Gallows instore at Rough Trade East
Bank holiday Monday, 4 May, and today there is a free instore set and signing to further promote the launch of Gallows' second album Grey Britain. After working until about lunchtime, eating, showering, etc, the missus and I headed off in the car, London bound.
After parking just around the corner from the Old Blue Last, venue of the second of last December's two "East End Invasion" Gallows dates, we walked for a few minutes, arriving at Rough Trade's east London store at about 6pm. I located brother Dim, secured our wristbands, then ran off for a pee and a cup of coffee.
Back at the venue, a line had started to form. A pretty big one, too, but I spotted a bunch of buddies, and we hello'd and chitchatted while waiting for the doors to open. The rain was not welcomed by those young punksters who had arrived in T-shirts and/or short skirts, but with my leather jacket and woolly hat, I was all good. Sensible clothing ftw!
Once they let us in, I headed, uncharacteristically, towards the stage at the back of the venue. Ish. As it happened, I didn't stay just there very long, shunting slightly outwards from the pit. These hands are key to keeping a roof over my head!
As the band takes to the tiny stage, vocalist Frank tells us that they don't have a setlist and that they will play what is asked for by the crowd. This is a nice touch, and immediately the boys are inundated with requests. This process doesn't last long; soon written suggestions are the order of the day. And indeed some song choices, unsurprisingly, are overlooked altogether.
I was expecting only half a dozen songs, maybe, but was pleased that the set was a bit longer. Indeed, in terms of number of songs, this was the same length show as the first time I saw Gallows, slightly less than a year ago, at Chatham's Tap 'n' Tin.
The exact list of songs escapes me now, but I'm pretty sure it was all of the following, though not in that order. I love hearing "Gold Dust", even though it is so short, at just under 1 minute.
The new songs are already knitting seamlessly into the gig repertoire. The hard core of fans already know most, if not all, of the words, and the question/answer parts of the songs really lend themselves to the live environment.
YouTube user shambles247 (linked below) has footage of most of the set, wherein you can see that the stage didn't hold the band for long, and all except drummer Lee were in with the crowd for a good while.
In the Belly of a Shark (+ Happy Birthday)
Orchestra of Wolves.
(Unheeded went: Six Years, Rolling with the Punches [a personal fave of mine], Party Hard [a cover of the Andrew WK song, which Gallows have performed live once or twice], The Vulture, Sick of Feeling Sick, and no doubt others that I didn't catch.)
Once the set was over, an orderly queue started to form at the front of the shop, where the band would be signing stuff for those in attendance.
My super deluxe copy of the album had not yet arrived, so I was in two minds whether to buy one here in order to participate in the signing, but I had taken my sleeve of CD single "In the Belly of a Shark", just in case. The aforementioned chaps obliged, along with Lags, Stu, and Steph.
It was then time to say ta-ra to the Gallows posse and head off with Red to have some dinner on London's Brick Lane, which is famed for its hundreds of Indian restaurants. Despite having lived in London for 10 years, neither of us has ever eaten there before, and it is difficult to choose a restaurant, to be honest, given that there is so much choice. It is also unappealing to have people stood at the door trying to beckon punters in, as though you are in some dodgy Spanish-island holiday resort.
We plumped for one that had no doorman -- though it later became clear that this was just serendipity and he was probably on a toilet break. He was there a-beckoning when we left anyway! The venue of choice was Poppadom's (sic).
We ordered veggie dishes (mushroom bhaji, sag aloo, tarka daal), rice, and naan, as well as a drink each, and the missus headed off to the loo. On her return, she said: "I hope the graffiti in the ladies' is wrong. It says the food took forever to come and was cold." Oh, bugger, we thought, we've chosen the worst restaurant on Brick Lane.
In fact, our food arrived pretty quickly and was a good temperature. Certainly it was warmer than when we get takeaways delivered back home. And you know what? It was good, too. Subsequently I have found another bad review online. Maybe we got lucky, but I really enjoyed the food there, and so did the wife.
All in all, a good end to a great evening!