Flotsam & Jetsam/Bliksem/Black Talon/Circle of Tyrants @ Stereo, Glasgow, 20th May 2015

Never in Scotland, and 28 years in the making……………… a non festival UK Flotsam & Jetsam show!

It’s like a 4 leaf clover or getting change from a £20 note when you hand over a fiver, it just doesn’t happen that often, and in this case, its a very long time in the making!

Taking place in the vegan paradise of Stereo, its a bit of a strange venue, but given the number of music venues that are closing down in Glasgow in particular, beggars can’t be choosers!

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This is a 4 band show, and apologies to the first band, the homegrown “Circle of Tyrants” who I missed as I was busy with the F&J Interview

I asked a few punters about their performance and the general concensus was that they were good and that they should have played longer, so on that recommendation, they’re getting 7/10

Next up are Black Talon from Edinburgh, an old school thrash band in the Exodus mode

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Pulling most of their material from their debut album “Endless Realities” they gave a fantastic show, and despite being hampered by being a guitar player down (Axe man Rory’s better half being 37 weeks pregnant and on driver duty) and thrilled the crowd with songs full of technical riffery as well as full on head banging power

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With the crowd swelling, lead singer Jonny Steele wasted no time in getting them going and even jumped into the crowd to emphasise the point

 

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If you like old school Testament/Exodus/Death Angel, this is your band, and I was very impressed with the 6 song set and I look forward to seeing them in their own headline show very soon

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The highlight for me was Lunatic Fringe & my advice would be to go and get a copy of their new album “Endless Realities” and enjoy

Vercict – 8/10

Setlist

1. Dead Hand

2. Era of Suffering

3. Soul Denied

4. Worlds Apart

5. Lunatic Fringe

6. Built to Fail

The “Main” support for the show are Belgian Thrashers Bilksem

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“Bliksem” is Afrikaans for “Lightning” and they certainly offer a jolt to the crowd from the start with their heavy, fast and in your face music. The band also decided to give the crowd a taster of their up and coming new album by playing 6 tracks from it in their 8 song set

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Singer Peggy Meeussen is on top form, and her deep vocal style, and the twin guitar attack of Toon Huet and Jeroen de Vriese give the crowd’s ears a good going over (in the best possible way) showcasing the band’s increasing potential

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Highlights for me were “Twist the Knife”, “The Hunt” and “The Life on Which I Feed”

Remember the name Bliksem………you will be hearing it again in high places

Verdict 9/10

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Setlist

1. Crawling in the Dirt

2. KYWAS (Kill you with a Smile)

3. Disciples

4. Room without a View

5. Twist The Knife

6. The Hunt

7. Fucked up Avenue

8. The Life on Which I Feed

Finally! The main event…………….Flotsam & Jetsam!

Having witnessed the soundcheck, I knew the show was going to be loud, but wow!

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Opening with “No Place For Disgrace” its clearly obvious that the band mean business, and the sound is awesome.

Having waited so long to see the band again, its like one of those moments when your mouth is stuck open, jaw frozen in awe, a bit like seeing Ursula Andress coming out of the sea in Dr No for the first time, you just say, fuck me, that’s amazing!

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What stands out from second one is the drumming of the newest member of the band, Jason Bittner (best known from Shadows Fall).

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The Flotsam and Jetsam sound depends a lot on the drummer, in fact the rhythm section in general, and his playing if flawless and full of showmanship

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The setlist relies heavily on the bands 2 most commercially successful albums, “Doomsday For The Deceiver” and “No Place for Disgrace”, but there are also other grey nuggets in there such as “Me”, “Gitty Up” and “Smoked Out”

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All of the band are on top form, vocalist Eric AK still has the instantly recognisable big pipes that we all know and love that have stood the test of time, and is laughing and joking with the crowd at the first opportunity

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With Lead guitar player Michael Gilbert now in stage mode, changing from the joker I had interviewed a few hours earlier to the consummate professional, concentrating on his precise and intricate delivery of the F&J message

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As someone who started to listen to metal in 1982, this show is basically porn. I was lucky enough to see Flotsam & Jetsam in 1987 (and still have the TAPE of their Friday Rock Show performance at The Hammersmith Odeon) and although the members have changed slightly, the effect, delivery and enthusiasm has remained in place, if not increased

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The total lack of security makes it a great show for stage dives and seeing singer Eric AK pissing himself at some of the less proficient efforts was highly amusing

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Eric even shared some of his bottle of JD with the crowd, it was just that kind of show!

Hurry back soon!!

Verdict 9.5/10

Setlist

1- No Place for Disgrace

2- Descecrator

3- She Took An Axe

4- Suffer the Masses

5- Gitty Up

6- Smoked Out

7. Dreams of Death

8- Hammerhead

9- I Live You Die

10- Escape From Within

11- Me

12- Der Fuhrer

13- Smoked Out

14- Hard On You

15- Doomsday For The Deceiver

16- P.A.A.B

17- Swatting at Flies

Review by Gavin Lowrey

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