Live Evil: Gallows London Underworld Review
The UK Hardcore scene is in frighteningly rude health at the moment, which is why it maybe seems slightly confusing to see the band that originally blew the scenes doors wide open to a larger market headlining in such an intimate venue as The Underworld. Not that those inside are grumbling, as this three-band bill is of such undoubted quality that getting to see it so up close and personal makes it even more of a mouth-watering prospect in reality than on paper.
For the early birds there is a brutal wake-up call from Brotherhood Of The Lake, clearly the odd band out on this bill, they play a form of hardcore that owes little/nothing to Agnostic Front, Everytime I Die or Minor Threat, instead concentrating on creating a bleak, dense, pitch black wall of sound more reminiscent of Burnt By The Sun, Today Is The Day, Unsane and, at points, Alice In Chains. Fantastic, but frightening.
To follow that you’d have to be crazy or incredible. Feed The Rhino are both of those things and more. Greeted with respect and familiarity they leave eliciting the same response as you would expect from the headline band. It would probably be easier to list the things that DON’T happen during their set; guitars are thrown, bodies are flung, life and limbs are risked and at the centre of it all stands frontman Lee Tobin, half Iggy Pop, half that bloke screaming about the end of the world in a bus shelter with piss on his shoes, in the crowd, on the crowd, splitting the crowd, making them sit down, jump up and go nearly as mental as he does. The tunes match the insanity with the likes of The Burning Sons and Nothing Lost cut from the same cloth as Vision Of Disorder at their finest.
Gallows, clearly, have something to prove by picking those supports. They’ve had something to prove ever since Wade MacNeil popped himself into the previously owned shoes of one F Carter esquire. Tonight it is proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that they are one of the finest bands this country has produced in the last ten years, whoever is holding the microphone. They launch straight into Misery at a thousand miles an hour and barely stop for breath for the next hour. Only six songs from the original lineup’s back catalogue remain and, while it’s always a pleasure to hear Belly Of A Shark or London Is The Reason, it’s fantastic to see just how good new material like Outsider Art and Vapid Adolescent Blues sound and, more importantly, the rabid response it incites from the sold out crowd. They end with Orchestra Of Wolves, the crowd onstage and the band in the crowd, and it’s pretty obvious that, although many of their original fans may have abandoned ship, this is still a band that you need in your life.