[Gig photos on Flickr – not the best quality as I used my old camera, but still some good shots!]
[NOTE – interview online in the next couple of days once I get the time to edit it]
A band who’ve been to Glasgow four times, played four different venues and three of them on the same street… Suburban Legends brought their rambunctious brand of ska and Disney covers to the relatively new Broadcast venue (formally “Local”) for 75 minutes of pogo-ing and crowd involvement.
My apologies to local support Hostile, but I was late to the venue for the gig and missed them. They did get quite a cheer when they were namechecked at the end of the night, so I assume they did well!
I’ve caught SL once before, when they were opening for Bowling For Soup at the ABC along the road back in 2011. That time they had a nice big stage to move around on – and they really move around! I honestly wasn’t sure how they’d manage on the tiny stage underground in Broadcast. A stage with a ceiling height of around 7′ and a padded pipe bisecting it just make make things even more interesting.
Bugger me, but they managed it. Those wonderful step-slides they do were adapted to include a “duck” (especially by lead singer Vincent) who almost seemed to move through the head-height obstruction at times, like a non-uniformed X-Man.
Somehow Brian (Robertson) and Chris still managed to spin their trombone/trumpet respectively without concussing other band members. Brian (Klemm) and Brad posed and solo’d away on their axes without stabbing anyone in the eye. The only member of the band who would have passed health and safety was Edward, stuck at the back and round the corner. And in fairness, he was probably bashing the skins too loudly for the H&S brigade.
There’s often a worry with small venues that the sound will suck as it’ll be cranked up to the max and just bounce around like emptying a Lawgiver-load of ricochet rounds. However, they did a bang-up job at Broadcast with only the occasional problem with a mike here or there. All the instruments were clear and generally well-balanced so the whole ska experience could be enjoyed by the happy crowd.
And happy they were. I don’t think there was a single person there who didn’t crack a shit-eating grin at least once over the evening. Suburban Legends don’t just play music. They put on a show. Like Patent Pending last week (the two have toured together in the past – that would be a brilliant show), audience participation is very much a part of it. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Suburban Legends now hold the record for “longest amount of time spent in the crowd by a band member” at any gig I’ve been to.
Certainly this will have been helped by the low stage and lack of security barricade, but it made for one ridiculous party atmosphere. Two brave crowd surfers also made use of the absence of burly security personnel, but required the assistance of the band to squeeze into the space between waiting hands and the unforgiving ceiling… and even less forgiving aircon unit suspended from it.
Between a wall of death, a wall of hugs, slow dancing, jazz-hand waving, snogging half the audience and trying to avoid concussing themselves while jumping about on stage, Suburban Legends ran off track after track of bouncy, brash delight. Original material, covers… it all came with their personal brand of well-choreographed lunacy.
You can’t appreciate The Little Mermaid‘s “Under The Sea” until you’ve seen it performed by this band, complete with front man in the audience getting two innocent crowd members to assist.
Highlight of the night for me, though, was the theme from Gummi Bears. Which was played for me (according to guitarist Brian, anyway) as I requested it at the interview. I have a sneaky feeling it was already on the set list, but you know what? I don’t care. I’m going to take that as a request begged for and fulfilled by a band who obviously go all out to please their audience.
While I can’t find fault with the gig, the venue, the crowd or anything else about last night I can only hope that it won’t be long before they’re headlining the likes of the ABC themselves. Sure, it might mean losing a little of the audience closeness, but they bloody deserve it. Honestly, if you like having fun and going to see a band that don’t just play music, say hello and leave again, Suburban Legends should be on your “Live Band” bucketlist.
Brilliant entertainment – come back again soon, guys!
- Suburban Legends UK tour (moshville.co.uk)