GIG REVIEWS


Gallows
@ Leeds University
23.01.07

www.vanguard-online.co.uk

Gallows must have something going for them, after all this. Everyone here tonight seems to either adore them or know them personally, and both the support acts have made rather complimentary remarks about their headliners. Skinny Frank Carter walks onstage to patient applause, the audience a little surprised as Gallows are on ten minutes early. How often do gigs run ahead of schedule?

Carter's accent is heavy, his swagger blatantly confident. He was born for this. He takes the microphone without a second thought and storms into their first song, the crowd happy to burst into the first mosh pit of the night. Within only a few minutes everyone has loosened up, and we're all moving more than we did for either of the two support acts.

Carter is open, chatting to the crowd in his obnoxious manner, talkative but not quite friendly. He makes a few comments about The Plight and is answered with boos and playful insults. This doesn't faze him. In fact, he heads into their next couple of songs with even more energy than before. He's really jumping around the stage, his antics matching that of his bandmate to his right. The guitarist is thrashing around madly as he plays, showing off with his axe raised over his head and behind his back.

Underneath his tough guy act, we can tell Frank Carter is a bit of a softy. "My mum's bloody brilliant" he declares, before singing a song dedicated to her. And again, "This song is about divorce," he tells us, "This is for you if your parents are divorced!" More people than one would expect scream up at him.

At one point, Carter actually clears a space in the audience directly in front and brings one guitarist and his bassist down with him to play straight to the crowd. Someone says to him, "Why have you still got your shirt on? This is the Cockpit!" Carter laughs and proceeds to strip off his shirt. The guitarist remaining on stage copies, and large numbers of the male audience members also take part. Lots of shirtless fit young boys? Well I'm glad I took this gig...

The intimacy Carter creates by going one to one with the audience is quickly destroyed as he is mobbed in the middle of a song. A mosh pit is circling round him and he happily jumps in, still clutching his mike and attempting to continue to sing. It's interesting, to say the least. The guitarist and bassist clamber back on to the stage, but for a while there is no sign of Frank. We can still hear him, but he is submerged in masses of eager males. His head suddenly pops up beside the bar, and he hauls himself up on it to sing from there. His skinny frame is revealed without his shirt, and its hard to believe someone so small can create noise so big.

Carter returns to the ground and quickly vanishes from view yet again. He isn't even singing any more. This is the last song, and no one really cares that the vocalist isn't singing it. Someone else, I'm not sure who, climbs on to the stage and finishes it for him. As soon as they're done, Gallows leave the stage without another word and abruptly, suddenly, its all over.

The crowd mills about for a few moments more, seeming to come out of a daze. Was that really it? It seemed so fast. Indeed, the gig has finished quarter of an hour earlier than expected. But it was good.

In my opinion, I'd say Gallows come across as performers more than musicians. A lot of the time I was paying more attention to Carter's antics than the music they were playing and the words he was singing. Gallows have personality, attitude, and a vocalist strong enough to fill a stadium with his presence. They'll go pretty far.


Kat Humphries