Live Reviews

Gallows – Live

Kingston Peel

9th August 2006: A hot summer’s day is currently ending in a suitably mock-gory fashion with a Send More Paramedics gig at the Kingston Peel. Leeds finest zombie-core crew have brought along a Watford band called Gallows on support duties; they’re a pretty hard-rockin’ bunch, and the singer has some spectacular tattoos on his chest. I received a promo of their debut album (‘Orchestra Of Wolves’) earlier today – it sounded very promising on first listen, but bands as raw and unpolished as this lot never seem to get the recognition they deserve. Not until years after they’ve split up, anyway. Still, they play well, and the crowd seem to enjoy them…

21st January 2007: Hmmn, I’m rarely this happy to be eating humble pie. Since their last visit to the Peel, Gallows have become quite the talk of the town – not least due to that debut album (which has a habit of taking my stereo hostage for days at a time) and some utterly explosive live shows. Tonight’s gig is sold out, everyone knows all the words to all the songs, and as the closing ‘Casanova’ degenerates into a mass of tangled cables and flailing limbs, we can’t help but feel like we’re witnessing the start of something very fucking special…

6th August 2008: Turns out we were right. Over the last year, Gallows have gone from strength to strength, with a slot on the 2007 US Warped Tour and a sold-out London Astoria under their belts. No surprise, then, that the Peel is utterly rammed tonight; with both the temperature and atmosphere at fever pitch.

‘Orchestra Of Wolves‘ may be two years old now, but its creators haven’t lost their potential for surprise as they kick off with ‘Casanova‘, sparking mayhem in the crowd. The Gallows of 2008 are a tighter, but no less chaotic beast; as proved by guitarist Laurent Barnard hurling both himself and instrument into crowd during ‘Come Friendly Bombs‘ and Frank Carter spending most of the gig either in or on top of the pit. New songs are aired, including a minute-long hardcore belter and some beautifully twisted riff action. It’s just as well for Frank, really, because the crowd makes his vocal duties pretty much redundant on the ‘oldies’.

But tonight’s biggest surprise is saved for the end, as The Watford Five launch into a frenzied cover of Andrew WK’s ‘Party Hard‘. It’s proof enough that underneath the band’s trademark rage and musical vitriol lurks a bunch of party animals, and ensures that they’ll be missed whilst they take a break to record their second album. On tonight’s evidence, it’ll be well worth the wait.

Alex Gosman