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Helicon / Rambler

Anchor Lane 1st birthday party @ Glasgow Bloc+ (Thursday December 19th 2019)

By • Dec 21st, 2019 • Category: Gig review

This event was a celebration of Anchor Lane studio’s first birthday, and it has been a busy and eventful year for heid bummer Luigi Pasquini, recording a variety of releases for acts from West of Scotland noise merchants Helicon to folkier acts such as Alasdair Roberts’ most recent album.

There was DJing tonight from local act Free Love and later on from Edinburgh-based master of doomnation Blanck Mass – plus two live acts at this free gig.

First up was Rambler, aka Caitlin Buchanan, who gave us some great guitar and vocals, and some promising songs. No official releases as yet but watch out for material in the new year, along with a Celtic Connections appearance.

Headliners were Helicon, who blew BM away earlier in the year at Nice N Sleazy – tonight was no different. They are releasing another album on Fuzz Club records, engineered by Luigi at Anchor Lane and called ‘This Can Only Lead To Chaos’, early in 2020. We got cuts from it and from the self-titled previous one. The band consist of singer/guitarist John Paul, brother Gary on guitar, Graham on keys/sitar, Mark on bass, Seb on drums and tonight Luigi on effects and mixing. The sound is huge, just immense, and it is a credit to the soundmix that it does not either blow up Bloc’s speakers or cause the audience to clear the building.

Opener, new instrumental track/single ‘Sound Of Confession’ sounds like a jumbo taking off in the Clyde Tunnel and the guitars climb up the scales like the sound of the apocalypse. The rest of the 11 or 12 song set has some vocals, a fair amount of sitar, never used as a gimmick through it does look very impressive! As well as more immediate comparisons to Mogwai and The Cosmic Dead (and BM thinks all 3 are equally original) there is the occasional sense of The Doors and other 60s groups on tracks like ‘French as F::::’. Tracks from their 2019 also get an airing including the immense ‘Get Off’, which rounds off the set in a squalling cacophony of feedback and distortion – amazing! This is sophisticated psych-rock of the highest quality so more power to their elbow for the album release next year, they certainly rocked this audience, almost off their feet….

As far a birthday bashes go this was a memorable one and BM only hopes that Anchor Lane and Luigi have a successful second year, they certainly deserve it on the strength of this…

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