Wednesday 17 October 2012

Gallows // Live Review, Leeds Cockpit

A year ago the ferocious, enigmatic Gallows front-man, Frank Carter, announced that he was to depart the band leaving them to continue on without him. Step up former Alexisonfire guitarist/vocalist Wade MacNeil. A year, an EP and new album later Gallows are back on the road.

Est.1987 headed down to the sold out Leeds Cockpit show to see what the new line-up and shake up had to offer…

Gallows' Wade MacNeil on stage at Leeds Cockpit

Wade MacNeil is undoubtedly a powerhouse and bounds onto the stage with confidence, comfortably slotting into the line-up. “Misery” opens the set this evening, its melodic beginnings making way for a gutsy, punchy middle which fleshes out the song. The set is fast paced and unrelenting; as is the balaclava’d haze of a circle pit that lashes out to every song. Bringing things up to date Gallows integrate songs from their self titled third, and most recent album. “Outside Art” is undeniably anthemic, its thrashy verses lead to a soaring chorus; whilst “Last June” is aggressive and unforgiving.

Gallows at Leeds Cockpit

Wade on stage in Leeds
Odessa”, with its fluctuating pace and tempo, is gripping; whilst the intro to “Death Voices” is given a little makeover. “This town is coming like a ghost town”, begins Wade and The Specials’ “Ghost Town” eventually becomes the gritty Gallows’ very own “Death Voices”. Gallows remain tight throughout; as ballsy and forceful as they always have been. Older material, “In The Belly Of A Shark” and “London Is The Reason” ultimately feel a little distant. This is not to Wade’s discredit, but singing songs that weren’t penned by him is no mean feat but he makes up for it in seething energy, something which only makes the crowd reacts positively. 

Singer Wade and guitarist Steph Carter
Comparisons between the former and current front-man will always remain, for the foreseeable future anyway, but the two have very different approaches. Frank’s likeability came from his unpredictable, feral on-stage presence. Wade is less spontaneous, more tame, nevertheless, energetic, at one point leaving the stage to jump up and sing from the bar; the audience willingly support the new vocalist. “Let’s make some mistakes. You’ve been a little too respectful and safe so far”, instructs Wade and The Cockpit doesn't disappoint as the set comes to its conclusion.

Spot the band; the almighty stage invasion
However, the crowd are not yet satisfied; Chants of “One more song” turn into  chants of “Three more songs”, then into “Ten more songs” and finally Gallows make their much sought after return to stage. Closing the night with older favourites “Abandon Ship” and “Orchestra of Wolves” sees the last bout of energy collide from both on and off stage, resulting in the crowd engulfing the stage in an almighty invasion. Gallows are lost in a sea of fans, tonight proving that they’re still everyone’s favourite rebels. 
"Gallows" the album is out now