Combichrist – The Classic Grand, Glasgow

There are so many things to do when December knocks on your door. One thing is a must – to check EBM masters Combichrist playing live, especially if you find yourself in Glasgow.  They were here exactly one year ago with their old school set and as promised they are back, at the same place, on the same month and with the same amazing atmosphere. This time they brought different opening acts with them: Naked Lunch and William Control.

Naked Lunch
Naked Lunch

Naked Lunch were the first to go on a stage fully crowded with instruments. Naked Lunch started their set at 8 pm – one hour after the doors were open. The decision to have these darkwave/synth guys as the first opening act to Combichrist was an interesting one, although it turned out be positively very good. There were six members on the stage, including one girl, two young and energetic guys behind the bass guitar and drums and older lads at the front. To see Naked Lunch playing live was something one might call the getting back to the past feeling. Lovely synth melodies and energetic drum parts, deep and soothing vocals from the front man which created the atmosphere as if we all were 20 years ago. Unfortunately the audience was quite passive, although there were several great faster songs to move to. After half an hour set they were off the stage to let William Control to go next.

William Control probably would not be able to come up to the stage unnoticed. That is definitely a great sign unless it does not go too

William Control
William Control

far. Energetic and engaging electro show was salted too much with quite annoying diva – superstar behaviour by band frontman William Francis: beginning with loud complaints about the lights and arrogant expletives  in every second sentence he said in huge contrast to his sugary voice and songs. Despite that, the audience seemed to like these fellows from Seattle and woke up after William invited them to join him in the pit close to the stage. This definitely gave a hard time to the security guys with fans after taking loads of pictures with their mobiles while William was literally dancing in the dark as he went further from the stage. William was also the first from the performers to feel sorry for the fans that the bar wasn’t selling alcohol that night due some licensing problems. The band played 40 minutes long set that night and looked to be quite good opening act for the big part of the audience.

Half an hour later, the audience found themselves in the dark, hearing a very long and adrenaline triggering intro, which meant only one thing – Combichrist was about to hit the stage. Andy Laplegua appeared with a full head futuristic looking mask with a red square light instead of the face, while band started their groovy show with the first track from their new album “We Were Made To Love You”. Combichrist continued the setlist with the mixture of old and new songs, which made the crowd dance and sweat. There was not any single person in the packed big hall of The Classic Grand club who would not react to the Combi’s show. All the band members did their job brilliantly – none of them were unnoticed, especially the drummer, who seemed totally to lose his mind. Everything he touched went out to the air and loads of Combichrist fans had a chance to get one his drum sticks. The atmosphere in the club was amazing and heat was pretty much everywhere, band was in an


extremely great mood and Andy, as usual, communicated a lot. He didn’t let the chance go by to make jokes about the unfortunate fact of the partly working bar: “Are you all sober? This late at Friday night? We should finish soon and get out of here!” and then half secretly drinking his beer in the back of the stage. The further the show went, the more audience seemed to lose their minds.  People were screaming their voices out while band performed “This Is My Rifle”, “Electrohead”, “Shut Up And Swallow” and totally went nuts with Andy Laplegua going very close to the audience. They lost their minds when band decided to play improvised playing “This Shit Will Fuck You Up” – which sounded definitely very Scottish and people loved it.  After that band seemed to finish their set but they were back after a little while – obviously waiting their fans to call them back. A couple more tracks followed, with the drummer going totally crazy and bringing his part of the drums to the audience, asking fans to hold it, having a can of beer spilled on it and banging straight on it and leaving his “place of crime” with the evil , yet innocent “I’ve done nothing” smile on his face. After making lots of noise and mess around on the stage band left just to come back again and play the slow and hypnotizing “Evil In Me” track from their new album “We Love You”. Few minutes more for the fans standing in the front lines to hit the hands with Andy and then show was over for sure.

The perfect show from the audience point of view had it’s own disadvantage while trying to capture this stunning show to show it in pictures because of the very specific although characteristic lighting but that’s probably the only possible thing one might say. The rest – definitely the best industrial/EMB gig in Glasgow this year! Glasgow  was left totally smashed, sweaty and wanting more. They will be back, there is no other choice.

Combichrist setlist:
We Were Made To Love You
Blut Royal
This Is My Rifle
Can’t Control
Throat Full Of Glass
Maggots At The Party
Never Surrender
Shut Up And Swallow
Get You Body Beat
Love Is Razorblade
This Shit Will Fuck You Up
Fuck This Shit
What The Fuck Is Wrong With You?
2nd encore:
Evil In Me

(author’s remark – the order of the songs in setlist might slightly differ)


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About Jurga Kalinauskaite

Photographer, journalist, curious wanderer.