Despite having to go on a mere 15 minutes after doors opening, Gallows‘ performance still hits home like a machete to the senses. The way vocalist Frank Carter tears around the stage like a tattooed tornado of rage is unsettling enough, but his band’s twisted, discordant hardcore attack is the aural equivalent of a car crash from which you just can’t tear yourself away. Make no mistake, you’ll be hearing plenty more about this lot in the near future.
Fellow Home Counties hardcore types The Steal are not as much of a spectacle, but their break-neck speed anthems certainly deserve the small but intense moshpit down at the front. The fact that they’ve pinched more than a trick or two from the likes of Gorilla Biscuits is forgivable when they’re infused with this much vitality.
Lifetime never truly received the recognition they were due in their mid-nineties heyday, but guitarist Dan Yemin’s subsequent work with Kid Dynamite and Paint It Black has clearly spread awareness of his former band, to the extent that the New Jersey quintet’s recent reformation was hotly anticipated in hardcore circles.
Tonight, the atmosphere is dampened somewhat by a barely half-full venue and a pointless pit barrier, but the band don’t seem at all bothered as they rip through melodic hardcore gems like ‘Cut The Tension’ and ‘The Boy’s No Good’ with great gusto. You get the feeling that a sold-out show in a smaller club would’ve been a truly special occasion, but when band and crowd are feeding off each other’s energy as much as they do tonight, you might as well embrace the positives.