After a polemic frontman reshuffle, the hardcore punk and British patriots that are Gallows, have a lot to prove tonight. The departure of iconic vocalist, Frank Carter, left an empty shell which it seemed couldn’t be filled. But last summer the job was taken by Wade MacNeil, formerly of Canadian rockers Alexisonfire. This caused something of an uproar from those worried that the pure British essence of Gallows had been violated. So have the Watford lads taken a step in the wrong direction, or is this development to be considered a new entity entirely?
Fellow Brits hailing from Kent, Feed The Rhino, give a stellar supporting show, including a bar-mounted performance after crowd-surfing the sardine like and sweat soaked venue. As the grumblings of Gallows’ entrance track begins, the chants start – the punters are parched and waiting to see this new line-up.
Affirming their ability to create chaos, Gallows open with ‘Misery,’ and in all fairness, the Canadian slurs don’t seem to alter the original intensity of the song. The band introduce themselves “We’re from London, oh and Wade’s from Canada”, and it seems that they are embracing how peculiar this combination appears.
On the back of their September self-titled release, the guys make a point of showcasing their new material. The majority of their set is comprised of songs written with Wade onboard, perhaps showing their eagerness to move forward. New tracks such as ‘Outsider Riot’ receive heavy doses of applause amongst the gang vocals, heavy guitars and raucous screams.
That said, the older tracks are, as always, the most appreciated. These include encore tracks, ‘Abandon Ship’ and ‘Orchestra Of Wolves’ from their 2006 debut. Their heavy, rage-enriched and passionate storm of a set is met with shouts, head banging and moshing. Their live talent is clearly something that Gallows can’t forget.
But are they still lacking Carter’s presence? Well, MacNeil has certainly tried, but it’s just not the same – no eccentric crowd dives or out of control antics that made their shows so exciting. If anything, Feed The Rhino’s frontman exemplifies what the main event needs. Suffice to say, this new Gallows is very different from the old, but instead of comparing, let’s just hope it works.
Haunt, Wednesday 3rd October 2012
Words by Lizzi Hart
Photos by Jack Williams