I arrived at the venue just as the support act, Primitai, a five piece band from Sandhurst were making their way to the stage and already The Cathouse was fairly full with an expectant crowd – surely a good sign for a band I knew very little about, and they did get the evening off to a very good start.
Talking their influences from bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, the boys did put on a very good show – even mimicking the Priest stance during the song “Blink of an Eye” much to the amusement of the assembled crowd, but not the detriment of their performance, it has to be said.
Having only a short set, the band did their best to showcase what they can do by pulling most of the tracks from their debut album “The Line of Fire” including “Sin City”, “Degeneration” and the title track itself, all of which were received well by the assembled crowd.
One of the outstanding tracks for me tonight was “Nocturnal Hordes” which included a great couple of lead guitar solos from Nick Saxby and Srdjan Bilic whilst vocalist Guy Miller tried his best to get the audience to interact. Great stuff, and I for one am looking to catch this band live again in the future.
Tonight’s main act was the highly anticipated return to Glasgow of doom merchants Grand Magus, and there was nothing that anyone could have done tonight that would have undermined their majestic set.
The gods of technology tried their best to make a mess of the sound tonight, something which didn’t go un-noticed by vocalist “JB” Christoffersson, who was less than happy with the sound during the first few numbers but no-one in the packed venue seemed that bothered, and the problem was quickly sorted.
With a little over an hour afforded them before the venues’ early curfew kicked in, Grand Magus put on a commanding performance in front of a jam packed and enthusiastic crowd. Kicking things off with the mighty “Kingslayer”, vocalist “JB” had the crowd in the palm of his hand from the beginning whilst bass player Fox was thoroughly enjoying himself as he stalked the stage with a grin like a Cheshire cat.
A new track “Starlight Slaughter “ mixes into the set well along with more seasoned tracks like “Ravens Guide Our Way ” both of which had the mosh pit going great guns. Drummer “Ludde” Witt is the king of all he surveys as his sits atop his kit during “Sword of the Ocean” before he has the place going absolutely wild during his drum solo – never an easy thing to do!
We’re also treated to a rendition of the title track from their latest album “The Hunt”, which gets a good, solid reception whilst the reaction to another new track, “Valhalla Rocks”, threatens to tear the venue apart! Certainly the latter seems like it could be a standard fixture on future set lists.
As with all things, however, the gig has to finish sometime, and the finale here was a double header of “Iron Will” followed by “Hammer Of The North”. It’s obvious from the crowds moans and groans as “JB” announces the latter is their last song, that the crowd would be quite happy to stay here all night if they were allowed to, so as the band leave the stage and fight their way back to the dressing room, it’s clear that they put on yet another incredible show tonight.
It’s also abundantly clear that a venue like The Cathouse is simply not big enough for them – let’s hope they return to Glasgow soon, and let’s also hope that they’re booked into a bigger venue that will give them more time to play too!
Grand Magus Set List:
- Sword of the Ocean
- I, The Jury
- Ravens Guide Our Way
- Silver Into Steel
- Starlight Slaughter
- Like The Oar Strikes The Water
- The Hunt
- Valhalla Rising
- Iron Will
- Hammer Of The North
Review By: John Main