There are few bands who have the on-stage presence as GWAR and tonight I would get the chance to dodge the fake blood that spews from the wounds onto the adoring fans! I had mixed emotions as I love taking photos of interesting bands, especially a band that looks as good on-stage as GWAR, however I also love my camera and didn’t want it destroyed by a torrent of fake blood and ooze! What’s a chap to do? Fuck it… I taped a zip-lock freezer bag around my camera, and crossed my fingers! I call this my ‘GWAR-CAPE’.
So, I’m in the pit chatting to another photographer who did not anticipate the blood…Luckily for him I had a spare ‘GWAR-CAPE’ (patent pending). So, we were good to go! I tried to tease out of the band’s crew when the blood would be forthcoming, in order to avoid being in the firing line but they just laughed and said, “From start to end”. I was going to try and keep one step ahead!
The first band tonight was Spanish band Childrain. This awesome 5-piece band played a great set. Although I only caught the last few songs, what I witnessed was flawless. They worked up a sweat and were really going for it, hammer and tongs! The finished their set to loud applause. Next up were old favourites, Voivod from Canada. These guys have honed their craft and it’s clear to see they really love playing live.
Voivod are considered one of Canada’s big 4 Thrash bands and even Metallica’s Jason Newsted played with them for a spell. Frontman Dennis Belanger owned the stage as he paraded around belting out his lyrics and even mock attacking me with a microphone stand. His face shapes and expressions were hysterical and entertaining as he waltzed stage right to left. The band played tight and sounded great. This was an epic and thoroughly enjoyable performance from the band.
So, at last the moment we had all been waiting for– GWAR were about to take to the stage. Darkness fell in The Garage and the crowd inhaled in anticipation as the band members strode out onto the stage. It was like a scene from fantasy film Mad Max meets Warhammer film…or dream…or nightmare! The lights slowly came on, like a dragon’s eyes awakening from a long slumber, to illuminate the marvellous and fantastic costumes of these creatures we know and love as GWAR.
With the band assembled they were ready to thrash out their brand of musical mayhem. I’ve often wondered how difficult it must be to play instruments in those costumes. The band’s lead howler; the super imposing ‘The Berserker Blothar’ came out with some verbal- belters aimed at the Glasgow crowd, for example proclaiming it was a ‘sausage fest’. Well when you’ve multiple penile appendages dangling from your middle area, you’re certainly adding to that statistic, are you not?
A band member looking like the bastard love child of Butterball from Hellraiser and Sheriff from Smokey and Bandit came onto the stage brandishing a club, attempting to reprimand ‘Blothar’. Soon after all hell broke loose and a scene that looked like a cross between Deliverance and Plant of The Apes ensued… What a spectacle! The crowd lapped it up, awaiting their first spurting of the evening! Next thing I knew the venue’s security who were looking rather nervous, standing at the edge of the pit, dived for cover as ‘Sheriff Butterball’ spewed blood from his abdomen all over the crowd.
Luckily ‘GWAR-CAPE’ did its job and saved my camera, although a bit of blood did get on my lens, but this was easily wiped off! My 501s’ on the other hand would see the Vanish Stick and the washing machine later that night!
This was an extremely enjoyable and highly entertaining gig. GWAR played with perfection and penache and the fans absolute loved it. If there’s one band you should have on your gig bucket list, it should be GWAR! GWAR are on their ‘Use Your Collusion tour’ right now.
I assume that’s a pun aimed towards Guns N’ Rose? So readers, go do the sensible thing and get a ticket and get along and be part of the fun! Oh…If you need a GWAR-CAPE, hit me up!
Review and Photos by Steven Scouller