The last time I witnessed Brothers Grim was at the more intimate surrounds of The Drunken Poet, at which instance I pretty much had to crawl through frontman James Grim’s formidable beard to order a pint of Guiness. Tonight, James commanded the sprawling theatre stage with a stomping menace that made it clear the band weren’t subscribing to the lighter follies of Halloween. In fact, pretty much all punters who managed to dress up for the occasion (of which there were a few) avoided the pop culture tropes associated with the American holiday, opting instead to don the capes and bandages associated with the classic B-grade monsters which make up most of the headliner’s subject matter.
As the werewolves and mummies piled onto the dancefloor, The Brothers Grim wrapped up their barnstorming, hearty display. It was a set that could have been a little lost on those residing on the comfy amphitheatre seats up the back, but those on the floor copped the full shotgun blast.
Wu-Tang Clan’s Bring Da Ruckus breaks the run of interstitial country-tinged tunes, and it was a promise Graveyard Train lived up to – they brought the motherfuckin’ ruckus indeed.
It took us a while to gather our thoughts after the unveiling of the giant, smoke-producing, demonic-red-glowing scarecrow onstage, but after more than a few seconds it was quite difficult to be distracted from the enormity of Graveyard Train’s soaring vocal attack.
While it took a little while for the crowd to compose themselves (well, as composed as they possibly could), the lads from Graveyard Train took to the expansive stage like it was their natural environment. Predictably, Bit By A Dog had the whole venue howling like werewolves, even in the minute or so after the song concluded. As a result, frontman Nick Finch declared, “Well we were going to play a slow one next, but seems how you’re all howling still…” before blasting into another ball-tearer.
The night concluded with a twist for those familiar with the Graveyard Train live experience, with the standard mortality-enlightening monologue replaced with a succinct “We’re playing the fucking Forum, and it’s good to be alive!” A sentiment shared by all those in attendance, no doubt. ‘Twas a very happy Halloween.
LOVED: Admiring the various gauges, and the meticulous technique, of the country’s (maybe the world’s?) premier chain player.
HATED: The foreboding dread of working on a public holiday.
DRANK: Like I wasn’t working on a public holiday.