Barrowland Ballroom Reviews


On one side of the stage, an extravagantly tattooed six-foot Amazon wearing a skimpy PVC bikini top breathes fire over the front rows. On the other a snarling she-cat tosses her voluminous locks and unleashes a barrage of sleazy Rock'n'Roll riffs while the balding gnome in the middle drenches her in beer then thrusts the neck of the bottle down her throat ... but enough about the support band, Nashville Pussy. Bring on Slayer, those titans of 1980s thrash metal.

The stage is dominated by a drum riser so vertiginous that the sticks-man has to be airlifted into place. He is flanked by the mandatory wall of Marshall amps. These traditional heavy-metal accessories are strictly for showing off - the band don’t want to rupture the eardrums of their ageing fan-base. The fresh-faced teenage minority stand out in their newly ironed Slipknot T-shirts but the majority of the audience are battle-hardened rock veterans. Their woolly mammoth manes have been clipped but they wear their old-school metal T-shirts (Anthrax, Iron Maiden, French Connection …) like badges of honour.

The Slayer frontline activate their ritual rapid-fire guitar assault, accompanied by the brisk nodding, dog-style, of formation headbanging. You get the idea pretty quickly. If you’re not one of the faithful, you get bored pretty quickly too. You then get roasted slowly in the escalating Barrowland furnace.

Occasionally the band takes longer, deeper strokes, offering something sturdier to get your teeth into, before reverting to no-mess, no-fuss type. Like Ronseal Quick-Dry, it does the job or your money back. Stupid to expect anything more really.

Fiona Shepherd

 This review by Fiona Shepherd was originally featured on the Scotsman's Culture Review Page



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