'Pre-order if you remember Bebo' Anchor Lane on Glasgow, lockdown and new album
Having built their reputation on their raucous live shows, Anchor Lane had just released their debut album when the world stopped.
The Glasgow group's debut Casino reached number 9 in the official UK Rock Chart and earned them a Scottish top 20, with the likes of Classic Rock singing the group's praises.
Just as momentum was starting to build though Covid-19 threw the world into lockdown, ending the live music scene at a stroke.
It was a blow for any musician, but the timing was particularly inauspicious for a group who had just put out their first album.
Now back with follow-up Call This A Reality?, released today, the group are looking to make up for lost time.
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"The whole of this year has just been us on tour and playing gigs and getting back out there again after everything was closed through lockdown," frontman Conor Gaffney tells The Herald.
"It’s nice to have a bit of momentum again after it all got taken away from us.
"It was pretty horrendous. We lost two members – well, they’re alive, but we ended up losing two members because things became so difficult for people.
“I think the lockdown made a lot of people think about things and what they wanted to with themselves. It definitely made it apparent for the three of us that this is what we wanted to do.
"We came back in after we’d been locked down for about three months and we came back into the studio during the summer time.
“There were just certain things that were happening where, not to speak badly about anyone, there are people who want to be here and people who don’t.
“It was kind of like, ‘here’s what we want to do, here’s what’s happening and if you don’t want to be a part of it that’s OK’.
“We brought Graeme (Newbury, drummer) in and he was bringing the same energy as Lawrence and I and it became this synergy between the three of us.
“That’s why we didn’t bring in a fourth member, we’d been a four-piece the entire time the band’s been a thing but it just became like ‘we don’t want to bring someone into this and the chemistry is knocked off balance’.
“So it’s the three of us until such time as we feel like it needs to change and we’re all on the same page with this record, the sounds we want to create, where we want to push it – it all just snowballed from there and it became a lot easier when it was just the three of us.”
The band will celebrate the release of the new album with a show at the Garage on Saturday, and the trio can't wait to unleash the new songs live.
Drummer Graeme says: "We’re buzzing. It’s going to be something a bit different because the boys weren’t able to tour Casino right on the back of release so hopefully we get to actually tour this!
“It’ll be a new experience, hopefully we’ll see a lot of new faces in the crowd. We played an acoustic show recently and people started signing ‘Stutter’ back to us, so that’s something we’re really looking forward to, having that engagement with people.
“We’re very engaged with the audience live, we like to feel like you’re not just here to see us but to have a bit of communication. Wherever we go it’s a long way to travel so we’re not just there to play and then leave, we like to have this to and for with the crowd.
"In terms of songs there are a few we’ve kept hidden that we’re absolutely buzzing to play live and there’s still time for us to come up with some surprises for folk.”
Conor adds: "I’m looking forward to playing ‘I’ve Been Waiting’ in Glasgow. I think when that gets revealed it’s going to be great, no-one has heard that one yet.
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“The album comes out on January 27 and the Glasgow show is the next day so it’s going to be a huge party with everyone enjoying themselves.”
So, what can the Glaswegian crowd expect in terms of sound?
The band's sound spans the likes of Biffy Clyro, Royal Blood and Green Day, and the group are confident the new material will bring the house down.
Lawrence O'Brien, lead guitarist, says: "I can't wait for people to hear Stutter, I Don’t Have Another Soul to Pour - and also I’ve Been Waiting because it reminds me of the kind of songs you used to hear on Bebo when you were 11."
"Yes!" laughs the frontman. "If you remember Bebo get the album!”