It still sounds like Gallows. That’s the important thing. Sure, Frank Carter – the angry ginger kid spitting blood and guts at the front – is gone, but it still sounds like Gallows. It’s the rule, isn’t it? Whoever shouts loudest gets all the credit but, despite the cries of many immediately after his departure, there was always more to this band than just one man. While their truly iconic former singer can never be replaced like-for-like, here are 32 minutes explaining why Gallows Mk II is seemingly here to stay nonetheless.
It’s a funny setting under the arches near London Bridge tonight. The approach to the venue has smashed up cars and painted tow trucks along with a scattering of folk dressed to the nines, ready to see a movie that’s even more hyped than The Dark Knight was – Watchmen.
We turned up halfway through the film and had a drink or two in preparation for the mighty Gallows. You always seem to need some Dutch courage during their shows…
When Gallows announced a hastily-organised free gig in East London on one of the hottest days of the year, we made sure we were there. Raziq Rauf reports on the UK punks while Charley Staniforth gets the photos.
After February’s Relentless energy drink-sponsored Educational Crusade UK tour, we all thought that would be the end of Gallows’ partnership with the fizzy ultra-pop but there’s always time for another one.
With temperatures reaching 30°C outside, you can imagine what it’s like inside the relatively unventilated railway arches space. It’s lucky there are high ceilings and enough free Relentless to get absolutely wired.
Indeed, several people are heard muttering about the drink being reclassified as a Class B drug. That’s a joke. It’s quite a pertinent joke as it goes because if you’re watching Gallows, you just don’t need any extra stimulants.
They simply are one of, if not the most invigorating and refreshing young British bands to have emerged since the turn of the century. This show just proved it again.
Frank Carter has always loved hamming his banter up onstage while he’s not in his natural state of charging around the stage like a feral tomcat. But that’s what you pay your money for. You want the extraordinary and Frank is a frontman in the truest sense. He’s a star.
Watch the live video to ‘Abandon Ship’, filmed at The 100 Club, London by Gallows
Within 30 seconds of alarmingly atrocious sound coming from the PA, the Watford punks cut the music. They stop to berate and eject and over-handy security guard. They know who’s important and it’s definitely not the 15 stone of meathead pushing their fans and friends around.
The joy of Gallows is that they’re not limited to a one-man party trick. Whilst Frank’s lunging and clambering into and over the crowd, the rest of the band remain onstage, rocking out in the more traditional sense.
Guitarists Lags Barnard and Steph Carter rule the lip of the stage with calls to arms and guitar wizardry from behind their heads. It’s a schtick they’ve performed since the start but why change when you’re so damn good at it?
A question that everyone’s been asking is whether the new stuff is actually going to be any good. It is. The smattering of new tunes on show tonight showcased an intelligence and desire to create huge songs whilst retaining all the danger.
With the new album being recorded in September with a view to release in early 2009, it’s definitely going to be something to keep an ear out for. If you think you ‘get’ Gallows, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Gallows @ London Shoreditch Village Underground photo gallery