Rancid / The Lurkers - live in Glasgow (Cover Artwork)

Rancid / The Lurkers

live in Glasgow (2008)

live show

They came in the thousands and there was a perfect mix; the strange, the slow, the old -- along with the normal, the fast and the young. While they queued patiently in the freezing cold to gain access to the warmth and the punk rock, I was decamped in a pub down the street, too impatient to queue and too easily influenced by the prospect of beer on tap. The pub was eventful; I observed a skinhead's girlfriend knock back a shot before being encouraged by her baldy lover to smash the glass over his head -- she complied. The scene was set, I thought, as I contemplated the mad scenes that were unfolding before my eyes.

Eventually I decided to brave the queue, which was almost non-existent by this point. Unfortunately I had missed opening act Blood or Whiskey, but arrived in time to catch old punx the Lurkers, who were writing and recording songs like "Rubber Room" when I was just a sparkle in my father's eye -- quite a freakish thought, and one that Lurkers frontman Arturo Bassick was clearly aware of as he announced "most of you won't know these songs..." Despite this, the Lurkers are great fun and are clearly enjoying themselves as they blast through their back catalogue -- which sounds, at times. like an English Ramones, with a dash of Buzzcocks chucked in for good measure. They even manage a cover of the New York Dolls classic "Pills," which kick-started a portion of the crowd into a minor frenzy as they sang, danced, stumbled and punched the air to the words "I got some pills I'm gonna give you some."

The atmosphere was fairly electric as the masses eagerly awaited Rancid -- or at least, it felt this way to me in my inebriated state. The clock was ticking and I made a poorly timed visit to the toilet. The result was disastrous, as my bladder's frailty meant I missed all but two seconds of the first song. Before I had time to mourn such a tragedy, my spirit was immediately elevated by the fact that the second song, which I wasn't going to miss, was "Roots Radicals." I launched myself into the crowd -- a mass of swaying bodies -- and screamed along to the lyrics like a madman on acid.

The jubilation continued as the band blasted into "Journey to the End" and I was confronted by a feeling of nostalgia, listening to songs that were an integral part of my early teenage years. But romantic ramblings aside, it must be stated that the competency of Branden Steineckert behind the drums is astounding. He has managed to fill the boots of Brett Reed whilst making his own mark. And while he has clearly ripped off the 'bobbing head' style of Travis Barker, this is rendered insignificant by his actual, non-stylistic performance. As a unit, the band are absolutely solid. Frederiksenn's rhythm playing is indispensable as ever and tonight even Armstrong holds it together, hacking away at his trademark low-hung guitar with some great sounding results. The sound in general was crisp and clear as the Californian four-piece rattled through a new song -- "about friendship," according to Frederiksen -- followed by some older classics: "Rejected," "The 11th Hour" and "Otherside." As expected, the almighty Matt Freeman ripped into his bass solo during "Maxwell Murder" with infinite zeal. He was proclaimed by Frederiksen, as he does every single night, to be the "greatest bass player in the world," a claim that, as the solo proved, is hard to refute.

We were treated to a rendition of Operation Ivy's "Knowledge" with Frederiksen on lead vocals, which was greeted with perhaps the biggest cheer of the night. The set was broken up midway through with "The War's End," which saw the rest of the band leave the stage, the spotlight shining down on the lone Lars Fredricksen, who here again proved his worth.

The set was perhaps overly heavy on material from …And Out Come the Wolves, and I would have personally liked to have heard more from the brilliant self-titled 2000 album. Nevertheless it was great to hear the lesser played "I Wanna Riot," and during this song a man, affected by the ska hysteria, crashed into me resulting in half of my fresh pint of beer drenching a lady with large gold earrings. After apologies and death stares were exchanged, I decided the next logical step was to get involved in a bit of heavy skanking, dancing the night away with a grin on my face and a beer-soaked T-shirt on my back.

Frederiksen gave a speech near the end about how sex, gender, colour or creed means nothing and that what matters is that we are all here together -- brought together by punk rock. And in that moment, he was completely right. Everyone was happy, together and unified by his or her sense of belonging. Such moments are rare and usually only occur in smaller spaces, which was perhaps what made tonight even more special. I think this is what Jesse Michaels meant when he said "at certain points during some shows the reconciled world is already here, at least in that second in that place." And on a cold winter's night in Glasgow, I'm just glad that I was there in that second, in that place.

Set list:

  1. ?
  2. Roots Radicals
  3. Journey to the End
  4. Tattoo
  5. Rejected
  6. The 11th Hour
  7. Otherside
  8. Maxwell Murder
  9. Fall Back Down
  10. Knowledge
  11. The Way I Feel
  12. Lock, Step & Gone
  13. Olympia, WA
  14. The War's End
  15. Who Woulda Thought
  16. M.I.A.
  17. It's Quite Alright
  18. Antenaas
  19. Salvation
  20. I Wanna Riot
  21. Old Friend
  22. Black ‘n' Blue
  23. Hoover Street
  24. Bloodclot
  25. Tenderloin
  26. St. Mary
  27. Radio
  28. Ruby Soho
  29. Encore:
  30. Nihilism
  31. Timebomb