Live: Slaves at The Barrowland Ballroom

46196761_502471590257852_3383703006770888704_nWith the release of their third studio album, Slaves have become one of the biggest rock and roll bands around at the moment, both in their stature and their sound.

The band’s tour had been so popular that an extra date was added in Glasgow and I was lucky enough to bag a ticket. The two-piece punk powerhouse played a blistering set last Friday at their sell out show at Glasgow’s Barrowlands.

It takes a certain level of confidence to start a gig with someone else’s song but Slaves carried off this bold move with an effortless cool. A low red light flooded the Barrowlands as the band took to the stage and vocalist Isaac Holman stepped up to the audience and asked, “Have you ever been to Barrowlands when it’s SHUT DOWN?” before launching into a thundering cover of Skepta’s Shutdown.

In the run up to the gig there was concern as to whether the band would still be able to play because, to slightly paraphrase Isaac, he’d ‘hurt’ his finger. However, the boys assured fans on their Instagram story that they were “proper rock and roll stars” and “the show must go on” and so the drummer from their support act Lady Bird stepped in to fill the gap.

The ‘weekend warriors’ were out in force for what was probably the most physical gig I have ever been to. The crowd collectively let go of all other thoughts and were completely immersed in what felt like a religious experience. Thinking back on it now it’s hard to fully capture the feeling; I was running on pure adrenaline and somehow managing to keep going. My glasses had fogged, my legs were gone but still I threw myself into the fray with each chorus.

At the end of the gig Slaves once again displayed a confidence in their own performance as there was no encore. The band finished on The Hunter and left the stage, secure in the knowledge that the show they had just delivered needed no drawn out ending, they had already given the audience everything they wanted.

By Owen Garner 


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