13th February 2020
“It is finally our pleasure to be in the motherfucking Barrowlands”– the diminutive yet domineering figure of Frank Carter announced his relish of finally bringing his merry band of rattlesnakes to the iconic ballroom in Glasgow, the spiritual home of rock ’n’ roll. It was a brief three-date offering where the band visited Manchester, Glasgow and London before they play an eleven date tour in the summer across Europe.
There were two support bands in Glasgow. The opening act from Canada, Cleopatrick is a great exponent of the two-man band that is increasingly popular. The obvious comparison to Royal Blood was surpassed as the electric rock-infused performance engaged the early crowd. Having toured with an impressed number of bands, Cleopatrick was a good fit for this tour.
The main support saw New York’s Ho99o9(pronounced Horror) bring chaos and energy into the room and it rose exponentially as every song raised the intensity. Body Count and Bad Brains meets The Prodigy is an easy comparison to draw as the dark industrial hardcore electronic sub-bass-driven songs are overlayed by hard-edged guitar samples. The live drumming brought an authenticity to the performance but it was the twin fronted vocals of Eaddy and theOGM that stole the show. They took it in turns to drive home their brutal energy. A dynamic and relentless wall of sound saw many of the crowd in awe of what they witnessed. The new album Cyber Warfare provided the backdrop to the set but there was still room for some “My Way” from Frank Sinatra(sample) and a cover of The Exploited’s “Sex and Violence”.
After the brutally raw energy of Ho99o9, it was down to Frank Carterto raise the bar. Resplendent in his shimmering shirt and slick suit, it’s a far cry from the half-naked tracksuit bottomed acrobat that we are used to seeing flying into the audience from the get-go. Frank stood on a riser at the back of the stage between the Keyboards and the Drums and he informed the crowd that the night’s entertainment would consist of material from all three albums and that participation from the crowd was mandatory. It wasn’t long before the entire audience sung along with Frank during the opening song “Why a Butterfly Can’t Love a Spider”. The latest album was well served as “Tyrant Lizard King” kept the audience wanting more from the focused frontman and he ventured down from his riser to tower over the crowd on a sizeable monitor front of the stage. He spent much of the evening darting from side to side on the stage but took his rightful place back there front and centre. “Juggernaut”and “Wild Flowers” were welcomed with riotous applause as the hardcore fans were rewarded with some earlier material before many visits to the new album throughout the set as it was nearly played in full. If the powers that be were ever looking for an alternative James Bond, then Frank did his best to audition for the part as “Love Games” coupled with Frank in his suit, almost had the feel of a bond theme.
The Barrowlands became a safe haven for women in the mosh pit as Frank highlighted the importance of respect and decency in venues and throughout the evening, the now customary social dialogues bring everyone together, at least for 90 minutes. An empathic version of “Anxiety”was an early highlight from the set as the mental health message hit home.
The frantic evening was brought to a close with “Crowbar”and “Devil Inside of Me”before the ever-present “I Hate You”brings it all to an end with the crowd in raptures.