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The Classic Grand, Glasgow
Friday 8th April 2016

Johnny Main

johnny main


It's been a couple of years since Overkill last played Glasgow and the promise of a rare appearance from Vader on the bill along with upcoming UK based Thrashers One Machine made this a great bill for old school Thrash fans and an un-missable gig for those younger fans who may not have seen Vader or Overkill before.

As the MetalTalk team settled in for a long and loud evening, things weren't going quite to plan onstage. One Machine were onstage trying to get equipment working but, as it transpired, the PA had died and so the band were frantically trying to get anything working.

They faithfully remained onstage at all times with frontman Chris Hawkins doing his best to entertain the large crowd, at one point opening beer bottles with his teeth, as the audience patiently waited for the issues to be fixed.

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Eventually the band did get one solitary song out, 'Forewarning', which was delivered with the band's usual finesse, however you can't help but feel sorry for One Machine who were robbed of their stage time.

The good news is that they will return to Glasgow at the end of May for another show, so let's hope they have better luck then, eh?

One Machine are:
Chris Hawkins – Vocals
Steve Smyth – Guitar
Jamie Hunt – Guitar
Stefano Selvatico – Bass Guitar
Matt Cherry – Drums

Rating for the one song:

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This was my first time seeing Polish death metallers Vader and after a twenty year wait and I was looking forward to seeing them.

After the technical issues with One Machine, I hoped that the evening was going to improve but this wasn't immediately apparent as Vader seemed to have an extended sound check. Drummer James Stewart was less than happy with something before their set started and after a slight delay the band eventually took to the stage to a huge cheer.

Straightaway, frontman Piotr Paweł Wiwczarek took charge with a "let me hear you, Glasgow" and was greeted with a glorious response from the packed crowd and Vader's sound was actually not bad at all. Aware of the time pressures in the venue due to a club night later on, Wiwczarek kept things moving and keeping his between song chat to a minimum, preferring to play as many sings as possible. As they continued with 'Reborn In Flames' Stewart looked much happier whilst Wiwczarek kept the audiences enthusiasm level up mid-song.


It took a bit of time for bass player Tomasz Halicki to get into the swing of things but alas the band's set was nearly over all too quickly. Wiwczarek apologies for the short set just before the final number, 'Triumph Of Death' before adding that he hopes the band can return for a full show. Ironically, it's at this point the smoke machine spewed a huge amount of dry ice making the band all but invisible but they gave their final song everything in a defiant display.

As the final notes rang out the 'Imperial March' from the 'Star Wars' trilogy blasted out of the PA and as the audience made more and more noise the band were encouraged to come back on stage for a quick photo call before finally leaving for good.

This was an unexpectedly short set from Vader but it's clear they are crowd pullers in Glasgow, so let's hope that Wiwczarek's wish to return comes true sooner rather than later.

Vader are:
Piotr Paweł Wiwczarek – Vocals/Guitar
Marek Pająk – Guitar
Tomasz Halicki – Bass Guitar
James Stewart – Drums

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As I said earlier, it was only two years since Overkill last played a Glasgow stage and the fact that the venue was close to bursting point as the stage was cleared of Vader's gear showed how much this band are revered in the city, and the crowd were more than ready to party, though some more than others as there were a lot of really, really drunk folk wandering around the venue!

After umpteen microphone and monitor checks, showing that the headliners themselves weren't immune to the gremlins in the systems, the lights finally went down as the bands intro tape rolled and the crowd really came alive.

As the band kicked off their set with 'Armorist' they were bathed in smoke and white light as they came onstage to a huge reception whilst front man Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth's late appearance had the biggest cheer of all. Overkill's regular drummer Ron Lipnicki is currently recovering from an infection in his leg so the band had recruited Pissing Razors sticksman Eddy Garcia to fill the void and Garcia was on top form all night.


'Rotten To The Core' had the first real circle pit of the night and it was a refreshing blast which had Ellsworth happily letting the audience do the singing whilst the guitars from Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer were clear and precise. Garcia meanwhile was smiling away as he looked down on the rest of the band and audience from his high riser.

As his want, Ellsworth disappeared off stage a number of times during the evening only to bounce back on – distracting yes and was there any need for it? I'd so no, but then again he's been doing this for years so why stop now? When Ellsworth does disappear off stage, it's bass player D.D. Verni who steps up to centre stage to keep the band and audience in line as well as the show going.

"I'm in charge cos I say so!" jokes Ellsworth before 'Electric Rattlesnake' to laughter from some parts of the audience whilst others seem happier to boo him – maybe someone forgot their sense of humour! Tailer seems to be having time of his life as he sings along entertaining the crowd directly in front of him before getting the audience involves encouraging then to make noise which they do after Ellsworth disappears off stage again.


From here on it, it's a spectacular set from the band. 'Hello From The Gutter' sees the first crowd surfers of the evening break cover whilst Ellsworth spends half the song observing what's going on before encouraging the audience to get involved. Before 'Feel The Fire' Ellsworth introduces it as "old school for the old school day" and those wedged against the crowd barrier at the front raise their fists on celebration whilst those at the back seem to be a bit less sure of it as they nod along.

'Blood And Iron' kept the paced going as Garcia punched out the solid beat as he did on 'Bare Bones' too. Old favourites like 'Coma' and 'Blood Money' slot in seamlessly with newer material like 'Infectious' as the band put in a powerful performance. All the technical difficulties of earlier in the evening are forgiven as Overkill put every effort into giving the show the fans deserve.

'Raise The Dead' sees Verni getting another moment in the spotlight before the main track cuts in bringing the pace down to a slow and moody atmosphere which gives everyone a break from the frantic pace that went before Linsk pulls out one of his best guitar solos showing that there's more to him that frenetic riffing and razor sharp soloing.

Ellsworth thanks the crowd for the warm welcome before they burst into 'Thanx For Nuthin'' which has Linsk disappearing from the stage as he appears to have been caught by the curse of equipment failure!

All in all it's a good solid performance from Overkill and it's gratifying for them that so many people turned up to see them. Sure there were a few issues (pretty major in the case of One Machine) but these things happen and the bands carried on to give the paying punter value for money. It was a solid three band bill and I have to say that I've got no complaints at all and overall it was a great night.

Overkill set list:
Rotten to the Core
Electric Rattlesnake
Hello From the Gutter
Feel the Fire
Blood and Iron
Blood Money
Bare Bones
Nice Day... For a Funeral
Raise the Dead
Thanx for Nothin'
New Machine
Fuck You

Overkill are:
Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth – Vocals
Dave Linsk – Lead Guitar
Derek Tailer – Rhythm Guitar
D.D. Verni – Bass Guitar
Eddy Garcia – Drums

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