Friday, 6 September 2013

Gallows Humour - Live review of Gallows and The Hell at The Macbeth

Gallows ****1/2*
The Hell *****
Rough Hands *****

The Macbeth, Hoxton, London 22nd August 2013

Rough Hands *****

So, first up on a night of a noble cause supporting one of London's most important and down-to-earth venues, are sarf Londoners Rough Hands. 

With snarling front man Alex Dench leading his rag bag pack, it looks like we're in for a proper hardcore violation. 

But it doesn't quite come to the boil. There's heat and simmering, but no searing spitting venom. Punk and its ugly close relatives thrive on insulting, violating, appalling, disgusting, disturbing, unsettling, spellbinding and defiling. But the overwhelming feeling tonight is all a bit half cocked. Don't get me wrong, they're not half bad at what they do. There's energy, grind and chop. But maybe they're just a bit too nice.

A prawn cocktail before a naga-infused razor blade vindaloo. 

The Hell *****

Gallows ****1/2*
The ghost of the tattooed ginger ninja long gone, Mr McNeil and the pared-down, nu-Gallows (now sans both Carters) shamble onto the stage in front of a heaving room full of strong beards, wife-beaters, snap-backs, rucksacks, lager and Nikes.

And they blow the bloody back doors off.

A vicious and violent set is beautifully orchestrated. Old tunes, new tunes, big tunes, bad tunes, loud tunes, spleen-splitting tunes. All sung back at maximum Dbs by the adoring, tumult of writhing punksters and miscreants.

This is one of the best shows I've seen Gallows deliver, and by the fervour of the assembled army, I don't think it's a lone opinion.

Stage diving, surfing, invading and mic-hijacking all add to the chaotic, disturbia.

One of the most important and influential punk outfits ever to be born are certainly growing up and out. And despite the leaner line up, their sound tonight has a more jagged, cleaner, sharper and more poisonous than ever feel. And, unlike the surprisingly nice Rough Hands, Gallows truly are insulting, violating, appalling, disgusting, disturbing, unsettling, spellbinding and defiling. And bloody brilliant.

More tunes soon.


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