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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Warrior Soul - Ivory Blacks - 25/3/11 (Glasgow)

Heavy metal fans are a strange breed. Through all the good times and band times they hang in there. It's like a marriage.
For better or for worse they are in it for the long haul.
You can see this evidenced in bars like the Solid Rock.
While the recession bites and people sit at home with a six pack, the denim and leather clad hordes are still standing six deep at the bar.
Come the apocalypse they will still be there ordering a pint as the world collapses around their ears.
It's a similar story in Ivory Blacks.
While other genres of music are struggling to pull a crowd Warrior Soul and their supports are less so bucking the trend and more so kicking the trends clean in the teeth.
It's a strange state of affairs as I wouldn't even class Warrior Soul as a metal band. They're punk rock through and through.
They're guys who can play heavy riffs, extended solos, have long hair and aren't afraid to give the counter culture ghost of blue collar Detroit rock and soul a good going over, but at heart they are still a punk band.
None of that seems to matter though as the metal crowd still love them.
Unfortunately they seem to love the opening act as well.
I've deliberately tucked their name away deep in the recesses of my mind where only a tip top bit of regressive hypnosis will manage to dredge it up from.
It's a coping mechanism so I don't have to revisit the horror of having to stand through their set again.
There is however two things about this band that refuses to stay buried. The first is that front men should try not to engage their mates in banter between songs.
It just feels wrong. Akin to listening in to a private conversation that someone else is having. If there was a rule book on how to interact with a crowd that would be in it as a big no-no.
Secondly they sang a song called Space Dragon. It's about a dragon in space unsurprisingly enough and I now have it on good authority that no matter what you do you can't run from it.
I'm still not sure if you can't run from it as maybe Space Dragons have an uncanny ability to lock onto your position like a heat seeking missile, or it's more just that common problem of not being able to run in a vacuum.
Regardless of why you can't run the Space Dragon is going to get you though.
They did seem very firm on this point.
Apart from that they just didn't look right on stage as they had zero presence. Shit songs, shit attitude and unlike the Clash these guys maybe should have stayed in the garage and left the motor running.
I'll now be forever grateful to Forever Void who road in to save me from terminal boredom just as I thought I was going to flatline.
This band were the polar opposite from the opening one.
First off they refused to put the Dungeons and Dragons rule book to to music and for me that's always a good thing.
The main difference however was that the band know that it's 2011. They cover all the bases that rock fans want now and not yesterday.
It's maybe not my cup of tea, but I can appreciate talent and these guys have it.
The main draw is the attitude on display. It's this that separates the good bands from those who can make that leap to a degree of wider popularity.
I've seen more than my fair share of great musicians over the years, but more often than not the musos bore the arse of me.
I want to see someone that can't just play like a demon, but act on stage like one to.
Just as the night was picking up he penultimate band arrived to drag me back down to the point where counting your fingers seems to be a novel approach to killing time.
They were a car crash. Three guys playing rawk and a singer who wants to be in a post punk band. The terms singer and post punk are being used in their loosest manner here. Keep that in mind.
Sometimes bands can work a bit of magic and bring two styles together seamlessly to create a new sound that on paper doesn't look like it would work, but actually does when forced into reality.
This band aren't one of them though.
Awful. Just bloody awful.
I suppose I should mention that I'm in a minority saying this as the crowd in Ivory Blacks seems to lap up anything that had some fret masturbation involved. Different horses for different courses I suppose.
It's testament to the talents of Warrior Soul that they can then wipe the floor with the supports even though they are all two sheets to the wind. Well maybe more like ten sheets to the wind.
Drunkenly, shambolically magnificent..........and loud.
This is what a band sounds like when they are driving towards the cliffs edge and the break cable has been cut.
It's madness writ large and I love it.
Kory is a hurricane in motion, but there's no eye of the storm. No break to gather your thoughts or catch a breath. If this is a whirlwind in action then we are all off to Oz on a one way ticket.
The crowd instantly go from vocally supporting the bands to getting physically involved in the night.
They surge forward and backward like waves crashing on the security barrier. Kory leans in Kanute like and is swamped by the human wave time and again, but always emerges wild eyed and ready to do battle again.
The whole band are working on the limits, pushing at the boundaries of what a gig can provide to an audience.
They bring a punk with a set of bagpipes on to play an intro to a song. This is a guy they met an hour before they were due to play. The rule book has been shredded and no two gigs on this tour will be the same. So welcome to the motherfuckin' circus.
There's a bit of a deal going on with Kory and Glasgow. It's his spiritual home from home.
A couple of years ago he told me that it reminded him of Detroit and as cities go how it's preferable to staying in London. If that isn't proof of a degree of madness then I don't know what is.
He can have his pick. London, Paris, New York, Milan and he picks Glasgow.
In honour of his love of our “no mean city” he even penned a song called “She's Glaswegian”. A no holds barred ode to the warm, crazy and dangerous ladies of the city and when they play it the crowd goes nuts.
I mean literally nuts. The asylum doors have been kicked down and no amount of anti-psychotic drugs are going to make a dent on this party. In fact the more drugs the better. It's just going to enhance the experience.
Kory's on the floor rolling around in spilt beer, sweat and spit. He looks like Robert Plant possessed by the spirit of Iggy Pop.
This is a force of nature.
They don't finish by winding down. One minute we are being tossed around, buffeted by the force of their performance and then we are left spent and blinking as the lights come up.
This is fuckin' rock and roll. It's only when you see bands pulling out all the stops like this that you can appreciate how little effort others put into it.
Every gig is artistically a live or die experience for them. An adrenaline surge hammered straight into the collective chests of the audience.
If you don't feel it surging through you then you may as well just lie down and accept that life has already taken too much of a toll on you.
Warrior Soul came to town and the town will never be the same again........until next time.



  2. The Warrior Soul gig was class! :D
    I was pleasantly surprised by the support band Forevervoid, they were brilliant! Best unsigned band I've seen in ages. I'll defo be checking them out again! Looking forward to Warrior Soul's next bit of mayhem! :D

    Cheers, Chris.

  3. can't knock WS at all. each time I have seen them they bring it on.