It’s not always easy to deal with being a last-minute addition to a bill, trying to warm up a crowd for a headliner. After enduring a long, gig free lockdown, Glasgow rockers Anchor Lane are just glad to be back on a stage. Said lack of gigs compromised their ability to promote their well-received debut album Casino, so their set tonight revolved around that, though there was new material showcased too.
Skindred, Raging Speedhorn, Anchor Lane – Glasgow SWG3
Words: Ian Sutherland
Photography: Ya Cheng
Their classic rock with a modern twist is a different beast to the style of the headliners. Still, they went down a treat anyway, an enthusiastic audience happily grooving along to a selection of tunes full of melody and invention. These guys are maturing nicely into a solid rock outfit to be reckoned with.
Also added late to the bill after Royal Republic were forced to pull out were self-proclaimed saviours of British Metal, Raging Speedhorn. The previous sentence tells you all you need to know about their attitude, and they needed that as they had to perform without vocalist Frank Regan who was in hospital after a fall at the previous show.
That left the other half of their usual dual throat approach, Daniel Cook, to carry on, and of course, that’s what he did. An explanation about Frank, an exhortation to come down the front and join in and off they went, all battering riffs and overdriven guitars and above all in your face effort and attitude.
From opener Hand Of God to the closing Snakebite, there was no let-up, just a relentless Metal machine giving their all with a sweaty honesty. A Glasgow crowd, greedy for live music, just lapped it up.
There is nothing subtle about Raging Speedhorn, but that’s the point. They hit the crowd on the head with a sledgehammer, and they loved it.
Quality rock and pounding Metal done, it was time for Skindred and their Ragga Punk Metal. Always a good time band with the cheery, sweary presence of singer Benji Webb upfront, they were just the right tonic for a crowd starved of smiles, laughter and live music for so long, and it was evident during the pre-gig intro of Queen and AC/DC tunes that everyone in the hall was up for it.
There are serious moments at a Skindred show. Songs like Rat Race and Pressure have something to say, and a brief acoustic interlude for Saying It Now shows that they can wear their heart on their sleeve. It’s the fun, the sheer audacity to ham things up miming playing a keyboard to snippets of Van Halen’s Jump, combined with their ability to put down a huge earworm of a groove like That’s My Jam which keeps people coming back, though.
The crowd chanted they were ready to go, and the band responded in kind, everyone raising a fist to Kill The Power, a giant moshpit spontaneously set up for Nobody, and of course, the final get down start to Warning and a finale of whirling t-shirts and assorted clothing in the signature Newport Helicopter.
This was, in my experience, a pretty typical Skindred gig. Everyone laughed, cheered, danced and had a fabulous time responding to some memorable tunes in a unique style. All controlled by a consummate frontman, the kind of performer you can’t help but warm to.
The fact that they can do this every night is remarkable. They should bottle whatever these Welsh wizards have and sell it as a lockdown tonic. They would make a fortune.