|Photo by Bart Pettman|
When Gallows announced their 'Back to the Dives' tour, in which they would return to the smaller venues they used to play, The Well was almost a given. The Well not only seems to be the perfect sized venue for this tour but was so important in Gallows' meteoric rise to fame a few years ago that it would have been quite rude not to. As usual with Gallows, tonight was quite pricey for a hardcore gig but you get what you pay for with three supporting bands in Last Witness, 33 and Dead Swans.
I unfortunately didn't get their in time for Last Witness which was quite annoying as (with them being signed to Holy Roar) I was expecting good things. Next up were 33 whose fun and energetic pop-Punk influenced hardcore was enjoyable but nothing new. Then Dead Swans were up next who, while their album was incredibly disappointing after their fantastic Southern Blue EP, played a heavy and great if a little sloppy set.
The first question to ask after Gallows' break from touring is do they still have it? And, from the first notes they played, the answer is a definite yes. Flinging themselves around the stage and screaming like their life depend on it, Gallows are off from the word go. Their songs sound just as furious and energetic as they always have; they almost feel like their break has given them a whole new lease of life. Gallows are in their ideal setting here; no security and no barrier and they take full advantage of this with Frank Carter throwing himself in to the crowd. Tonight's gig saw a much more varied set than there was on recent tours, with them drawing heavily off their first album, Orchestra of Wolves. The crowd went absolutely wild for it, singing back each and every word, showing this band still has a large and devout following. In true Gallows' tradition, Frank invites one of the support bands on to help with a song. This time it's one of the singers from 33 doing Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro's part on Graves. It sounds great and makes for an almost night highlight if it wasn't for closer Orchestra of Wolves which seems to have had a new lease of life in itself; climaxing with Frank standing on the crowd screaming the lyrics without a microphone.
Near the end of this evening Frank Carter shares with the audience Gallows' plans for the future. He claims that they plan to have an album out next summer and that they plan to play The Well (not once but) twice when they next tour. While this all seems like wishful planning on their part, it is great to know that this band, whose future seemed so unknown at the beginning of the year, is far from dead.