Live Review: Annihilator – ABC2, Glasgow 02/10/15

Suicide_SocietyCanada is one of my favourite countries for several reasons, hockey, poutine (which as far as I can gather just seems to be a combo of chips and cheese/gravy, two fine British institutions) and of course, Annihilator. It’s been several years since we’ve seen Jeff back in Glasgow, having last played the city in 2011 at a guitar clinic. It was the year before that however, when Annihilator as a whole last played.

If you were there last time, the biggest difference you would notice this time around is that Jeff has moved over one place, taking over the lead vocal duties. Coming on to King of the Kill might have been a way to ease himself into the night, what with it always being his song to perform. That or just because King of the Kill is a belter of a song to start with.

Oddly the crowd is quite muted for the song (if you don’t count hair flying about the place and a small pit), but compared to the rest of the show it was quiet. This could in part be down to the venue. The ABC2 is an odd shaped place, with the stage being indented into the wall rather than in the open. It’s also a horizontal room, meaning the rear wall and raised section is quite close to the stage which means those at the front are pushed to the sides. It’s not the first time I’ve seen a metal band struggle to awaken a crowd early on in there.

New video: Snap

Annihilator persevere though, and soon the pits are in full spin (after an unfortunate collision, I have two small bumps on either side of my head, any lower and it would have made an excellent Frankenstein’s Monster Halloween costume) . Following King of the Kill, they jump forward in time to the latest album which sounds strong in a live setting. Live performance is always the test of the quality of a new album, and Suicide Society passes. In a strange turn of events, it was the new songs that finally saw the crowd relax which in my experience has usually been the opposite.  Songs like Suicide Society, Creepin’ Again and No Way Out (from Feast) whet the appetites for some classics though, therefore Set The World On Fire and W.T.Y.D were dutifully served up right after.

Some surprise highlights came in the form of City of Ice and Tricks and Traps. However, it was Brain Dance that took the medal from me for tune of the night (recognition obviously goes to Phantasmagoria, Second to None and Neverland though). Alison Hell brought the night to a potentially early close, with Waters mentioning they would like to play more but they had to clear out for the club (Friday/Saturday nights in Glasgow there, every venue chucks the bands out annoyingly early).

Having damaged necks throughout, they clearly decided some vocal issues should also plague the audience the next day. With that we shrieked ALLLLLison through to the end with gusto and the gig came to a close.

Waters himself has to be credited for his frontman duties, having realised that just because you play angry music doesn’t mean you have to appear angry. Presenting an easy going, affable personality throughout, you almost didn’t expect him to descend into another heavy thrashy song.

King of the……KILL

I’ve recently decided to start buying patches at every gig to save on finances for the time being, sadly there were no patches on sale therefore I did the sensible thing of walking away. With a t-shirt. Who needs money anyway when you can have a cool t-shirt? Besides, there are more memories in a tour shirt.

Given that they were in the Garage last time it is surprising to see them in here. Promotion around town seemed quiet in the run up through so that could explain it. Still, it meant we could have a volume war with the band in the next hall (we clearly won). It was in no way quiet though, in fact it was probably the best I’ve seen the band due to the more intimate setting. Smaller = better, a mantra that is applicable in so many ways.

Additional note: There’s a second part of this review coming once I figure out the name of the support band I saw. I missed one annoyingly, but enjoyed the second. Professionalism knows no bounds.


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