I had been waiting on this one coming since the release of Terror Tapes last year. One of my albums of the year, if not THE album of 2013 for me. When Gama Bomb announced they were coming to Glasgow the date just could not come soon enough.
So there we were, waiting patiently and with anticipation, in Audio Glasgow. A converted railway arch that was practically made for nights such as tonight. Sadly, it isn’t made for taking photos of the event so I have to apologise in advance for only showing a few token shots of Gama Bomb!
That slight damper aside, Gama Bomb brought a host of friends along to share the stage over the course of the almost four hours of mayhem that was to follow.
Visceral Attack from Ireland kicked the night off in fine fashion as folk were still coming into the venue. Their aggressive punkish attack mixed in with discordant breakdowns set the tone perfectly and it was such a shame more folk didn’t get to see them with the night starting so early. Those that did see them warmed to them very quickly, more so when they ripped out a brilliant cover of Nuclear Assault’s Survive. There was a raw and crazy energy to their set as vocalist Chris McCabe threw himself into each track with reckless abandon. Good stuff indeed.
Divine Chaos followed with a set I was really looking forward to. I saw these guys last year supporting Insision and at the time they blew me away. Tonight I have to say they were just as great, maybe even better. Their style of thrash with death metal leanings, thanks in no small part to the brutal vocals of Benny F, is a joy to listen and behold live and to be honest I wish their album would come out because I’m desperate to hear if they can capture this live brutality in all its glory.
The penultimate band of the night, Liverpool crossover maniacs SSS (Short Sharp Shock), are well loved by the crowd here in Glasgow. Right from the off they explode into a furious melee of pitting that is wonderful to watch. It’s like they’ve been saving their energy and SSS are happy to oblige, pulling out their full repertoire including tracks from their forthcoming album later this year that are sounding pretty damn sweet. It’s a delicious set, dripping with anger and ferocity delivered to perfection with the crowd lapping up every single minute of it too.
Gama Bomb are a striking contrast to the more aggressive tone of SSS when they hit the stage. They’re here for one big old thrash knees-up with a hefty dose of the craic thrown in for good measure. Philly Byrne comes on stage with a huge grin on his face as the rest of the band kick proceedings off with huge smiles and much vigour. All through the set if it’s not Philly getting the crowd going it’s Joe McGuigan going mental around what little stage space he has, if he’s not at it then both Domo Dixon and John Roche are throwing themselves headlong into solos, riffs, winks, nods and smiles to the crowd as the pit circles ferociously around the tight venue.
I think practically everything from The Terror Tapes was played with Backwards Bible and Terrorscope being two of my particular favourites on the night sitting perfectly alongside crowd favourites such as We Respect You and Slam Anthem, OCP, Hammer Slammer, and Hell Trucker. It was a real journey through the history of Gama Bomb’s plethora of thrash madness that served to show not only just how great they are live, but also how great their tracks sound live too.
I don’t think I can recall the last time I was at a gig and saw not only some insane circle-pits but some crazy stage-diving, a brutal wall of death and to top it all off a human pyramid in the middle of the venue floor.
They came… they saw… they had a lot of fun with the full-on Glasgow crowd and left with them begging for more. It was indeed one damn fine night of thrash.