ANCHOR LANE – Bio
Anchor Lane are a young Scottish band based in Glasgow. The four piece have been plying their trade for around three years and, in that time, have garnered excellent reviews from not only the printed and online media, but even from rock radio in Scotland.
The band are Conor Gaffney on lead vocals and guitar, Jack Nicol on guitar, Matthew Quigley on bass and finally Scott Hanlon pounding the drums. They have an EP fittingly called New Beginning, for which there will be details on how to purchase at the end of the review!
The Bank Holiday Tour
The band did a quick three gigs in three nights tour in Scotland for the May Bank Holiday weekend, starting in Dundee and finishing with a sold out show in Glasgow. Pleasingly, they played Edinburgh Opium in the middle, which is where I was lucky enough to see them put on a performance.
The band play with high energy and a smile across their faces, coming over as very likeable (having met them afterwards I can confirm they are a great bunch of lads). Therefore, it is very easy to warm to them in a live setting.
They played mostly new material on the night, or at least songs that weren’t on their debut EP. They are classic rock, with hints of Southern (think Black Stone Cherry), but can certainly write some stomping grooves. At one point, they were making me think of Slade.
The Set On The Night
Opening song “Runaway” came out fast, with a really good opening riff which dropped down into something more melodic before the mid-section which then just grooved beautifully. One of the things I noticed, even in the first song, is the maturity and confidence in bringing things down, allowing space in the song so it can breathe.
“Eclipse” sounded a bit darker and there was some nice cymbal work going on. “Found Out” even got me dancing (if you can call it that) with a hook that was very impressive. The opening rhythm was first class.
The heaviest track “Prophets Of War” impressed me greatly. Still containing plenty of melody, this song kicked like a mule. I hope they can capture that on the album when it is completed. They followed the heaviest track with their most mellow “Take Some Time”, which showed off the lovely timbre of Conor’s voice.
The band like to have some fun, as they proved with a rollicking version of the song from the film Top Gun originally performed by Kenny Loggins called “Danger Zone”, which the crowd danced along with. Jack was able to show off a little by throwing out an extended guitar solo in the middle of it.
Their newest song made me think of the aforementioned Slade. It had that boot boy stomp, with a chorus that you don’t really need to use your brain! Punch the air and singalong. This also had nice use of space, at times just killing the riff stone dead and then suddenly booting it back in your face. I loved it!
“Rising Up” had me headbanging. The opening is just fab, as again they weave in and out of the heavier moments allowing the vocals to stand out clearly.
They finished with a track from the EP and their first ever single. “Finished For Twelve” has that anthemic cross of Black Stone and Wayward Sons (or indeed the band that name comes from the Little Angels). It is a bloody superb track and was a fabulous end to a set that rocked, grooved and punched. This is a band that can write songs and deliver them with aplomb. The future of rock is bright, due to bands like Anchor Lane who are taking the genre and making it their own for the younger generation.
Where They Can Be Seen Next
They are playing a batch of UK festivals this year, including Download, Isle Of Wight, Stone Free and Hard Rock Hell. Anyone hitting those festivals should go and see them. A good time is guaranteed.
Support – The RumRunners
The main support on the night were The RumRunners (UK). This three piece from Edinburgh impressed me greatly. They are Will Howard on vocals/guitar, Pete Luggy on bass and Jim Shemilt on drums. They mixed and matched a number of styles, including modern Americana, blues, soul, rock and metal, depending greatly on the song.
The tracks I particularly enjoyed included “Voodoo”, with its funky opening mixed with Southern rock. It had a tasty guitar solo and some lovely drum fills near the end and came straight out of the 1970’s, which (of course) is very pleasing.
“Devils”, apparently a new song, had a lovely guitar solo lots of soul and a bluesy groove. “Fray” started like classic Led Zeppelin, but had a melody at one point that I found myself singing the opening lyrics to “Territorial Pissings” by Nirvana to. Pretty sure not planned! Great song though.
I also enjoyed the guitar work on “Shadow” (not sure of full title) and the heaviness of closer “Can’t Have It All” which included some excellent bass on the quieter sections.
A band that I will go and see again, that is for sure.