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Live Review: Gallows, Trash Talk, Sharks and Crossbreaker - TJ's, Newport - 07/12/09

A very long queue is waiting in front of Newport's TJ's doors tonight. Gallows are back to the city's mythical venue, two years after what they still call as "one of their best shows ever".

Hardcore newcomers Crossbreaker are charged with commencing hostilities. The five Welsh guys play the few songs featured on their demo, an angry and metallic modern hardcore in the vein of Deathwish bands.

Whilst Sharks are a good surprise, as their songs sound way more dynamic live but keep a very English rock touch. The band impress by their energy, like their guitarist jumping everywhere which will eventually lead him to face several guitar problems. Overall the band served their purpose and warmed the crowd up well.

But the first band to fill the room with enthusiasm are hardcore heavyweights, Trash Talk. The Sacramento, California four-piece delivers a jaw-dropping set, heavy, violent and straightforward. Vocalist Lee Speilman is as wild as his reputation states, hitting and trampling on the audience. An overall intense set, that proves Trash Talk are one of America's best live hardcore bands today.

However, the great majority of the crowd was obviously here for Watford punk heroes Gallows. The five guys had a busy and successfull year, which recently ended with the band parting ways with label Warner Bros. The audience may be quite eclectic and covers a wide range of ages, everyone seems to share the same excitement when tonight's headliners get on stage. The next hour will be a festival of punk classics; a band playing fast and hard, a flood of stage dives and crowd surfing, several circle pits and the Carter brothers getting in trouble with the venue's security.

The best tracks of both of their efforts are played, as well as a cover of Black Flag's 'Nervous Breakdown' with Sharks and Trash Talk's frontmen as guests. 'Black Eyes' and 'In the Belly of a Shark' probably are the heaviest moments, but the most memorable is most definitely closing track, 'Orchestra of Wolves' as a part of the crowd will end up on stage, while the whole room is singing "The hardest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return" in complete unison.

Sweat, blood and sing-alongs. Tonight was nothing else than a perfect punk show.

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