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ANVIL @ The Cathouse, Glasgow, 10 Feb 2018
By Wojtek Gabriel, posted 31 Jul 2018
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Anvil live 2018
The Canadian speed metal precursors Anvil are regular visitors to Scotland, hitting the northern parts of the UK after every new release and with the still hot "Pounding the Pavement" album to promote, the crazy trio included their favourite Glasgow venue The Cathouse in their itinerary again. One thing you can expect from these guys is consistency; they will hardly surprise you in any way if you already know what they're about, but if you enjoy this kind of music, fun is always guaranteed.
Before the actual show commenced, the band's frontman Lips went into the audience to greet them the usual way, which is screaming into the guitar pick-ups and the guys kicked off the party with their classic instrumental song "March of the Crabs". They're not one of those acts that play a 1-hour show and say goodbye, so fans could expect a proper set of classics mixed with some newer material and after the aforementioned intro Lips joined his long-time partner in crime Robb Reiner (drums) and the bass player Chris Robertson (added to the line-up just a few years back) on stage, to play the first couple of the golden oldies ? "666" and "Ooh Baby". As it turned out, this time the band limited the number of the early tunes to minimum, so fans could only hear a few more of those, including "Winged Assassins" (with a short bass solo before), "Free As a Wind" (dedicated to Lemmy and described by Lips as a tune "about Anvil opening for Motorhead on the Ace of Spades tour") and the fast "Mothra", with its famous extended guitar solo, performed by Lips using a dildo. Interestingly enough, Anvil completely omitted stuff released over the period 1987-2004 (9 albums), which was weird, as you can find some really fine numbers on those releases; but you can't have everything. So, the rest of the setlist were some of the best tunes from the last five albums, including the first three songs from their newest work "Pounding the Pavement" - "Doing What I Want", "Bitch in the Box" with funny lyrics about a GPS device and "Ego", free for interpretation, but assumed to be about a well-known US politician, and then, the instrumental "Swing Thing" was an occasion for Rob to show his drumming skills, "This Is Thirteen" reminded fans where some of the band's influences are coming from (that would be Black Sabbath if you've not guessed), "Die For a Lie" was dedicated to Ahmed the Terrorist and the guys almost set the place on fire with the fast "On Fire". Wrapping up the main set, the hymn "Metal on Metal" saw all in attendance shouting the lyrics back at Lips, who in turn thanked everyone for coming out in his charming way: "We love you, you crazy motherfuckers!" and then, after a short break the band returned on stage, to play a couple of encores - the fast "Running" and also "Born to Be Wild", popularised by Steppenwolf. Watching the show one could wonder, who was having more fun, the crowd or the musicians, as smiles never disappeared from Lips's and Chris's faces as they posed together on the edge of the stage, while Rob was pounding the skins with the energy of a teenager playing the first show in front of an audience. Almost four decades into their career and they're still as happy on stage as kids in a chocolate factory. You simply can't not admire those guys.
What happens if a band can write a good tune or ten and enjoy themselves as much (or more) as their fans? Don't know? Then you should attend one of Anvil's shows. They are not Dream Theater league musicians, they have no mind-blowing Maiden-quality show production, but they are fun to watch and are well-known for spreading joy to their audiences. The bottom line is simple, you always leave an Anvil gig in a 10 times better mood than you were in before, and that's exactly what music should be about.
Text and photo by Wojtek Gabriel

Official Anvil website: my.tbaytel.net/tgallo/anvil
Anvil on facebook: facebook.com/anvilmetal
Tags: Anvil, heavy metal, speed metal, live, concert, Glasgow
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© 2007-2018 Wojtek Gabriel. All rights reserved. Unauthorised use of any works published on this website is prohibited.
Materials may not be reproduced in whole or in part by persons, organisations or corporations without the prior written permission.
© 2007-2018 Wojtek Gabriel. All rights reserved.
Unauthorised use of any works published on this website is prohibited.
Materials may not be reproduced in whole or in part by persons, organisations
or corporations without the prior written permission.