Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Whoops, there goes another ear / Whoops, there goes another chandelier *

* with apologies to Billy Bragg for this twist on his lyric

So, next on Gallows' East End Invasion mini-tour was the Old Blue Last, upstairs, in what is apparently a 100-capacity venue.

Getting there by car, as for the night before, was not too taxing, despite the traffic diversions because of gas works in the area. Parking in London is always fun, trying desperately to decipher the double-Dutch signs to ensure you don't get a ticket. We were all cool, though, thankfully. And then for some pre-gig sustenance we decided on Pizza Express, just opposite the venue.

Something quick, we thought. How wrong we were. Indeed, so slow was the delivery of our food that we ended up getting the starter on the house. Which makes me wonder if this was the reason the gig had been delayed from its 9pm start time to 9:30, since while we were waiting for our food, Mr Frank Carter left the restaurant with some friends (and no, we didn't know he was there when we went in, for all you haters saying I've got a man-crush). Maybe his grub had been delayed too, and now he was late! But the little blonde girl who served us, on only her second day in the job, was very sweet, and it certainly was no fault of hers.

According to ViewLondon, "live music is where [the Old Blue Last] can't be beaten, and if you see a favourite artist perform here you won’t be disappointed". I was geared up for quite a night.

We said hello to some of the usual faces, most of those name-checked in yesterday's post, plus Sophie this time (and James later), and as they all once again grabbed their spots at the front of the stage, I secured myself a former cinema seat at the edge of the room and readied myself for standing on it for a decent view of the proceedings.

Within seconds of the first song, "Come Friendly Bombs", starting up, Frank is swinging from a chandelier at the opposite end of the room. I have no fucking idea how he got there, but by the end of the song a second chandelier has been trashed by one of the audience. Back on the stage by the end of the song, the frontman announces that the remaining one is his.

"Gold Dust" comes next, and I think this is when the first scuffle of the night breaks out. All of a sudden one guy is pummelling another in the face. He gets about three hits in before someone separates them, and by the time Franks asks what's going on, the two are making up.

Not so sweet is the resolution of the second bit of fisticuffs, midway through "London Is the Reason". Suddenly someone at the front of the stage is getting smacked in the head by Frank before the fight spills on to the floor. Several people spring into action to break things up, and Carter is holding on to the dude, saying "Come down here, I wanna talk to you and you're too fuckin' tall." He has a private word, and the bloke is evicted. It seems he'd been having a grope of the singer, something more intimate, shall we say, than one should reasonably expect. The song picks up pretty much where it left off.

I think about now comes the new song about the trials and tribulations of being in a band, "when all you want to do is be at home, drinking tea and playing XBox". I can't fully relate, not being a rock 'n' roll star, nor particularly liking tea or having an XBox. Bill Gates ain't getting my fucking money. PS3 ftw! You'd get the impression that Frank hates being in a band, but I don't really think that's true. We all moan about our jobs, I guess. I do. And yet this is the best, most cushy job I've ever had. Certainly beats being verbally abused on an almost-daily basis and having people threatening to shoot me, as in my last job, back in 1993/4. Surely being in a band can't be too bad? Indeed, last night at the Macbeth, he had said, "You gotta take the good with the bad."

For me, the band is playing better tonight than the previous night, though discussions later with some of the crowd reveal a mix of opinion in that regard. Either way, the set is different, which is great and a special treat for those who attended both nights. We get no "Black Heart Queen", despite the attendance of brother Richard Blackhole Carter, who occasionally guests on this track live. (A bit of banter between the brothers -- about facial tattoos [Frank's] and almost-fainting tattooees [Richard] -- provided a bit of light relief.) Instead, though, we get the ever-wonderful "Rolling With the Punches". To be honest, that's a trade-off I can live with.

More new songs and old intertwine seamlessly, Frank taking the opportunity to go to the bar during the instrumental track, and the show ends, as is traditional, with "Orchestra of Wolves" and general mayhem. I'm sweating enough without being in the pit. How Lags can sport a full beard and Stu can wear a hooded top without being uncomfortable is beyond me!

Oh, did I mention that the third and final chandelier got trashed? Well, it did. I guess the Old Blue Last got an extreme makeover.

Setlist included, roughly in this order:
Come Friendly Bombs
Gold Dust
London Is the Reason
I Dread the Night
Kill the Rhythm
Abandon Ship
Rolling With the Punches
In the Belly of a Shark
Orchestra of Wolves
plus some other new songs, including the instrumental.

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Blogger furiousBall said...

those chandeliers had it coming

03 December, 2008 15:42  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Dude, you know it. Hanging there all nonchalant and shit, like they owned the place. Fuckers!

03 December, 2008 15:48  
Anonymous MikeXDarkside said...

That 3rd one was destroyed by be, which i have cut the palm of my hand wide open on, haha. I might steal that pic of me sining along to OOW in the red shirt if that is ok?

03 December, 2008 17:11  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Steal/borrow away, Mike. (Appreciate a credit if you use it anywhere public, like.) I may have another of you somewhere, in fact. I'll msg you on MySpace if I do.

03 December, 2008 17:21  
Blogger Cynnie said...

this is such a guy thing

04 December, 2008 09:30  
Blogger tweetey30 said...

Glad to hear you had fun.. Thanks for sharing the photo's of the fun you had..

04 December, 2008 21:26  
Blogger The Manic Street Preacher said...

Chandeliers???? They're a posh band then?

Sounds like my kind of gig

05 December, 2008 16:13  
Blogger Gardenia said...

I kind of lost track of your goings ons. These pictures are great - the first thing that pops out is lots of GUYS!

Anyway it sounds like fun - is this also part of your job? If so, way to go!

06 December, 2008 15:21  
Blogger Kristin said...

I saw your Skin Project tattoo and I think it is lovely! I applied in December 2007 via snail mail, and again recently via email. I am patient (not usually, but with respect to this) and persistent; two qualities that I think will benefit me as an applicant in this process.

Just out of curiosity, how long did you wait? I wanted to ask a Word or two about their experience as an applicant. Perhaps it will offer some comfort.

I suspect that Shelley has found all of her Words, judging by the few (approx. 200-300) that were left months ago when she last updated the progress on the project.

Take care!

07 December, 2008 22:17  
Blogger Kristin said...

P.S. I do not update my blogspot as I should. If you'd like a better introduction, check out my LiveJournal ( or MySpace (

Thank you!

07 December, 2008 22:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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22 November, 2009 05:11  

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