At this point in their career, Cancer Bats have very little to prove. Very seldomly have bands refused to give up steam quite like the Canadian hardcore-punk band, who released their seventh album in 2022 and have seemingly toured ever since. While Cancer Bats themselves are frequent fliers to this side of the pond, the same can’t be said for their Sabbath-worshipping alter-ego’s – the mighty Bat Sabbath. As an early treat for 2024, Bat Sabbath have brought along the Birmingham stoner doom three-piece Margarita Witch Cult to Glasgow’s King Tuts to assist them in spreading the good word.
Considering that Bat Sabbath was started as a celebration of the music of Black Sabbath, it seems fitting that their tourmates in Margarita Witch Cult come from the Home of Metal. Clearly taking much of their influence from Sabbath and the countless number of bands they influenced, Margarita Witch Cult are the perfect opening act for tonight’s show. However, there’s much more to their music than any obvious comparisons to their forefathers. They open the night with an instrumental track that could have been lifted straight from the Palm Desert scene in the early 90’s. Their ability to shift pace at a moment’s notice is quite remarkable. The track Annihilation is a full-speed gallop, channeling the New Wave of British Heavy Metal with screeching guitar solos and unrelenting drumming. Then there are tracks like Death Lurks At Every Turn that have an almost Turbowolf quality to them, bursting with vast amounts of energy and fuzz. To top that off, they even throw in a heavily modified and brilliant cover of Billy Idol’s White Wedding.
After an eclectic and strong opening set, Bat Sabbath arrive on stage to a packed and delighted audience. Liam Cormier regales those in attendance with his becaped Sabbath-fearing persona, turning the King Tuts into their temple for the evening. Sticking to the Ozzy Osbourne-era classics, they churn through a seemingly endless amount of hits; Children of the Grave, Paranoid, N.I.B, even throwing in the highly entertaining Fairies Wear Boots for good measure. Their performance is nothing short of electric – not only are Bat Sabbath a delight to see perform, but the bursting room has such a party-like atmosphere. A wildly tongue-in-cheek Liam theatrically preaches on the “sacred” nature of the songs throughout the night, but without seeing the crowd reaction and participation that these songs receive, it would be hard to believe how accurate his comment is. Every song sparks immediate reaction and headbanging from the baying room – and that’s before they’ve even played two of their biggest tracks. Closing out the Sabbath part of their set, they play a suitably spooky rendition of the eponymous track Black Sabbath before belting out the classic War Pigs, the crowd leaving Liam with very little work to do.
The room demands more, refusing to go home, and a now decaped Liam and co return to the stage to say they’ve exhausted the Sabbath content for this evening. Instead, they shed their Sabbath persona and fire headfirst into their own classic, Pneumonia Hawk. Any energy the crowd have left is offered, and Cancer Bats gladly accept it. Even though it was just the one track, it acts as the perfect nightcap to an already perfect evening of metal bliss.
(Photos of the night are available in the photo section. all images by Stacey Auld)