If you ever get the chance to see Negative Approach live, you’ll quicly come to the realization that John Brannon is the man. After getting the band back together a few years ago (they broke up in the eighties, Brannon kept it going with some different guys, and then they broke up too) and laying the Laughing Hyenas to rest (his other band, Easy Action, is still going strong and is crimnially underrated), he seems pretty comfortable bringing the band’s midwest hardcore back to the live circuit.
They played the closing set at Punk Island 2010 on Governor’s Island in New York City this sumer and it was a pretty intense experience. Without the aid of an actual stage, Brannon just simply walked out into the seething crowd and became one with them. You could occasionally hear him over those standing right next to him and singing along right into the microphone, and his voice is still as strong and angry as it sounded in the eighties. He’s aged, but he doesn’t appear to have mellowed in the least, in fact, he has a very intimidating presence when performing and if he makes eye contact with you, don’t be surprised if he stares you down. The irony being that if you talk to him before or after the show, he’s one of the nicest guys you could hope to talk to and incredibly gentle in demeanour.
Some pictures from their PI 2010 set: