Tonight’s show, despite having the same line up as the rest of this UK tour (Gallows, Feed The Rhino, Brotherhood Of The Lake), has been billed as part of Cardiff’s Swn Festival. This means that there is some confusion around the show and a lot of diehard Gallows fans miss out on seeing one of their favourite bands play a tiny venue in Cardiff. Nevertheless, all three bands give it their best shot.
First up are Plymouth’s Brotherhood Of The Lake, who play to an extremely sparse crowd. Their set consists of songs off their debut album ‘Desperation Is The English Way Vol 1’ – musically they are completely spot on and songs like ‘Black Hearts’ sound just as good live as they do on record, but it’s just a shame that they play to a fairly unresponsive crowd.
Next are noise masters Feed The Rhino, who play to a slightly larger crowd than Brotherhood Of The Lake, but still don’t get the crowd they deserve. They play a setlist that largely consists of tracks from recent album ‘The Burning Sons’, and the title track goes down particularly well. They manage to get people moving, but it is a lot less than the usual carnage they muster up. They’ll be back in February playing to their own crowd, and it’s likely to be majestic.
Last but not least are rightful headliners Gallows. This is the first time they’ve played in Cardiff with new frontman Wade McNeil, and the room fills up significantly for their set. They play their set on the floor, which helps to conjure up some atmosphere in the previously lacklustre crowd, and the only member left on the stage is drummer Lee Barratt. Opening with ‘Misery’, they let rip on Cardiff and it’s pretty spectacular.
Gallows without Frank Carter are a completely different beast – they seem happier to be there, they’re full of energy and the aggression seems even more raw – and the crowd welcome him with open arms. The set mixes up all three albums, but seems to mainly consist of songs off their new self-titled album (which makes sense, as it’s the material Wade has worked on). Singles ‘Last June’ and ‘Outsider Art’ go down particularly well with the crowd.
The new songs are intertwined with songs like ‘London Is The Reason’ off ‘Grey Britain’ and older tracks like ‘In The Belly Of A Shark’, which go down an absolute storm. They go offstage to the horror of the crowd, but luckily come back on for an encore that includes ‘Victim Culture’ and their number one best banger, ‘Orchestra Of Wolves’. This moment is the best possible climax for the show and the singalongs with “MY NAME IS CASANOVA” are just unbeatable.
Shows like tonight prove that Gallows can smash it in any venue and to any crowd, however damp they seem at first. They took that crowd, shook them up and came away triumphant as always. Victory.