Review & Photography by Ritchie Birnie for MPM
It seems like an age since I have seen Anchor Lane live but today is the Call This a Reality album launch and everyone is buzzing to see these songs live.
Opening the show was Blue Nicotine and unfortunately I can give neither a bad or good review. Their sound was horrendous and I could hardly make out anything the singer said either talking or singing so sorry guys and I hope you get a better result next time. I am sure I will catch you soon.
North Atlas did not get a much better shift to be honest. They were delayed getting started due to numerous technical issues which plagued them throughout their short set. I was loving the whole look of the band and their stage set but when you then play in almost darkness a lot is lost.
Although the sound was still suffering I could get the jist and there were some really atmospheric numbers. “South” and “Midnight Sun” were stand outs. The lads have been racking up festival appearances and some radio play. The live music mixed with layered tracks makes for a big performance.
I already saw a lot of North Atlas t-shirts in the crowd so I suspect these guys have a solid future ahead of them.
The sound issues were not going to bypass the headliners Anchor Lane but I was a lot more worried as the intro tape just about perforated everyones eardrums with the volume(I also just happened to be in front of the stack) but as the band took to the stage to a huge roar and burst into “Stutter” things seemed to settle down a bit even if Conor and Lawrence didn’t as they were hyper and all you could see was a blur of white Doc Martins. The boys were obviously up for this home town show.
Earlier in the day the boys played an acoustic show to some lucky people and the new tracks went down a treat as they did tonight. Most people here have had a day to listen to the album and it seems to have gone down well and most have accepted the dramatic change and when you see the energy the band have onstage you really get a feel that this is where their hearts are and this is going to be the direction they need to follow.
The new direction and new songs have forced a lot of changes and a bass track being played through the PA really helped with the sound tonight but it didn’t mean that Conor was not going to drag out a pink bass( thats a big change from the old flying v days).
There are still visits to older songs but more focused around the places I would say where the change in direction happened with the likes of “Blood and Irony” and in the live setting you can see the similarities and the progression.
It felt like this show was here to draw a line under the old Anchor Lane and to herald in the new with the focus around the new tracks and some well loved songs having to go by the wayside but they managed the transition well.
We were weaned off the rock teat slowly and with the sheer energy of the boys and the obvious indie banging tunes the likes of “Sycophant Disorder” , The Mischevious Song” and title track “Call This a Reality” nobody could complain.
Anchor Lane have laid down their marker, they have not been shy, they have not been meek and they have gone for it all in and I reckon this will pay off for them big time.
There is a huge new market for the boys to jump into and to reap the benefits from and I wish them all the best of luck with the album, the tour and their future.
See the boys on tour:-
02 FEBRUARY | BRADFORD, NIGHTRAIN
04 FEBRUARY | NEWCASTLE, ST. DOMS
05 FEBRUARY | MANCHESTER, RETRO
07 FEBRUARY | GRIMSBY, YARDBIRDS
09 FEBRUARY | PLYMOUTH, THE JUNCTION
10 FEBRUARY | BRIDGEWATER, COBBLESTONES
11 FEBRUARY | BIRMINGHAM, ASYLUM 2
12 FEBRUARY | STOKE-ON-TRENT, ELEVEN
14 FEBRUARY | CHESTER, LIVE ROOMS L2
15 FEBRUARY | MILTON KEYNES, CRAUFURD ARMS
16 FEBRUARY | NOTTINGHAM, RESCUE ROOMS
24 FEBRUARY | ABERDEEN, KRAKATOA
25 FEBRUARY | EDINBURGH, THE MASH HOUSE
Anchor Lane are:
Vocals – Conor Gaffney
Guitars – Lawrence O’Brien
Drums – Graeme Newbury