Live at Leeds Metropolitan University on Sunday, 24th February 2008
Punk rock's current poster boys Gallows have come a long way since their humble beginnings back in Watford. Having been picked up by In At The Deep End (home of Send More Paramedics amongst others) for their incendiary debut 'Orchestra Of Wolves', they set about touring with anyone that would have them, notching up shows alongside Bullet For My Valentine, New Found Glory, and rather oddly, Papa Roach. After a tour with fellow punk outlaws The Plight, things really started to take shape. A stint on the Warped Tour, shows with Bad Religion and a major label bidding war soon followed, before the band finally settled on a deal with Warner, for a reported six figure sum.
Tonight however, none of that actually matters, at least to the 1500 eager punkers rammed into the bar waiting for their cue to go mental. That opportunity arises in the shape of Scouse thrash punks SSS, who should possibly consider trademarking themselves as The Fastest Band Alive. They are immensely entertaining, which is more than can be said for punk rockers Fucked Up. That isn't to say there's anything wrong with the music they make, the main complaint is leveled purely at the lack of variety the band has, and their bass player could consider herself The Most Bored Looking Person In The World. Set Your Goals fare slightly better, although a muddy sound doesn't help their poppy hardcore-by-numbers, with a couple of people labeling them a poor man's New Found Glory as they trudge off to the bar.
As the house lights go down and Gallows charge onto the stage, the crowd erupts. Vocalist Frank Carter is a manic ball of energy, the year or so of constant touring seems to have done little to dent his enthusiasm. The band are such a live-wire spectacle that guitarist Laurent Bernard manages to break his guitar within the first three songs. Its not all business as usual however, as Frank delivers a touching list of thanks, giving praise to the people that got them where they are, and the people who are keeping them there. The set itself is stuffed with manic punk classics, from first single 'Abandon Ship' to 'Orchestra Of Wolves' and 'Belly Of A Shark'; almost every track from their debut is retold with frightening conviction.
The band themselves may now be major label stars, at least in the eyes of some, but their passion hasn't diminished one bit. And after witnessing the band play everywhere from the Fenton to The Cockpit, and finally here at the Met, the band are still the same five lads that want nothing more than to play music with each other, proving you can take the band out of the underground, but you cant take the underground out of the band.