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In The Flesh 

"Detroit! You've waited 24 years for this!" shouted Meatmen frontman (and Touch and Go records founder) Tesco Vee, resplendent in fuzzy white overalls with a bulbous (plastic?) ass protruding out his backside.

The sold-out St. Andrew's crowd who waited almost vainly for the legendary hardcore band Negative Approach were not let down. Though not the original lineup (Brannon and original drummer Chris Moore were joined by Easy Action's Harold Richardson on guitar and Ron Sakowski on bass) the quintet tore into now-classic hardcore anthems and barely stopped to catch a breath.

Though a Belgium NA show last month led to a Euro headline "37 Minutes, 12 Ambulances" (the promoter there "forgot" security) the St. Andy's show went smoothly (only a couple of fights — beer and old punks, natch!). The mostly graying crowd moshed, screamed and generally lost shit with each word, particularly in classics "Nothing" and "Can't Tell No One."

If justice were served, frontman John Brannon would be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Not just for fronting one of the influential American hardcore bands (along with Minor Threat, Black Flag, Bad Brains and the Necros) but for having one of the most bloody powerful and terrifying voices in rock 'n' roll. Brannon's vocal shrieks make the Birthday Party sound like Nat King Cole. It's a wonder he can still do it more than 25 years on.

Doug Coombe is a freelance photographer and writer for Metro Times. Send comments to

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