We close out the night with Glasgow’s finest sons Anchor Lane, currently in the middle of a nationwide tour to promote their recently released album Call This a Reality? Tonight’s show is the last headlining appearance for a bit, but singer/guitarist Conor Gaffney assures me, after the show, that there will be more headline dates to follow soon. The three-piece powerhouse deliver a modern, hard edged and energetic sound that is completed by good use of backing tracks to make their sound expansive and to fill the bottom end where the bass player might once have been.
Stutter’opens after the intro track and the guys instantly lay down a statement of intent with huge energy and use of the stage; it surprises me they don’t fall into each other! Conor picks up his guitar for Ministry, a head bobbing foot stomper.
Call this a Reality? has lead guitarist Lawrence O’Brien dancing across the stage between crisp guitar licks and the discordant solo. His unique guitar sound is sometimes like an ancient and long lost bastard child of the bagpipes and a Gibson getting it together (IMHO). We go back to the first album with Honey, dirty and heavy riffs and choruses intersected with only slightly lighter shades during the verses, and a drum beat handled with aplomb by Graeme Newbury.
Lawrence is introduced for Nitroglycerin, and he wastes no time in bounding about the stage, headbanging like his life depended on it and he had Slayer playing in his ears.
I’ve been Waiting edges us towards the end of the night, but there’s still time to get the crowd clapping along and the lights display the Saltire to remind us where the band are from. Both Blood and Irony and Stone Cold Hearted are diversions through the back catalogue to the 2020 Casino album and a pre-mohawk Conor. The latter song is a more bluesy affair, bringing the mood down to that of a seedy dive bar and giving us a short respite in the proceedings.
The Mischievous Song gives the audience time to sing along and we are in fine voice, with even the back of the room making their voices heard! Choke is a real anthem, in the vein of The Virginmarys or Royal Blood, and I hope the band doesn’t mind the comparison. These guys are at the forefront of the new rock sound and deserve your attention and listening time. Fame Shame follows, a punk vibe fit for the ‘20s that has a classic rock breakdown and solo that doesn’t feel at all at odds with what has come before.
The band needs a wee breather so take time to introduce us all to Graeme on drums, Lawrence on guitar and Conor on vocals and guitar … just enough time to catch one deep breath before we take off again with Electric Karma. Sycophant Disorder brings us back to the new album and is dark and heavy. The last song of the evening is another power drill of a song, I don’t have Another Soul to Pour, and is also the closing track from Call this a Reality?
This is the first headline set I’ve seen from Anchor Lane, and they’ve crafted an authentic experience that shows they are ready to take a step up and give us these performances as often as we’ll have them. Do your ears and eyes a favour and go and see them play, buy their music and merch, or I’ll track you down and have some questions to ask.