My friend Graham at work is an enthusiastic concert-goer like me. Last year he told me about a gig he’d been to at St. Luke’s in Glasgow. The venue, a small converted church just round the corner from the Barrowlands, sounded like exactly my kind of thing. Because I’m still over in Scotland regularly, I kept my eye on their “What’s On” page in case anything interesting came up.
And it did! Back in January 65daysofstatic announced a tour for the 10th anniversary of their album Wild Light, and they would be kicking it off at St. Luke’s. They would also be playing Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam. Because I wasn’t sure what my travel plans would be that far ahead, I just got myself a ticket for the Amsterdam gig. But as we got nearer the time, the circumstances lined up for me to be in Scotland just at the right time to catch them in Glasgow as well!
I even persuaded Graham to come along as well. (He didn’t take much persuading.) I was in Edinburgh for the day, and I drove over to Glasgow after work. I had a hard time figuring out how to pay for my parking at the Spoutmouth parking nearby, because I didn’t have any coins and I didn’t have a UK parking app downloaded and set up. But I got to the venue eventually, and we had some dinner (a nice pizza) at the bar/restaurant. We missed the opening act, Chipzel, although we heard quite a bit of it through the walls. As we were chatting over dinner we also discovered that we both have tickets to see Melanie Martinez at the Hydro in November with our daughters. Concert dads stick together 💪🏻.
The gig was good. The venue is pleasantly sized, maybe around 300 capacity? It wasn’t full. I didn’t have earplugs with me, and we were standing right in front of the speaker stack. My watch was giving me all kinds of alarms about being in a noisy environment, and it was right to do so – at the end of the evening my ears were ringing and the world sounded flat. In not sure if it was just proximity to the speakers, but the sound quality did seem quite harsh to me. (Perhaps the sound system is more suited to less noisy and distorted acts.)
The band played through the whole of the Wild Light album, then took a couple of minutes for a break, and came back on and played a selection of fan favourites. The last time I saw them was in 2018 on their Decomposition Theory tour, which was very different. This time they had the whole band plus Frank (whom they talk about on their Bleak Strategies podcast). The crowd was enthusiastic, but not exactly wild. Maybe a factor of age.
About four tracks in, I had the sudden notion that in my fluster around paying for parking, I’d left the rental car unlocked with my laptop and camera in my backpack in the boot. This was distracting, because I kept playing through scenarios in my head of what I’d have to do if they got stolen… In the end it was fine. I had locked the car, and no break-in occurred. But I didn’t perhaps have my full attention on the music at all times. Graham seemed a bit blown away by the end – I’m not sure if he had been expecting it to be quite so noisy…
- Heat Death Infinity Splitter
- The Undertow
- Sleepwalk City
- Unmake the Wild Light
- Safe Passage
- Install a Break in the Heart That Clucks Time in Arabic
- Retreat! Retreat!
- Crash Tactics
- Radio Protector