July 5, 2011
Live Review: Gallows
Moho Live, Manchester, June 27th
Forget yourselves/You’re all going to burn in hell/You have no redeeming features” snarls Britannia’s most vicious straight-edge warrior. To be fair, it’s not the first time we’ve been told we have no redeeming features on a Monday, but somehow Frank Carter mouths these words with such sincerity that we’ll feel shit about ourselves all week. That’s part of the fun with Gallows.
It’s the Watford quintet’s first date of a short UK tour and adrenaline is everywhere. ‘London Is The Reason’ rings out and a sea of wet T-shirts battle for prime position in what can only be described as a Sloppy Joe-style pit. It is stiflingly hot. A wall of body heat is the only thing differentiating the Mancunian sky from the ceiling inside, which still insists on raining – with sweat.
Despite the minimal air supply, Gallows repeatedly punch out thunderous tunes and monstrous glares. It’s not quite as gruesome a picture as the image of being stuck inside the belly of a shark, but more of that later. ‘The Vulture’, layered in gothic ancestry, carries the howling of doomed souls upon its wings, a lyrical horror alongside guitars that could rip your guts out. Charming! Next up, ‘The Great Forgiver’ is a true blast of British anarchy if the Church Of England ever heard one. “It’s about God Almighty – and what a fucking fake he is,” insists Carter after telling the crowd they’re not so bad after all.
‘Misery’ is choked-out fighting talk, a love/hate relationship with life and all it has to offer. In an instant, Carter is climbing the stairs towards the fire escape, as a surge of fans follow. “So fucking cold/So fucking dark”, screams the fiery frontman on ‘In The Belly Of A Shark’, his words seeming to hiss out from the snake tattoo that engulfs the back of his skull. The projectile offensiveness of ‘Orchestra Of Wolves’ finishes the set in epic proportion (“I don’t want you passing out, I want you sucking my dick” – in case you were curious) gathering enough momentum to invade a small country.
Gallows may have been encouraging disorderly conduct in our venues for a few years now, but it’s safe to say their fans have grown with them. And as for Carter, the band’s disobedient pit bull, his bark continues to mature into one worthy of these sinister stories. In fact, we can’t think of anyone we’d rather have remind us of our own worthlessness.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday