It’s the first night on the Gallows Grey Britain tour and while the mighty godfathers of great, Every Time I Die are sadly missing from the bill, it means that Rolo Tomassi – the hottest British band of 2008 – get bumped up to main support and the immeasurably improved Blackhole get a nod to open.
They will always get called Frank from Gallows’ brother’s band but Blackhole‘s slowed down, Southern-fried riffing will be worth more than that in years to come. Richard Carter spends most of the set in the crowd. He’s learnt from the masters.
If there’s any crowd in the country that might be familiar with Rolo Tomassi, it’s this one and they’re lively tonight. The Sheffield art-core mentals hardly play the kind of music to nod your head to but the healthy pocket of frantic moshers near the front prove that you can find at least one way to dance to this.
Gallows, Rolo Tomassi & Blackhole @ Brighton Concorde II photo gallery courtesy of Andy Parker @ Avangelist Photography
It’s lucky this crowd got warmed up because it’s time to get hectic. There never has been a middle ground with the UK’s premier hardcore band and as they launch straight into recent single, ‘The Vulture’, they make sure that everyone is on their side. As if there was any question of doubt.
The naysayers and antagonists are not attending this celebration. It’s one of the smallest shows on the tour and only the committed can get into this totally sold out show. Luckily, they’ve all been listening to the album streamed on MySpace because when Frank Carter asks, he gets every other word sung back to him by those worshipping at the Gallows altar tonight.
The new songs sound amazing live and old songs sound as fresh and inspiring as they ever did. Their new political slant might have gained them some gravitas and Frank might denounce his old lyrics as the folly of youth, but they still resonate with those before him.
Thrash Hits TV: Gallows talk about Grey Britain
When Richard Carter joins Gallows onstage for ‘Black Eyes’, he screams it better than Frank – that’s got to suck a bit. Not to be totally outdone, Frank clambers into the crowd and onto heads, shoulders and railings. It’s far from a surprise but it’s just as exhilarating a manoeuvre now as it was in 2006.
Yes, all the same moves are being pulled onstage but they’re executed with more experience and a renewed vigour. This is exactly what really good bands do when they get even better. Finishing with ‘Orchestra Of Wolves’ is a no-brainer but there’s an unprecedented encore leaving tonight’s indelible mark.
The last chords of ‘Crucifucks’ are expelled, instruments fly to the floor, Steph Carter walks away with a bruised, possibly broken rib and “normal” service is resumed. If you ever thought this band would simmer down, you’ll find yourself hugely mistaken.
Gallows @ Brighton Concorde 02 May 2009 setlist
Come Friendly Bombs
London Is The Reason
I Dread The Night
Just Because You Sleep Next To Me Doesn’t Mean You’re Safe
The Great Forgiver
In The Belly Of A Shark
Orchestra Of Wolves