8th March 2015
Review and Photography by Gavin Lowrey
March sees the return of the Pepper Keenan enhanced Corrosion of Conformity to the UK and tonight it’s Glasgow’s turn to experience the pleasure that this brings…
Opening the show is Doom/Metalcore outfit Hang the Bastard (3.5/5) from London, who from the start aren’t really helped by the poor sound and sparse crowd who seemed only intent on watching the main event
The band the band throw their all into a moody five song set that offers enough to show that they seem to be coming out of the end of a long tunnel – this has seen them undergo numerous line up changes in their 2 album existence, the most important seeing bassist, Tom Hubbard, give up his bass and take up vocal duties full time.
There are big riffs aplenty throughout the 30 mins we get from the band, and from the moment we hear the opening riff of “Keeping Vigil” you know you are going to be entertained, and entertained we were, so those who couldn’t be bothered to show up in time, please hang your heads in shame.
There is an awesome buzz about the place as Corrosion of Conformity (4.5/5) are about to come on stage, the previously sparse crowd has now swelled to capacity as the band saunter quietly onto the stage in an unassuming manner, Pepper Keenan raises his fist to acknowledge the crowd and is then handed his guitar by a roadie, and then boom! We’re off on an 80 minute trip to heaven as the band are back to their awesome best with this reunited “classic” line up.
Cries of “Welcome back Pepper” ring out from the crowd and, had he not spent his time away in a band as good as Down, he probably would have been greeted with the more direct comment of “Where the fuck have you been?” that a couple of the crowd enquired, in a somewhat tongue in cheek manner.
The slow eerie “These Shrouded Temples” kicks off the proceedings followed by “Señor Limpo” which has the crowd jumping.
“King of the Rotten”, then we are taken to another level by crowd (and my) favourite “Heaven’s Not Overflowing”.
What strikes me is how tight the band are as a unit, and the sound is very good which also adds to experience.
We are treated to a trip down memory lane over the remainder of the set that shows that CoC are an awesome live act, with Pepper Keenan stealing the show. He jokes with the crowd, saying “These guys were broke so they invited me back”, that may be true, but all of the crowd really don’t give a shit why he’s back, just pleased that he is.
Highlights of the show include “Paranoid Opioid”, “Albatross”, “My Grain” & “Stone Breaker”, all delivered with a whirlwind passion.
There was also an awesome Bass solo from Mike Dean that was quite Geezer-esq in its delivery.
The encore consisted “Broken Man”, “Vote with a Bullet” & “Clean my Wounds”, with the seldom live played “Who’s got the Fire” thrown in as well for good measure
On the whole this was a blistering return to form as a live act, and so long as Pepper Keenan stays with the band (before Phil Anselmo comes calling with Down) we will all be happy. Hopefully, if he wants to do both, he can balance the two roles as well as Miles Kennedy, who does this easily with Alter Bridge and also Slash’s band, The Conspirators.
As comebacks go, this as right up there with the best!