You know, I’ve always been pretty lucky when it comes to access to gig venues, growing up in Edinburgh in the days when all the big tours stopped there and now, 20-odd years later living in Sheffield with it’s soulless O2 Academy and the dark, dank and utterly brilliant confines of the Corporation, a venue which continues to bring some in some of the very best tours in the face of it’s, erm, corporate competition.
And fingers crossed it’ll keep doing exactly that.
Irish thrashers Gama Bomb obviously like the place too, in the past few months they have visited as headliners and also supporting Sepultura, but obviously they can’t get enough of it because they came back again to grace us once more with their presence.
This is the last tour Gama Bomb will be doing before they head back into the studio to work on their new album, so this was an opportunity not to be missed. I mean it may be weeks before they come back again 😉
By the time the band took to the stage there was a decent crowd, more than I expected for a Monday night. Frontman Philly reckons that’s because the financial crisis means that people don’t have to get up for work the next morning whereas when the economy is booming people are too busy to go to gigs.
Gama Bomb could never be accused of taking themselves too seriously, with their sci-fi and comic book inspired image and sense of fun, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that they are a damn good band with a knack for writing proper thrash anthems. The first half of the set was stuffed full of these, I mean this is what a thrash gig should be, and with stuff like Slam Anthem, Hammer Slammer and the RoboCop inspired O.C.P in their repertoire what’s not to like???
Writing for album number 4 is obviously well underway, and 8 songs in we were treated to what Philly described as “The long threatened new song” which, apparently, has the longest title they’ve ever given a track…. The Cannibals Are In The Streets Therefor All Flesh Must Be Eaten.
No, really, that’s what it’s called…
Escape from Scarecrow Mountain and We Respect You keeps up the neckbreaking tempo before the band treat us to another new song, Philly described this as being about “the first steps towards alcoholism”, I.E. underage drinking and throwing up in a hedge. And the title of this socially aware piece…. Pint Of Entry 🙂
It’s a massive cliche to describe a band’s frontman as “engaging”, but in Philly’s case, it’s entirely accurate. Part thrash metal singer, part showman, part comedian. There’s more laughs at a Gama Bomb show than at a many a comedy gig I’ve been to. Oh, and then there’s the audience participation too, who else could get the whole room doing that thing where you pop your cheek with your finger.
Ok, you had to be there…
One of the things I love about this band, apart from their brilliant take on old school metal, is the fact that the success they are enjoying clearly hasn’t gone to their heads. It’s still just 5 mates playing the music they love and having a damn good time doing it. OK so thrash will never be for everyone, but I defy anyone not to be entertained by these guys live.
I’ve seen Gama Bomb a few times this year and I think tonight was just about the best I’ve seen them, and judging by the new songs they played things are looking good for the new album.
So an hour of proper thrash metal and it’s job done….
Until next time.