So to continue my end of year round ups we have the top five gigs (that I attended, can’t really give my opinion on ones I wasn’t at) from this year.
Number 5 – Bury Tomorrow w/ Feed The Rhino and Empress – October 1st Glasgow Garage
Bringing Feed The Rhino out on support may be career suicide. One of the best live bands in the UK right now did their usual on this night and managed to inspire carnage in the Garage when they took to the stage following a very impressive showing from Empress, who if they keep their current work ethic up are going to go far. However, Bury Tomorrow may well be one of those bands that can keep up with the Rhino, as they also took to the stage and managed to put on one hell of a show. With songs full of big hooks and even bigger choruses while still at times being as heavy as a baby rhino, these guys are the future of metalcore and this was a gig that proved British metal is very much on the up.
Number 4 – The Wildhearts – April 4th Glasgow ABC
Ginger Wildheart has been on top form recently, but his return to the band that really helped make his name was still going to be welcome. Taking them on the road for the 20th anniversary of Earth vs The Wildhearts made it even more special, as they played the album in full and then took fan requests for the rest of the set. The band were on top form and this felt like a night of celebration. Their blend of thrash, rock and roll and punk lends itself perfectly to the atmosphere and when a band is having this much fun on stage, it transfers itself to the audience, leading to an all round joyous occasion. With them going back out on the road in 2014 make sure you don’t miss it or you will regret it.
Number 3 – Black Spiders w/ Hawk Eye and Baby Godzilla 7th October Glasgow Cathouse
Another bill chock fill of fantastic British talent, this was the night that Baby Godzilla smashed their way into my brain with a performance of complete insanity. Spending the gig literally anywhere but the stage these guys are special and if you see them live I can’t see how you wouldn’t fall in love with this particular brand of madness. Follow that up with Hawk Eyes, one of the best alternative rock bands on the scene at the moment and you already have a perfect gig. Sadly however these guys ended up being quite easy to forget considering Black Spiders hit the stage next. The Spiders are only behind Airbourne in terms of having a set full of huge rock and roll tracks that just make you want to drink beer and party, which is exactly what everyone at the Cathouse did. If Bury Tomorrow are the future of British metal, this is the future of British rock and roll.
Number 2 – Letlive w/ Night Verses 12th October Glasgow King Tuts
Anyone who has read my albums of the year will know I kind of like Letlive. It’s a love that’s been there for a while but was given a bit of a shock start when I saw them live at King Tuts. Jason Butler Aalon (as I believe I can now decide his name is) is a fantastic on stage presence and he is the kind of person who you just can’t take your eyes off, mainly because he may do something insane. A group sing along down the phone to his mum, who apparently lives in Glasgow meaning the family are out in force tonight, is a genuinely touching moment and his journeys to the back of the venue incite as much excitement as you’d expect. Letlive are a band on the top of their game and it was only a truly exceptional gig that stopped them claiming the double of album and gig of the year.
Number 1 – Killswitch Engage w/ Sylosis 3rd May Glasgow ABC
To say the return of Jesse Leach has rejuvenated Killswitch is an understatement. Brimming with more aggression and a fire that has been missing from them for a while, they hit stages across the UK with a vengeance earlier this year and damn did they do it well. A set list that combined the best of the new with the best of the old Jesse’s voice has only got better with age and he can now hit those melodic sections a lot better than he used to. Sure Adam Dutkiewicz is still a bit of a twat and you can do without a lot of his time on the mic, but these guys, much like The Wildhearts, felt like a band having fun again and it was a joy to watch.