It was a bit of a shock when Gallows signed a £1million contract with Warners back in 2007. An audacious move for both parties, the former sacrificing their credentials in a scene that places such pride in DIY ethics and the latter putting an enormous amount of faith in a band that, despite its devoted following, is never going to truly trouble the mainstream.
Perhaps then, the greatest shock of their Foundry gig was learning that they had been dropped and now they ‘don’t have to pay their money back’ according to Frank Carter, denouncing any allegiance to those who ‘paid for [his] house’. So, this begs the question, have Gallows been all the more punk for taking the major’s money and not compromising to pressures?
The crowd’s unfortunate inertia prevalent throughout the support slots is quashed from the very second Gallows take to the stage, Carter swaggering on in typical fashion, hood up, glaring out over the throng. Within the first riff of opener ‘Leeches’, the tone is set, the floor becomes a maelstrom of bouncing two-steps and flailing limbs. It’s quite clear that this is set to be the most raucous show the union has seen this year, if not ever
The band give a comprehensive lesson in crowd participation, calling for all sorts of heroic manoeuvres, including but not limited to, a wall of death, a human pyramid and getting ‘everyone on someone else’s shoulders’. What is commendable is their alarming ability to act as ringmaster to the circus before them while still keeping their performance watertight and managing to maintain their own adrenaline levels throughout.
Highlights of the set include an appearance by ‘hometown hero’ Eva Spence of Rolo Tomassi for a rendition of Black Heart Queen which (almost) makes up for her band pulling out of their support slot, the unfeasibly large circle pit that opens up for the minute-long thrash of ‘Gold Dust’ and the howl-along of closer ‘Orchestra of Wolves’. By this stage the levels of crowd surfing and stage invasions more than answers the call to make security ‘earn their money’. They may not have proved major label material, but we love them all the more for it.