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Gallows, Swindon Furnace

February 12, 2010


The show tonight is rescheduled from december last year and it’s a safe bet that very few people chose the refund option when the cancellation was announced. The small venue is packed out with eager fans, the majority of them wearing Gallows t-shirts and unlike at most shows, they seem to be wearing them as a mark of pride instead of an arrogant elitist attempt at showing they’ve ‘been there from the beginning’ that you get at most shows and from the outset it’s clear that this is going to be something good.

As soon as the band took to the stage the lower level erupted into a frantic circle pit which didn’t cease until the moment the band dropped their instruments. At many intervals Frank Carter proclaimed the crowd in front of him ‘fucking mental’ as they whirled around bumping into each other and flinging their limbs at wild angles while the music pumped through the venue and the walls dripped with condensation from the heat of the frantic bodies hurling themselves around the floor to the songs that they came to hear. At one point they even manage to get into a human pyramid when asked and after Frank himself does it, people begin to throw themselves off of the balcony after into the tumultuous crowd below, all in all it’s a health and safety nightmare, just as punk should be.

They played a good range of songs from both of their albums, and although I am not enough of a fan to be able to pick out songs the distinction between the two is clear that the fans show equal amount of passion for the old songs as the new, even though technically the new songs are the product of their brief involvement with a major label and therefore, the music of sellouts which are generally treated as worse on principle it’s clear that here, no one cares in the slightest. Frank himself addressed their being dropped from Warner with the statement ‘We started out as a hardcore punk band, then we were a hardcore punk band in the mainstream, now we’re a hardcore punk band again’ and they’re obviously no worse from their parting. Infact, it was probably a blessing as it’s unlikely they’d have been able to play such small shows with a label that’s sole interest is the amount of profit they will make.

It’s safe to say that I have never before seen a band like Gallows live, not just because I’m generally unfamiliar with the genre but because of the amount of passion that they have for music, and the passion that it inspires in their fans and that is what made this show one of the best I had ever seen. It brought people together and when they held out the microphone for those in front row to sing along, it wasn’t a calculated or lazy gesture, it was the simple actions of a band that truly, genuinely love what they are doing and want everyone to be a part of it.

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