The Arches in Glasgow is not renowned as a venue for metal bands to play. Its very design, part of the old railway arches under Glasgow Central Station, means playing anything loud tends to bounce from one end to the other and can make things sound very muddy. Thankfully however, the gig seemed to have a fine set of sound engineers looking after all the bands that in turn led to a great night of live music when SOiL and Fozzy came to town dragging Breed77 and Villains along for the ride.
Villains, formerly Never Means Maybe, were kicking off the night and sadly I only managed to catch two of their songs given the early start and my interviewing SOiL (which you can find here on the site). It must have been hard kicking the night off to such a small crowd given the early start and you also got the feeling the crowd never really warmed to them either. Leaving the stage to polite applause more than anything else, the crowd was slowly starting to build as they awaited Gibraltar rockers Breed77.
I take my hat off to the guys for making it to the stage in Glasgow as they almost didn’t thanks to a shattered windscreen on the motorway on the way up. But one little pane of glass didn’t stop these guys and they took to the stage in enthusiastic form as they got the crowd onside very quickly with Calling Out from their 2004 Cultura album followed very quickly by the hugely impressive and eastern flavoured Battle of Hatin that segued perfectly into the similarly styled Blind. Thankfully the band’s brush with danger on the motorway up seemed in no way to dampen their spirits or performance and when they pulled out latest single Drown from their forthcoming album the crowd went wild. Sadly, with time constraints and curfews at the venue the band only had time for a couple of memorable covers as they finished in fine form with Alice Cooper’s Poison , the awesome song Insects that got the crowd moving and their very own take on the Cranberries classic, Zombie. Unfortunately they never got to play their last song due to the tight deadlines and the guys walked off stage to the crowd shouting out for more.
Job done, Breed 77 left with a promise to return next year and finish what they started at The Arches.
The Battle of Hatin
Poison (Alice Cooper cover)
Zombie (Cranberries cover)
Fozzy came right on in and picked up perfectly where Breed 77 left off. Building the crowd’s anticipation with AC/DCs What Do You Do For Money Honey, they launched into the first track off of current release Sin and Bones, Spider in my Mouth with Chris Jericho throwing himself about the stage with reckless abandon. At one point you may have looked on this band as a curiosity given Jericho’s recognition as a WWE wrestler first but not these days. Not just Jericho, but the band as a whole have an infectious energy in their live performance that rubs off onto the fans and that carried on through to single Sandpaper that just oozed groove.
The set continued on in a similar vein with the band goading and encouraging crowd participation every step of the way as they ran through a good whack of current album Sin and Bones sprinkled with tracks from earlier albums. God Pounds His Nails in particular from Chasing the Grail almost brought the house down as did final track and final encore for the evening, Blood Happens.
A superb set that really got the blood pumping and set everyone up perfectly for SOiL to take to the stage.
Tonight was billed as a double header, but SOiL had a lot to do to maintain the energy that Fozzy had built up prior to them coming on. Safe to say though there was never any doubt, with Ryan McCombs back fronting the band with a real hard-ass rock and roll charm they kicked off with Breaking Me Down from 2001 album Scars and did not stop their relentless attack from start to finish.
Like Jericho in Fozzy, Ryan McCombs has a way with the crowd that is pretty mesmerising. His easy going Texan drawl just makes the crowd hang on each and every word and when he’s roaring his way through each track he really is a sight to behold. It’s unsurprising to see that throughout the course of the set the band stuck to tracks from Scars and Redefine but a superb version of Drowning Pool’s 37 Stitches also added to the mix greatly.
With the crowd also hoping perhaps to hear some new material from the band’s forthcoming album, funded through kickstarter (and already met its goal), they were greeted to the pounding My Time which not only went down a storm but also bodes well for the album in full when it is released next year all going well. It’s a kick ass piece of heavy rock that is reminiscent of the work the guys produced on Scars.
With the set finishing on a high with the superb Unreal there was only one thing missing that the crowd wanted to hear and SOiL duly came back on to destroy The Arches as they kicked into what was probably their breakthrough single, Halo. Cue crowd going nuts and Ryan McCombs throwing himself body and soul into the middle of the crowd for a sing-a-long. But they weren’t finished there, oh no, one final little nugget of brilliance with Ram Jam’s classic Black Betty just put the cherry on the icing on the cake and left everyone in Glasgow happy at the sight of a band having just torn them a new one.
Check out all the photos from the gig here on planetmosh