I love SWG3, a cracking mid-sized venue on the outskirts of Glasgow. Tons of free parking, early starts (and thus early finishes), good sound, great atmosphere and multiple venues inside. Tonight’s show was in the smaller TV Studio subsection and the crowd was building nicely even though I was a good half hour early.
Opening were 3Teeth whose new album, Metawar, came out on the week of the gig. Entering to a pleasingly full venue, they got off to a quick start and engaged well with their existing fans… of which there were many! I confess I’ve heard little by them so I can’t namecheck the tracks they played, but what I did see impressed.
3Teeth are heavy on the synth sounds and to my ear were like Ultravox with added adrenaline and depressants. Mixing doomy tones with synth-rock gives them a unique take on the industrial metal sound, and they have the visuals to go with it.
Something I love seeing at a gig is a support band getting a decent cheer when they arrive – and leaving to a better one. 3Teeth definitely managed this, and it’s no surprise given their music and their professionalism when the sound wasn’t working quite in their favour. A couple of times singer Alexis Mincolla had to ask for his microphone to be adjusted as his vocals couldn’t be heard, but the band took it well and didn’t throw the toys out of the pram as other acts may have done.
Bang on time, Ministry cooly took their positions in stage… or at least I think they did. Either someone has shares in smoke machines or one of the stage crew decided to sit on the trigger for the ones they had as the view was worse than a late 19th century London pea-souper.
Their set was a 2-parter, beginning with their recent album AmeriKKKant played from beginning to end. This slower, more political (even by their standards) album is pretty heavy and features some longer songs. Which helped as I struggled with the CO2-filled atmosphere to get any decent photos!
The legend that is Al Jourgensen (who looks like Jack Sparrow’s grizzlier cousin) paraded the stage, often behind one of his multiple microphones, sometimes playing harmonica, throwing his own guitar into the mix or just gurning at the audience. Cesar Soto was pretty much hunched over a monitor, giving the audience the evil eye until his backing vocals were required while his fellow 6-stringer Sin Quirin cut some shapes on stage left. Paul D’Amour seemed to be focussed on enjoying himself as he marched back and forth with a grin on his face. Don’t ask me about Derek Abrams or John Bechdel – I couldn’t see them!
While the audience did seem to get into the newer material – Ministry’s trademark hypnotic rhythms demand that a head at the very least bobs – it was when the second half of the show kicked in that the party really started. “The Deity” kicked off the first major moshpit, arms and elbows being flung around with wild abandon. “Stigmata”, “N.W.O.”, “Just One Fix” and “Thieves” were received with a mixture of bouncing, moshing or – in the case of a couple of women near me – very sexy dancing. In other words, our crowd was having a whale of a time.
The highlight, though, was a gentleman with long hair and flowing robes, clutching a large wrench, crowdsurfing to the front during “Jesus Built My Hotrod”. Pure comedy gold.
The evening ended – after being extended by ten minutes – with a cover of The Revolting Cocks’ “No Devotion”. The crowd’s cries for “One more song” fell on deaf ears as the band had already passed the early curfew. Mind you, we’d had a great show so nobody could complain!
Photos by Iain Purdie with assistance from Katie Frost Photography