Coronavirus update: View cancelled events here

Machine Head Review @ Glasgow Barrowlands

'One of metal's finest live bands playing Scotland's legendary venue in front of a couple of thousand Glaswegians......'

Chay Woodman

Date published: 2nd Dec 2004


MACHINE Head at the Glasgow Barrowlands; it's the stuff legend is made of.

One of metal's finest live bands playing Scotland's legendary venue in front of a couple of thousand Glaswegians, twitching nervously with excitement; it had all the hallmarks of a night to remember, and then some.

Those of us who were lucky enough to catch them with Ill Nino in 2001 or Sikth last year, knew exactly what to expect, or so we thought.

A stage diving nut? A crowd-led rendition of O' Flower Of Scotland?
Mosh-pits that look like scenes filmed in Fullujah and a Pantera cover? It wasn't in the small print.

However, before the fearsome quartet made their mark there was the small issue of support.
Caliban; great band, great album and the buzz surrounding them pulled the crowd in from the pubs early. However they sounded a little weak on the big stage in comparison to what was follow God Forbid, however, wasted no time in showing why they're slogging their way across Europe, with the impressive Gone Forever album to promote.

Crashing riffs, frenetic double bass drumming and vocals that make you want to head butt your friend in a frenzied rage; top stuff.

"Hear me now, words I vow, no fucking regrets..." Ripping into their set with the slab of flawless metal that is Imperium, Machine Head arrive, and the night descends into complete chaos.

It's difficult to tell where exactly one pit stops and another starts as bodies hurtle past, many ending in limb damaging heaps, as the crowd lose all concern for safety.

Anthems like Ten Ton Hammer and Take My Scars are broken up perfectly with the melodic tinged Days Turn Blue To Grey and Descend The Shades of Night,Bulldozer is rightfully resurrected from the critically brutalised Supercharger and Davidian is, well, just Davidian.
Throw in a medley of Pantera, Metallica and Sepultura classics and it makes you want to cry with happiness.

"Glasgow do you know what a circle pit is?" Bless Mr Flynn's wee soul, he would have been as well asking if we'd heard of haggis as a huge black hole formed in the middle of the dimly lit venue.

And with that Machine Head pound through Block, and the hundred-deep wall of bodies on each side of the floor collide. A sight to behold and one that won't be forgotten.

For the 2,000 odd sweat soaked fans who crammed into the Barrowlands for the unforgettable show, there'll be no need for a Werthers Original and a story about the trenches to keep the grandchildren occupied, they survived one of the finest live events of 2004.

Gavin McInally.