Gremlins 1 - Rogue Male 0?

For the second time I consider leaving the main stage to check out Angelwitch on the second stage, but the crowd was decent and for some indefinable reason I decided to stay for Rogue Male. Their spoken word intro of “Just when you thought it was safe… you can run, but you can’t hide” is just creepy enough to fall short of seriously cheesy. We’re briefly faced with one red glowing eye of the singer’s cyborg mask in the darkness before the lights go up, but that was about as long as the fascination with what was going on lasted.

Rogue Male are relying on their sense of theatricality to lend some backbone to their raw industrial scrape. As ‘Cold Blooded Male’ plays there are discontented mutterings from some nearby punters as Rogue Male fail to set the stage alight or even to co-ordinate with each other at times. There’s a muted “Good evening Hard Rock Hell” from their bassist, but for the most part we don’t hear the rest of what’s said because he and the singer keep talking at the same time. Their collective hearts and minds definitely aren’t fully on the job.

It turns out that RM have been battling technical demons since they arrived, which is a shame but they fight through it and the set brightens up a bit as they mockingly dedicate ‘Take No Shit’ to “those running the country”. ‘Crazy Motorcycle’ gets a great reaction, but by the end the band finally seem more fired-up than the audience are, who are more dazed by the late onslaught. I can’t imagine either the crowd or the fans treating this as a fantastic gig, but it would have been all to easy to give in to the gremlins, so kudos to RM for keeping going and pulling off a solid show in the end.