||BARB WIRE DOLLS TOP A SURREAL BILL AT FIRST EVER GLASGOW SHOW
Barb Wire Dolls/The Tales/The Rhubarb/Damaj: Stereo, Glasgow
Sunday 16th October 2016
Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid
Punky quintet Barb Wire Dolls caught the eye of Hard Rock legend Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead who made sure the band were signed up to the fledging Motörhead Music record label on which the band's latest full length album, 'Desperate', was released back in July 2016. To promote the album, the band are currently undertaking an extensive UK and European jaunt and MetalTalk caught up with them in Glasgow for their debut performance in the city. Before that, however, there was an oddment of support acts to get through.
First up were Greenock based Thrashers Damaj who seem to be making steady inroads of late with a spate of headline performances and solid support slots. I've seen the band a couple of times and if Thrash Metal is your thing then you should catch these guys before they become massive, because that's a very realistic possibility.
Harking back to the mid-eighties, Damaj have all the skill and professionalism of bands twice their age. A stage time of just twenty five minutes and the opening slot robbed them of a bigger audience but those who turned up were in for a treat. Just before 'Wrath Of The Tide' frontman Daniel Stewart explained the band had recently committed the song to tape – the first of a number of scheduled recording sessions - and let's hope the tape was rolling when the band were as 'on it' as they were here.
The track is a real stalwart of their live show, with guitarist James Haggart playing a couple of intricate solos whilst Stewart managed to slip in one of his own too.
Damaj live just get better and better. Stewart has a relaxed stage presence and he's an amiable chap, whilst the rest of the band, especially Haggart, have solid musical skills and we're looking forward to an EP or preferrably a full album sooner rather than later.
If you're into Thrash, or just plain good old fashioned Heavy Metal, then I thoroughly recommend that you check these guys out!
Wrath Of The Tide
Testament Of Judas
The Well Of Souls
Daniel Stewart – Vocals/Guitar
James Haggart – Guitar
David Douglas – Bass Guitar
Scott Macleod – Drums
Next up were The Rhubarb who describe themselves as a doom Metal act. Now, I'[ve seen a lot of Doom Metal bands in my time and The Rhubarb look nothing like the typical Doom mob you'd expect but more like an Indie Rock band clad in a mismatch of blue denim jeans and an assortments of colourful shirts.
Still, looks aren't everything and the band ploughed straight into their four song set with aplomb. Frontman Sean Maguire did a solid enough job keeping focus on the audience at the front, though not moving too far from centre stage during their opening number.
'Part-Time Suicide/Where Is The End' was introduced by bass player Hannah White who also did a solid enough job during the epic number. The track dominated most of their set, with White's vocals not quite as strong as Maguire's, the former struggling occasionally as the song went on, and as it did so, it became rather unfocused after showing some early promise.
'Set closer 'Voice Inside My Head' was the most traditionally doomy number and served as the best of the evening for The Rhubarb. Again, White took to the vocals and seemed to be more comfortable with them but the star of the whole set had to be drummer Jack Donnelly who showed real skill throughout and never missed a single beat. The track seemed to veer into what sounded like 'Jessica' by The Allman Brothers Band. Whether this was deliberate or an unrehearsed bit of fun for the band may never be known.
The Rhubarb Setlist:
Part-Time Suicide/Where Is The End
Voice Inside My Head
The Rhubarb are:
Sean Maguire – Vocals
Joe Robson – Guitar
Colin Mayer – Guitar
Hannah White – Bass Guitar/Vocals
Jack Donnelly – Drums
The third and final support band were three piece The Tales who hail from Ayr. The youngest of all the bands on the undercard, they also looked the most out of place with their trendy ripped jeans and gaggle of young girl fans pushing their way down to the front, but they certainly knew how to pull a crowd – just a shame the crowd attached to them didn't support any of the other bands on the bill.
Musically it was drummer Scott McRae who led the way with some powerful drumming, leaving the front of the stage clear for frontman David Peden and guitarist Lee Tallintire to interact with each other. Halfway through the set and 'Bite', which until shortly before showtime was called 'Untitled', seemed to be amongst the best they have to offer. There was some good guitar work between Peden and Tallintire whilst McRae kept his foot in at the back making this a complete performance where the band really gelled.
We were treated to 'Stone Age', the band's recently released single which drew some acknowledgement from the audience but Peden's rather ragged performance let the whole thing down a bit. For me it was 'Songs For Sad People' which was a late highlight and had the audience tapping their feet but ultimately the performance didn't live up to their early promise.
The Tales Setlist:
Sheep In Wolves Clothing
Songs For Sad People
The Tales are:
David Peden – Vocals/Guitar
Lee Tallintire – Guitar/Bass Guitar
Scott McRae – Drums
As the clock struck 9:00pm, the Barb Wire Dolls had finished tuning up and without warning jumped into their first number building to a crescendo as vocalist Isis Queen took the stage to complete the line-up. Looking every inch the DIY Punk band that they are, there was nothing left to chance as they powered through their set and took the evening to a new high.
'Energetic' doesn't even begin to describe how wild the band can be onstage, especially Queen who had the audience in the palm of her hand from beginning to end. There was little said between songs as they pushed to get as many songs in as they couuld before the venue curfew kicked in. The audience were even treated to two unrehearsed encores that bring them so close to the curfew that it's barely believable.
With pretty much every track taken from their 2012 album 'Slit' and their new album, 'Desperate', the band exceeded expectations with an untouchable headlining performance. Prior to 'Destroyer Boy', Queen finally greeted the hordes but unfortunately for those down the front, a photographer grabbed the opportunity to barge his way to the foot of the stage and unceremoniously shove his camera in her face but ever the professional, Queen carries on regardless.
A clutch of new tracks mid-set is kicked off with 'Surreal' which had Queen in her sultry element throughout the song, in what was a surprising change of pace into a slower tempo number. Bass player Iriel Blaque shone through here, providing the solid backbone to the song whilst Doll, thankfully bereft of sound issues, laid out a razor sharp guitar riff. During 'Take Me Home', the audience seemed to suddenly find their voices and a new attitude too, as they burst into life singing along while a group of headbangers appeared at the front as the band bounced around on stage.
'I Will Sail' provided a rare moment of still in their set during the intro before drummer Krash Doll picked up the pace and the band were back at full pelt but the track provided a showcase for Queen to prove how powerful she is and to show what she can really do with her remarkable voice making this track a true Barb Wire Dolls classic.
A quartet of older numbers closed the standard set with the well received 'Wild Child Diamonds' followed by 'Devils Full Moon' which saw Queen climbing up the speaker stacks before sitting there for the rest of the number, despite the speakers wobbling precariously as she swayed from side to side whilst 'Revolution' brought things to an end as the audience were gifted one final chance to rage and there didn't seen to be anyone left standing still. Indeed, so intent was Queen to get everyone involved that she took a quick sojourn into the audience to get those at the back closer to the stage picking one young man to serenade, to his obvious embarrassment.
As Queen gathered her thoughts on BWD's exit from the stage, it was obvious they weren't getting away that easily as they came back on for 'We Are Champion' which had the audience singing along whilst final number 'Heart Attack' has the venue going absolutely wild once more as the show finished right on the curfew time.
A wild and thoroughly entertaining performance to close off the night from the Barb Wire Dolls who undoubtedly put in the best performance of the night. Everyone who left before the headliners got on stage missed a truly unforgettable and unrepeatable performance.
Barb Wire Dolls Setlist:
Take Me Home
I Wanna Know
I Will Sail
Wild Child Diamonds
Devils Full Moon
We Are Champion
Barb Wire Dolls are:
Isis Queen – Vocals
Pyn Doll – Guitar
Remmington Pearce – Guitar
Iriel Blaque – Bass Guitar
Krash Doll – Drums
We also caught up with Isis Queen for a brief chat before the gig which you can listen to right here: