Gallows – Leeds Cockpit

By paul

*This gig was at The Duchess, York*

Musically Sharks remind me of some of the Deep Elm cannon in places – the laid back emo (back when emo was tight jumpers and back packs) stylings of Brandston/Elliot maybe, but with heavy doses of 80’s/90’s UK brit-pop and indie. As indie goes it’s not bad – they’re certainly not as boring live as their myspace makes out they could of been. But, they fall entirely flat on the Gallows audience. It’s nice to see a challenging and eclectic bill when you get a bit older, but the kids in the audience are not interested at all. 3/5

Trash Talk however start a proper moshpit that doesn’t really stop until after the last song finishes in a wash of feedback. Which must be utterly galling to Sharks, as unlike the opening band Trash Talk offer nothing new, inspired or interesting. It’s thrash/hardcore that ticks all the cliche boxes, guaranteed to get the eager floor dancing (well ludicrously spinning kicking I guess) but sure to leave you empty afterwards. If half the kids here had listened to Ceremony before tonight they’d have been standing at the back bemused. 1/5

Gallows are a band who are changing. Orchestra was a great album, but full of posturing and youthful rage – raging at anything, it was 36 minutes of fun riffy hardcore. Grey Britain though is the sound of a band who’ve taken that blueprint, and run with it into a brick wall of seething resentment for everything. Not just anything, everything. They’re an entirely different proposition live to where they were a couple of years back to. They’re still full of energy, even though they’ve all got the flu apparently, and they still rifle through a catalogue of songs most bands would die for. But where before it felt a little forced to be climbing on bars, a little rockstar to be calling the crowd ‘cunts’, tonight it feels natural. There seems to be a new found comfort to the band that really does see them doing what they want when they want, not just talking about it. When Frank meets/enters the crowd it feels like it’s because he’s at one with them – not because it’s what a tattooed rock star should do.

It’s difficult to put into words what you get now, but something is different. Something is better, tonight despite apologising for being off colour the band are the best I’ve ever seen them. Maybe its the release of the weight that a major label record deal put on their shoulders (now completed and left behind apparently), maybe it’s the end of a spiral of media action (I’ve not seen Frank on the front of the NME recently) or maybe it’s just a band that have matured into something vital and exciting from the promise they held. Either way Gallows are bloody brilliant and if you’re not planning on catching this tour, you’re an idiot. 5/5