It is 6:30 pm but the crowd are already making their way into the venue as I walk under the very large yellow truck that overhangs the doorway to the Garage in Glasgow. Tonight I am here to see Japanese heavy metal band CROSSFAITH, supported by GROUNDCULTURE and BLOOD YOUTH.


The front of the stage is already packed as GROUNDCULTURE take to the stage promptly at 7 pm. This is a band who have already supported 30 Seconds To Mars during their short career, tonight's gig only being the second of this tour and only the band's sixth gig overall.


It would be easy to simply play through their self-titled EP as their set but instead choose to open their short set their set with an as yet unreleased track, the title of which remains a secret at this point. This turns out to be a good move as it grabs the attention of those who already know the bands material and soon have us in the mood for what is to follow.


Hailing from Newcastle, the band immediately up the pace a notch with their single ‘Deviate’ which the crowd lap up. The track has a screaming, but controlled vocal, together with absolutely huge guitar riffs, possibly the heaviest many of us have heard in some time.


Vocalist Roy Watson wastes no time in getting up close and personal with the crowd, leaving the stage and using the photo pit and stage barriers to get as close as he can without being dragged into the crowd whilst the dual guitar sound of Lewi Shoulder and Mattie Turner maintain the wall of sound coming from the stage. 


The bands line up is completed by the solid backline of George Collings on bass and drummer Andy Lonsdale who seems to hit the skins as if there is no tomorrow.


Once again the band decide not to rest on their laurels and play another unreleased song, the title of which has again been kept secret for the moment before completing their set with 2 tracks from their EP, the latter of which, their debut single ‘Confession’


Leaving the stage to deserved appreciation from the crowd, this is a band we will no doubt hear a great deal more from.


Band Members:

Roy Watson - Vocals
Lewi Shoulder - Guitar
Mattie Turner - Guitar
George Collings - Bass
Andy Lonsdale - Drums


BLOOD YOUTH are next up to the stage. Another British band, this time from Harrogate in Yorkshire. Described as hardcore punk, their debut album, ‘Beyond Repair’ was released in April 2017.

BLOOD YOUTH’s short six-song set, try saying that when you have had a few, opens with the track ‘Failure’ which, like many of their tracks, features self-analytical lyrics of ongoing issues in life and the world outside of the band.


Fronted by vocalist Kaya Tarsus, who has a distinctive and clear style of vocals that remain clear whilst displaying the traits of his musical influences of ‘Dillinger’ and ‘Converge’, the band line up is completed by Chris Pritchard on Guitar, Big Les on Bass and Sam Hallett on drums. The latter three members cite influences as diverse as Korn, The 1975 and Rhythm and Blues bands. All these influences, including some ‘Slipknot’ thrown in for good measure, shine through in the music the band are playing this evening.


The crowd identify strongly with the songs during the set which, although played almost in darkness, gave any newcomers to this bands music something new to think about and to listen to. In fairness, the previous band, GROUNDCULTURE also had little or no lighting during their set and it appears more down to the lighting engineer than the bands that this occurred. It seems to be all too common these days for support bands to have no decent lighting at all.


As each song progresses the crowd are clearly into this band and many know each and every word. This seems to spur the band onto bigger and better things with their music and I would like to see them on a bigger stage to experience the full strength of their performance.

Finishing off with ‘Reason To Stay’ the crowd are left in the mood for more and are ready for the crowd surfing that follows with the final band of the evening.


Band Members:

Kaya Tarsus - Vocals
Chris Pritchard - Guitars
Big Les - Bass
Sam Hallett - Drums  


CROSSFAITH are a Japanese heavy metal band from Osaka who formed way back in 2006. They have steadily built up a loyal following ever since and have grown in stature with each release.


With their energetic full-on live performances and the release of their latest album ‘Ex_Machina’, tonight's show was clearly well anticipated by the crowd who have now tightly packed together at the front of the stage and as far back as you can see in the venue.


When you notice that many of the crowd have already removed their t-shirts and are standing bare-chested before the band even enter the stage then you know that something special is about to unfold.

This feeling of something special is reinforced, albeit with some trepidation, when the ”Pit Troll” approached me in the photo pit with a warning that I need to move out the way fast if he taps me on the shoulder as there will be a lot of people coming over the barrier.


Just as he says that the intro tape of ‘Deus Ex Machina’ begins, the lights dim and the overhead lighting rig bursts into life having been preceded by the entire crowd endlessly shouting “here we fucking go”

The crowd instantly go wild and this immediately intensifies as the band enter the stage, singer Kenta Koie waving a giant flag above his head.

Keyboardist/programmer Terufumi Tamano comes to the front of the stage, jumps on to a raised platform, and whips the crowd into a frenzy without saying a word before taking his position at the back of the stage.


And it begins – Many of the songs played tonight are fully screamed although there are a few which have the cleaner vocals the band have also used on many of their releases. Regardless of whether screamed or clean, the crowd are ecstatic at what they are seeing and hearing.


A visual explosion of light and theatrics begins to unfold in front of us as vocalist Koie, guitarist Kazuki Takemura and bassist Hiroki Ikegawa take position on the raised platforms in front of them, elevating themselves above the crowd as the first of the adoring fans surf their way across the sea of hands holding them skywards, only to be pulled to safety at the last moment by the pit troll who releases them into the pit and back into the crowd.


At times Koie reaches forward and touches hands with those reaching the very front and this seems to spur more and more of the crowd to try surfing forwards. 

Drummer Tatsuya Amano, anchored at the back of the stage is just as animated as the other band members and the entire band are clearly enjoying the gig as much as the fans are.

Tamano is all over his part of the stage, climbing on top of his equipment and continuing to whip the crowd onto bigger and better levels of intensity as the barrage of music and light continues without abatement other than for Koie to thank the 2 excellent support bands.


With synths that sound like guitars and guitars that sound like synths, the electronic feel and spoken sampled speech which accompanies much of the music compliments the never-ending sheer rock music that is going on in the venue.


The crowd move and shift like sand in a storm, back and forth to the front of the venue as they suddenly part in the middle as singer Koie takes them to a higher level for what became a circle pit with fans, old and young, male and female, running around to the ‘orders’ called by singer Koie.


Without slowing down in pace the circle reforms into the previous maelstrom and the crowd surfing continues, person after person being lifted from the back of the crowd to the front only to be removed and safely let back into the crowd.


With no signs of slowing, vocalist Koie and bassist Ikegawa leave the stage and enter the middle of the crowd raised high on the shoulders of security. Koie is again holding his giant flag aloft as the pair of them continue to play and have close interaction with the fans.

The spectacle of this show is something to behold though it may just be the case that the show has overtaken the music which seems secondary to the other things going on around the band.


With the bands return to the stage complete, the circle pit reforms and another round of crowd surfing begins, the band urging those of us in the crowd to jump higher. The band demonstrate this themselves, still on their raised platforms, and at one point it looks as if Koie is going to stage dive into the crowd but stops at the last moment.


The band finally leave the stage after an hour and say goodnight, the crowd knowing they will return for an encore.  On the return to the stage, we are treated to an entertaining drum solo from Amano before the remainder of the band returns properly to the stage. The intensity starts all over again, the crowd still loving it, before, 2 songs later, it is all over and the band leave the stage for the last time.


At times it was impossible to hear the lyrics of the songs due to the volume of the crowds singing and chanting and also due to the absolute pace of the music being played.  Whilst this perhaps overshadowed things a little I can honestly say that this was an amazing gig.


The sound, the lights, the performance and intensity of the band were matched every step of the way by the crowd.

If you like the kind of music CROSSFAITH produce and you like raucous gigs with plenty of interaction then this is the show for you.  If you like all of that other than the raucous part then just stand at the back as it is still the show for you.


All in all, this was an excellent evenings entertainment with a mind-blowing live performance from CROSSFAITH which was worthy of putting many much bigger bands to shame.


Kenta Koie - Vocals
Kazuki Takemura - Guitar
Hiroki Ikegawa - Bass
Tatsuya Amano - Drums
Terufumi Tamano - Vision / Program


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