgot! I noticed that although Tommy seemed to do most of the singing Klum seemed to take the lead now and again and they’re both down as vocals on their Facebook page. Then came the fast and energetic My Coffin Is My Home which put the lid on their set! A good set from Lupen Tooth, who managed to play twelve songs in about half an hour or so, which is one of the reasons I love punk songs, they’re fast, short and sweet enought to maintain your interest!
When I See People Bleed
Don’t Say The Z Word
Pray For Daylight
Skin All Over The Place
I Wish I’d Never Dug You Up
All My Friends Are Corpses
My Coffin Is My Home
Tommy Creep – Bass/Vocals
Klum – Guitar/Vocals
Nick Naylor – Drums
After a kind of spooky Thunderbirds-ish intro, next all the way from the coffin dodging territory known as Bournemouth came Horror Punkers Al B. Damned. Opening with Katch ‘Em & Kill ‘Em which had a Judas Priest meets The MacGregors vibe I’m thinking Living After Midnight meets Heatwave Medusa. In the song From Transylvania With Love heavily tattooed Al in his zombie contact lenses and customised jeans with a retro style microphone had a voice reminiscent of Lizzy Devine. There was plenty of dry ice which gave the appearance of the band playing through a swirling fog, which suits the Horror Punk genre, but wasn’t so good for trying to get clear photos!
Flatline Valentine which Al said was about real life valentines was a fast, furious number which had Dan X jumping up and down in the limited space allowed! Not having heard the song before it came to what I, and others, thought was the end so a bit of applause rang out but it was just a break, which would fit in with the title. I felt a bit silly for clapping at an inappropriate point but it wasn’t the first time I thought a song had ended when it hadn’t, and I’m sure it won’t be the last!
Al then said ‘We’re going to do a song off our new album which is for sale at the back, come and talk to us,’ the song being Modified and I think one of the band tried to modify it, as it got off to a false start, which led to a bit of banter on the stage. The song was a bit Toolesque. Another one from the new album followed in Life In Space a mellower song, with more of a gothic Sisters of Mercy/The Mission vibe. An old one and probably my favourite of all their songs was the Die Screaming Marianne a fast one with a powerful drumbeat reminiscent of Murderdolls, say Dead in Hollywood.
The next few songs were all from the new album For Old Times Stake and Al asked people to move forward so he could see them and several people obliged. At one point he was holding up a large jar containing, well I couldn’t quite tell, but probably brains pickled in blood or something like that! Then it came to ‘One more song’ which was their latest single and also from For Old Times Stake Look Who’s Stalking and then he looked at an audience member’s back patch, which I couldn’t see but I think My Queen of Halloween was mentioned, which turned out to be their last song a fast, rocking one, which slowed down towards the end and Al said ‘For these guys, a fuking Misfits ending’ who he meant I’m not sure but I’m sure there were a few Misfits fans in the audience. No doubt I’ll be damned if I don’t say I enjoyed Al B. Damned, luckily I did so damnation won’t come to me yet!
Al B. Damned – Vocals
Dan X – Guitar
Nicholas Insidious – Guitar
Tunnels – Bass
Pip Sickness – Drums
It was most apparent that Halloween had come back to haunt Manchester again when The Other took to the stage, five larger than life horror figures, The Grim Reaper, a Ringmaster, a Zombie Doctor, a Voodoo Witch Doctor (I think) and frontman Rod Usher looking like a Frankenstein hybrid cross between Rammstein’s Till Lindemann and Richard Kruspe! Opening with Nie Mehr the second track from their latest album Fear Itself and the only track with the lyrics written in their native language. With five horror characters filling the stage there wasn’t much room for Rod to manouevre so he came off the stage, which was barely a foot high anyway, and sang at the front up close and personal to the audience. After Nie Mehr came Bloodsucker an energectic song about a young girl who’s too young to be a vampire with a Billy Idol vibe. With Rod singing a few Woah, oh ohs then letting the audience sing them back.
We were then taken Back to the Cemetary a fast energetic Blaze Bayley/Iron Maiden number and Rod was singing to members of the audience who knew all the words before asking if they had seen them (The Other) in the UK before, the reply ‘At Anti-Fest’ and Rod said ‘But that was Cologne‘ and by that he meant the German city not some nice smelly stuff! Rod thanked Al B. Damned for brining them over and said thanks to his lovely wife too, who I’d surmised was the stunning blonde filming most of Al B. Damned’s set. Then came a song from the 2012 album The Devils You Know, Take You Down a very fast song with a punishing beat, which had some of the audience who knew the song singing along to the ‘Wo oh ohs’ and ended with a theatrical laugh. Rod then said they’d brought us a very old song ‘This one’s called Beware of Ghouls‘ and I’m not sure what happened but they decided not to play that one and opted for the newer Dreaming of the Devil instead, which was actually next on the set list, with Rod’s voice sounding gruff in places yet almost feminine in others. Rod was still at the front of the stage and even then there wasn’t much room for the other four, except Doc of course he obviously had his own space, which was probably for the best as his drumsticks looked to be blood spattered! The Voodoo Witch Doctor, was stood beyond one of the pillars before coming down off the stage briefly.
Then Rod said they were going to slow it down with Puppet on a String, which included the lyrics ‘Break your heart, tear it out tonight’ and was definitely not a cover of Sandie Shaw’s 1967 Eurovsion winning song! Then Rod said ‘Remember that song we were about to play? Right let’s try this again!’ ‘Beware of. Beware of. Beware of’ and the audience shouted ‘Ghouls’ the song Beware of Ghouls turned out to be a popular one, with a The Damned/Blitzkid vibe and many singing along and Aaron or The Grim Reaper, banging his hood! At the end Rod thanked everyone for their help. Another couple from Fear Itself followed the punky Doll Island then Black Sails Against the Midnight Sky a fast rocking song, with a punishing beat and afterwards Rod said he’d forgotten the lyrics for a while, speaking perfect English with an Amercian accent! Thankfully I managed to get a photo of the set list because the next one was in their native German and I didn’t understand a word of Der Tod steht dir tut which means ‘Death Becomes Her’, but you don’t have to understand the meaning or lyrics to like a song and I enjoyed it all the same! Thank you very much, said Rod and we came to the last song of the night from the new album, The Price You Pay after which Rod said ‘That was fun. Thank you.’
‘We’re close to end of our set, we’re going to take you back to a dark place where boys and girls do nasty things. Like where we’re staying, Travelodge’ was the introduction to Lover’s Lane proving that German’s do have a sense of humour after all. Rod then asked ‘Manchester are you ready to scream as loud as you can? Scream for Lupen Tooth. Scream for Al B. Damned and scream for The Other’ which all elicited a few loud screams! Then like all good horror movies we came to ‘The End’ with the last song for the night We All Bleed Red from their 2010 album New Blood. We are The Other Thank you very much’ and this was another song reminiscent of The Damned! A few shouts for more meant the coffin lid wasn’t nailed down just yet and we got one more in Tarantula a fast popluar one and after singing the word ‘Tarnatula’ Rod held the microphone out to audience members for them to join in.
Rod’s last words ‘Thank you very much! We had a great night with you. Don’t die on the way home!’ which didn’t garner any laughs so he said ‘That was a joke!’ and I take back my earlier comment about German’s having a sense of humour after all! Any arachnophobics in the audience no doubt went home to have nightmares about big eight-legged hairy things anyway! No frills, just horror costumes, make-up and good music made for an entertaining evening. I hadn’t seen any of the three bands on the bill before but would happily see any of them again.
Rod Usher – Vocals
Doc Caligari – Drums
Ben Crowe – Guitar
Aaron Torn – Bass Guitar
Pat Laveau – Guitar