Hung drawn and quartered

It’s a step up for Gallows tonight, since we last saw them ripping up the Lock Up tent this time last year they’ve released album two and taken things to the next level. It’s surprising how popular they’ve become considering that at the end of the day they are a hardcore band. It’s fair to say that some of their success is down to hype and a relentless publicity train but every time we’ve seen them they’ve more than justified it.

The band hit the stage before vocalist Frank Carter as they kick off with ‘The Riverbed’, Carter receiving a huge cheer as he ambles purposefully onto the stage. The trademark stare is still in evidence but these days it’s often accompanied by a broad grin, the between song chat confirming that none of them can quite believe how far they’ve come over the last 4 years. The set mixes old and new well with ‘London Is The Reason’ moving into ‘Leeches’ and the always excellent ‘Come Friendly Bombs’. Despite demolishing a mike stand Carter’s performance is a little more reserved than we’ve seen before, whilst his vocal delivery retains the bite and growl he isn’t as animated tonight. Much of this is probably down to the new material being a bit slower and similarly the rest of the band don’t whirl around as much but then the material doesn’t lend itself to it.

For the last four songs though it’s a different matter, ‘Misery’ and ‘In The Belly of a Shark’ lead into ‘Orchestra of Wolves’ and the crowd just erupts into a huge and violent pit quickly followed by an equally impressive wall of death. This is Gallows at their best and most intense and at these moments they hold the crowd firmly in the palm of their hand. Finishing with ‘Crucifux’ Gallows have shown that they can step up and that they’ve matured both in terms of the material and their performance. They’re still impressive and they still have the honesty that’s quite endearing but some of the edge and danger has gone. If that’s to the benefit of the material and longevity of the band though, we can live with that.