Gig Review: GWAR / Party Cannon – The Garage, Glasgow (16th August 2022)

Due to going completely mental and breaking myself at Bloodstock (blame Machine Head), I missed several bands on my “too see” list on a very packed Friday. As luck had it, two of them were playing in Glasgow a night after my return home. Who was I to turn down a chance for some party slam with a side order of messy schlock horror?

(c) Iain Purdie

After picking up a Party Cannon shirt courtesy of a member of Cryptopsy (I think Joe?) who was working merch, I wandered to the side to grab some photos while the Dunfermline loons took to the Glasgow stage. They may only have had half an hour, but they crammed it with a significant slab of party slam. Aided by several inflatable beach balls and a matching whale, they somehow managed to play a filled set and engaged with the crowd as well as, if not better, than any other band I’ve seen recently.

While not quite a home town show, they obviously had local support and there were plenty of shirts on show as well as people who knew all the moves. Party Cannon may play stupidly heavy music, but that doesn’t mean they have to be all serious about it. A circle pit at walking speed, crowd surfing on the back of an inflatable toy and a bunch of slam fans doing press-ups mid-song are all part of what passes for normal in Party Cannon’s colourful universe.

The half hour screamed (and grunted) past very quickly, and the band left to a huge cheer from a by-then pretty full venue.

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A few more people wandered up the stairs, one or two armed with waterproofs and umbrellas, before the mighty alien warlords of GWAR strode onto the stage at 8:30. I’m not sure if the early start / curfew was due to a club night or to give the staff a chance to clean the venue afterwards. Either way, the band weren’t going to hold back either musically or gore-ically.

(c) Iain Purdie

I was going to say that they don’t mess around, but GWAR without mess wouldn’t be GWAR! After a quick intro of “Let Us Slay”, we were straight into the stage blood bath with Joe Biden being first on the chopping block. The Edinburgh (sic(k)) crowd – GWAR love to wind up the audience – also witnessed arterial spray from Putin, an overbearing redneck, Frank N Furter, Queen Liz and a whole host of others. I’m not going to go into details as I don’t want to spoil the show for those who are heading for one of the remaining dates.

Musically, though, they were tight as ever. Despite multiple cast changes (and the passing of mastermind Dave Brockie back in 2014), GWAR has never really stopped. The first time I saw them was back in 1990-something, and the last time was eleven years ago at the ABC in Glasgow. Both venues are now history so I hope The Garage has its insurance up to date. New album The New Dark Ages only got two songs into the set, but with a back catalogue going back as far as theirs two songs isn’t bad at all. Especially when one of them was instant crowd hit “Mother Fucking Liar”.

(c) Iain Purdie

Historically we went back to Scumdogs of the Universe which they were touring on all those years ago in Middlesbrough. The fact that “Sick of You” and “The Salaminizer” didn’t feel dated says a lot about how well GWAR have held up over all these years. Plus dismembering random latex people never seems to get old either. One look at the happy, dripping faces in the crowd would tell you that. They may have been covered in red (and blue) but every single one was smiling.

As mentioned, you still have a chance to catch both bands before the tour ends. If you fancy something a bit different (and a white shirt you don’t like any more) then you won’t get a better night of sickening, childish, disgusting and hilarious entertainment.

The last remaining date, due to me having to go back to work today so having to finish the review tonight, is in London at The Dome on August 18th. If there are tickets left, then grab one!

Credit also to The Garage’s resident Mad Crew who handles the crowd surfers with their usual professionalism. I don’t think there’s another pit crew who work together as well as they do, and I’ve been to a lot of venues.

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Photos (c) Iain Purdie

GWAR: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | spotify | youtube

Party Cannon: official | facebook | twitter | instagramspotify | bandcamp | youtube

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August 21, 2022 7:07 PM

[…] Testament, GWAR and Party Cannon who’d all been on my “to see” list. At least I caught the last two in Glasgow on […]