Black Spiders are pretty representative of how I like my rock: loud, hard and full of lyrics of giving the middle finger to society. That’s exactly what their two albums consist of: riffs, wailing vocals and thundering drums. Given their inspiration by AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Motorhead, it’s only natural to hear their influences shine through.
After seeing them perform at the Cathouse last year with two awful support bands, I was a bit more wary this time. I couldn’t tell you their names the next day, never mind a year later but they do fall into the same sort of category as Bring Me the Horizon. So you can understand my apprehension.
Nevertheless, after being mistaken for the band’s bass player in the pub (I’m unsure how given the band are far more menacing looking), it was off to the gig and with nice timing, Black Spiders were due on stage shortly. And when they did appear, it was to a salute of people showing them their middle fingers with the band acknowledging it with their own raised high. Only in Glasgow could a rock band get away with that.
Playing a fan-voted setlist, they kicked thing off with “Si, El Diablo”, the song which brought them to my own attention. And from then, it was non-stop. Playing a constant assault of riffs and grooves, I was head-banging for the majority of the show. Lead singer, Pete ‘Spider’ Spiby took time to thank the crowd for coming along, playing up the Scotland-England national rivalry and informing us that the reason the set sounded like it was 2008 was because of the fan votes.
Much of the set comprised of their 2011 debut album Sons of the North, playing great songs like “Stay Down”, “Kiss Tried to Kill Me”, “Blood of the Kings” and “What Good’s A Rock Without A Roll”. Some songs from last year’s This Savage Land peppered the set but they were few and far between like “Balls”, “Stick it to the Man” and “Teenage Knife Gang”.
Generally, I’m not a fan of bands with more than two guitars as it just gets messy (current day Guns N’ Roses, this applies to you). However, seeing the band in action again reminds me there’s an exception to most rules. Somehow, it works. Ozzy ‘Owl’ Lister and Mark ‘Dark Shark’ Thomas each had their chance in the spotlight as lead guitarists while Pete Spiby provided solid rhythm guitar. Meanwhile the ominous bass notes came from Adam ‘Fox’ Irwin.
Despite being lodged into one side of the Cathouse to get a decent view, the sound was a marked improvement over the last couple of gigs I’ve been to. Everything was balanced nicely. It was a joy to hear.
By the time they had rattled through their set and lengthy encore, including a couple of unfamiliar songs which I credited to early EPs or special editions of albums, they left the stage and I had a massive grin plastered on my face. The kind of rock that sweeps you away and while Black Spiders fall into the trappings of most of their songs sounding eerily similar to the next one, you can’t help but demand more. Here’s hoping it’s not too long.