Live Review: Slaves @ Barrowlands

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Photo: Mark Cruikshank.

It was a strange but interesting sight to see the clashing styles of the gig-goers waiting in line to see Slaves at their sold out Barrowlands show. The majority of people either looked like they stepped right out of the 70’s London punk scene, or they were ready to spend a week shuffling at T in the Park. It was the Dr Marten troops versus the Adidas army.

After entering the venue, it became even stranger to watch as those rocking heavy boots, ear stretchers and blue mohawks, mingle with those who wore their finest pair of trainers and their whitest Adidas three stripe tee. I could have spent all night watching these two tribes almost circle around each other, but it wasn’t long before the support act LIFE kicked off the night.

LIFE’s set included a song or two that I could really see myself enjoying after a few more listens. I was really into their Sex Pistols inspired sound, but only when I wasn’t looking at the stage. The second the band came into view, all positive thoughts disappeared and I could only focus the highly pretentious lead singer, Mez, awkwardly jerking around to his own song trying to pass it off as entertainment. If I ever hear one of their songs again, I will only see that man – my love for LIFE was gone before it started.

Slaves started the show very fittingly with their song ‘Hey’ before barrelling onward with a mix of hits from their first album ‘Are You Satisfied’ and their new project ‘Take Control’.

While their classic hits such as ‘Sockets’ and ‘Where’s your car Debbie?’ proved to be as crowd pleasing as you would expect, it was uplifting to see many fans go just as crazy for some of their newer songs – ‘People That You Meet’ and ‘Take Control’ especially.

Performing in front of a simple large print of their newest album cover, with only a small assortments of instruments onstage, there was a sense that the show was not intended to stun fans with theatrics and show stopping effects, but rather that this was 75 minutes for fans to come together and enjoy the music however they wanted.

Although having minimal interaction with the audience, the pair would occasionally pause between songs to talk to the crowd. At one point addressed the audience to stop a fight that was breaking out between a few people near the front of the stage – which is something that the punk twosome are known for doing.

It felt like a safe place where the moshpitters and the non-movers could both enjoying their time while doing their own thing. Something which both the audience and band should be applauded on.

Although you are not going to go to a Slaves gig and spend your night night hearing their songs in a totally different way to how they sound on the album, you will have a great time rocking out to the songs you love with people who may not be dressed the same as you – but will love the same music just as much.

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