Misery Fucking Loves Them
It’s probably fair to say that Alkaline Trio should have been headlining this stage and the difference in crowd numbers bears that out but the honour falls to Gallows and you can’t really begrudge them it after the couple of years they’ve had.
Tonight really does feel like the end of a chapter in their history as they move towards the release of their second album and the whole set seems much like a celebration of everything up to this point. Early on it seems like it takes them a little while to really get going with ‘Come Friendly Bombs’ being slightly more subdued than normal but it doesn’t take them long and front man Frank Carter has become adept at working the crowd. He head buts the mic a few times, enough to cut his forehead open and the crowd lap it up before he gets into his stride, careering around the stage before adopting his trademark Rottenesque stance and staring out into the crowd.
The guitars sound a little ropey tonight but not enough to spoil the performance and after Carter gets the crowd to turn to the main stage and tell headliners Killers to ‘go fuck yourself’ they rip into a storming rendition of ‘Abandon Ship’. Of greatest interest tonight is the airing of a couple of new songs, the first being ‘London is the Reason’. On first listen it’s a little disappointing, being slower in tempo and despite a good rousing chorus it seems to lack the bite and intensity of their other work. The crowd pick it up quickly though and sing along, as they do for the other new track ‘Misery Fucking Loves Us’ but again it’s mid paced and something of an anticlimax.
They are clearly comfortable up on the stage and take long breaks between songs including pausing to throw out a few tshirts. It all kicks off in their cover of Black Flags ‘Nervous Breakdown’ when they bring on several guest vocalists including Cancer Bats Jaye Schwarzer. Everybody goes for it and they trip over each others mic leads in the general melee but it’s all good entertainment. There’s a real party atmosphere by this point and after getting the crowd to do a Mexican wave they tear through ‘In the Belly of a Shark’ before closing out with a great version of ‘Orchestra of Wolves’. There’s more to come though as they begin to dismantle all the equipment, which includes trashing several Orange speaker cabs and even passing one out into the crowd, who clearly haven’t got a clue what they’re supposed to do with something so big and heavy! Carter finishes by planting a black and white union jack into a prone cab and thus ends the first chapter in what’s been a remarkable career so far. We await the second album with nervous trepidation but for now it’s yet another case of job done.