It seems like only yesterday I saw the girls get a massive cheer as they stepped on stage at the sold out Glasgow Garage last year after a long hiatus of inactivity. The band have to be pleased with the larger venue upgrade from last year’s smaller one.
We have a support band to watch before the girls come on in the form of the up and coming Treason Kings from Leeds. I had not heard of the boys before and as they started up I was not sure if they were the right fit with this crowd as they have more of a Biffy Clyro vibe than a Seattle one. To be fair most of this crowd, if not all were here for L7, but they actually got to see a fantastic band warming up the night with more energy than a lot of bands I have seen.
I mentioned it before but they had a big nod towards Biffy with their absolutely mental approach to playing, especially singer/guitarist Harry Scott. I’m surprised his guitar did not burst into flames. They played a blinder of a seven-song setlist that, given a different crowd/billing, would have had the audience going mental. This is a band going places and I will catch them again with hopefully a more responsive crowd next time. Catch them if you can!
So now to the main event. L7 formed way back in 1985 (I was a mere 23 year old at the time). You can tell the crowd are all here for them as they cheer as the lights dim and the band launch into “Deathwish” from Smell the Magic with its familiar fuzz bass driven intro. The band are so much more animated – even Suzi, who never left her mic much last year, was all over the place tonight. This was a big difference to the band I saw the previous year at the Garage, this is a band that have learned to enjoy themselves a bit more and let go from last year’s amazing comeback gig.
I have always loved the grunge scene from the early days of Mother Love Bone etc. and L7 were a big part of my early grunge addiction. Tonight they play a blinder of a setlist for the masses here, many of whom probably are not your regular gig goers but are out to see a band from their younger days which is not a bad thing by any means. A setlist with the likes of “Monster”, “Scrap” and one of my favourites “One More Thing” from Bricks are Heavy – they just cannot go wrong.
Between the Bricks are Heavy, Smell the Magic and Hungry for Stink albums, tonight is a L7 fest for the faithful. Another favourite of mine is “Crackpot Baby” from Slap-Happy and it was nice to hear it along with “Must Have More” from The Beauty Process album. We had it all tonight, a veritable feast of L7’s greatest songs which were fired at us with a speed and ferocity that many a younger band could never manage, from the drag race styled “Shirley” to the awesome “Shitlist” that ended the main set.
That killer bass sets off the crowd as the encore kicks in with “American Society” from Smell the Magic, followed by the awesome “Pretend We’re Dead” with the grungy, rifftastic bass lines and guitar pretty much sums up this band. The band finish of this short but fuel-injected gig with “Fast and Frightening” from Smell the Magic – with its powerhouse drumming it really is a fast way to end the gig.
The girls did it again after last year’s gig. This year’s was more charged and a real treat to watch. Roll on next year hopefully, catch them even if only to relive your youth – you will not be disappointed.
All photos by Gary Cooper.
- Fuel My Fire
- One More Thing
- I Need
- Crackpot Baby
- Must Have More
- Freak Magnet
- American Society
- Pretend We’re Dead
- Fast and Frightening