The Lawrence Arms - live in Glasgow (Cover Artwork)

The Lawrence Arms

live in Glasgow (2004)

live show

Show #627, apparently.

This is the third time Chicago's Lawrence Arms have visited sunny Glasgow and I hoped the city would finally live up to it's "best audience in the world" reputation for the three hard working, hard drinking punks. The first time they played here a year and a half ago at King Tuts there must have been 40 people there at most. I felt extremely angry at the time that hardly anyone had bothered their arse to get to the gig, but "The Disturbed" (as Brendan calls them) were playing that night and the majority of 'alternative' types were at that show instead…shudder…However, that meant we got a show that was all requests and a hell of a lot of old stuff was played – it was one of the most fun shows I have ever had the pleasure of attending. The second time they played here, at the Garage was as part of the Fat Wreck tour with Rise Against, The Flipsides and Mad Caddies. This time maybe a hundred kids were there for the Larry Arms, with the venue then completely filled once the Caddies hit the stage…shudder…It was also this night that Brendan got the distinction of being the drunkest 'famous' person I have ever met. For those of you who care, most obnoxious pseudo-celebrity was Kenny from the Starting Line, what a dick he was...

Anyways, to this show at Glasgow's Premier (read: only ) Alternative Nightclub – the Cathouse. The Catty is a pretty decent venue, as the sound crew are awesome. Unfortunately, drinks during shows are pretty expensive (£2.40 for a vodka mix, compared to £1.80 once it opens as a club) and who wants to be at a Larry Arms show sober? Also, there's a bloody great big set of pillars on either side of the stage that obscure performers if you're too far back. That…wasn't really a problem at this show as Glasgow's continued apathy (and exhaustion bwa ha ha ha ha *ahem*) toward the Lawrence Arms continued. The pit was at least full but that was it – 150 people at best. Also, bizarrely for an over 14s show there were NO kids at all. Seriously, not a single Good Charlotte hoodie in sight. Normally all you need is a Fat Wreck logo on a band's CD and the kids'll flock to see 'em. Not here, which kinda sucks for the guys cos they won't make a shitload of money for the trip but it's awesome for the rest of us as we don't need to worry about treading on some mini mosher's toes.

Before the show Brendan seemed reasonably sober as he wrote the set list on standing at the bar 10 minutes before he was due on stage. They opened with Presenting: The Dancing Machine from the uncontrollable Fatulence comp and, holy shit did it rock. In fact, they barely put a foot wrong. My complaints are few and far between. On The March of The Elephants Brendan sounded terrible, as did Chris whenever he tried to scream, but that's punk rock baby. Also, with the exception of PTDM and Faintly Falling ashes (which sounded phenomenal live, even better than on record) everything they played was off the albums they've released on Fat. Also, the Day I Snapped sucked in support (they supported them at Tuts the first time they played here too and their singer works behind the bar in Tuts…nepotism? Methinks so).

The good points were everything else really. Neil is one of the most underrated drummers in music. My mate was in awe at how good he was considering how small the kit Neil was playing on was. "He is super fucking tight" was my mate's reaction. I wholeheartedly agree. Their playful cover of Kelis' Milkshake was a good laugh, even better than their version of Sk8r Boi I've seen them do before. Highlight of the set was either The raw and Searing Flesh with extended intro and outro that really added to the song and showed how good they are at playing when they want to be. Also, the drunken singalong of the Ramblin' Boys of Pleasure was fantastic and Brendan had a grin a mile wide as we all sang along. Unfortunately, the renaming of Boatless Booze Cruise Part 1 to "Everyone loves to dance" didn't really work as we were all a bit too wasted to bother with such shenanigans. All in all, it was an awesome show and I wish I had more money so I could follow them all over the UK.

Setlist (not in order) Presenting: The Dancing Machine, Faintly Falling Ashes, Porno and Snuff Films, The First Eviction Notice, Boatless Booze Cruise Part , Brickwall Views, I'll Take what's In The Box Monty, Right as Rain Part 2, The Raw and Searing Flesh, On With The Show, Drunk Mouth Kitchen Smile, The March of The Elephants, Chapter 13: the Hero Appears, The Revisionist, The Ramblin Boys of Pleasure, The Disaster March.