#0012: Escape To The City
Updated: Jun 2, 2020
Tucked up in the peace and tranquillity of the Secret Coast, it's easy to forget that Glasgow, and all it has to offer, is only an hour or so away.
Home of Rennie Mackintosh. Tennents. Ship building. The art school. The Barras. Traffic cone hats.
Glasgow is busy. It’s a bit dirty. It’s huge. A post industrial playground where the shipyards have moved out, to be replaced with bars, restaurants, music venues and art spaces.
In short, it’s a world away from the lochs, forests and glens of home.
But sometimes, busy, dirty and huge is exactly what you need. Especially when you’re in search of a bit of entertainment.
And so it was that I found myself at a gig, last week, at SWG3, a disused Customs & Excise warehouse nestled up against the railway arches on a nondescript dead-end street. Once a forgotten corner of town, SWG3 has become Glasgow's foremost arts and culture venue, hosting workshops, events, club nights and a dizzying line up of live music in a sensational industrial space. A little piece of New York's Meatpacking in Glasgow's Anderston.
There's something about music that can take you out of the moment and transport you to a different time and place entirely, bringing to life vivid memories of past events or scenarios which have only ever played out in your head. To me the music of LANY is absolutely intertwined with my life on the Cowal Peninsula. It has soundtracked the long hours I spent renovating the cottage, evenings eating and drinking with friends, and sun kissed days driving along the Secret Coast with the roof down.
This is emotionally impactful, Eighties inflected, synth pop, driven along by beats and melodies that evoke days on the beach dripping in golden light. Warm summer evenings under pink skies. Cloudless, woodsmoke scented nights gazing up at the stars. It's music of love, loss, friendship and optimism.
Five weeks into a global, seventy-five date tour, you'd forgive the band for dialling it in at this smaller gig. But they didn't. Every note was on point. Every visual was mesmerising. The entire performance crackled with energy.
And it wasn't just the band that killed it.
The crowd was on fire.
It's often said that the people make Glasgow. It couldn't have been truer. Every word of every song, the crowd was there, carrying the band along. A few hundred strangers standing shoulder to shoulder and singing into the night.
Both LANY and Glasgow did themselves proud that night, and it was joyous.