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The Cathouse, Glasgow
Sunday 28th February 2016

Johnny Main

johnny main

exodus lost society

It was back in 2014 when I first saw a show by Finnish based quartet Lost Society, and they put on an entertaining and energetic show then, so I was very much looking forward to more of the same here – and I the only disappointment was that I'd missed the first part of their set due to due to the early start time.

The previous time I'd seen the band they were part of a four band bill so time was of the essence there, this time round, they were allotted substantially more time, even managing a one song encore, and they made the best use of it in their stage time they could. Over the past couple of years there has been a resurgence in the number of up and coming Thrash bands but Lost Society seem to be edging ahead of their competition.

They're a tight, rounded quartet, the band seem to get better and better every time I see them live and they seem to be touring the UK on a regular basis which is good for building their fan base.

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Samy Elbanna is an amiable front man and guitarist Arttu Lesonen lays down some great solos time and time again and their eighties influenced tunes hit the right chord with the sizeable crowd that turned up to see them.

They have some great tracks in their back catalogue but for me, I'd like to see them do a full headline show. It's great to see them supporting established bands like Exodus and Destruction, but I want to see them scale the next rung or two of the ladder and go out on their own terms. Sort it out lads, eh?

Lost Society are:
Samy Elbanna – Guitar/Vocals
Arttu Lesonen – Guitar
Mirko Lehtinen – Bass Guitar
Ossi Paananen – Drums

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Tonight, though was really about (the mighty) Exodus! It's been five long years since they last graced a stage in Glasgow – the last time was in G2, a small venue towards the north of the city – but this year the band were afforded the comforts of the slightly bigger Cathouse instead.

Why has it taken the band so long to return? I'm not sure but the solid turn out (even on a cold, bleak Sunday) showed that they still have a burgeoning fan base in the city. In fact so many had turned up that the gig must have been close to a sell out and those at the back were stuck with an exceedingly restricted view from the corridors leading through to the back bar while those who'd arrived there early enough had a prime view from the main arena.

Having heard good reports from the gig in Aberdeen the previous evening, I was expecting nothing but a great show from these bastions of Thrash Metal and as I went away from the gig, I got nothing less than a truly a great show from a hugely under-rated band.

Before the band even hit the stage, the audience were jostling for position and when Judas Priest's 'The Hellion/Electric Eye' blasted out of the speakers, the tension raised considerably. As the houselights dimmed, the crowd gave an almighty roar – if anyone didn't have goose bumps at that moment, they were plainly at the wrong gig!

exodus lost society

Sticks man Tom Hunting was the first to break cover and he didn't spend long seated behind his kit before he was standing on the drum stool encouraging the crowd to be louder and louder. As the rest of the band made their way on, the biggest cheer was left for front man Steve 'Zetro' Souza, whose recent return to the band has been largely welcomed by the fans.

During the first couple of numbers, 'Black 13' and the title track of their latest album, 'Blood In, Blood Out', the whole venue seemed to shake to its foundations partly through he power of Hunting's thundering bass drum but also to the ferocity of the circle pit in front of the stage. This was a clear indication that it was going to be both a long and a very loud night.

Souza clearly loves his job as his smile never really faded from his face all night. "I sense some violence in here tonight! What is it with Scotland?" he said before adding "We were in Aberdeen last night and they were fucking all kind of shit up there!"

exodus lost society

Of course, there was one important member of the band missing tonight. As Souza explained that "Gary (Holt) ain't here because he's on tour with another Thrash band!" who he wouldn't name, but everyone knew which band he was talking about. In case anyone needed reminding, the band broke into a bit of 'Raining Blood' to massive applause, before introducing Holt's on tour replacement, Kragen Lum, a man who's more than up to the job.

Though Souza is clearly delighted to be back on Glasgow, the same couldn't be said of bass player Jack Gibson who looked less pleased throughout the show. A bad day perhaps, but it drew away some of the positive energy bouncing out from the rest of the band.

As the gig wore on, it was obvious that an Exodus show isn't for the faint hearted as some younger members of the audience had difficulty lasting as they filed out drained of energy, but that just left more space for the mayhem in front of the stage. "Make some fucking noise" said Souza at one point before adding, "I know it's Sunday but this ain't church! Metal church is in tonight. We're not Metal Church though, we're Exodus but you know what I mean!" he joked.

There's a good selection of material from 'Blood In, Blood Out' including a rendition of another new track 'Salt the Wound' which features Metallica's Kirk Hammett on guitar which was well received (except when Hammett's name is mention which elicits boos from some sections of the audience), while 'Body Harvest' (which is about collecting body parts Souza explained) had the audience in full voice.

The band, or rather Souza, paid tribute to Lemmy saying what an effect he and Motörhead had on not just Exodus but everyone into rock and Metal today – a sentiment echoed by a great many people as they raised their Metal horns in tribute, before the band launched into 'A Lesson in Violence' which had the circle pit in full flow once again.

exodus lost society

'War Is My Shepherd' kept the tempo going and the crowd showed no signs tiring, as the band's main set came to an end with 'Implaler ' it was obvious that the and had to come on for an encore which they did.

As the encore came round, with the band recently celebrating thirty years of the 'Bonded by Blood' album, they couldn't go without playing the title track which got one of the biggest cheers of the night. Exodus deserve to bigger than they are, there's not doubt of that, and as great as it is to see them playing in a club, you just really want the guys to have a bigger stage to play on.

At the end of the day, as Souza pointed out, the UK and Europe "get" Heavy Metal in a way the Americans don't, so let's hope it's not another five years until they come back to Scotland.

Exodus Set List:
Black 13
Blood In, Blood Out
And Then There Were None
Children of a Worthless God
Salt the Wound
Body Harvest
Metal Command
A Lesson in Violence
War Is My Shepherd
Bonded by Blood
The Toxic Waltz
Strike of the Beast

Exodus are:
Steve 'Zetro' Souza – Vocals
Lee Altus – Guitar
Kragen Lum – Guitar
Jack Gibson – Bass Guitar
Tom Hunting – Drums

Exodus Photos ©Johnny Main 2016

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