The Cathouse, Glasgow
Sunday 16th March 2014
Sunday nights in Glasgow are never the best nights to hold gigs on with last trains and buses leaving for their destinations earlier than usual, added to the prospect (for many) of work the next day puts a lot of people off, but as this would be New Jersey Thrash band Overkills (long awaited) debut Scottish gig plus the addition of two top notch support acts – this was one Sunday night gig that proudly proclaimed 'Sold Out' before the doors of the venue had even opened.
The venue was jam packed with boisterous Overkill fans young and old and as the house lights go down and as the bands intro music plays out, the atmosphere is almost at fever pitch. In a blaze of light, the band were suddenly onstage and a huge cheer went up as they launched into 'Come And Get It'.
Those punters still propping up the back bar piled through the small corridor as they realized the main act were on and tried their best to get a decent view but many had left it too late and could only get the merest glimpse of the band from the back of the packed hall.
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Mobile phones were hoisted all around and every single vantage point was taken as the band fired through their set. Drummer Ron Lipnickis' bass drum beat thudded away and you could really feel the vibration right down to the pit of your stomach while guitarist Dave Linsk beams from ear to ear watching the mosh pit developing on front of his eyes – you could just tell that this was going to be one long crazy Sunday night.
'Wrecking Crew' continued the pace as the band were enveloped in dry ice while vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth makes sure that every corner of the venue knows the chorus and are singing along loudly – something which the audience are more than willing to do. The first of a steady stream of crowd surfers are thrust stage wards and from the look on the security guards faces, it was going to be a long and arduous night for them.
Shouts of "Overkill" fill the pauses between songs and Ellsworth addresses the audience telling them: "It's a pleasure to finally be in Scotland", quipping that it's taken so long for them to finally get here because "it's a long swim from New Jersey!"
As some latecomers squeeze into an already packed venue, Linsk plays a great solo during 'Electric Rattlesnake' and the crowd are chanting once again with their fists firmly thrust in the air. From here on in, the band can do no wrong and we're treated to stunning renditions of Overkill classics like 'Rotten To The Core' and 'Bring Me The Night' with the audience thoroughly enjoying every minutes of it.
With 'Ironbound', Ellsworth seems totally stunned by the reaction as every audience member seems to have their hands in the air during the mid-section before some great twin guitar work from Linsk and Derek "The Skull" Tailer. "I can smell you but I can't fucking hear you" says Ellsworth before asking the rhetorical question "Why did it take us so long (to come to Scotland)?" before welcoming everyone "to the gutter" as 'Hello From The Gutter' has the audience singing along once again.
'Coma' has Lipnicki showing off his double bass drum skills as Ellsworth presses the flesh with some of the crowd surfers as they are quickly manhandled out the way by the security team down the front before Linsk plays a great if short solo while 'Thanx for Nothin' slips past with bass player D.D. Verni getting his moment in the spotlight.
'In Union We Stand' gets another huge roar of approval from the audience whilst Linsk seemingly manages to have a conversation with the front row while still playing guitar - bizarre! 'Elimination' brings the bands main set to a close in fine fashion as the crowd the mosh pit continues in earnest. The crowd surfers also try and do their thing too which causes one unfortunate guy to be unceremoniously dropped to the floor as the mosh pit closes in, but thankfully he gets back up quickly enough and heads straight for the mosh pit.
Overkill certainly have a strong fan base in Glasgow (and Scotland as a whole it seems judging by the amount of fans who travelled to this gig from all over the country) and it's clear that Ellsworth wishes they had made the trip here sooner, but at least they have finally made it. I also have a sneaky suspicion that the band will also return at the first opportunity and hopefully they'll be playing a bigger venue too.
Overkill Set List:
Come and Get It
Rotten to the Core
Bring Me the Night
Hello From the Gutter
Thanx for Nothin'
In Union We Stand
Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth – Vocals
Dave Linsk – Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Derek "The Skull" Tailer – Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals
D.D. Verni – Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
Ron Lipnicki – Drums
Official Website: http://wreckingcrew.com/Ironbound
After Xentrix played The Cathouse on December as part of their first proper tour for over twenty years (reviewed by MetalTalk here) there seemed to be a lot of people who missed the gig so the bands appearance here gave some of those who missed out a second chance and they grabbed the opportunity with both hands as the sizeable crowd surged towards the stage as the intro tape played.
There was a massive cheer as drummer Dennis Gasser appears onstage first before the rest of the band follow suit and jump straight into their set with 'No Compromise'. The vocals from Chris Astley are slightly lost in the mix but sound man is quick to correct the imbalance and from the front of stage to back of the hall it's just one solid head banging mass.
'Questions' keeps the momentum going and the sound of the guitars is crystal clear as the mighty riff from guitarist Kristian Havard blasts out.
The gig comes to an unexpected halt as it's realised that Gasser has managed to break part of his kit so while he frantically tries to fix it Astley keeps the audience amused with some chat before Havard steps up and plays an impromptu version of 'Summer Lovin' which the audience quickly join in singing along to before he teases them further with riffs from Manowar, Anthrax, Slayer and Metallica much to the crowd's delight before the thudding of the bass drum pedal signals the issue has been fixed – the drawback is that the band have had to lose a song due to the early curfew on the venue, but it doesn't dampen the enthusiasm of the band or audience.
"This is one you should know", says Astley as 'Crimes' carries the set onwards with the crowd nodding along and it's like the band have rolled back the years with a performance that's good if not better than it was twenty years ago. This isn't about past glories however, as Astley explains that the band are writing new material and they debut 'World of Mouth' which is met with a good response – if the rest of the new album is as good, then this will certainly be a must buy album of 2014.
It's very clear that those who missed out on December got a great (if slightly short) show and but with a new album in the offing, it's a safe bet that Xentrix will be returning to Glasgow for another headline show on their next tour, and Glasgow will be ready to welcome them once again.
Xentrix Set List:
For Whose Advantage?
World of Mouth
Balance of Power
Chris Astley – Guitar/Vocals
Kristian Havard - Guitars
Chris Shires – Bass Guitar
Dennis Gasser – Drums
Official Website: http://www.xentrix.co.uk
The first band to grace the stage in this three band Thrash-fest was a young five piece from Norwich called Shrapnel who I'd be told were well worth catching, and it seemed like a lot of the ticket holders had the same idea as the band drew a sizeable crowd despite the early stage time and they receive a warm reception as they walk on stage for what vocalist Jae Hadley termed the bands first "big one (tour)".
'Pseudocommando' had the dandruff flying both on stage and in the crowd with new bass player, Darryl Abbot, looking like he's loving every minute of it.
'Braindead' is another well received song with its title sung at an incredible pitch by Hadley as drummer Simon Jackson thrashed away almost unseen at the back due to a lack of drum riser of the small stage.
'Red Terror' is a "fast one" apparently but the bands whole set is so frantic you really have to applaud their skill in being able to hold the songs together at such a ferocious pace. The audience love it though as they clap along mid way through and raise their collective fists in the air at the end as the band happily savour the applause.
The final number, 'Warhead' was the first ever song the band wrote together and serves as a good end to a great set. Although this is also their first time in Glasgow judging by the audience response, I'm guessing the band will be keen to come back sooner rather than later and they too have a ready- made audience waiting for them.
Shrapnel Set List:
The Virus Conspires
Shrapnel are: Jae Hadley - Vocals
Nathan Sadd - Lead Guitar
Chris Martin - Guitar
Darryl Abbot - Bass
Simon Jackson - Drums