MINISTRY – SWG3 Glasgow (Concert Review)

Master of ceremonies Al Jourgensen

Ministry returned to Glasgow as they continued their tour promoting their latest politically inspired album Amerikkkant. The show was in 2 parts, the first a run-through of that album and the second a look back at some of their older material, some songs which hadn’t been played for a while. Personally, I think it says something about how much the band believes in their latest work. It isn’t as immediate or indeed danceable as earlier material so to do it all in one go is quite a brave move. I did hear a few folks complaining that it was “all new stuff” at the start, yet I did speak with quite a number who love the new album and feel it is one of the band’s best, so it does seem to divide opinion. I like the album and it flows well live with all the sound effects and voice-overs. The anger at the world situation is noticeable as lines are delivered with gusto.

The run through of the new album was accurate and visceral, even more so than the album. From the groove filled “Twilight Zone” where the main man, writer, guitarist and vocalist Al Jourgensen plays the harmonica to the speedy, thrash of “We’re Tired Of It”  right through to the epic title track where 3 guitars were blasting out with 2 of them swapping leads for fun, it sounded excellent. There wasn’t a lot of chat between songs, although before “Wargasm” Al did suggest it could all happen within the next week due to escalating tensions in the Iran area. I particularly enjoyed the guitar line underneath the vocal lines, and as for the scream Al let out during that, it was ear piercing.

I laughed at the way Al opened the second set, talking about “my precious Glaswegians, now we have some treats” as the crowd cheered and chanted. During “Deity” there was the first really serious circle pit of the night bringing smiles from the band. There was a massive cheer for a track that he pointed out that they hadn’t played in Scotland for a number of tours in “Jesus Built My Hotrod”.  Afterwards, Al said that the Glasgow crowd “crack me up… you always come through” which only resulted in more mayhem for “Just One Fix”. What I found interesting looking around was there were pockets of pits, crowd surfers etc, yet other parts of the crowd dancing away like they were at a rock or metal night disco. I can’t remember seeing that much dancing at a metal gig for a long time! They ended the set with “Thieves” and a lot of “fuck yeahs” and  “beautiful” being said. They played an encore from the Revolting Cocks called “No Devotion” which seemed to go down really well (I was unfamiliar with the song) with folks dancing around with smiles on their faces. A great way to leave an audience especially after the heavy and intense first half to the night.

An interesting and enjoyable evening in the company of a band that can make you think and can cause folks to dance merrily away. I think it is safe that not many bands or artists can do that. 2 different sets and 2 different vibes yet only 1 gig. Marvelous!

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