Back in April this year I wrote an album review for the (then upcoming) release of the “Seven Rages Of Man” album by Welsh Progressive Metal band, Blue Gillespie. This trio of Gareth David-Lloyd, Rhys Bryant and Nick Harrison (and former band member Anthony Clark) created an incredible concept album which took the listener to the very heart of their music, to the place where hardcore passion for their art exists. The weekend just gone, fans down here in Brisbane, Australia experienced the raw power of Blue Gillespie as they performed the first of 2 live shows in Australia as part of their appearance at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo.
Those not familiar with the band or the genre of music, Progressive Metal is a sub-genre of metal. Rhys Bryant, guitarist of the band, explained it to us as someone kicking in the face over and over again, with each kick getting harder or more complex.
Fans of the band piled into the Tempo Hotel in Fortitude Valley on Sunday night for the show. It must be said that the hardcore Gillespians down here in Australia are some of the most passionate people I have ever met, deeply moved by the music and deathly loyal to the band. As the time approached and the band came on stage there was a sense of anxious energy that enveloped the room. Nick took up his position behind the drum kit, Rhys picked up his guitar and Gareth got in position as the Prologue from Seven Rages Of Man started.
“Here I come, won’t be long
Pushing through, tearing you
Tunnel tight, fear the light
Time to feel something real”
Those opening lines poured forth as Blue Gillespie unleashed a barage of raw musical talent upon the waiting crowd, pushing away any and all expectations, tearing apart the soul and leaving us open to what I can honestly say is one of the best live acts I have seen in many years! We did feel something real… VERY real! Blue Gillespie aren’t just talented musicians, they are gifted performers who put their very souls into giving a live performance. When the opening chords of “The Mewling” pierced our eardrums we knew Blue Gillespie weren’t just putting on a show, they were performing the Seven Rages Of Man album in its entirety.
And they did.
Through all 7 Acts, the Prologue, 2 Interludes, the Epilogue and of course the always incredible “Effervescent Youth” and “Hydraslide”, Blue Gillespie’s performance captured us, took us with them as they ventured through the Rages.
No one knew whether to watch Gareth as he acted out each song and moshing with the crowd, Rhys as his fingers flew over the strings on his guitar and his foot tapped the bass set up on trigger – prerecorded by Rhys himself after Clarky left the lead guitarist role – or Nick on the kit as his beats thumped through the chests of everyone in the room.
We raged with them and they with us; and at the end of the night we left knowing we had seen something special. We had seen something real.
In many ways Blue Gillespie’s enthsiasm and “grimm determination” on stage reminds me of early footage of Metallica, in the Kill ‘Em All days. I can’t wait for my next chance to see a Blue Gillespie gig! If you ever get a chance to see them play do it, you wont be disappointed!