“We’re at the beginning of the end of humanity”, Gallows lead singer Frank Carter recently stated to a Guardian journalist. Well, if he is right about our imminent apocalypse, then his band’s sophomore outing Grey Britain is to be its soundtrack, and a Gallows show is perhaps the perfect party to bow out on.
Opening tonight are fresh faced punks Blackhole, featuring the vocal talents of one Richard Carter, younger brother of Gallows’ Frank and Steph. Much like a formative version of his siblings’ band, in both sound and delivery, one is left wondering about the troubles their poor mother must have been through.
Following them are New York hardcore favourites Every Time I Die. Keith Buckley leads his band mates onstage rocking the geek chic look, conspicuously bespectacled.
This doesn’t last long however, as they rush head on into their arsenal of whiskey-drenched rock ‘n’ roll and he is forced to remove them. “I can’t see shit…nerds don’t headbang!” he proclaims. The lack of single ‘Kill The Music’ is notable in a set that gets adrenaline pumping, even if it’s a little monotonous.
Gallows are all about defiance, swagger and sheer white-hot fury. While many bands push this image in a manner that may appear contrived, Gallows always seem sincere. Carter is undoubtedly a ‘true punk’; arrogant and bitter to the very core and consistently unpredictable.
Tonight, as with any of their shows, belongs to him. Whether he’s spitting indiscriminately, telling the crowd their circle pit frankly isn’t big enough, or jumping out and mixing in with them, he blazes with charisma and passion.
And so for all the sound bites like that above which may cause you to roll your eyes, you can’t help but be transfixed by his every word and action.
And why not, when it’s so much fun? Even with much of the set plucked from an album released just the day before, the room is a constant two-stepping, limbs-flailing tempest, perhaps peaking at the ode to sex minus love, ‘Orchestra of Wolves’.
“Normally that’s the end…” Frank informs us, but instead we are treated to the final resounding shot of Grey Britain – ‘Crucifucks’ – with its closing lines, “Great Britain is fucking dead / So cut our throats, end our lives / Let’s fucking start again” howled over his bandmates’ marching snares. Excessive negativity never felt this good.