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The Cathouse, Glasgow
Thursday 26th November 2015

Words and Photos: Johnny Main

johnny main


It's not every day you get to celebrate being twenty five years old and most people would have a party so that's exactly what The Cathouse night club in Glasgow did.

To mark the occasion, they also pulled out all the stops and booked Anthrax to headline a gig - handy as they happened to be in town after playing a gig with Slayer the night before at the O2 Academy.

The Anthrax tickets (all three hundred or so of them) sold out in less than ten minutes in September, and quickly became one of the most wanted tickets of the year - and it should be noted that very few of them ended up on secondary websites selling for ridiculous amounts - this was a gig for the fans and, it seems, that those fans who got tickets weren't going to do anything but go.

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Having seen Anthrax the night before, I knew the band were on top form so a superb night was anticipated, and no-one went away disappointed. As my mate Garry and I arrived, it was obvious that only Anthrax were playing as their drum kit was already set up on stage.

As we settled in for the evening with copious amounts of alcohol, we watched the venue slowly fill up and the anticipation rise as the clock ticked slowly but surely towards show-time.

At the stroke of nine o'clock, the owner of The Cathouse, Donald MacLeod, stepped onstage to welcome everyone to the party.


Donald Macleod

A tad pished after one too many drinks shard at a Thanksgiving meal with the band, MacLeod spoke about the past twenty five years of the venue, before plugging in his acoustic guitar for a re-worded (and very amusing) version of 'Wonderwall' by Oasis followed by a similarly funny version of The Proclaimers (classic?) 'I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)' before he finally introduced Anthrax to the stage.

As three hundred fans shouted and cheered, the band looked genuinely surprised by the reaction, but as the gig went on, the audience would only get wilder and wilder.

Kicking off with 'A.I.R.', I think that everyone was caught unawares by the pure volume of the sound - I've been to a lot of loud gigs in my time, but this one seemed to take it to a new level.

Front man Joey Belladonna took time to check how many had seen the band the previous night - most it seems before adding "It's a Madhouse in The Cathouse" as the band burst into 'Madhouse' which was a signal for the first of the crowd surfers to do their thing as they started coming over in waves.

"We've been coming to the UK since 1985 and this is our smallest UK show ever" said founding member Scott Ian before correcting himself that this was probably the band’s "smallest show - ever!"

An airing of the band’s new single 'Evil Twin' was greeted with loud applause before a rare airing of 'Medusa' from their 1985 opus 'Spreading The Disease' had the audience going absolutely wild again.

Ian explained that today happened to be the birthday of regular drummer Charlie Benante who was absent from the tour due to being diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, so he pulled out his phone and filmed the audience singing 'Happy Birthday' to Charlie (footage of which can be seen on the band’s official Facebook page).


Just like the previous night, 'Hymn 1/In the End' was dedicated to Ronnie James Dio which had the crowd surfers back in action again.

The band’s cover of 'Antisocial' was pre-emptied by Belladonna encouraging the audience to sing along to the opening refrain and they were more than happy to join in.

As the song came to an end and the band disappeared off stage, the audience weren't going to let them go that easily and shouted louder and louder until Belladonna led the band back on stage.

The start of the encore was 'I'm the Man' which used to be a staple of the Anthrax set list but has been played less regularly recently so it was good to hear it here. The fact they played it without messing it up (either deliberately or accidentally) was a bonus too.

Bass player Frankie Bello obviously relished the opportunity to add vocals to the song and not have to worry about playing bass.


The track 'Indians' always goes down well and this was no exception - utter mayhem is the only way to describe the audience at this point.

"Did you have fun tonight?" asked Ian signalling that the end of the show was near, to a glorious cheer from the audience. "Don't say we don't give you value for money" he added jokingly before the band closed the show with another song not played the previous night, 'I Am The Law'.

This gig was everything that I hoped it would be - loud, fun and very memorable. Like the three hundred or so other people there, this was probably *the* gig of the year, and it's going to take an awful lot to beat it.

My best big band/small gig was Metallica at the Barrowlands back in 1996, but Anthrax at The Cathouse comprehensively wiped the floor with that gig.


Anthrax Set List:
Caught in a Mosh
Got the Time
Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)
Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't
Evil Twin
March of the S.O.D.
Hymn 1
In the End
I'm the Man
I Am The Law

Anthrax are:
Joey Belladonna – Lead Vocals
Jonathan Donais – Lead Guitar
Scott Ian – Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals
Frank Bello – Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
Jon Dette – Drums

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