Gallows members not afraid to stick necks out.
COLUMN: SCOTT MCLENNAN
The most punk-rock thing personally witnessed at last summer's punk-purveying Warped Tour music festival in Mansfield had nothing to do with music. Instead it happened during a break between songs when bantam-weight singer Frank Carter of the band Gallows threatened to pummel a guy whom he accused of pulling the hair of others in the massive mosh pit that grew before the band.
It was brash, it was confrontational, and it was righteous. It was pure punk rock.
Carter's attitude and demeanor are easily felt in the performance delivered on "Orchestra of Wolves," the Gallows' debut album released in the band's native U.K. in 2006 and in this country last summer by Epitaph Records. "Orchestra of Wolves" has rallied a cross section of graying punk fans and freshly Mohawked devotees looking for new voices good at an older style of the music. Gallows isn't afraid to get personal, but in the process never whines
"Orchestra of Wolves" is a manifesto on agitation, sometimes raising a ruckus simply for the sake of doing so, and sometimes taking aim at specific targets the band deems corrupt or oppressive. And the band does not spare itself in the process, as "Roll With the Punches" catalogs the way band members mistreat each other and sometimes shortchange the music.
Gallows has been aggressively building a U.S. fan base, starting last March with appearances at the South By Southwest music fest in Texas and later as part of the nationally touring Warped Tour. The band is back in the U.S. for a run of headlining dates, including one next Thursday at The Palladium, 261 Main St., Worcester. The show will be in the venue's smaller upstairs room, and the bands This is Hell and Cancer Bats are opening the show.
Gallows guitarist Laurent Barnard said that Gallows prefers to play smaller stages, even as offers keep coming for the band to step up to arenas back in England.
"They keep wanting us to upgrade to bigger venues, but we want to keep the show electric," Barnard said.
Brothers Frank and Steph Carter (the latter plays guitar) teamed with Barnard and bassist Stuart Giki-Ross and drummer Lee Barratt to form Gallows. The band took root in Watford, England, where its fan base started to gel. The band employed old-school punk work ethics of banging out all manner of DIY shows, yet did not limit its sound to the dynamic range of 1977. Gallows likewise used some of the lessons imparted by hard-core stalwarts such as Black Flag (whose "Nervous Breakdown" the band covered for the U.S. versions of "Orchestra of Wolves") and Refused.
"The magazines have made a lot of comparisons. I just think that a lot of writers who remember Black Flag and Minor Threat relate to that time through us. It's flattering," Barnard said. "I write the music, and we never have an agenda. It's a real organic process."
And it is a process producing truly confrontational music. Earlier this month, for example, the House of Blues in Anaheim, Calif., a concert venue operated by the Disney resorts, prohibited Gallows from performing an opening set for Social Distortions. Disney deemed Gallows objectionable, while allowing veteran punks Social D to go on.
"Frank and Steph went and got Mickey Mouse tattoos," Barnard said.
Barnard added that Gallows has been fortunate in the way fans are responding both to the live shows and the record, even though each is markedly different from the other. The live shows are unbridled and bolting toward mayhem. "Orchestra of Wolves," however, paces itself to allow for more nuance in the song arrangements and depth of sound to come through.
In either setting, Gallows is simply hoping to trigger some sort of cathartic release for the listener. Barnard thinks the band is getting the job done.
"We meet these kids who tell us how they lost their glasses or got a black eye at a show but it was still a great night for them," Barnard said. "Where else can you have a good time getting a black eye?"
* * *
Pilot, Nude Black Glass, Radio Blackout and others are at The Lucky Dog Music Hall, 89 Green St., Worcester, tomorrow. Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson returns to Worcester with a show Saturday at Gilrein's, 802 Main St..
The Mad River Band is resurrecting its traditional Groundhog Day show, which through the 1970s and '80s took place at Hennessy's Pub in Leicester. This year the band convenes Saturday at The Green Rooster Coffeehouse located in the United Congregational Church, 6 Institute Road, Worcester. The folk-blues-jam-rocking band includes singers and guitarists Roland Lapierre and Rich Hennessy, bassist Peter Allard, keyboard player Greg Martiros, sax player Louis Mulkern, percussionist Michael Allard-Madaus and fiddle player Bob Mulkern.
The Mark Zaleski Band can be heard live on WICN-FM (90.5) from 1 to 2 p.m. tomorrow and then seen in action at 9:30 that night at The Acton Jazz Cafe, 425 Great Road, Acton, as the venue is in business despite rumblings of its demise.
Kate Redgate headlines the show tomorrow at The Lancaster Coffeehouse staged at the Janeway Education Center at the Perkins School, 975 Main St., Lancaster.
Anti-Flag and Street Dogs are heading to The Palladium in a punk show slated for May 2. Tickets are $17 and go on sale tomorrow at Strawberries and FYE stores and online through tikets.com. To order by telephone, call (800) 477-6849.
Fans of classic soul and R&B can indulge their passions when The Stylistics, The Chi-Lites, and The Delfonics play Feb. 14 at the Colonial Theatre in Boston (Jimmy "JJ" Walker will be the host of the Valentine's Day Heart & Soul jam). Tickets are $75 and $60, on sale through Ticketmaster.
Scott McLennan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
CUTLINE: Gallows will perform next Thursday at The Palladium, 261 Main St., Worcester. This is Hell and Cancer Bats will open the show.
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|Publication:||Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)|
|Article Type:||Concert review|
|Date:||Jan 31, 2008|
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