Friday night in Glasgow saw the much awaited headline show from local boys Afterlife, almost exactly a year after I first saw them open for Bonafide at the Cathouse. That gig marked the last gig I ever went to without earplugs, as I was deaf for four days afterwards. This band plays loud. Last night’s venue has no photo pit, and I’m not the tallest person you’ll ever meet, so there I was leaning on a speaker to steady myself on my tiptoes when I realised I was never going to get a clear shot because the speaker was making my arms vibrate!
The show was opened by The Colony. Having been working all week on recording their second album they arrived in Glasgow tired by their own admission, but put loads of energy into the show and by the end of their set had the crowd firmly on their side. Most people there probably weren’t aware of them before but I’m sure they made some new fans last night.
Afterlife opened with Masters of Reality from their debut album Omega and immediately the people scattered amongst the seating, merch and bar areas made their way to the front and formed a decent sized crowd. Singer Pete McCoy always seems as if he’s ready to burst, prowling around stage with an excess of pent up energy, thrashing his hair around and belting out every
word. He’s a great frontman in that as well as a really good voice he’ll chat to the crowd as if it’s a party in his living room. During a couple of technical pauses he pointed out friends in the crowd, telling stories and getting a laugh to cover the delays. He’s also good at introducing songs, telling us their backstory and in a poignant moment explaining a dedication for Never Fade. Afterlife don’t really do ballads, but Never Fade was a softer, slower track which showed they can do more than you might expect. They then went back to the heavy stuff with Raise Your Fist which the crowd joined in with. Guitarists Raggy and Al and bass player Steve worked the stage well, not easy to do in this small venue. One forward step will have you standing in the crowd so the fact they managed to move around as much as they did was impressive. Drummer Iain kept things moving at pace, and was on hand with a comedy cymbal to complement Pete’s jokes.
Towards the end of the show standout tracks were Nothing Comes Close and War Machine, a couple of songs that really show off what Afterlife is all about. Hard and heavy, with rock, grunge and metal influences Afterlife are loud, in your face and if they keep on in this vein they’re well on their way to bigger and better things. As they closed with Lost the crowd fairly roared them off the stage. As always, I look forward to seeing them again, and hearing a new album, which hopefully isn’t too far away.
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