Barb Wire Dolls / Warhead – Bannermans, Edinburgh (24th May 2017)

Here we are again at Bannermans for the Barb Wire Dolls on a return visit to this great venue. This is the last of the three Scottish dates, having played Glasgow and Aberdeen the previous two nights.

Warhead (c) Gary Cooper

Before the main event we have a support band to get through – Warhead from West Lothian. I have to confess to not knowing this band or their music, which is a pity as this was the only time I would get to see them play as this was their last ever gig together!

The band kick in with “Rise against the Lies” from last year’s As the World Crumbles EP with killer drums and bass, and singer Greg giving it all he has. We “Surrender” next from 2014’s Warhead EP, and continue with said EP and one of my favourites tonight, “Sick of it All” with young Phillip playing some nice riffs. We have some “Jealous Insecurities” next before we get a stunning crowd pleasing cover of “Sugar” from System of a Down quickly followed by “Don’t Be Such A Bitch” from last year’s EP.

We have two more from the excellent Warhead EP in the form of “Who the Fuck” (with some nice crowd participation), another favourite tonight as it has an infectious groove to it, followed by “Your Meltdown”. The band end this most enjoyable set with “Crumble” with a visibly emotional Greg on guitar and vocals.

This was a high octane, fun set to listen to and watch. A real pity this would be the only time I would get to see the boys as I would happily go and see them again.

Barb Wire Dolls (c) Gary Cooper

The main event now and the third time I have seen the Barb Wire Dolls at Bannermans. The band have a new album coming out on June 16th titled Rub My Mind and we are treated to seven tracks from this forthcoming opus.

This is a true no holds barred, kick you in the face kind of band who explode from the moment Isis hits the stage and gives us a “Heart Attack” from last year’s excellent Desperate album. The band are on fire tonight with both Iriel and Remmington going nuts in the corner of the stage with Pyn rocking the other side, Krash killing the drum kit and Isis Queen herself just not stopping for the whole set.

The crashing guitar from Pyn heralds one of my favourite tracks, “Blind to your Misery” – a song that has the crowd bouncing with its slight nod to Big Country. A double hit next from the upcoming album, “Call Me” and “If I Fall”, and if these are anything to go by the album is gonna be a stunner. The band have moved on a fair bit, musically. The intro piece next heralds “Take me Home”. It’s hard to find new words for a band that truly are the real deal, just a joy to listen to and watch.

A bit of the “Walking Dead” from Slit next and you can see how far Desperate has come from this older release. I suspect the new album will have a similar evolution and all for the better as they do it without losing the identity of who they really are.

Barb Wire Dolls (c) Gary Cooper

The crunching guitar can only mean “Surreal” with the haunting voice that is Isis before we get another couple of killers from the upcoming album, namely “Hole of Isolation” and “Desert Song”. These really make the new album look like it will be killer and possibly take them up a level but hopefully still play Bannermans! The haunting “I Will Sail” is up next, a song that always shows Isis at her dancing best as she flows across the stage tenderly touching the lucky chosen at the front of the crowd.

We have a few more from the new album with “Where Mountains Drink The Wine”, “We Are Champions” and the stunning new single “Back in the USSA” which really lets you hear the tone of the album. Check out the official video for it. “Darby Crash” and the killer “Revolution” lead us into a hot, sweaty encore ending with “L.A.” before the final track in tonight’s fantastic set with – what else? – “World On Fire”.

This band live and breathe it, hence why Lemmy signed them up as they come off stage dripping with sweat from another stunning performance. They’re still on tour at the moment – miss them at your peril.

All photos by Gary Cooper.

Barb Wire Dolls: facebook | twitter | bandcamp | reverbnation | youtube

Setlist (“new” tracks are on Rub My Mind, out on June 16th)

  • Heart Attack
  • Blind To Your Misery
  • Call Me (new)
  • If I Fall (new)
  • Take me Home
  • Walking Dead
  • Surreal
  • Hole of Isolation (new)
  • Desert Song (new)
  • I Will Sail
  • Contract
  • Where Mountains Drink the Wine (new)
  • Darby Crash
  • Back in the USSA (new)
  • Revolution
  • We are Champions (new)
  • Encore
  • L.A.
  • World on Fire
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