Gama Bomb In Glasgow: Live Review

By on 3 February 2014

Photo: Gordy Jeans

Last week, madcap Irish thrashers Gama Bomb and frantic Scouse crossover brigade SSS hit Glasgow with all the force of a nuclear bomb. Our very own Andy McDonald was there to pick up the pieces…



Funnily enough, perhaps without even trying, every band here tonight live up to their name.

Openers Visceral Attack’s appeal lies in their ramshackle racket that just manages to conquer the gap between them and the crowd, before Divine Chaos
tighten the screws and take things up a notch, harnessing a technical wizardry that betrays their speed. Possessing arguably the most textured sound on show tonight, they fire out riff after riff in a set punctuated by cathartic crescendos.

SSS deliver a short sharp shock as promised – in fact, there’s a whole set of them. Performing in front of the backdrop of a sticker since the headliners lost their banner, the Scousers don’t piss about with things like silence, and there’s little respite between their two-minute bursts of hardcore-tinged metal. Words are, at first, largely kept to a minimum, except to tell off a stage invader. The poor chap isn’t alone in his excitable reaction though – the Liverpudlians spark mass movement with their unyielding assault from the first note, and their Scot-baiting banter (Irn Bru seems to be a favourite target of touring bands) is amiable – even coming from such intimidating men.

And then it all truly kicks off. Gama Bomb take to the stage, bringing, as always, a small-town keg party vibe. Where other bands rely on aggression and intimidation, the Irishmen inject their unapologetically daft thrash with humour and tongue-in-cheek pop culture references, and are all the better for it. Philly Byrne, sporting pyjama trousers louder than the amplifiers, is perhaps one of the most charismatic frontmen on the scene. Whether he’s delivering an urgent, mad preacher’s message about Robocop, pouring beer into the mouths of the front row like a denim-clad mother bird, or launching an impressionable young lady on a crowd-surfing journey, he’s a consistent showman. They’re far from reinventing the steel, but when their live output is so intrinsically fun, repetition is of little concern. As the evening comes to an air-punching end, there are good vibes entwined with the stenches of sweat and gloss paint in the recently-refurbished venue. “Buy our new album, or just download a copy,” suggests Byrne at the close. “Who cares? We’re all here, that’s what matters.”

As long as modest little sweatboxes can play host to such good-time metal gatherings, it certainly is.

WORDS: Andy McDonald

You can find Gama Bomb on Facebook.

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