Live Review: Gallows (AU Magazine, Issue.38 [Director’s Cut])
October 27, 2009, 1:03 am
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Fight Club

13th June 2007
Auntie Annies

With no word of warning, Gallows are already on stage cranking bruising hardcore at the churning crowd. As the kids get testy, a hapless bouncer scurries over to stop the dangerously out-of-control mosh-pit from overwhelming carrot-top lead singer Frank Carter. An enlightened Gallows roadie shakes his head slowly at the bouncer as if to say ‘I wouldnt if I were you’. The bouncer takes heed and creeps back to the safety of the fire-exit. The damn breaks, the crowd surge forward, someone loses an eye.

On a daily basis Gallows are already receiving daytime airplay on Radio One and could be set to restore d-beats and dissent to the national consciousness. As Carter gets to work with the deeply menacing ‘Just Because You Sleep Next To Me Doesn’t Mean You Are Safe’ it really feels like it must have in 1976, with Britain on the verge of something momentous. Well its our right as ticket-holders to fantasize isn’t it?

Through ‘Abandonship’, ‘Rolling with the Punches’, ‘Kill the Rhythm’ and ‘Stay Cold’ the band are nothing short of world-ending. Carter is the real deal. The smell of grassroots lawlessness and bitter disillusionment leaks from him. Most of all though, Gallows feel as though they are operating beyond the marketable and might actually be a band to believe in, a band that’s on our side. It’s empowering, in a fascist Oi! Punk army type way.

They close with very probably the two most combustible punk songs to come out of Britain in the last ten years. ‘In the Belly of the Shark’ Carter describes is “when you really hate a girl and you start going out with her again just to fuck her up“. It is a deeply nasty slice of revenge-fantasy and pretty much hits the spot. ‘Orchestra of Wolves’ ends the set perfectly with four minutes of macabre, vinegar-soaked violence.

Watching as they screech to a halt in a cloud of tinitus and animalistic aggression, its as though something rotten has being growing in London’s dank passageways and Gallows are its vile fruit, true ambassadors for contemporary British youth giving vent to yellowing hopes and vengeful wrath, a toxic evacuation that just won’t flush no matter how many times you pull the chain. Probably the best live act on the island tonight.

John Calvert


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