The Menzingers in Glasgow
This past weekend was a pretty busy one for DIY punk rock in Scotland. Friday night saw The Menzingers return to Scotland for the first time in two years at Audio in Glasgow at what I believe was the first ever 100% sold out Punk Rock Rammy show, an incredible achievement for one of the hardest working (and soundest) DIY punk promoters in the country. Boab knows how to put a show together and is undoubtedly one of the backbones of our scene, putting on some of the best shows that we’ve seen across the years, and Friday night was no exception.
Abbie and I got the train down during the afternoon and went to Stereo for tea after a spot of shopping before the show. We headed round to the venue at 7pm for doors, before popping next door for a quick drink before Above Them played. Audio is a cool little venue but it’s drinks prices aren’t the cheapest. It’s also one of the darkest venues I’ve ever been in so it’s kind of tricky to get decent lighting for filming. That aside, however, it was the perfect venue for this show. I’d heard a lot about Above Them in the past although I’ve never seen them live, so I was glad to finally get a chance to do so. I bought their “We Are A Danger To Ourselves” LP on Kiss Of Death Records before they played and I wasn’t disappointed. They play almost classic 90s emo mixed with a more contemporary gruff melodic punk sound, falling somewhere in between the likes of Hundred Reasons, Hot Water Music and Jimmy Eat World. I believe the guys are holing up to make a new record after this tour, so it’ll be great to see what they come up with next. A great band for sure and definitely worth checking out.
The Front Bottoms were up next. I didn’t really know anything about these guys apart from one music video that I had seen previously, but I have to admit that they weren’t really my cup of tea. As a three piece, they play upbeat yet somewhat twee alternative acoustic pop, or something along those lines, with a vocal delivery that reminded me of something for Plan-It-X Records. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but they didn’t really strike a chord with me. They seemed to win a lot of people over though and seemed genuinely happy to be there, constantly smiling and making jokes with the audience and each other. Maybe it was their unabashed enthusiasm and zest for life that put me off; too much smiling, dancing and good times being had by all! Unfortunately, I filmed them but then accidentally deleted what I filmed when I was making space on my camera for last night’s show. Sorry guys!
Then it was time for the main event. The venue was absolutely rammed and totally roasting by this point. I stood at the back for a little while before handing the camera over to Abbie, who stood beside the sound man at the desk while I went into the body of the crowd and went mental. It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen a crowd kick off like that for a show in Glasgow, but the place was showing some serious love for The Menzingers. They are the kind of band that seems to bring people for all walks of punk rock together and they posses those intangibles that just makes them a classic melodic punk rock band. They played a range of material from their back catalogue as well as cherry-picking the finest cuts from this year’s “On The Impossible Past” LP, which is bound to be a record that tops many an end of year list for 2012. I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of the record itself also, something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while.
I spoke to Tom after their set had finished and was glad to get the chance to tell him how important that record is to me, as it was pretty much the record that soundtracked my dad’s passing. Like many records before it, it’s one of those albums that seems to stick with you and defines a certain period of time, and it was definitely one of the most listened to albums in the aftermath of Big Mick’s passing, especially as I spent so much time in the van with my bandmates on both the Cobra Skulls and US tours. It was good to get a chance to tell Tom how it had helped me through some tough times and, as clichéd as that may be, it’s also undeniably true. Tom seemed genuinely touched and he gave me a tight squeeze and a cuddle, as well as a hearty slap on the chest. That meant a lot and is, in a way, indicative of everything that is good about the punk rock scene; a coming together of individuals united in a common purpose, sharing a common passion and a seemingly common understanding. Punk rock can mend broken hearts and shine a light on darkness.
All in, it was an amazing show, definitely one of the best of the year, and a fantastic achievement for the DIY punk scene. Thanks to Boab for putting it on. The next Punk Rock Rammy show is Mad Caddies in Glasgow on Friday 23rd November (the week before Book Yer Ane Fest VI). I’ll write and post videos about last night’s Blacklist Royals show in Dundee at some point over the next couple of days.
Check out the stage diving and sing-a-longs in this video, which features the lion’s share of the set from Friday night. Thank you to Abbie for filming while I went bonkers!